[special post] what do i use on my skin?

i get asked several times what do i use on my face, i thought it would be good if i do a post on this and show you the products instead of me simply typing its name out!


my trusty vaseline, got it in the biggest size available. i’ve used up 3 or 4 tubs of this so far.

during my first 20 months, i used vaseline petroleum jelly ONLY. that was the only thing my skin could tolerate. i know it’s not the best moisturizer out there, heck, it’s not even tauted as a moisturizer. by definition, a moisturizer is supposed to add or restore moisture to the skin (dictionary.com) , petroleum jelly simply acts as a barrier to prevent loss of moisture.

for the really bad times when i was oozing, i couldn’t even apply vaseline over it, because the ooze can’t dry that way and it will get really messy. but i applied it religiously over all other parts of my skin which wasn’t oozing.

there is a optimum time which it works best, which is right after i shower. my skin still has some moisture from the shower and that is the best time to “seal” the moisture in. it does delay the drying out, gives me some time to have relatively flexible skin (otherwise it would be so dry that it’ll crack open). but this thing can’t be compared to our original skin barrier function, so it can only keep my skin supple for at most several hours (which i’m totally glad because without it, my skin will dry out in a matter of minutes!).

do i recommend this? hell yes! it’s bloody cheap and does the job well. i have tried my fair share of creams recommended by derms before i stopped using steroids, none of them ever worked for me. during my TSW, i’ve also tried QV, physiogel and bioderma, they just can’t moisturize my skin. let alone to keep the water in.. and their price? i can probably buy 5 tubs of vaseline with the same amount of money spent on 1 tube of physiogel cream.

i guess i didn’t have “normal” skin to begin with, that’s why all of those creams (even the ceramide-lipid stuff) doesn’t work for me. good for me though, because i don’t have to waste so much money on useless products anymore. tried and tested! and i’m sure once my skin heals completely, a normal (and affordable) moisturizer can do the job perfectly.

moving on..


simple light moisturizer. nifty and thrifty, JUST LIKE ME.

i started using a moisturizer for my face around month 20, since most of the parts which was oozing earlier on has healed up on the surface. my face was still dry back then, so i kept slapping this moisturizer on. it’s completely safe for my skin, water based so it absorbs very quickly (which also means i have to keep applying it), which brings me to the price of this thing.. it’s really affordable to be used constantly on my face. not sure how much this will cost in the states, but in singapore, i know of places that sells this stuff for SGD$6.50. that’s about 5 USD i suppose.

i’ve always used this moisturizer and loved it. back then before i stopped TSW, this was the stuff that i was using too. i find that it moisturizes my skin very well. i used to sleep in a air conditioned room (all year round), this stuff can prevent my face from drying out due to the cold and dry air. i wake up with soft skin that still feels moisturized!

well, that was then. let me bring you back to the present (by that i mean month 20 of  TSW). that time, my face was still healing up, even though the oozing patches are not visible anymore, there are still some more inflammation going on under my skin. even after i apply this cream on, my face will still feel rough, but at least it’s moisturized. it feels rough because of the dead skin that has dried up but not yet ready to shed.

now that i’m in my 23rd month, the skin on my face is really pretty much healed. only several dry spots around my lips and on my nose bridge. i just have to apply this cream thrice a day – after i wake up, after a shower, and before i go to bed. i don’t wash my face in the morning, my oils are too precious to be washed away!

and my new companion for now :


vaseline again! but this time, it’s the body lotion.

i started using this thing around 2 months ago. which isn’t that long ago. i’m only applying petroleum jelly to areas like the back of my elbow, my knees, and my ankle. areas which are really dry and thick and requires some extra oomph. i used to apply vaseline ALL OVER MY BODY in the past. icky, i know. it transfers to my clothes and my mom always complains about how dark the water is whenever she washes my clothes. and she has to wash them twice before it is clean.

