My journey with allergies and eczema began in my teens. I’ve always had sensitive skin but suddenly products that had previously been fine began making me itchy and blotchy. I switched to different products and it seemed to help but at the same time, I was having issues with certain foods. I noticed often after eating, that I became bloated and uncomfortable, with stomach cramps that left me in pain for the rest of the evening. At this time, the awareness of food allergies and intolerances weren’t very common. I assumed that everyone dealt with similar food sensitivities.  It also correlated with my skin getting rough, red and very sensitive, especially around my eyes. This was a challenge because I wore makeup daily, and my eyes were constantly watering and red.

I finally decided to do some research and began an elimination diet, removing specific things to see which, if any, would help. I started with dairy and didn’t see much improvement. The next thing I tried was wheat/gluten. It was as though a light switch was turned on. I wasn’t bloated or cramping like before, and after a few weeks, I had determined this was the root cause of my issues. This meant that I needed to become very aware of what was in my food, especially if I wasn’t preparing it myself. Something as simple as a sauce could contain flour for thickening and would set me back. I began cooking more and because of this being a growing issue for many others, I found many great gluten-free options in the grocery store. Luckily, restaurants were also taking notice of this trend and began expanding their menus to offer gluten-free options. Thankfully my intolerance isn’t life-threatening, so if something would have gluten, I wouldn’t be severely impacted, just uncomfortable. However, this lifestyle change was surprisingly manageable to adopt and adhere to.

Addressing the internal aspect of my gluten intolerance helped minimize my eczema but it didn’t alleviate it completely. I was constantly trying new products and used a prescription steroid cream from my doctor. However, the areas of eczema on my eyelids were tricky because I didn’t want anything that could drip or sting. When my friend started working for BREVENA and told me they had a product for eczema I wasn’t expecting much. In fact, my first thought was (this is just overpriced Aquaphor). But she sent me the Restorative Skin Balm and in just a few days my eczema was improving, and after a few weeks, it was gone. I was very impressed. After getting it under control, I was able to swap out the balm for their Perfect Pair. Apparently, there is something in the Macro B Complex that really helps manage eczema. If I feel it flaring up, a night or two of the balm gets it back under control. It’s been so helpful, and I’ve recommended it to family who also have eczema and sensitive skin. If you are skeptical, I would encourage you to try their products, you can always send them back if they don’t work, but if they do, they can really change your life.