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Boy Meets Pavement

Noah's Oil

This post is sponsored by the Honest Company.

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?"



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




Ha! Just asked a US friend to add me to her order since they don't ship overseas ("yet" they all say... And "yet" never materializes into "now"). I asked for some of their sunscreen. Hope it's good!


Is it bad that "Amalah
Body Oil' is making me snicker?


Does it have smell to it?


Oh my lordy, the itching, burning, and stinging. Poor Noah! I am very familiar with random eczema that NO ONE can help. I had it around my eyes, nose, lips, and other horrible places, and all I wanted was a nice soothing, cooling lotion that didn't piss it off... Oh, what I would have given for that oil...So glad that you found something that works for him!


Oh my lordy, the itching, burning, and stinging. Poor Noah! I am very familiar with random eczema that NO ONE can help. I had it around my eyes, nose, lips, and other horrible places, and all I wanted was a nice soothing, cooling lotion that didn't piss it off... Oh, what I would have given for that oil...So glad that you found something that works for him!


Thank you!! My 7 y/o is living the same eczema story as Noah. Just placed the order - can't wait to give it a try!

E @ Oh! Apostrophe

I just last week randomly added the oil to my Honest family bundle thing... so excited to try it now! :)


Imma buy me some oil. I've actually been using EVOO (thanks Rachel) in the shower to condition my poor skin on my legs. It works, however it's so thick that I can still feel it later in the day even after a good rinsing. If it's Noah approved and not driving him bonkers, I'm going to have to check it out.


OMG! Thank you for this post. I just ordered a bottle and paid extra so I could have it on my doorstep NOW please. I have tried a million things for both of my boys. My older son - Noah's age- feet crack so badly with something the Doctor thinks is like eczema that I find him limping around all summertime. My younger son gets awful angry raised eczema bumps that he doesn't notice but that will not go away! (Also a SPD kid). My fingers are crossed. I'll let you know how it goes.

Maxine Dangerous

Yay for Noah! I have to agree that lotion residue is the worst.

Amy J

I love Honest products. So glad you found something!

Shannon Lell

OMG... you are quite the saleswoman. I totally just got the whole monthly subscription thingy for the Essentials package because I already use the shampoo, and I need hand soap and detergent so I might as well try it, and my son has sensitive skin and eczema so I'm trying the oil. Thanks Amy!


I've been subscribing to Honest products since December. So far, I love everything they make.

Also, if you have a child with unruly, tangly hair, their spray conditioner is unbelievable. Like, seriously, every time I use it on my kid's long, fine hair that she won't wear in braids, I am surprised at how it makes the tangles practically fall out of her hair. It used to be half an hour of screaming and running away and "Ow! You're hurting me!" and now it's *spray spray spray* *brush brush brush* "Hey, you're done!" Even when I have sprayed the day before, it still makes it much easier to brush her hair.

I also love their vanilla orange lip balm!


Dear Honest Company: you couldn't have asked for a better representative. I just placed my order. My toddler has VERY similar issues and I'm eager to try anything to give him relief. Thanks, Amy, as usual, for keeping it real.


OMG where was this when we had the eczema issues?
I'm ASSUMING you've done this, as you are a good and smart mom - but finally figured out my daughter's eczema was caused by a food allergy. and not just any old food allergy - did the whole elimination diet thing - milk? eggs? gluten? wheat? corn? strawberries? nope, nope, nope. Butylated hydroxytoluene - aka BHT - a preservative. and most likely others as well. Only figured it out when I fed her a big ol' bowl of Rice Chex (Rice! who's allergic to RICE!?!?) and she reacted immediately and with the heat of a thousand suns. Jus' sayin' - ya seriously never know.


I have all sorts of love for this post. My daughter had very sensitive hands as a baby and toddler, wouldn't touch certain textures & had/has very sensitive skin with eczema. We never got it under control and had the exact same issues with lotions which contain alcohol. Our lives changed when we began using castor oil on her patches. I guarantee this smells better.


I'm checking it out now... my daughter has crazy dry skin that lotion doesn't touch. I mean, it literally touches her skin... it just doesn't help. ;)


My toddler son had really bad eczema, particularly over his lower back and bottom, areas you're not supposed to use steroid cream. We were already using dye-free, fragrance-free everything, without much help. On a whim, I switched over to Honest Company soap/shampoo, laundry detergent, sunscreen, and insect spray. And his eczema DISAPEARRED. Even his pedi was surprised.


I am going to consider this the answer to the question I sent to the Advice Smackdown about my itchy itchy baby. Well played Amalah, well played. ;-) Ima order up some oil (and maybe some diapers, and soaps and and and etc)


Well, you sold me! I just bought the body oil (my tween has eczema and it is embarrassing for her! I hope this helps). I also bought the healing balm, detangler, some soap and bug spray.... I am a sucker for bath and beauty products :)


I was just about to whip out the credit card and order some...but they don't ship to Canada. Boo-urns. I'll keep an eye on them, if they change their shipping, I'll buy it ASAP! My husband has psoriasis and I want to try it on him.

