Skincare Tips for Eczema Sufferers

Atopic eczema affects 1 in 5 children and 1 in 12 adults, making it the most common form of eczema and one of the most common skin conditions. Its red and dry appearance accompanied by an intense itch makes for a very painful and chronic condition.

Unfortunately, there can be many triggers associated with eczema, which are common and abundant such as: washing detergents, stress, temperature changes, and allergens. When the eczema flares up, it’s important to treat at the first sign of symptoms to prevent any worsening that could potentially end up in bleeding or infection.

Emollients are the mainstay of all treatment for eczema and products include creams, ointments, lotions, bath additives and soap substitutes.  Emollients can help soothe and repair the skin while also reducing the requirement for topical steroids (i.e. medicated creams/ointments) and can also increase the effectiveness of prescribed treatments. Sometimes you may need more than one type, and often people prefer to use a lotion during the day and an ointment at night due their textures. Ideally they should be applied at least twice a day and adults should use approximately 500g while children should use approximately 250g of emollient per week.

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Some tips for eczema suffers that I would always recommend are:

  • Don’t stop moisturising when your skin is eczema free – prevention is better than cure!
  • Keep fingernails short.
  • Avoid soap and harsh chemicals in cleaning products.
  • Shampoo that is fragrance free and pH neutral should be chosen (avoid Sodium Lauryl Sulphate).
  • Emollients are best applied straight after a bath/shower.
  • Cotton clothing is the most preferred to avoid irritation.
  • Do not limit your diet if you believe some foods may be causing it before talking to your GP.
  • Aqueous cream should not be used as a leave-on emollient as it has been proven to cause irritation. Instead, it is better as a soap substitute.
  • For those with severe eczema, “wet wrapping” should be considered. This involved applying a generous layer of emollient, which is then covered with a wet cotton bandage.
  • Take extra care during these cool winter months as often, the cold can cause dry skin to become worse.
  • Aveeno® and La Roche PosayLipikar/Cicaplast range are my top recommended emollient products (available from the LloydsPharmacy website-subject to availability) and Doublebase Emollient Gel (available from LloydsPharmacies nationwide- subject to availability).
  • Always contact your GP or local LloydsPharmacist should you find your eczema difficult to manage or if you have any questions regarding your treatment.

Brought to you by Sarah Morris, 4th year pharmacy intern at LloydsPharmacy

14 Festival Essentials for a carefree weekend

So you’ve got your ticket or you’re still working on that ‘plan’ to get one, either way you’re going and you are ready for action. Only pack what you need as you may have to carry your festival ready wardrobe a long distance to where you’re camping. Don’t forget it all has to go back with you after the weekend, well most of it!


La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Tinted Fluid Ultra-Light €19.50

We spend most of our time at festivals outside exploring in the sunshine (fingers crossed) protect your skin with this La Roche-Posay favourite. This tinted, very high facial protection is fragrance free, paraben free and water resistant. Exposure to UV radiation is the number one cause of skin cancer, which is the most common cancer in Ireland, so it is imperative to protect your skin.


Oxylent €30

Oxylent is a pleasant tasting multivitamin that quickly dissolves in water & is designed to support your immune system, reduce fatigue & release energy. This electrolyte-rich drink is the perfect drink to keep you hydrated throughout any event and is a very good idea at the end of a big night out!


Johnsons’s Extra Sensitive Baby Wipes €1.35

What to pack for a festival? Your ticket and baby wipes. THE original multipurpose product.


Batiste Dry Shampoo €1.79 – €4.75

A cult product that needs no introduction. Spritz Batiste Dry Shampoo at the roots of your hair for an instant boost of body and texture. Comes in a handy mini travel size (50ml) and in a range of colours and fragrances.


CB12 Travel Pack

CB12 provides 12 hours of oral protection. This handy travel pack contains oral rinse, boost chewing gum, toothpaste and a travel toothbrush. Perfect to protect your pearly whites!


Mitchum Advance Control Deodorant €3.70

Nobody likes a Sweaty Betty! Mithum provides 48 hours of reliable antiperspirant protection, allowing you to dance the night away, and into the next day.


Nivea Daily Essentials Facial Cleansing Wipes €3.45

Glamorous festival glitter is great for an Instagram pic, but not so great for your pores. Nivea Daily Essentials Wipes effectively cleanses your skin, removing make-up and waterproof mascara leaving your skin feeling refreshed and clean.


Medicare Hand Sanitizer €1.95

There is nothing worse than dirty mitts! Medicare hand sanitizer anti-bacterial kills 99.9% of germs. A festival essential for us OCD folk.


Elastoplast Fabric Extra Flexible €4.65

Bumps and bruises are inevitable at festivals. Elastoplast plasters seal the area around the wound to provide optimal protection against infection and the material stretches with the skin’s movements. This can stop a little problem turning into a complete nightmare. Make sure to include plasters, antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, pain relief and a little something for the tummy. Always speak with your LloydsPharmacy pharmacist for advice when purchasing any medicines.


