Autumn, Dry Skin and the Aveeno Dermexa range | AD

Aveeno Dermaxa

After the best summer in living memory (for me, at least; those older have enjoyed banging on about the summer of ’76 which was, of course, hotter, longer and tougher) we find ourselves hurtling into autumn. The leaves are starting to fall, the nights are drawing in and we’re all desperately trying to not talk about Christmas before the time when it’s acceptable to talk about Christmas.

But can I just say (and this is not a Christmas post, I’d like to make that clear) that it’s very difficult not to think about Christmas because – truthfully – what else is there to look forward to? I know that we’re supposed to rejoice in the crisp air, the burnished colours, the benefits of being allowed to “hibernate” and the realisation that we can now wear tights, but really? It’s just a clever, positive spin on the fact that we have to now endure a whole run of dreary, dark months. Hibernation during this time is a necessity, not a perk.

And when was being able to wear tights any sort of bonus? Good grief! You’re either hoisting them up every ten seconds or using a black biro to colour in your legs through the myriad of holes that inevitably appear the very first time you put them on. Add to that the fact that they seem to make my shins ridiculously dry and flaky and we have ourselves a clothing item that could only have been designed by Satan himself. (Though I will admit that they do make my legs look excellent and the ones with tummy control are great for getting a smooth silhouette beneath dresses and pencil skirts.)

Aveeno Dermaxa

Anyway, all of this is rather an unsubtle segue into the main theme of today’s post, which is dry, itchy skin. I’ve been testing out the excellent AVEENO® Dermexa range which has been formulated to soothe, moisturise and reduce discomfort. Many of you will be familiar with AVEENO® products already; in fact when I asked on The Uphill if anyone had recommendations for products suitable for Angelica’s eczema-prone skin, the brand was a firm favourite. But I think that the Dermexa range goes a step further, when we’re talking about skin that’s uncomfortably dry; the products in the range are so full of emollients that the moisturising and soothing effects are truly long-lasting and noticeable.

Aveeno Dermaxa

I actually discovered the range in the first place because of Angelica’s dry, eczema-prone skin. Before trying Dermexa she had been given a big tub of grease to apply twice-daily as a sort of maintenance moisturiser between applications of her prescription cream, and it was just horrendous to put on. The Dermexa Fast and Long-Lasting Balm was a brilliant replacement – I could still feel that her skin was properly moisturised the following morning, if I applied it before bed, but it was really pleasant to apply and didn’t leave her ridiculously greasy.

Aveeno Dermaxa

And at the same time I was doing my own bit of skincare testing, rubbing the excess balm into my hands, especially the backs of them, and noticing that they were beautifully soft when I woke up.

Aveeno Dermaxa

Which brings me back around to Autumn and tight-wearing weather, because I’ve been using both the Dermexa Fast and Long-Lasting Balm and the slightly lighter Daily Emollient Cream on my notoriously scaly, itchy shins. (As soon as the weather turns cold the skin on my lower legs starts to look like crocodile skin and it’s really tempting to pick at the scaly, flaky bits.) I don’t often do a “whole body” moisturisation session these days, but the lower legs are an absolute must for me if I don’t want to morph into a reptilian, so I’ve been using the Long-Lasting Balm at night after a bath or, if it’s a morning shower, the Daily Emollient Cream.

Aveeno Dermaxa

Both are formulated with Colloidal Oatmeal and Avenanthramides (had to copy and paste that word, blimey!) known for their soothing properties and then ceramides which are known to help strengthen the skin’s natural barrier. So as well as instant relief from very dry, itchy skin there’s a longer-term game going on here; helping the skin to retain moisture and protect itself against the outside world.

The funny thing is, before Angelica’s eczema first flared up I didn’t ever think to treat my dry shins with anything properly targeted at very dry skin. It’s only since I’ve tried dedicated solutions on her skin that I’ve realised how immediately effective they can be and I’m absolutely over the moon with how well the Dermexa range works. As a maintenance solution, to keep her skin moisturised and protected, it’s excellent – it’s easy to get hold of and affordable enough to apply regularly and in generous amounts.

