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Raelle Brown is a powerful voice for many – for women of color, for women with eczema, and for anyone needing a role model with strength and self-assurance. A video producer in the Philadelphia area, Raelle uses her communication skills and her deep compassion to help others through her popular Instagram account, @wokewithinskin, as well as her blog. How does she get ready to be at her best each morning, even when dealing with a difficult skin flare-up? Here, she shares her strategies, from both health/beauty and emotional perspectives. Dealing With a Flare-Up
As Raelle sees it, planning for any contingency is key. “I have two different plans when it comes to a morning ritual because of my eczema,” she says. “My first plan is for the worst of times – when I’m having a flare-up. On days when I’m actively dealing with my eczema, I can’t rely on being able to do everything in the morning – it might be too uncomfortable to do my usual cleansing and preparation. My solution is to do as much as I comfortably can the night before, in case my skin is really irritated the next day. I don’t take a shower if I’m having a flare-up, because it would make my skin way too dry. Instead, I fill a bath with Epsom salts and soak for about 20 minutes.” Epsom salts exfoliate the skin, and they contain magnesium, a natural moisturizer. Plus, “they’re very accessible for everyone, because they’re so inexpensive,” she says.
Extra moisturizing is her next essential step. “After I get out of the bathtub, I like to use natural butters – jojoba especially is my go-to,” Raelle explains. “I know a lot of people use things like Vaseline, assuming it’s moisturizing, but it’s a chemical, and it’s so much more soothing to go with products that aren’t made up of chemicals. Then I use body oil all over, a natural formula again.” Putting Her Best Face Forward
Next, she adapts her beauty routine. “If I’m having a flare-up, the only makeup I’ll put on is lipstick – the cleanest type I can find,” Raelle says. “I don’t have just one brand that I like, but I find fruit-based formulas are the best for keeping my skin soft and calm. I try never to wear foundation, because I think with eczema it’s important to let your skin breathe as much as possible. For sure I wouldn’t wear it during a flare-up – trying to ‘cover’ that just makes it more uncomfortable.”
Then there are what Raelle calls her “maintenance” mornings. “