Lowri Hawkins tell us her eczema story, from steroids to a natural skincare routine!
I have tried every cream in the book, or every prescription cream I should say, and I haven't used many that work for me.
I've always thought natural skincare is the best way forward, but I never gave it a chance and just relied on the prescription medication and creams. In my experience, the dermatologist has only treated my skin for the short term, and I am now in a position where I want long term change. I believe there is a place for dermatologists as they are skin experts, but I also think that natural remedies are more sustainable in the long run.
As I've gotten older my skin hasn't improved, and my problem areas have increased slightly. My eczema has been very typical my entire life, affecting the backs of my knees, inside of my elbows, neck and face. I have noticed that my flares up can affect larger areas of my limbs and torso, making it more debilitating than ever before.
After a really bad flare up in October last year that really knocked my confidence, I wanted to find something that gave me some relief. Nothing was helping apart from strong topical steroids, but long term steroids are a recipe for a disaster, so I was cautious. I needed something that was more than a cream, something that would actively work at reducing the itch and redness like steroids do.
I first discovered Balmonds back in January 2020 when I was desperate to find something natural to soothe my facial flare ups. Lots of girls on Instagram told me it was worth the price point and it was a great brand to go for, so I took myself down to Holland and Barrett to their penny sale and got myself two pots of Skin Salvation.
Skin Salvation is a green balm made from completely natural ingredients. I started using it straight away and fell in love. It has been a saviour for me, so smooth on the skin and not irritating at all! I always worry about what I put on my skin when it's sore and open, because a lot of things will penetrate the skin too much and burn; Skin Salvation isn't like that and doesn't sting one bit.
Within a month I had gone through my first pot and needed more. I now carry it around with me everywhere I go as my go-to moisturiser for my face. I don't use it on my body much unless a patch really needs it; luckily since ditching the steroids my body has been great and a lot healthier, so I don't feel like it needs as much attention as my face.
By no means has it cured me, but it’s what I reach to now over anything else. I wish I’d known about it sooner, that's my only regret! Balmonds as a company are brilliant, they really care about all skin conditions and even recognise TSW and believe in the process. Their entire product range is beautiful and all naturally derived ingredients.
Since falling in love with Skin Salvation I have broadened my horizons and I have been using the Intensive Hand Cream and Bath & Body Oil, both products I couldn't do without now! The hand cream comes in a lovely slimline bottle, perfect for your handbag and leaves a lasting layer of hydration. I love using body oil as my last step in the shower or bath, I have been putting this on my arm and leg creases and my chest as these are the places that dry out the quickest after I wash. Sometimes I don't even have to moisturise after the shower because of the way it traps in the moisture from the bath.
Recently I have added the Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil to my collection and also the Intensive Facial Oil. The cleansing oil is a lovely way to take off the day's face; I don't wear much make up but I'm sure this stuff would melt it off like butter. It makes my skin feel clean and supple. I love a facial oil: it makes my skincare routine feel luxurious and works perfectly in conjunction with a moisturiser.
I also use a squalane oil underneath Skin Salvation: they work amazingly well together, and when used before bed I know I'm going to wake up with fresh skin!
I have never found a skincare brand so suited to my skin and the beauty is that it's all natural and chemical-free.
For my whole life I have been plastering harmful ingredients onto my skin and it feels amazing to be free from them. I am very grateful for the opportunities Balmonds has opened up for me, I never thought there could be so much positivity out of having a lifelong chronic skin condition.
All images copyright Lowri Hawkins Photography
Lowri is from Shrewsbury in Shropshire and has recently finished her degree in photography. Lowri documents her journey with life long severe eczema on her instagram @lowriseczemadiaries.