Aveeno Dermaxa

The fact that the whole family can use it – I’ve been doing Ted’s legs, recently, as it looks as though he’s inherited my crocodile gene – is a massive advantage. There’s no way I would have voluntarily applied Angelica’s “pot of grease” (as it quickly became known) to my own skin but the Dermexa Long-Lasting Balm feels like something I’d choose to use anyway.

Surprisingly, there’s no greasy residue with either the Balm or the Daily Emollient Cream – you’d think that the balm would leave you feeling as though you’d been basted with goose fat but within minutes my skin feels supple and moisturised with no unpleasant oiliness. The Emollient Cream leaves more of a noticeable barrier on the skin, which is interesting considering how the texture of the product is so much lighter, but it’s a very comfortable feel, not a greasy or sticky one.

Aveeno Dermaxa

And it’s pleasing, really, when you suffer with itchiness due to dryness to feel that you’ve applied a product that’s actually working – so many creams are formulated to “instantly absorb” or “leave no trace” but then skin feels no different after application. Or the benefits are just so short-lived that it seems pointless having taken the time to apply it!

Aveeno Dermaxa

I almost wrapped up this little review without mentioning the Dermexa Daily Emollient Body Wash, which contains similar soothing, barrier-restoring ingredients as the moisturisers in the range. It’s non-drying, which is actually quite a rare thing in the affordable, mainstream body wash market – most leave my skin feeling as though it’s had all of the moisture surgically extracted from it, even the ones that claim to be formulated for very dry skin or sensitive baby skin. You would have thought that non-drying body washes and bath additives would be the norm, but it amazes me every time I walk down the supermarket aisles that there isn’t more choice.

I digress, as usual. The AVEENO® Dermexa range is a great one to have as a bathroom staple – excellent for very dry, itchy skin. It’s also suitable for eczema-prone skin, but not so hefty and intense that it’s off-putting for the rest of the family to use. It’s basically, to sum up, a brilliant, intensely-moisturising all-rounder that has the strength to support skin that requires extra attention.

You can find the Daily Emollient Cream and Daily Emollient Body Wash at Boots here* and the full Dermexa range at Tesco here. There’s more info, as well as full ingredients lists (bravo AVEENO®) here.

This post contains advertorial for AVEENO® Dermexa.


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  1. NIN
    October 22, 2018 / 8:07 am

    editing my previous comment: the dermexa i tested on my elbow skin, was the emmolient cream, not the balm, just seemed like a balm to me…

    • October 22, 2018 / 5:32 pm

      Yes it’s SO rich isn’t it!! I love the texture of both balm and cream. In response to other comment, I have tried classic and it seems to be a favourite with many readers, but I like Dermexa because it has no fragrance at all so I can use it on everyone without worrying.. xx

  2. NIN
    October 22, 2018 / 8:00 am

    i was given a special size of the balm some days ago and tried it to my harsh and hurting left elbow skin (where i m standing on, wheh i m surfing on the internet using my right hand) and it immediatetly calm it down and evened out the skin. beautifull product indeed. i tried other body moisturisers before that, that didn t do the trick. i was planning to get the classic daily cleanse and moisturisers from aveeno, but i m now tempted to get the dermexa range instead.i like some perfume on my body products, and i know the classic range has a slight scent and this is completely perfume- free, but i think i m gonna get it in full size, nevertheless.
    have you ever tested the classic aveeno (green bottle)? is it any good comparing to dermexa?

  3. Farah
    October 20, 2018 / 10:38 pm

    Thank you for reminding me about Aveeno! I used to use it all the time but managed to forget about it whilst trying out various and sundries. Am restocking! Also, if you please, do tell about this cozy looking yet sophisticated gray robe! Do you love it and who makes it? I am in need of a new one and i think gray is the way forward….my cream colored one stays looking freshly washed for about ten minutes with the kids and the cat….and the hubbs….smearing me with who knows what on the regular. Thank you! Always enjoy your writing so much!

    • October 21, 2018 / 3:07 pm

      It’s from Christy and it’s AMAZING – flannel on the inside!! x

      • Farah
        October 21, 2018 / 4:24 pm

        Thank You! XOXO

  4. Alex
    October 20, 2018 / 8:29 pm

    Sounds really good. I’m always interested in hearing about products that are suitable for sensitive skin.

