November 17, 2022
How are you angels?
The Festive season is now fast approaching. We have all seen the adverts on TV and the shops are full of Christmas food, cards and decorations. It’s lovely to see, but it can also be a little overwhelming.
As someone who suffers from a skin condition myself, I know how easily flare ups can be triggered by stress, and whilst Christmas is a joyous occasion, it can also be a very stressful one. Being prepared can help to take a lot of the pressure out of the run up to Christmas, so I have put together my tips for getting on top of the Christmas shopping.
The idea of a day out Christmas shopping can seem lovely, but it is often fraught and tiring. Fighting with other shoppers to see what is on display when you have no idea what to buy can make it a less enjoyable experience, so make sure you start planning.
Make your list and check it twice as Santa would say! Write down all of the people that you want to buy for and the ideas that you have for them. There are often some great deals to be had online, which can reduce the amount that you need to get in the shops themselves.
Black Friday is on 25th November this year, so look out for some bargains. Take a look at what you want to buy now so that you know how much you will really be saving when the time comes. Black Friday itself still has some of the best deals, but many retailers now extend their sale to the week before, so it is never too early to start searching!
Ordering online can make your life much easier, but you need to think about your deliveries. Do you want them bringing to your house where everyone else might see them, or do you have a better address, such as work, that you could send them too? You also need to think about the time it will take to have things delivered, particularly in the light of the Royal Mail postal strikes.
If you are having something shipped abroad, make sure you know what the last posting dates are for each country, as this can help you to get organised. If you write down all of the key dates that you need in order, it can help you to draw up a plan of what you need and when.
It might still seem early to be starting your Christmas shopping, but by knowing what you want and getting ready early, you can help to calm your mind and your skin, leaving you ready to enjoy Christmas properly.
Lots of love and positive vibes, Camille xx
November 10, 2022
How are you, my lovely?
Bonfire Night is now over, and we seem to be rapidly heading towards Christmas. Is anybody else ready yet or do you leave it all until the last minute? I have started to notice how quickly the winter is now approaching as the temperatures are getting lower. When this happens, it tends to make a difference to my eczema, and this can particularly be seen in my hands.
If, like me, you have a skin condition, you will probably find that your hands take the brunt of it due to the levels of exposure that they have and the amount of hard work that we put them through. I know from personal experience how painful this can be, which is why I have to make an extra effort to look after them in the cold weather. Once I start to suffer, I can become very self-conscious and then begin a cycle of trying to hide my hands wherever I can. That is why in this blog I thought I would give you a helping hand to get through the winter months.
You might have already seen my blog asking, ‘What can the cold weather do to your skin?’ which talks about the effects that the drop in temperature can have on your skin, particularly if you have a skin condition such as eczema, psoriasis or rosacea. It can be an uncomfortable time, largely thanks to the lack of moisture in our atmosphere. With no humidity in the air, and central heating blasting for hours at a time, our skin can begin to dry out.
The skin has its own natural microbiome which is made up of cells and lipids which has to be carefully balanced in order to provide a natural moisture barrier. It can promote the growth of good bacteria and can play a crucial part in keeping our skin healthy. If you have any kind of skin sensitivity, this microbiome can need a bit of extra help when faced with winter conditions and taking care of your skin with sensitive skincare like The Beauty of Eczema™ range can help to support it.
Our hands are often at the centre of this because of the amount that we use them. We are constantly doing things that dry out our hands and this can lead to them cracking, peeling and bleeding. Even children can be vulnerable at this time of year, as anyone who has tried to make a small child wear gloves will know all too well. It can therefore be important to protect yourself and your skin when you are out and about. Whether you are building a snowman or simply popping to the shops, make sure that you are wearing gloves to protect yourself against the elements. If your hands get wet, make sure that you dry them as quickly and as gently as possible.
The COVID-19 pandemic made us all more conscious of washing our hands, and it can be a very important tool in keeping coughs, colds and viruses at bay. However, it can also be a nightmare for those of us who suffer from sensitive skin. The constant process of using harsh, drying soaps and hot water can make sore hands feel even worse, so you need to make sure that you are washing your hands in the right way. Keep the water at a warm temperature, not hot, and use our gentle and natural Skin Warrior Wash. This uses ingredients which are not only derived from nature but are also designed to hydrate your skin.
