This blog post was written by Bend Soap Company Co-Founder, Marilee.
For any parents out there who have children with eczema (or any adults who suffered with it themselves), you likely already know how exhausting it can be to try and find something that helps relieve the symptoms. While ointments and steroid creams may work for some, many people are still left with dry, itchy, irritated patches of skin and a desire to find a solution to the madness.
Our own journey with eczema started many years ago, and even today we still regularly get asked the same question: “What exactly did you do to help your son’s eczema? Do you just use your goat milk soap, or do you use other products on his skin, too?”
First of all, yes, our goat milk soap — backed with our milk bath product and goat milk lotion — are the only products we use on our son’s skin to help relieve his eczema symptoms. You won’t find any steroid creams, prescription body washes, or speciality soaps anywhere in our home. And while our son is not "cured" from eczema (as, unfortunately, there is much about eczema that we don't know) we’re happy to share that Chance has total relief from his eczema and doesn’t experience any of the symptoms on a regular basis. After years of trial and error in trying to find something that would help him, this was a big win for our family!
But we also want to share that there are several different things we also do that may help keep his eczema symptoms at bay. For example, health is quite important to us and we try our best to be mindful about what we’re putting in and around our bodies; we've raised our own beef, pork, and chickens, grind wheat to make our own bread, and use non-toxic cleaners in our home. But we understand that this isn’t a lifestyle that everyone with eczema is able to have. That’s why we’re sharing the simple, affordable, at-home skincare routine we follow to help relieve our son of his eczema symptoms that nearly everyone can try: Mama Marilee’s Eczema Program.
But First, a Little Back Story
As many of you already know, our son’s eczema was the reason that we started Bend Soap Company (full details on that here). We first noticed that Chance had a few itchy, flaky spots that would appear on his legs. After identifying it as eczema, we got to work trying to resolve any digestive issues as they’ve been known to be at the core of eczema problems. But whenever he would head outside to play with his brothers, his skin would almost instantly dry out and begin to itch.
We tried making Chance soak in a warm bath before bed, which did help, but they only brought him temporary relief that wouldn’t last longer than a few hours. Not only that, but it seemed like the baths were drying out his skin even more. After a bit of research and suggestions from friends and family, we learned that the commercial, big-name brand soaps we had been using to bathe our son were contributing to his dry skin. We took one look at the label and found an entire list of ingredients we could barely read, let alone understand what they even were; sodium lauryl sulfate, detergents, artificial dyes, synthetic preservatives, and other chemical fillers, just to name a few. It was that moment when we decided to toss the toxins in our home and find something different.
Shortly after, we made our first few bars of Oatmeal & Honey Goat Milk Soap, threw them into the tub during Chance’s next bath, let him soak for 15-20 minutes, and just like that, Mama Marilee’s Eczema Program was born.
Mama Marilee’s Eczema Program
Bend Soap Company has certainly grown since then, and Mama Marilee’s Eczema Program has undergone a few minor tweaks (okay, not really, we've since created our milk bath product that we use now instead of throwing whole bars of goat milk soap into the tub). But all-in-all, the results we’ve seen from following this simple routine have held up over all these years. If you’re curious, we encourage you to try out the method we’ve outlined below in your own home!
Step 1: Toss the toxins
One of the first things we did was get rid of ALL of the toxic skincare products in our home. This included soaps, lotions, shampoos, deodorants, body washes, and bubble baths that we were using. Once we realized these were one of the major causes for Chance’s eczema flare ups, we started checking the ingredients on all of the labels of the products we had in our home. We were surprised at how many products had been touching our skin that were made with a laundry list of toxic ingredients: deodorants, toothpaste, shaving creams, cleansers, moisturizers, chapsticks, etc. We threw them out, and have never looked back.
Step 2: Prepare the tub
Grab a container of our Oatmeal & Honey Milk Bath and add 1-2 handfuls of the shredded curls of goat milk soap into a bath filled with warm water.
It’ll only take a few seconds for the heat from the water to begin to melt the soap, turning the water a milky white color that has a velvet-like sheen.
Step 3: Soak, soak, soak
Now here comes the fun part! Hope into the tub, sit back, and relax while the natural enzymes in the goat milk get to work on your skin. Depending on how severe his eczema was at that time, we let Chance soak in a milk bath every single day for at least 15-20 minutes to allow the skin to absorb the powerful nutrients of the goat milk and plant-based oils.
If you have eczema, it’s often recommended that you avoid frequent baths as the water and chemicals in big-name bath products tend to dry out the skin (especially if it’s already sensitive). But in the case of our milk baths, we noticed that the more Chance soaked, the better his skin looked and felt.
So, every day — sometimes even 2x a day if he said he was still itchy — Chance would take a milk bath. His eczema was practically GONE after that week. No need to rinse off after soaking! Just hop out of the tub and move on to step #4.
Step 4: Keep your skin moisturized
After we finally got Chance’s eczema symptoms under control with the daily milk baths, we stuck to a milk bath every couple of days. This helped soothe his skin and helped prevent it from drying out. Now that we have our goat milk lotion, we slather him up with it after his milk baths to help keep the moisture locked in. One of our favorite things about our goat milk lotion is that it’s non-greasy and takes only a few seconds to soak into your skin. We used the Unscented Goat Milk Lotion as it’s made without any added scent and is perfect for sensitive skin.
And for those who were wondering, after all these years, Chance is still eczema-free!
More Eczema Care Tips
- When you’re first getting started, don’t skimp on how much milk bath you add to the tub. Once you’re on top of the problem, you can back off on how much you use, but we found that it helps to have lots of the milk bath in the water to begin with.
- We still have not changed anything in our diet and could never figure out what Chance was allergic to, if anything.
- We were using an Arm & Hammer laundry soap at the time and that didn’t seem to affect him. We’ve since switched to making my own laundry detergent with our shredded milk bath . If you’re interested in making your own laundry detergent, check out this blog.
Back to You
We here at Bend Soap Company don’t intend to diagnose any skin conditions or offer that our soaps or other natural skincare products will "cure" any skin conditions. As far as we know, our soaps have only been known to help ease the symptoms and irritations of skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis and, in many cases, make these symptoms lessen or disappear. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. For some people, the use of our products can produce results in a couple of days and for others, it may take continued use for months before they see results! It truly depends on the person.
Per our own experience, and per others that have used our soap (and their testimonies and reviews), we recommend trying it and seeing for yourself. And if you do end up trying Mama Marilee's Eczema Program, let us know what you think by leaving a comment below! We would love to hear about your experience.
More Posts to Enjoy
- Blog Post: The Best Soap for Eczema Relief
- Blog Post: The Best Products for Sensitive Skin
- Blog Post: Our Story: How Goat Milk Soap Helped Our Son's Eczema
Blog Post: 8 Reasons to Choose Oatmeal & Honey Milk Bath
- Blog Post: Mama Marilee's Goat Milk Laundry Detergent