10 Dec 2013

La Roche-Posay Lipikar range for Eczema - review

La Roche-Posay Lipikar range of products 

Did you know that over 50 million people in Europe alone suffer from eczema?  As a child I had bad eczema on my arms - I have memories of my elbows being bandaged on a daily basis.  Although it has been a long time since I suffered from the dreadful itch and attendant dry skin associated with eczema, I know of others who suffer badly.  My brother's hands used to get so bad they'd literally crack, and look like they'd been cut to shreds.  Thankfully, although he still gets the odd (usually stress-related) attack, he's no longer afflicted as badly as he used to be.  My other half also gets eczema, usually a low-grade, persistent tiny rash on the backs of both of his calfs, which is barely perceptible, but still drives him mad scratching it.  So he seemed like a good candidate to try out the Lipikar range from La Roche-Posay.

Eczema, which I always have difficulty remembering how to spell (hopefully not after tying it a dozen times or so in the course of this article!), is a skin disorder, usually an allergic response to certain foods or stressors for example.  It's most common in children (25% of children under the age of three years old are affected for example, which is quite a high statistic) and is now three times more frequent than it was thirty years ago (likely due to allergic reactions to environmental conditions, household cleaners etc).

La Roche-Posay introduced the Lipikar range to help improve the lot of those suffering with eczema and help leave skin comfortable and soothed, as a huge part of the eczema scourge is the interminable itch that associates the skin condition.  The Lipikar range has a three-step programme to Cleanse, Soothe and Calm the skin.


There are two options, both can be used on face and/or body:

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Syndet options (Gel-Cream Cleanser)

Lipikar Syndet is a high-tolerance cleansing cream-gel with a soap-free, fragrance-free, and paraben-free formula, designed for extremely dry, irritated skin which is subject to itchiness.  It neutralises the effects of hard water and helps to help restore the skin barrier.  Priced at either €8.50 for a 200ml tube or €13.75 for a 400ml pump, it's certainly nowhere near as expensive as some other eczema preparations I've bought in the past.

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Huile (Cleansing Oil)

Lipikar Cleansing Oil is a gentle and nourishing daily cleanser for use in shower or bath.  It protects the skin against the drying effects of hard water and provides it with the lipids required for rebuilding the skin barrier.  With a neutral pH, it is also soap-free, alcohol-free, colourant-free, paraben-free.  This one costs €13.75 for a 200ml bottle.


La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balm AP

Lipikar Balm AP is a lipid replenishing ultra-penetrating body balm with anti-irritation and 24-hour anti-scratch efficacy.  It is both fragrance-free and paraben-free, and helps to immediately soothe.  With its high concentration of Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), it can help to break the vicious itch-scratch-itch cycle to restore long-term skin comfort.  Price-wise, there are two options again, similar to the Lipikar Syndet at either €12.75 for a 200ml tube or €18.50 for a 400ml pump.


Thermal Spring Water is a unique water with proven therapeutic properties: this water is soothing, anti-irritating, anti-inflammatory and rich in anti-oxidising selenium.  Over 4,000 eczema patients are treated yearly with this water in La Roche-Posay in France and it has been found to help them greatly.  The price of this one is €9.00 for a 150ml spray.


My OH tried out the Lipikar Syndet and Lipikar Balm AP for the last couple of weeks, and has reported back to me in his inimitable way... the shorthand version was that from only one use (of cleanser plus balm) onwards, the annoying itch completely disappeared (he first used it on one leg only, then moved to both legs) and it hasn't returned since, and even though he has not remembered to use it in the last week, that effect has continued.

In terms of removing the (barely noticeable in the first instance) patches of dry skin, it had less success - the dry patches are still evident, however slight.  Then again, this is not a treatment for eczema per se, but rather a daily cleanser and moisturiser regime that can be used to keep it at bay.  I recommend if you have severe eczema that you try to rid yourself of it using whatever treatment regime you find works for you, and use the Lipikar range to help keep it at bay once it has gone.

Note that incidentally Lipikar is not just intended for eczema sufferers, but I was curious to try it out on someone who does actually have eczema to see how they fared.  Based on the reported results, I would say it's highly recommended, for what it purports to do, and certainly given the very affordable price-point.

Note: I received a sample of cleanser and balm to use, however the results of the trial are honestly reported.

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