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November 06, 2015

The onset of fall brings along a whole new batch of skincare woes that accompany the changing seasons. Growing up, I watched my younger sister’s eczema flare up so badly with the dropping temperatures that on some nights, she wore socks on her hands to bed so she wouldn’t break the skin while scratching in her sleep. I never experienced eczema and the unbearable itchiness and redness that comes with the skin condition—until I found myself in my mid-20s living in New York.

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The exact causes of eczema are unknown; but stress, drastic temperature changes, and high humidity (aka, the old radiators in my apartment) are all triggers. While I haven’t reached for my sock drawer just yet, a number of lotions and creams have provided temporary relief from the incessant itching. But I was still on the hunt for a stronger treatment that would not only stop me from waking up in the middle of the night to scratch the eczema patches on my thighs, but also work to heal the irritated skin.

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Luckily, Province Apothecary’s Healing Eczema Balm ($16 for 15ml, $52 for 80ml; provinceapothecary.com) proved to be just the right product. Province Apothecary is a Toronto-based holistic skincare brand founded by former N.Y.C. costume designer and stylist Julie Clark, using 100% active plant ingredients in its products.

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The balm offers an all-natural medicinal-like eczema treatment without the risk of further damaging skin, unlike with cortisone, which is commonly prescribed by doctors for the skin condition. Aside from the calendula oil calming my inflamed skin, what sets the balm apart from other lotions is that it contains rose hip oil to stimulate skin cell regeneration and minimize scarring, and zinc to reduce damaged tissue and irritation.

Since applying it nightly (a little balm goes a long way), the status of my eczema patches has drastically improved. My itchiness at night is minimal and the redness is gone, without any signs of scarring. Needless to say, my socks can remain where they belong this fall: on my feet. 

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