When you have finished washing your hands, make sure that you pat your hands dry gently with a towel instead of rubbing them and apply our Calming Cream.
Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise
It stands to reason that if our skin is suffering from a lack of moisture during the winter, we need to do all that we can to replenish it, and the Calming Cream is amazing for this. It is the perfect moisturiser for dry skin as it uses the moisturisers found in nature to care for your skin and avoid adding to the irritation that you might be suffering. This natural moisturiser gives added hydration and can help to boost your skin’s natural barrier to protect it throughout the day.
Our hands are incredibly important to us, and I don’t want to see you hiding them away under long sleeves or in pockets. Use these tips and order your skincare now and you will be in a better position to enjoy your winter without pain, redness or irritation.
Lots of love and positive vibes, Camille xx
November 03, 2022
Hello skin beauties!
How are you feeling? Can you believe that it is Autumn already? There are a lot of celebrations to be had around this time of year, but if you have a skin condition, the fact that winter is on its way might not fill you with joy. I personally dread the colder days, I’m sure you know that I’m a sun seeker at heart.
Whilst many look forward to snowy days, those of us with skin issues like eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis and rosacea know the discomfort that the cold weather can bring. It’s tough on our bodies and getting through it can be tough on our minds too.
It goes with the territory that as the darker nights draw in, and the temperatures start to drop, this will affect the amount of moisture in your skin. You might think that it is sunny weather that dries your skin out, but in truth this can help you to produce more oil. In the winter, we experience a drop in humidity as well as heat, which causes environments to dry out. If you then add in the affects of central heating and fires and it starts to become clear why our skin dries out.
During the colder months, we also tend to indulge in more hot drinks, and consume less water. Our skin will soon feel the effects of this, and when combined with the external effects, many can start to experience dryness, flaking and itching.
Whilst some of this might be self-explanatory, one thing many people do not think about is how skin microcirculation is also affected. This occurs when skin capillaries constrict to reduce the blood flow through the skin, and these alterations can cause things such as facial redness or telangiectasia (spider veins).
You also may find yourself wearing a lot more layers during the winter, and some of us can find that the friction of this can irritate our skin. All of this starts to combine to make winter a tricky time for anyone with a skin condition and can lead to what feels like months of discomfort and pain. I know it’s a time that many of us with sensitive skin can stress about, but there are things we can do to manage our skin through these colder months. The key is to start doing this now.
Winter skin care
Whilst winter presents plenty of challenges, here are the things I suggest to help you through the winter. It starts with your skincare routine. Having a routine not only cares for your skin, but by following the same routine you create a ritual that calms your mind, which in turn also calms your skin. Knowing which products you plan to use each day means you don’t have to worry about which products to use and you can be mindful and talk positively to your skin throughout your routine.
Start by making sure that you use a gentle skin cleanser. Our Skin Warrior Wash leaves your skin soft and hydrated. It is high in Vitamin E from oat lipids and almond oil to help protect the skin’s barrier. It contains a carefully chosen gentle natural botanical fragrance to help avoid further irritation and is not only 98.3% naturally derived but is also a cruelty free and vegan skin wash.
When your skin is lacking moisture, you need to make sure that you are replenishing it wherever possible. The Calming Cream is our daily go-to for hydrated skin, leaving your skin feeling smooth and cool. It is a luxury moisturiser which comes from natural ingredients that care for your skin offering immediate absorption in a non-sticky, non-greasy formula. It is suitable for the face, hands and body, is suitable for sensitive skin prone to eczema, rosacea, psoriasis and acne and is available in travel sizes to ensure you always have it close at hand. I take the 100ml size of this with me everywhere. I have one in the car, one on my desk and one in my bag so I can apply it throughout the day. If your skin is like mine, I just need to keep it hydrated and moisturised. I was conscious about making the packaging look gorgeous so none of us need to have handbag shame, which I used to get all the time if I used a medical looking product in public.
