My Favourite Things has set a list challenge that I'd thought would be both fun and informative to do on my blog. I have modified the list to categories that are relevant to my own life.
I don't use any make up or many off the shelf body products. I wanted to share my usual beauty product routine with you though. Or survival product routine as I call it. It may be useful for you if you have sensitive skin or ichthyosis.
Note - these products work best for me, and I recommend you seek your doctor's advice before trying them on you or your child.
I shower twice a day.
For about 10 minutes.
The morning is laborious: wet hair, leave in shampoo/condition, scrub nails (with gentle soap and nailbrush) wet ears, wash face and ears, wash body, comb scalp, rinse hair.
Night is easier: Wash face, wash body, scrub nails, stand under hot water.
I wash my face with a facecloth and plain water.
I wash my body with simple products. Hamilton Gentle Wash (or QV, whichever is cheaper) and sometimes bath oil (again, sometimes Hamilton or QV).
I have also used Cetaphil Restoraderm body wash recently, which has been good for the fatter parts of my body but makes things sore in places where the skin easily rubs off (particularly chest and feet). And it's expensive too. But can be used as a shampoo.
If I am sore (with infection) I will use Microshield handwash in the shower, particularly when I am in hospital.
My moisturising regime is also plain and simple. Cheap. And very greasy.
70 percent soft white paraffin and 30 percent liquid paraffin. In the cooler months the ratio is changed to 60/40 for easier application.
It comes in 500 gram tubs - I get about five kilos every month.
For easy transport in my handbag I use little jars of vaseline brought from the supermarket.
I apply this all over my body after my showers, twice a day, and then when needed.
Everything I touch is greasy. Everything.
Don't give me the 'vaseline is polluting your body' lecture. Particularly when you're smoking.
Sometimes I use Elidel in addition to my cream to reduce the redness on my face before a big event.
I can't use sunscreen so I cover my body up and wear a hat.
I also drink a lot of water to keep my skin hydrated - perhaps three to four litres a day.
I have been a recent convert to sulphate free shampoos. I used to use 'gentle' ones, or medicated ones. But these irritated my scalp, leaving it itchy, scaly and at worst, hairless. I have finally found shampoos that wash my hair well and are gentle on my scalp.
I generally wash every second day and condition every day - all during my morning shower.
For the past few years I've been alternating between Dermaveen and Alchemy products
gentle shampoo and macadamia and wheat conditioner about five years ago, and it was like a miracle - all the scale was easily removed from the front of my scalp.
My dermatologists did advise against using plant based products because specialists can't predict how the ingredients will react with my skin. But Alchemy has been great for me.
Dermaveen shampoo and conditioner is, I guess, a more medicated product. It's quite thick and leaves my hair ringlety. It is also good for my scalp.
Recently I was recommended Modern Organic Products shampoo and conditioner. They are sulphate free.
Every day I comb the scale out of my hair during and (in more detail) after my shower. It can get messy but has to be done. Once, a former manager pulled some skin from my hair at work. Ooops.
I always towel dry and style with my fingers. Sometimes I will use a hairdryer. A straightener will probably do damage to my hair or worse, catch on fire from my cream.
My form of ichthyosis means my hair breaks off at the scalp. So I try to avoid pinning or tying it, or using harsh styling products. When I was 15, it turned into an undercut, and I had big patches without hair - very bloody and itchy and scaly. Really difficult. It is prone to small patches now, usually caused by comb nicks.
When my scalp is extra scaly, and because I have inherited my Mum's African hair in the form of my Dad's loose curls, I use an occasional treatment of olive oil or Sorbolene through my hair and scalp overnight.
I have two more categories that I will cover tomorrow.
I hope you found my list interesting and of course, useful. I am particularly keen on hearing back from people with ichthyosis.
There is nothing glamourous about my