since school has started, there is no way i can be that oily and sticky all over. remember i mentioned how good it works right after i showered? now that my skin is better, i find the petroleum jelly working TOO WELL for me. my skin will stay supple and sticky for hours (as opposed to the stickiness dying down within an hour in the past). there’s no way i can go to school like that! i actually feel like overheating because it is covering my entire body. it makes me feel very uncomfortable and i start to perspire (which makes me feel more uncomfortable). so i decided it’s time to make a decision between my comfort and how dry i can let my skin be.

this lotion is very light on the skin, it does moisturizes the skin well but isn’t long lasting. thank god that my skin is so much better now that it can actually hold moisture better than before. for the first few weeks of january, i actually have to shower in the morning before i go to school. the routine goes like this : shower (20 minutes), lather on vaseline petroleum jelly, stay really still infront of my fan and laptop to cool down and not heat myself up (this takes 1-2 hours), prepare to go to school. i end up having to wake up 3 hours earlier before my the time i have to leave house for school. fuck me, right? (i woke at 6am for my 10am class because i take 1 hour to travel from home to school. 6-9am for the shower and cooling down.)

very soon, laziness got to me and i decided not to shower before school anymore. i didn’t expect that my skin can actually accept this! these days, i just slather on this lotion before school and off i go. now i can wake up just 2 hours before class. sometimes i wake up 1.5 hours before class because i don’t want to leave bed. : P

yes, my skin does get dry towards the end of the day, but that’s fine because by that time, i’m on my way home already. and the dryness isn’t that bad anymore.

so these are the 3 things that i have used/am using religiously. they have helped me in some way or another, hope it helps you too!

some of you might wonder, why didn’t i use those organic creams (or try more moisturizing creams), i can only tell you that cost is one big factor when it comes to what skincare i choose to use. i’m using these stuff ALL OVER MY BODY, and i’m not a baby with that little skin surface..! i go through a tub of vaseline in a little less than 2 months time (during my driest period). can you imagine how much that would cost me if i were to use some fancy creams that cost me SGD$150 per 500ml? that is equivalent to 25 tubs of vaseline we’re talking about! (speaking of which, there really is such expensive creams around. a friendly sales consultant approached me one day and gave me a tester of their body lotion which claims to add moisture to my skin. never heard of the brand before, but it’s called beaute pacifique)

ok, that’s all for now. when i can think of things related to my skin, i’ll blog about it again. do you all like these special posts? let me know!

19 thoughts on “[special post] what do i use on my skin?

    • 3.75oz sounds like reallllllyyyyyyy small..! i know that these days, vaseline is trying to go small in terms of packaging, they look really cute. it’s hard to find the big tubs! good luck!

  1. Hi Juliana, I am a fellow ITSAN supporter. I am 6 weeks into my withdrawal. Currently I am out of work and using my time wisely…I have written an iReport on CNN about eczema and TSW. I want to follow up with some before and after photos of people who have gone through this. One of my other reports is going to be on the front page of cnn.com on Monday. This will draw potentially thousands of people to my profile and my other articles – so I really want to promote ITSAN as much as possible! If you are willing to share some photos of yourself, please email me at: tracyscarpulla@yahoo.com Thank you!!!

  2. Hey! Your skin is absolutely amazing! It gives me hope in mysecond. Week:/..I am trying to get a better understanding now you said you only washed your face with water throughout the whole withdrawl process? And mainly just used vaseline ? Because I thought I read in a previous post in the early stages you just washed your face with water…and then gradually moved into vaseline..if so what did you do for the tightness…your skin sounds EXACTLY like mine…Im trying to follow your regimen

    • hello! thanks for your nice words🙂 ok let me try to help you understand better🙂

      during my first 4 months, my face was flaking but wasn’t oozing. during that time I was able to apply either Vaseline or some beeswax based salve on my face after washing with water. it helps with retaining moisture for a few hours, but it made my skin look and feel oily.

      it was during my 8th months onwards that I wasn’t able to use any products on my face as it started to ooze. applying Vaseline will make it hard for the oozing to dry out and stop. so I just let my face dry out.. you heard me right.. I let it stay dry. I wished I found a better way to deal with it..

      dealing with the tightness.. the thought of it makes me irk. after shower I will need about 2 hours before my facial skin will feel less tight. I had to eat carefully as I can’t open my mouth too wide. be careful with my facial expressions.