For a relaxing way to give your skin a moisture boost, add the Pamper Me Bathing Oil and Salty Soother to your bath. These are both so good. The thick oil/gel formula of the bathing oil is super hydrating and both the Bathing Oil and Bath Salts contain six amazing luxurious oils as well as crystals. Did you know all our skincare contains crystals? They are there for you to focus on self love and tranquillity while you use the products. As I always say ‘calm mind, calm skin!’ They are both sensitive skin products that create a soothing bath that allows your skin the chance to soak in all the natural moisture boosting properties.
Whatever happens to your skin this winter, please make sure that you take good care of your mental health too. The effect of a skin condition on how you feel should not be underestimated, I’ve been there, so believe me, I do understand, so it is important that you show yourself some love. Have a read through our ‘What is self love?’ blog to find some important tips on how to do this. Remember, if your skin does flare up, please always go back to your doctor or dermatologist to see what else they can offer you. This does not mean that you have failed in any way or cannot take care of your skin, it is simply an important step in managing your continually evolving skin condition.
Take care of your skin this winter, and you will make it much easier for yourself to enjoy all the wonderful things that the season has to offer. There is so much to enjoy and I’d love to hear what fun things you have planned, so pop over to Instagram to share your highlights.
Lots of love and positive vibes, Camille xx
October 27, 2022
If you have any kind of intolerance, allergy or just try to watch what you eat, then the Halloween season can be more of a trick than a treat. Traditionally, kids and adults alike will celebrate with handfuls of sweets but these are not ideal for everyone.
As a natural chef, I have spent years trying to put together recipes which promote health on the inside that shows on the outside. If you are trying to live a healthy lifestyle or are trying to avoid certain foods for any particular reason, Halloween can be a nightmare. That’s why I have put together some fantastic seasonal recipes that are perfect alternatives for Halloween parties or even ‘Trick or Treaters’.
Chocolate Bliss Balls
Pretty much everyone loves a bit of chocolate, and as I looked for ways to keep it healthy, I fell in love with raw chocolate which has a huge number of health and skin benefits. These gorgeous Chocolate Bliss Balls are so easy to make and can just be popped into the fridge until you need them.
- 150g hazelnuts
- 8 medjool dates, pitted
- 1 tbsp peanut butter or cashew butter
- 3tbsp raw cacao powder
- 1 tbsp maple syrup or raw honey
- Pinch of sea salt
- 4 tbsp desiccated coconut (3 tbsp for the balls and 1 tbsp for the topping)
To get started, pulse the hazelnuts in a food processor for about a minute until they resemble breadcrumbs, then add in all the other ingredients and pulse it all together. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and divide and roll the mixture into balls. If you make them roughly 35g each, you should get about 12.
Once you have shaped them all, fill a small dish with the extra coconut and roll each ball into it until it is completely coated. Then place them on the baking sheet and leave them to set in the freezer for around 20 minutes.
It is difficult to find anyone who can resist the temptation of caramel, so I included this recipe as it is a real crowd-pleaser. This recipe includes almonds as they are a great source of fibre and protein, and also contain important nutrients including vitamin E, selenium and calcium.
For the base
- 225g ground almonds
- 1 heaped tsp cashew butter
- 110ml coconut oil, melted
- 1 tbsp maple syrup or raw organic honey
For the caramel
- 14 medjool dates, pitted
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 150g cashew butter
- 1 tsp ashwagandha powder (optional)
- 1 tsp flaky sea salt
For the chocolate
- 100g cacao butter
- 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
Get started with the base by putting the ground almonds, cashew butter and maple syrup into a food processor and pulsing briefly. As the motor is running, slowly pour in the coconut oil and pulse until it all comes together. Then press the mixture into a lined baking tin to form a flat layer and set it in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Moving onto the caramel, simply blitz all of the ingredients together in a food processor to form a thick caramel which you can spread over the top of the shortbread base using the back of a spoon which has been dipped in boiling water. Gently press down and smooth it all out, ensuring that it reaches all of the corners and leave it to set in the freezer for a further 20 minutes.
For the chocolate, place all of the ingredients into a small pan and whisk them together over a gentle heat until smooth and glossy. Remove the caramel shortbread from the freezer and pour over the chocolate. Leave it to set in the fridge for at least 20 minutes and then take out of the tin and cut into pieces.
