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This natural balm is the one thing that finally worked for my dermatitis

Photography By Michael Comninus for RIISE, Kiara Cengic
Published 20.06.22

I can sum up my skin in one word: weird.

I have combination skin that’s a little sensitive. My T-zone is oily, but thanks to my dermatitis, it is also dry and irritated. Weird, right? Along with 90 per cent of the food chart, I’m also allergic to salicylic acid and preservatives which are in a lot of skincare products. So trying to find a product that doesn’t have those ingredients and treats the dryness of my dermatitis, without making my skin extra oily, has been a struggle.

Trust me when I say: I’ve tried a lot of different options to treat my dermatitis. But nothing has worked for it like Aotea’s Kawakawa Balm.

Dermatitis is a very common (and very annoying) condition that involves itchy, dry skin. Mine is exactly that, mainly around my eyebrows and nose. I started getting it around two years ago, which is about the same time I discovered all the foods I was allergic to.

In the past, I’ve tried to treat it with a strong exfoliator, thinking that rubbing my dermatitis harshly would make it go away (it didn’t. It made it worse). I’ve also tried Vaseline after the slugging trend blew up on TikTok. That didn’t help either. I just felt overly oily and was constantly stuck to my pillow while sleeping. Plus, covering my face in the byproduct of petroleum, a form of crude oil, wasn’t terribly inspiring.
 

@aoteamade

None of these failed attempts matter now that I’ve found Aotea’s balm. I am obsessed with this product. After using it for almost three weeks, the dryness between my eyebrows and around my nose has improved significantly. My skin feels less itchy and I’ve even been able to wear foundation and concealer again, products that I’d all but given up on because they made my flaky, dry skin stand out so much.  

This natural healing balm isn’t just for dermatitis. Its hero ingredient, kawakawa, is one of the most important herbs used in traditional Māori medicine and is known for its anti-inflammatory and healing properties. It also contains sweet almond oil, mānuka oil (which has anti-bacterial properties) and beeswax (which acts as a sealant and creates the balm consistency). Together, these ingredients can treat a whole range of skin concerns, including eczema, psoriasis, nappy rash, chapped lips, dry patches and damaged skin.

The balm has slid perfectly into my minimal skincare routine. In the morning, I wash my face with cold water, apply SPF and then rub the Kawakawa Balm on the areas affected by dermatitis. At night, I cleanse my face with Foile’s Milky Emulsion Cleanser, then use an AHA toner and apply a hyaluronic acid serum. Once dry, I finish off with the balm again.

The smell of the balm is strong, and unlike anything I’ve smelt before, but definitely not unpleasant. The texture is thick and oily but doesn’t feel offensive or leave a greasy residue on your face like Vaseline (which I hate). It rubs in easily and you only need a pea-sized amount to get relieved and hydrated skin.  

If you have dermatitis, eczema, irritations or dry patches of skin, this is your sign to stop trying all the skincare trends you see on TikTok (I’ve already done that for you) or panicking at the pharmacy and buying a new product every second week. Just try Aotea’s Kawakawa Balm instead. Of all the things I’ve ever tried – honestly – this is the only one I would recommend.

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