Amy in StL

My dad used Olive Oil on his hands which would crack open and bleed at the knuckles. I bought some vermont beeswax and olive oil stuff for him and my boyfriend who is a fireman/paramedic and who has dermatitis on his hands from his fire gloves. Its great, except it's kind of greasy; which is a bigger deal when you're trying to put on nitrile gloves. I'll see if they want to try this next.


My 5-year old grandson has suffered with eczema for most of his life. The only thing he says doesn't burn is Vaseline, which can't be good for his skin. I just ordered the body oil. Keeping my fingers crossed that it helps him. I'm sure my daughter will want to try some other Honest Company products if it does.


Hemp seed oil has been working great for me. Apart from applying it onto affected skin, it is also recommended for direct consumption (2-3 tablespoons of cold oil on its own daily). Its ideal omega-6 to omega-3 ratio helps to repair the skin internally.


I totally need to try this oil on myself. When I am pregnant I go from sorta dry skin to crazy lizard peely creature.

Have you tried any sort of elimination diet with Noah? My 17 month old had eczema and it cleared up in two weeks after I took him off dairy. (Gluten can also cause it but we are already gluten-free). Just a thought. :)


You're the ONLY blogger whose sponsored posts are just as entertaining as their regular ones. Seriously. I usually just skip the entire post when I see its sponsored, but not with you! And now I want some of that oil!


Glad you found a solution! Great post! Honest Company: no shipping to Canada :( *tear


Can I be honest here? While I love that you've found what worked for Noah, I'm so annoyed that this wasn't an option 12 years ago when my baby girl was struggling with eczema and crappy expensive lotions. Ugh. :)


I tried their diapers when you did the previous sponsored post and while I liked the diapers I was frustrated with the company. They made it very easy to sign up online but in order to cancel the autoshipments you couldn't do it online. You had to call them on the phone and the wait time was ridiculous. There is no reason for a company these days to make you jump through hoops like that! Just something for your readers to consider. I am now much less likely to try any of their products as a result of my experience.


Okay, I am going to try this. Because my daycare making me take my son to the doctor whenever he has a full-body rash but clearly doesn't have strep (it's doctor-confirmed eczema, people!) is driving me nuts. Thanks, Amy!


So, OMG, thank you so so so much for being sponsored by the Honest Company. Those diaper are allowing me to stay sane. We've had such bad issues with our diapers and ammonia build up, and I'm working like 55 hours a week PLUS working on my dissertation right now, so I have like zero time to do anything at home (including our very intensive cloth diaper routine). He doesn't get a rash in these, he can wear them at school, I don't feel that bad putting him in one at home. I NEVER would have tried the Honest Company if it weren't for your post a few months ago. So THANK YOU!!!!!


Glad the oil is working for Noah! Just wanted to let you know that my 3rd boy was getting rashes from cloth diapers too. We had to use disposables and it really bugs me so I talked with a friend who owns a cloth diapering company. She recommended trying a different material so I ordered bamboo diapers (bamboozle) and now we are back to cloth diapers full-time! Even overnight, the bamboo holds up really well! :)


Oooh, I hope this oil is OK to use on faces- I have this perfect storm of eczema/psoriasis/rosacea/sebhorrea that makes my face look like...well, like something less nice that I want to look. I've tried all sorts of topical remedies and none seem to do the full job. Thanks!


Interesting. What about the smell? Because, personally, reading about jojoba oil mixed with olive and avocado and chammomile... I'd balk.

I'm all for olive oil (am in Mediterranean Europe, and tradtionally we use straight-from-the-bottle olive on newborn babies heads, for instance), it's just all the mix... and jojoba shampoo makes me gag.

Yay for Noah!


We've used plain, extra virgin coconut oil (which I see is the second ingredient on their list) to great effect on my son who has SPD and eczema. We were lucky though that it was never as bad as you're describing and it cleared up entirely when we went gluten and dairy free (we think it's the gluten since it flares up if he even plays with playdough).


I have no idea if you read these after a few days, but thank you for the recommendation on the body oil. I got mine a few days ago (yep, I ordered it like in the middle of reading your post)and am so thrilled. My son has sensitive, dry skin and previously decided that he hates lotion. All lotions, forever. We are about to start swim lessons, and I remember my sensitive skin getting super dry after hanging out in a chlorine pool a few times a week, this was exactly what we needed. Not sure if it will help a ton, but so far it is the only thing he has tolerated in the past few months without acting like a hysterical...toddler. Ha. :)

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