MooGoo Tingling Honey Lip Balm €3.90

Tingling Honey Lip Balm is specially made to speed up the repair of dry and chapped lips. It contains menthol ingredients known for their sterilizing effect to help prevent infection. Its “lemony tingle” is a delish bonus!


MooGoo Cleansing Soap Bars €5.95

MooGoo is your go to festival soap. It mildly removes old oil and grease from the skin, replacing them with pure nut oils and proteins.


Signorina EDT by Salvatore Ferragamo 50ml €29.95

The lack of showers is one huge downfall to festivals but this doesn’t mean you can’t still smell amazing. This fragrance captures the feminine and young Italian style in a cascade of floriental and fruity notes with an unexpected gourmand touch. Spritz daily. (Exclusive to LloydsPharmacy & Harvey Nichols)


Durex RealFeel 12 Pack €18.99

If you do find someone you want to share your tent with, make sure you stay safe! With over 80 years of experience, Durex is trusted by millions of lovers around the world every day. RealFeel condoms are made from a technically advanced non-latex material for a natural skin on skin feeling.


Sally Hanson Airbrush Legs is currently HALF PRICE at €6.97

A favourite among Irish women. Tan in seconds; party for hours!


Pick up all your festival essentials and much more at a LloydsPharmacy near you.

New Brand Spotlight: Wild Oats Soap

Natural Soap – Pure & Simple

wild_oats_logoHave you ever wondered why Natural handmade soap differs from more commercial soaps? Although different handmade producers have their own formula and recipes, one of the main differences is that most handmade soap has natural oils as a base, as opposed to the inclusion of various chemically based additives which are present in many commercial soaps. So why do commercial soap makers bother with additives in the first place? It comes down to Glycerine. Glycerine is the element which gives soap its moisturising properties and occurs naturally during the soap making process. But it is also an important and popular commodity in its own right, often being extracted from the soap and sold on for use in cosmetics and skin care products. That natural moisturiser is often replaced with synthetic moisturising substitutes changing the make up of what should be a very simple process. Add on to that synthetic colourings and perfumes, and your skin is already exposed to a load of chemicals before you even get your moisturiser on!

Wild Oats was born from wanting to make products for my own family’s skin that would smell gorgeous but be great for their skin. It seemed like I had to choose between one and the other. That is when I decided to make my own.

_DSC5581I started with my preferred blend of natural oils, chosen for their lather, skin softening and moisturising properties and creaminess. Many of them are organic, but sometimes there is a choice to be made between sustainability and organic, like for instance with Palm oil. In my case, choosing a product that was Forest Friendly, in other words, preserving habitats for wild animals and maintaining a sustainable ecosystem, outweighed a certificate of organic status. Then there was the colouring. Loud colours just didn’t appeal, so I searched for ways to add gentle colour without compromising on the natural aspect of the soap. It turns out that spices and clays are natures paint box. Not just that, but they add silkiness and a myriad of other benefits to the soap.

Finally, the scent. To me, scent was the key to all of the products I wanted to make. The soaps and bath milk had to be kind to skin but I also wanted to come out of the shower or bath with a subtle, natural scent that would linger a little. So I began my research. Essential oils are complex. Over months, I discovered that Lavender isn’t just Lavender, there are dozens of variations and blends and it took me some time to discover the particular oils that were just right for what I wanted in our products. For me, that entails hours spent sniffing beautiful, natural fragrance and carefully blending herbs and botanicals.

There was still one important element I needed to explore. I wanted my soaps and bath products to have a feel good effect on the senses, not just the body.

That’s when we started working on what effects different essential oils and scents had on mood. After a lot of blending and experimenting and mixing, we came up with a selection of essential oils that really do soothe both body and soul. Neroli uplifts, Lavender helps with sleep, Lime revives, and Bergamot has been used for relaxation and uplifting spirits for many years.

There’s a whole other blog on the selection, history, use and benefits of pure essential oils, but for now, I’ll just take you through the soap making process.

CaptureMaking the Soap

They say soap was discovered as far back as when animals were sacrificed on stone alters. Apparently, people found that some of the oils from the beast had mixed with the ash and a chemical reaction took place producing crude soap. Whilst some people still try to make soap from ash and animal fats, we tend to stick to using fruit and vegetable products and tend to work indoors rather than on draughty mountain tops.

There are a few different ways of making handmade soap, but the most popular two ways are known as Cold Process Soap and Melt and Pour. Melt and Pour consists of melting a pre-blended mixture, which already includes Lye and oils, before adding your own fragrances and colours. This soap will be ready in a matter of hours and usually, though not always, has a translucent quality.

