June 20, 2013
Have we talked about Noah's weird skin? I feel like we haven't talked about Noah's weird skin.
Okay, "weird" probably isn't the right or nicest word — the cosmetics industry would probably just prefer I label it as "sensitive" but I think that undersells the full scope of crazy-making issues we've faced with Noah's skin.
Up until he started preschool, he'd regularly get eczema every winter. But it didn't bother him at all. I never once saw that child scratch or rub at the CLEARLY horribly dry, angry raised patches that would appear and scatter all over his arms and legs. I've always guessed that his SPD had something to do with it — he was really underresponsive to temperature, so many he just didn't feel...itchy sensations, either? I don't know.
I do know that at some point, his body suddenly switched on and decided to START PAYING ATTENTION TO THINGS. TO ALL OF THE THINGS.
And while it's really nice to have a child who can tell you that you've accidentally turned his bath to boiling and who no longer steps off the bus wearing his winter coat even though the temperature has spiked into the 80s, it's not so fun knowing your kid will scratch at dry skin until he bleeds.
"Uh. Just put some lotion on it?"
HAAA HAA HAHAHA.
And here's why I get to call my beloved firstborn son's skin "weird."
Once upon a time I would just go to the drugstore and pick up any old bottle of lotion and slap that on Noah's skin. (This was of course in the days before I started paying close attention to ingredients, whereas now I am much, much more picky/vigilant/insane.) His eczema, while irritating, wasn't as hard to treat as some cases, provided I used SOME kind of semi-decent lotion on him twice a day.
But right around the time that Noah started NOTICING his dry skin, he also started noticing the fact that he hated lotion. HATED it. Hated the feel, the sensation, the entire lotioning process. He'd compain about phantom residue for HOURS after. (Another SPD thing? Or just a "children be whining" thing? Again, I don't know.)
And even more suddenly...his skin started hating lotion, too. Along with other fun little things, like "soap" and "laundry detergent." He developed a raging allergy-slash-sensitivity to almost everything I tried. And the more things I tried, the more enraged his skin became, and the worse the reaction got.
So imagine this becoming a regular routine: I'd corral an shrieking child ("NO LOTION! NOOOOO LOTION!"), cooing assurances at him that no, this will feel NICE and make your skin BETTER, then eventually tackle him in the bathroom to slather on some expensive speciality lotion (all organic, of course, and fragrance free and billed as perfect for uber-sensitive/irritated skin and the butts of newborn baby fawns, etc.).
And then minutes later, his skin would turn BURNING BRIGHT RED and he'd basically be howling again, only this time because MOMMY HURT ME. MOMMY HURT ME WITH THE LOTION.
Yeah. That felt great. But probably better than Noah's poor skin did, though, since his mom was too dumb to grasp that she needed to do patch tests on him for awhile there.
I can't even tell you all the different brands and varieties of lotions we tried. At one point I remember lining the bottles up by order of his reaction to them in an attempt to figure out if one specific ingredient was the culprit. (SPOILER ALERT: Noooope.) I was able to successfully swap out our detergents, soaps and even sunscreens to products that didn't bother him but body lotion remained the ONE THING I couldn't figure out.
But if I put nothing on him, he'd scratch himself in his sleep and wake up covered in little bloody pockmarks, and eventually his skin would crack or the eczema would return. I got a recommendation from our pediatrician for a lotion and flare-up cream...and they gave Noah probably the worst reactions of anything: His skin burned red and stung for a solid hour. I tried salves and Vaseline — the greasy feel drove him so nuts that he'd cry and insist that he'd rather live with the itching. Then we thought maybe we just needed to pick something and stick with it; maybe it would be better after a few regular uses.
(MORE SPOILERS: Nooooope.)
(Good lord, I've written a lot of words already and still haven't even gotten to my main point. THIS is what happens when I decide to stop trotting out every tiny little complaint or mini-life crisis for the Internet. I stay quiet and then ZOMGWORDYACKPLOSION.)
In February, as you may remember, I did a sponsored post for the Honest Company. In which I actually broke my own sponsored post protocol to flat-out rave about their really awesome diapers. And while the rash — THE RASHHHHH — that pushed Ike into disposable diapers did clear up completely, never to return (so far) and he is back in cloth most of the time, I continue to buy the Honest diapers regularly for him to wear to preschool, or for when we travel. On one these orders, I impulse-added a few of their other products: laundry detergent, baby shampoo, and...this body oil.
I don't know why I ordered the body oil, other than seeing it and cocking my head like, "Huh. I wonder..."
It arrived and I convinced Noah to let me try a tiny bit on his hands, which were by that point SO DRY and SO CHAPPED he didn't even need corralling. His skin was driving him crazy and it was breaking my heart, and when he heard, "This isn't lotion, it's oil, it's different," he agreed to let me try it.
We tried it. No red. No burning. No greasy residue to drive him bonkers. He said it felt really nice, so I oiled him up like a county fair pig (it absorbs super-quickly) and sent him to bed.
And the next morning? No scratches. No dryness! Hand to God I just about fell out.
In under a week, Noah's skin was 100% back under control. And instead of running from me at bedtime, he actually asks for the oil, himself, like a perfectly reasonable human being.
One night, while I rubbed his hands and arms, he said, "Today Amir was picking and biting at his hands because they were really dry. He had to go to the nurse for a Band-Aid."
"Ouch," I said.
"Yeah," Noah nodded, "I told him his mom needs to put some oil on them and make them better! Oil will totally make them better."
(World's youngest brand ambassador? World's youngest brand ambassador.)
So when the Honest Co. contacted me to see if I was interested in doing another sponsored post I had to laugh, because yeah. I think I can manage to wring out a thousand more words or so about you guys. THANK YOU FOR DE-HULK-IFY-ING MY SON'S SKIN. HE HAPPY NOW. SMELL NICE TOO. SPREADING MESSAGE OF PEACE AND HONEST BODY OIL TO CLASSMATES AND NOW INTERNET. YAY.
Amalah readers can enjoy $10 off a minimum purchase of $40 using the code AmalahBodyOil. Limited to first-time buyers (one per customer) and expires June 27, 2013. You can also sign up for a free trial of one of Honest's monthly subscription bundles (plus $5.95 shipping) via this link.