I have suffered from eczema and extremely dry skin since I was two years old. Eczema is one of those conditions that is highly personal: what works for me may not work for my younger sister, which means it becomes incredibly annoying when every auntie on the planet decides to stick their oar in with their theory on what’s causing my eczema (clothes labels, detergent, makeup, you name it) and exactly how to cure it (mustard seeds, coconut oil, not wearing makeup ever again).
I’ve finally got to a place where it’s more or less manageable, but the measures that I have implemented (cutting down drastically on dairy and refined sugar, for example) won’t be suitable for everyone, and I never offer unsolicited advice to other eczema sufferers, which is why this review will be solely personal.
My skin: I had heard about this brand through social media a few months ago and decided to try the famous Recuperating Cream on my own terms. I have eczema or very dry skin almost everywhere on my body, and I have to apply cream immediately after showering otherwise my skin cracks. I sometimes get patches of excess dry skin on my face which crack and peel – something that makes me highly insecure. Smooth red patches also appear on my face and I have to wear makeup to conceal them, otherwise I find it difficult to leave the house and interact with people, especially because people (both strangers and people I know) feel it’s appropriate to make comments about the physical appearance of my eczema out of the blue. I rely heavily on Epaderm cream and run through about a kilo of it every month. When my skin flares up, I use a mixture of Hydrocortisone and Betnovate to keep it under control, though I’ve begun to use Protopic on my face lately with very positive results. I get Epaderm on prescription, so I am loathe to spend extra money on non-prescribed products when this works so well.
The claims: Dermatique, a Scottish company that started up in 1996 out of a personal quest to cure childhood eczema, are simple and direct in their approach: they claim a 99% success rate with their Recuperating Cream and offer customers a full refund if they are dissatisfied after 30 days of using their products. You can read the full section on the cream on their website, but they say that this product:
- Works with the skin´s natural repair process.
- Gives you immediate hydration, helps heal even the driest skin
- Proven to work on healing dry skin conditions such as Eczema, Psoriasis and Dermatitis
- Absorbs quickly, leaves skin optimally hydrated, calmed, soothed & protected.
Within days, you will see a remarkable improvement in your skin’s condition.
Their website contains pages and pages of five-star reviews from verified buyers, hailing the products as the miracle cure to their dry or damaged skin. I knew I had to try it.
Size and packaging: The first thing I noticed when I received the Recuperating Cream in the post was the size. It costs £29.00 for 100ml, which is standard for luxury skincare, but really rather high for something that’s marketed as a staple, everyday product, and quite worrying when you have to cover your entire body in the product multiple times a day in order to stay moisturised. There is a 10% off discount on your first order, but I personally would not be able to afford this on a regular basis, especially because I have eczema everywhere on my body. If I only had eczema on my hands or face, for example, this would be less of an issue. The simple white tub is clean and attractive, but I had expected something heavier or more luxurious considering the price.
Application and first impressions: The product is soft and creamy with a very wet feel to it. It contains urea and lanolin (so not vegan-friendly) which concerned me, as I never use emollients containing these ingredients: eczema creams in Germany almost always contain urea, which made me very wary about buying products there. You hardly need any product to cover a large stretch of skin, as a little goes an extremely long way, which comforted me about the price. It doesn’t completely sink into the skin, but forms a film on the surface, which I assume is designed to protect the skin and stop it losing essential moisture. It works extremely well under makeup and doesn’t affect its staying power.
However, when I applied this cream, it burned! The stinging sensation didn’t go away with further use, and while I was able to tolerate it, I would have struggled as a child. I also found it made me feel very itchy, which is obviously not ideal in an eczema cream.
Results: I finished the pot in three days. Yes. Three days. I would have to buy two pots of this to last me one week, which would cost me £58.00 a week and £3016.00 a year. This just isn’t feasible or affordable as a student with full-body eczema. Despite only needing a small amount of the cream compared to my Epaderm, I found it did not keep my skin moisturised for the same length of time, meaning I ended up using more because I had to apply it more frequently. I only need to apply Epaderm twice a day, but I needed to apply the Recuperating Cream three to four times a day to stay moisturised, which was only possible because I was at home.
I started to dislike the sticky feeling I would have after applying the cream, and the itching only worsened, meaning I was left with open, sore patches of eczema on my face and body. These burned even more when I applied the cream. After finishing the tub, I returned to my usual staples and my skin is feeling much better as a result.
Final say: This cream certainly isn’t awful: it’s just that my usual products are slightly better and rather cheaper. However, as I said earlier, eczema is a very personal condition, and what works for me may not work for you, just as this cream worked for all the happy customers on the Dermatique website but not for me.
If you are curious about trying this product, I would still recommend it: the money-back guarantee is incredibly helpful if you’re nervous about spending this much money on something you’re not sure will work, and I can testify that Dermatique is absolutely brilliant for customer service, and certainly won’t cause you any problems in that regard. I’m glad I had the opportunity to try this product – it’s a real shame I didn’t get on with it, but everyone’s skin is different.
Would I (re)purchase?: No, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work for you!
If you have any questions about managing eczema and dry skin, please comment or send me an email! Have you tried this product? What do you do to keep your skin under control?
Many thanks to Dermatique for providing me with this product free of charge for review purposes.