I understand how hard seasons like Halloween can be for those who need to be careful with what they eat, which is why I wanted to put together recipes that were not only health but fun too so that no-one feels as though they are missing out.
I put together The Beauty of Eating Well™ cookbook so that I could share recipes like this and allow everyone to have fun and freedom with their food. You can order your copy now from www.thebeautyofeczema.com.
October 19, 2022
This week we are hearing from one of our beautiful angels Léa. Léa was born with sensitive skin, and so has always had the red and itchy sensation that you are probably familiar with. She has seen her skin condition change and grow over the years and has not only had to deal with the physical symptoms but the mental ones too as she felt her confidence take a blow. She felt as though she was totally on her own support wise until she found The Beauty of Eczema™ community of sensitive skin angels who were experiencing what she was going through with her sensitive skin.
That is why we spoke to Léa about her experiences, to help you realise that you are not alone either. We have an incredibly supportive team and audience, as well as a range of tools and some terrific skincare to help you on your journey.
Growing up with eczema
Léa explained that her eczema began in small patches on the insides of her elbows and knees, however, over time, this began to spread. She then started to see it appearing on her wrist, neck, legs and feet, and then eventually on her face as well. Léa is now in a situation where it seems to be on most parts of her body, and she has felt that this even began to affect her sleep as the itching would keep her awake at night. When she did sleep, she would often scratch without knowing that she was doing it until she woke to find blood on her sheets. Understandably, Léa quickly reached a point where she “wanted desperately to get rid of it.
Whilst most people think of eczema as a skin condition, the truth is that it impacts on much more than this. “It has affected my confidence and attitude about myself because I felt ugly with all the red patches and always scratching,” Léa told us. She often felt as though people were staring at her, with some even asking her to stop scratching as they didn’t want to listen to it anymore. This led to Léa changing the way that she dressed, wearing long sleeves to hide her patches, but it did nothing make her feel any better.
As many of you are likely to recognise, Léa made regular trips to the dermatologist where she was given various topical creams to apply, but most of them failing to deliver after the first few weeks.
Léa continued to spend time looking for ways in which she could manage her eczema, and that’s when she came across Camille Knowles. After reading an article about Camille’s own experiences, Lea decided to find out more. Camille’s journey resonated with Léa and when she read that Camille felt grateful for her skin she was intrigued. “I was telling myself how can she feel grateful for this? I decided to order her book and the Calming Cream to try it.”
When Lea read The Beauty of Eczema™ she learnt the importance of being kinder to herself and her skin. She then felt inspired to apply what she had read to her own life.
“With the cream, the affirmations and focusing on myself, I saw a difference on my skin,” Léa explained. “It did not get rid of my eczema, but I have learned to accept it and be proud of it as it is a reminder to slow down and to pamper myself and not feel sorry for it.”
We asked Léa what her favourite product was, and she couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the Calming Cream. "It is the first cream that my skin hasn’t reacted to for longer than just a few weeks,” she said. She loves the way it smells and that she can continue to use it and enjoy the calming effects even when she is having a reaction. “I always have it on hand,” she told us.
Léa is incredibly grateful for the lifestyle that Camille has taught her, and also for the supportive community that she has found herself a part of. She shared a wonderful piece of advice with us:
“Sharing your journey helps to overcome this and seeing other people’s journey gives you the strength to accept it. If you are a sensitive skin warrior, just slow down, that’s my biggest advice. Sit down, relax, and breathe. Do something that you love, it could be anything (dance, watch a movie, take a bath) and focus on what you have (friends, family, partner, house, food) and share your gratefulness to yourself out loud and hopefully you will see a difference on your skin and on your mindset. Healthy mindset helps clear your skin.”
We couldn’t agree more! Come and join us now on Instagram to be part of a warm, wonderful community. We understand not everyone feels comfortable commenting online so feel free to message us on Instagram if you prefer. Also, we would love to add that if anyone would love to reach out to Léa, feel free to send a message via Instagram @leabienenstock. Sending you wellness wishes and positive vibes for glowing and calm skin.
October 12, 2022
If there is one thing that I love about autumn, it is the gorgeous food. It is the perfect time of year to indulge in some real comfort food that warms you up from the inside. Of course, you will still want to be healthy in what you eat and give your body and your skin the best nourishment, so you need to think carefully about what you cook and help prevent your skin going downhill as the weather becomes cooler.