    This is entirely unrelated, but have you tried the new Kiehls Youth Dose eye cream? I think it contains retinol and is pretty reasonably priced (around the £35 mark) so I’d love to hear your thoughts X

    • October 21, 2018 / 3:08 pm

      Not yet, but I have it so will test soon! x

  5. VV
    October 20, 2018 / 6:25 pm

    Mmh. As someone with super dry skin and eczema I have tried the old Aveeno and hated the flaking residue it leaves on the skin (or more exactly falls of / rains downwhen you undress). Not sure what it is, silicon? Anyway, besides Cetraben, which is not my favourite (I always worry I will go up in flame given the quantity of paraffin) but it works, the best products I find are from the Lipikar range by la Roche Posay, the Baume AP+ being a gift from above as far as I am concerned. They do a baby version too. It is the only thing that really stop the itch. For the face when things are bad, or on rashes, I put on Cicaplast, you can even put in of eyelids (I get rashes there). The one to go for is this one:

    • October 21, 2018 / 3:08 pm

      I find the new Dermexa VERY different to the pre-existing Aveeno Baby. x

    • Lucy
      October 22, 2018 / 8:48 am

      Hi, you probably already know this but since you mentioned eyelid rashes I’d really recommend eliminating any products containing methylisothiazolinone (& the other variants all ending with -isothiazolinone). It’s in loads of products – cleansers, shampoos, handwashes, etc. but also in laundry and cleaning products. It’s a preservative for liquids and gels (used to be in creams too but it’s been banned in leave-on cosmetic products now, thankfully). Worth reading up on it – it causes skin sensitisation and one of the tell-tale symptoms is eyelid rashes! Even if that’s not the cause of yours, it’s still good to avoid anyway as it’s a pretty nasty chemical for anybody’s skin. Hope this helps

  6. Hannah
    October 20, 2018 / 6:12 pm

    I quite like winter, apart from slippery dog walks in the ice. I find the dark restful. Candles, wood burners and no pressure to Go Out And Make The Most Of The Day – what’s not to like?! I could do without that jingly tacky festival of consumerism-and-disappointment right in the middle of it, personally!

  7. Sarah
    October 20, 2018 / 1:39 pm

    Absolutely sold! Although I will look not at all like Ruth putting it on. Such a beauty- and the lush bathroom!!!
    Happy Weekend

  8. October 20, 2018 / 9:08 am

    My shins get so dry and flaky as soon as the weather starts to turn, and the fact that I need to wear compression stockings for a whole month now (long story) doesn’t help. My trusted body butters don’t cut it anymore, I will see if I can get this line in Germany as well.

    Anne – Linda, Libra, Loca

  9. Jane
    October 19, 2018 / 9:16 pm

    I suffer with eczema too, mostly confined to my lower legs and ankles, but it has recently started cropping up on my hands too and causing cracked and peeling skin. The Dermexa range is very good, I hadn’t seen the Long Lasting Balm so I will make sure I look out for that. With regards to drying body washes, you’ll probably find the culprit is sodium laureth sulfate (or one of a number of other sulfates). Sulfates are truly awful for skin as they just strip all the natural oils from the skin and leave it parched and damaged. I went sulfate free years ago, it’s not that hard nowadays, although I do still check ingredients lists on everything I buy. Re 1976, I lived through that – yes it was hotter and drier and for longer. Water was rationed in some areas and lots of people had to survive without water in their homes and collect it in buckets from standpipes in the street, so it was definitely harder to deal with than this year’s heatwave.

  10. Moo
    October 19, 2018 / 8:42 pm

    My word of advice is avoid anything remotely containing peteoleum based ingredients when treating childhood eczema. Work of the devil. But it’s cheap as chips which is probably why Drs dish it out on prescription. Aveeno worked wonders for my child too and now we all use. Must try this new range, thanks Ruth.

    • Jen
      October 20, 2018 / 6:39 pm

      Does the Aveeno range not have petroleum in then? Fab news! (I’m not at all clear on the environmental or health implications of it, but for me once I locked into the idea I was slapping a byproduct of the crude oil industry on my skin, I got a bit squeamish about avoiding it where possible!)

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