Living in Southern California a majority of my life, I’ve never really suffered with dry skin. Even after spending day after day in the salty Pacific Ocean. I’ve experienced mini bouts when I traveled to Arizona where it truly is super dry, however, my skin would just get dry and when I used moisturizer (it didn’t really matter which one) my skin would positively respond.
Well, when my family relocated to the Tahoe area, in the middle of winter, with snow and super cold weather, my skin (and even my toddler’s skin) freaked out. My poor little kid’s face got all red and cracked, while the skin on my arms and legs developed these little scabby bumps (sorry, kinda gross, but not that gross…promise). From my wrists to upper arms as well as all over my upper legs, these little bumps were everywhere. It wasn’t eczema or psoriasis, and it for sure was not chicken pox. My doctor let me know that it was a skin condition known as Keratosis Pilaris, which is a harmless yet common skin
condition that causes small hard bumps on the skin that can make it feel like sand paper.
But why me? Turns out being pregnant can make you more susceptible as well as the condition can worsen during winter months when there is less moisture in the air. And what do I do when it’s cold outside? Take a steaming hot shower…which also makes the condition worse. While I was using moisturizer every day after the shower, nothing was helping. I was embarrassed as it looked as though I had some nasty contagious skin disease.
Doctor, what can I do? Apparently there is no cure...however, there are treatments you can do to make the skin look and feel better and eventually it can go away as well. For example, using a topical exfoliant to remove the buildup of dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. Another option is to use a topical retinoid to prevent the hair follicles from getting plugged in the first place. Well, the doctor advised me to avoid the retinal option since I am pregnant. But at the same time, the exfoliant option can result in mild burning or redness when applied, and I was already embarrassed by how my skin looked now…what would happen when I added redness and irritation to the area? The next option was to use a rich moisturizer. I thought I had been using one, so I used this as the perfect excuse to by another skin care product for my body.
I went to Target, because well, Target is awesome. Of course, there is an entire aisle devoted to body moisturizers…I just had to figure out which one to purchase. The current moisturizer I was using for myself and kid, was a “dermatologist recommended” product that specifically said for super dry skin (okay, so maybe it didn’t say super dry, but something close to that) and on a day to day basis, it was a decent moisturizer, even though my kid’s skin would still experience patchy dryness on his legs or arms. I’m not sure why, but for some reason I grabbed the basic Nivea Original Daily Moisture Lotion for normal to dry skin. You know the one, in the dark blue bottle. Mainly it was because I was with the husband and kid at the time and they were both getting anxious after I was in the aisle for about 5 minutes too long.
I started using the Nivea Original Daily Moisture lotion that very same night after taking a shower and continued to use it the rest
of the week, not only on myself but on my kid as well. I kid you not, it wasn’t a full 5 days later that my skin was totally clear. I was surprised and excited at the same time. In addition, my kid’s skin was totally clear. No more dry eczema patches on his arms or legs, his face was back to its normal cute self and he was back to just perfectly soft baby skin. I was even more surprised because it is a very basic and inexpensive moisturizer and because of the results, I am still using it today!
So, what exactly is so great about Nivea’s lotion? I read the ingredients and immediately saw why it was working so well…Lanolin. Some people are not a fan of Lanolin as it is a by product of Sheep’s wool. While sheep are not harmed in the process of extracting the lanolin from the wool, if you are allergic or sensitive to wool, you most likely want to avoid this ingredient all together. For everyone else, lanolin is the perfect ingredient for skin that is especially dry because it penetrates deeper in the skin and doesn’t just moisturize but creates a barrier in the underlying layers of the skin to prevent moisture from escaping. This keeps the skin supple longer so that when you use it you do not have to apply it as often as other moisturizers not containing lanolin. In addition, the moisturizing properties of lanolin can help ease itching often associated with dry skin. Now that winter is over and it officially is Spring (even though Tahoe hasn’t gotten the memo yet) as we start to wear sandals and have our feet exposed to the elements, using a lanolin based moisturizer on your feet and heels will allow tools that exfoliate those areas to work better preventing that thickness of dead skin that happens so often when sandals or flip flops are worn throughout the Spring/Summer season (and for those in Southern California, so many of us wear flip flops and sandals year round!).
While I am a big fan of Nivea because of the lanolin (as well as other awesome moisturizing ingredients) I know there are other products that also contain lanolin as a moisturizing agent, I just haven’t tried them all!
Are you a fan of lanolin? What products would you recommend that contain lanolin?
I do not work for any of the companies listed above nor did I receive compensation for this blog post.