As you might know, I trained as a natural chef, and my book, The Beauty of Eating Well™ is packed full of tasty and nutritious recipes that are designed to support your body and get you glowing from the inside out. I decided to explore the relationship my body had with food as I understood that it played a part in the condition of my eczema and my mood. Instead of fearing food, I wanted to help people enjoy it and benefit from it, so my recipes combine everything that I have learnt to bring you colour, flavour, energy and joy. I therefore thought I would pick out a couple of my favourite autumn recipes to share with you.
This is such a wonderfully warming recipe originating from the area where I grew up in the Northwest of England. It’s one that the whole family can enjoy, and a particular favourite of my family, so I just had to include it.
- 600g grass-fed lamb neck, chopped into 2.5cm pieces, or mix 200g whole cooked chestnuts and 400g button mushrooms for a vegan option
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 2 leeks, roughly sliced
- 3 carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 2 tbsp chestnut flour
- 750ml chicken bone broth or good quality vegetable stock for a vegan option
- 4-5 parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Start by preheating your oven to 170C, and heat the olive oil in a casserole pan over a high heat. Fry the lamb for 3-5 minutes until it is brown all over to seal it. If you have chosen to use chestnuts and mushrooms instead, then fry them over a medium heat for 5-7 minutes until they are browned.
Turn down the heat and add the onion, leeks and carrots, frying them over a low heat for 5 minutes until they have become golden and fragrant. Then add the herbs, chestnut flour and a sprinkling of salt before stirring it well. You can then add the broth or stock and bring it to the boil before removing it from the heat.
At this point, you can begin to layer the slices of parsnip over the casserole, ensuring that it is as even as possible and avoiding too many gaps. Cover it with foil and pop it into the oven for 40 minutes. Then remove the foil and cook for a further 10 minutes to give the parsnips a beautiful golden colour. Get ready to serve with some pickled red cabbage or seasonal greens. This recipe also freezes well, so why not double the quantity and freeze for the future so you can reheat it when needed.
My Maple Latte is the perfect treat to give you all the best flavours of autumn. I love it because it reminds me of being back in Canada with my best friend, and as maple syrup is a healthier alternative to refined sugar, it gives you a great leafy flavour, antibacterial properties and a boost of important minerals as well as great taste.
- 1 shot of espresso coffee
- 250ml almond milk
- 1-2 tbsp maple syrup to taste
This recipe really couldn’t be easier! Just warm the almond milk and maple syrup in a pan over a low heat, whisking for 3-4 minutes until it simmers. While you are doing this, make your shot of espresso coffee and when the milk is steaming pour it over and stir them together. Then pour it into your favourite mug, sit back and enjoy!
Both of these recipes are ideal to share with friends and family. Eating with friends and from a place of joy is so good for your skin, so why not plan an autumn walk with friends and invite them for Lancashire Hotpot and a Maple latte afterwards.
I hope you love these recipes and if you love them as much as I do, then please share photos of your meal. For more recipes like this you can order The Beauty of Eating Well™ cookbook and you’ll have plenty of healthy and joyful inspiration that will make you glow this autumn!
October 06, 2022
It seems as though summer came to a grinding halt all of a sudden, and we are now firmly in a new season. Whilst this means that temperatures can drop and the weather gets damper, a new season can be a really positive thing.
I love it when the seasons change as it gives me a new energy and encourages me to re-evaluate things and see what I can do to make life better. That’s why I decided to take a look at how you can use the new season to your advantage.
Change your clothing
One of my favourite things about autumn is that I can now reach for some of my favourite jumpers. Those of us with skin conditions often spend the summer hiding patches away whilst everyone else sports short sleeves and bikinis. It can often leave you feeling like the odd one out, but now a hoodie and jeans is perfectly acceptable, not to mention comfortable.
Think about your skin
The change in season is a big consideration for your skin. Not only do you have the colder weather outside to think about, but also the drying effects of central heating. This is when you need to think carefully about how you treat your skin and make sure it gets a little extra attention to make the transition into autumn as kind to your skin as possible.