For me, the down side of Melt and Pour is that there is no control over the basic oils and lye mixture, not just in what percentages or quantities, which would affect the feel of the final soap, but as importantly, there is less control over the provenance of those ingredients- whether they are organic, contain Parabens or preservatives, are tested on animals, or are from sustainable stock. These things are as important to us as the finished bar of soap. So although the Cold Pour Process is akin to making a cake from scratch, including making the jam and picking the strawberries , not to mention experimenting until the recipe is just right, it was an easy choice to choose this process to make our soap. The down side is that Cold Process Soap takes between 5 and 6 weeks to “cure” or harden before we can trim, wrap and pack the soaps by hand, so the process is a bit longer. But we think it is entirely worth it because the soap we produce for you is made from the very best ingredients available.

Wild oats soapmakingSo how do we make the soap in the first place? Having selected the grade and percentages of oils best for our mixture, we slowly melt the measured oils in a large melting pot. When our oils and lye (a mixture of caustic soda and liquid or flower waters) achieve the correct temperature, we carefully mix both together and stir until we get a smooth creamy mixture, like custard. It’s a bit like baking a giant cake mixture.

Next we mix our nutrient oils, these are oils selected for various moisturising properties, like sweet almond oil which is gentle on the skin and not too greasy, or avocado oil for skin that needs a little more nourishment. After that, we add our botanicals, clays, milks and hand ground oats. Finally, we carefully add our blend of specially selected fragrance in the form of pure natural essential oils. This is where it can get a bit sticky. Certain essential oils can cause what is called “acceleration of trace”. In plain English, they cause the mixture to thicken up really quickly. So when we use these oils, we need to add them at the exact right time so that we maintain that nice pourable creaminess. The mixture is now poured into pre-lined moulds and left to harden for anything between 24 and 36 hours, after which they are cut, stamped and left to cure for around 6 weeks, when they are hand-wrapped, packaged, batched and sent off to go out on the shelves.

lavender puringOur bath milks are made in an entirely different way. We blend varying amount of salts, milks, oats and essential oils to end up with a treat for the body- relaxation in a bottle so to speak. All of our ingredients are food grade, so not only are they natural, but they are of the purest quality available.

We at Wild Oats absolutely adore the whole soap making process. From picking the elderflower in the hedgerows near Lismore in June, to grinding the Flahavans Organic Oats used in each bar, to researching and acting as essential oil mixologists to get the right blend for our soaps and bath mixtures. This is our passion.


Written by Karen Cottier of Wild Oats Soap.

Wild Oats Soap is now available in select LloydsPharmacy stores:

LloydsPharmacy Leopardstown

LloydsPharmacy Clonskeagh

LloydsPharmacy Churchtown

LloydsPharmacy Blackrock S.C.

LloydsPharmacy Donnybrook

LloydsPharmacy Nutgrove S.C.

LloydsPharmacy Grand Parade

LloydsPharmacy Hollyhill

LloydsPharmacy Midleton

LloydsPharmacy Dungarvan

LloydsPharmacy Thomondgate

LloydsPharmacy Lucan

LloydsPharmacy Ashleaf S.C.

LloydsPharmacy The Mill S.C.

LloydsPharmacy Claremorris

LloydsPharmacy Blanchardstown S.C.

LloydsPharmacy Longford S.C.

LloydsPharmacy Naas

LloydsPharmacy Castleknock S.C.

LloydsPharmacy Castleknock

LloydsPharmacy Gorey

LloydsPharmacy Parkway

Find your local LloydsPharmacy here.

L’Oreal Elvive Fibrology Shampoo & Conditioner

I’m always dubious when a new product arrives on the market claiming that it can give me thicker or bigger hair. Usually I notice no difference and I regret wasting my money. The newest contender on the market is the L’Oreal Elvive Fibrology range.

lorThe Shampoo and Conditioner are a reasonable €3.49 each and its tagline is “Hair looks and feels thicker, with visible body & bounce”, so far, so good. But did it live up to the hype? I’ve been using both the shampoo and conditioner for the last few weeks and I like the results so far. I will continue to use it as the Filloxane in it is designed to continue to thicken the hair wash after wash. It also claims that once you discontinue use that your results will last for up to ten washes with normal shampoo.

While they weren’t exactly life changing products, as the bottle would lead you to believe, I did notice a difference.They left my hair with a nice clean, fresh smell. Not that shampoos and conditioners normally don’t, I just noticed it a lot more with this one and I much preferred it to the ones I was using previously. It left my hair with a nice healthy shine to it and a noticeable boost. My hair doesn’t look as flat as it did before I started using it and there is more volume to it.

All in all I’m pretty happy with this shampoo and conditioner. It’s certainly far better than its predecessor and I’m intrigued to see if it keeps getting better with every wash considering I’ve already noticed a definite difference.

I started using them with low expectations but was pleasantly surprised. If you are looking to give you hair a bit of a boost then L’Oreal Elvive Fibrology Shampoo and L’Oreal Elvive Fibrology Conditioner are the products for you.

Written by Saranne