      I must say the choice to apply Vaseline or not is really personal preference. I would rather have the tight and dry skin (but dried ooze) than to have pliable skin (but dripping ooze).

      in conclusion: no ooze = will apply Vaseline. ooze = won’t apply Vaseline to let dry.

      not sure if I will recommend you to follow my regime though! if you found better ways to deal with the dryness please go ahead and do so. as long as you are comfortable with your choice😉

      hope I answered your question.

  3. HI. can i know after u apply the Simple Moisturiser cream on ur face, did u use any foundations? because when I tried using Bb cream, it makes my face flacky

    • um, i only apply some bb cream when i’m going out. if i’m home all day i won’t apply foundation or other make up on my face after my skin care routine.

      was it the dry skin on your face that became more obvious after applying bb cream? you can try to gently exfoliate your face before applying foundation.

  4. Hi there,
    Your blog is truly motivating. Some parts of my skin is also experiencing TSW and I want to try to follow your path.
    Can I check on how you avoided bacteria infection for the oozy crusty eczemas? You mentioned you used a Tcm vinegar, which Tcm physician did you go to? Do you think brown rice vinegar works the same? I tried dettol, tea tree oil and potassium permanganate but not as effective to eliminate infection.
    Btw, I also found out that I am allergic to a chemical and it looked similar to your peeling fingers. You can read more in my blog-www.skinshare.sg

    • hi bee, i’m glad you have decided to stop steroids for good!

      i avoided bacteria infection by staying away from dirty things and places, that’s all i did. no topical treatments during my oozing phase. honestly speaking, i think it’s highly unlikely for an infection to occur as our immune system is already over reacting. i never had an infection during my withdrawals despite not doing anything.

      i only used the tcm vinegar after those wounds healed, so i don’t think they contribute to the prevention of infection. i visited ginkgo tcm at rochor centre. i am not too sure if brown rice vinegar will work the same, since the one that i got was infused with herbs.

      are you sure you even have an infection in the first place? those agents you mentioned are very effective in treating real infections. if they do nothing to you, you probably do not have an active infection to begin with.

      sorry to hear about your contact allergy to the chemical. try to stay away from it next time ok?

      good luck!

    • thanks for the recommendation gel! i’ve not heard of atopiclair but i just checked it out. i’m actually trying not to use any medical products because i wanna see whether the “eczema” will go away on its own as stated so many times by dr rap and dr fukaya!

      • There three months into going without steroids, some days not bad others very bad, I shall continue to keep going, so itchy, seems little or no let up yet, keep thinking it must stay good, no such luck.Must keep spirits up
        I once lived in Malaysia on a rubber plantation and the mould made me so unwell ended up in Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore, treatment was Pot Magenate with ice in the bath, it’s was very helpful, not much fun, might be good for some who suffer.You have done well as your skin looked much like mine did when I was young I am 75yrs next month.You keep all you are doing as part of your regime, you are helping so many.Thank you Juliana. ANN

      • hey ann! thanks for your suggestion! potassium permanganate is a pretty good disinfectant! at age 75, i’m worried that steroids withdrawal may be too harsh for you. i hope you’re supervised by a doctor who supports TSW!

      • Hi Juliana, I get on with it, I do not know a Dr Who is involved in SW. Very itchy have just thought of trying wheatgrass cream to sooth the dry areas.Also taken antihistamine, the later given by my Dr.The Dr’s in UK seem to want to keep away from admitting there is such an addiction with steroids, plenty to read on the Internet. I lived in Kluang in Johore and was sensitive to mould .This might be my last battle but I shall win it.Ann

      • you’re such a strong woman, ann! most doctors do not currently accept the notion of topical steroid addiction and withdrawals. reality says otherwise though. stay strong and i wish you all the best!

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