One of the best things to do is to take the Calming Cream with you wherever you go. If you have it in your car or handbag whenever you are on the school run, going shopping or exercising, you can then put moisture back into your skin as soon as you need it. Allowing your skin to become dry when you have any kind of sensitivity can lead to a lot of discomfort, so the Calming Cream can be a great way to protect yourself from the elements.
The change in temperature means that it is a great way to move away from salads and bring out the comfort food. Remember, this doesn’t mean that you are any less healthy, as you can pack soups and casseroles with loads of great ingredients that help to boost your body and your health. Take a look at The Beauty of Eating Well™ cookbook for some fabulous recipe ideas that can give you a lovely warm and nourished feeling.
Take a bath
During the summer, I find showers refreshing and revitalising, but now is the perfect time to run yourself a bath. You can shut out the cold weather and warm yourself from top to toe with a soak in the bath. Add the Pamper Me Bathing Oil or the Salty Soother bath salts and you can continue to support your skin with soothing hydration. A bath is a perfect way to relax, unwind and warm up while you give your skin a treat too.
You can read some more great tips on How To Get Cosy This Autumn and learn how our HOPE Principles can support you now and all the way through the year.
How you think about the season is important – focus less on the cold and the rain and think more about the golds, the snuggles and the pampering that autumn can bring you. Embrace the change and allow it to be something that works in your favour.
Lots of love and positive vibes, Camille xx
September 28, 2022
When you have a skin condition, you will go on your own unique journey to learn how to live with it and manage it. Navigating this can sometimes feel like a lonely experience, as it can often seem as though no one else understands or cares what it is like or what you are going through.
Well we do! Offering support is a key pillar of our brand and we are here to tell you that you are not alone. Last month, we met Misha who kindly shared her sensitive skin story and now we would like to introduce you to Elle.
Say hello to Elle
Elle is one of many people with a skin condition and has been part of our skin community from the start. She has very kindly offered to share her experiences with us in order to help people like you. Elle explained that she has had eczema and sensitive skin since she was just 6 months old. As a child, she was able to control it, even though it was sometimes visible, however, this all changed when Elle turned 16. “The uncontrollable itch was so much that I would scratch myself until I broke the skin, and it would bleed,” Elle told us. Sadly, this is a familiar story for many, and something our founder Camille has experienced too.
The mental effects
When your eczema takes such a dramatic turn, it is understandable that this can take its toll on your confidence and your mindset about yourself. “For a long time, I didn’t like who I was and hated looking in the mirror,” said Elle. “I would look at myself and pick faults with myself and my skin; I would compare myself to others.”
Elle also started to choose her outfits carefully in order to try and cover her skin, as she felt that other people were staring at her eczema patches. At its worst, Elle even tried avoiding leaving the house whenever she could, instead of enjoying the normal teenage life of many of her friends.
The Beauty of Eczema™
One day, Elle read an article online that talked about Camille’s book, The Beauty of Eczema™. She decided to read the book and looked up Camille on Instagram. Through this, she has learnt many ways to not only live with her skin, but to love it too. She is now more in tune with her own body that she has learnt that a flare is a sign that she is stressed or needs to slow down. “I have learnt that I am so much more than my eczema; it’s my superpower and makes me who I am!”
We are delighted that Elle found the book and The Beauty of Eczema™ products were a terrific help for her. We asked if she could pick a favourite, but she said that it was a tie between the Calming Cream and the Bathing Oil. “It just makes having a bath so much more relaxing as it turns the water so milky, so it doesn’t leave my skin feeling dry.” Elle has even experimented with letting it soak into her skin when it is very dry and then washing it off in the shower.
A message to others
Elle has a very powerful and important message for others who find themselves in the same situation. “You are more than your eczema/sensitive skin,” she explained. “It doesn’t define who you are, it is part of who you are and the most important people in your life love you for you.” She has also stressed how essential it is to take time to care for your mental wellbeing and your skin. “It isn’t selfish,” she told us. “It is one of the most important things you can do, so don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for taking the time to do so”. We think that these are very wise words indeed – thank you so much for sharing your story Elle!
If you would like to share your sensitive skin story and help others with sensitive skin know they are not alone, then please reach out on Instagram or by email Customerhappiness@thebeautyofeczema.com.