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Painful Eczema & Flare-ups: Finding Relief With A Ceramide Skincare Line After Years Of Struggle

Painful Eczema & Flare-ups: Finding Relief With A Ceramide Skincare Line After Years Of Struggle

Beauty Skincare
By Shairah on 20 Jun 2023
Project Editor

Suffering from sensitive skin? You are not alone.


According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 71% of the world population has sensitive skin, with women making up the majority. 

Chances are, we have all experienced skin sensitivity at some point in our lives, and it can come in many forms – from dryness to irritation, roughness, stinging/burning sensations or even eczema. But despite its prevalence, many struggle to find a lasting and effective solution to address this serious skin issue.

Of course, your daily skincare routine plays a key role in your skin health. Products that are overly harsh or contain triggering ingredients can aggravate your skin. On the flip side, the right products can help repair, protect, and nourish your skin from within.

That’s where Curél comes in. Since 1976, the Japanese skincare brand has dedicated itself to dermatological research. Curél discovered how crucial ceramides are to the skin's moisture and natural barrier functions, and that sensitive skin, in particular, lacks this essential ingredient to replenish moisture.

Intensive Moisture Face CarePhoto from Curél

That is why today, ceramides are the focus of Curél’s skincare products. Case in point: the Intensive Moisture Face Care range. Specially formulated for those with sensitive, dry or itchy skin, the range contains Curél’s Ceramide Care Technology to relieve redness and itchiness, boost moisture retention, and repair the skin barrier.

Tried & tested by those with sensitive skin


Every individual’s skin is unique. But for three ladies, they share something in common: skin sensitivities that plagued them for many years. 

With that in mind, we got them to test two products from the Intensive Moisture Face Care range: the Foaming Facial Wash and Intensive Moisture Cream. Read on to find out more about their personal skin journeys – and how they learnt to cope with skin sensitivity, thanks to the Curél.

Samantha loves the soft and gentle texture of the Foaming Facial Wash, which leaves a comfortable after-wash feel.Photo from GirlStyle Singapore

Samantha Voon, 23

When Samantha was in her late teens, she discovered a love for all things related to Korean and Japanese beauty. But her interest in skincare stemmed from a pressing reason: she has suffered from eczema since birth. From a very young age, she visited countless doctors and tried various treatments but to no avail. Her dermatologists’ only advice? “Wait it out” and see if she would outgrow it as she got older.

Unfortunately, Samantha’s eczema worsened. At nine years old, it had spread to her face and developed into itchiness, redness, and severe acne. By the time she was in secondary school, her eczema was at its peak. Long hours spent in humid classrooms made her sweat profusely, causing severe eczema breakouts. She felt frustrated and helpless. “All I could do was to wear a jacket to cover all the embarrassing scratch marks on my arms,” she recalls.

True to her doctors’ advice, Samantha’s eczema did improve slightly in her late teens. After years of not being allowed to use products (except for baby soap on her body), she was excited to finally try every skincare brand she could get her hands on. “For the first time in my life, I started buying facial products for myself,” she says. “I found that only Asian brands suited me as Western brands were just too harsh for my skin and caused redness, stinging, and breakouts.”

These days, Samantha’s job as a social media editor sees her spending long hours in an air-conditioned office. “I have always been scared to try new products but my skin was starting to get really dry and I knew I needed a gentle yet effective skincare routine.” 


Samantha's skin before and after two weeks of testing.Photo from GirlStyle Singapore

Curél’s Intensive Moisture Face Care range proved to be the skin solution Samantha was seeking. “I knew my skin would be in safe hands as the products are dermatologically-tested, hypoallergenic, and also alcohol-, colourant-, and fragrance-free.” Unlike other cleansers which left a stinging sensation, she found the Foaming Facial Wash extremely gentle yet effective. “I love the soft, foam texture and how it leaves a comfortable after-wash feel.” To avoid overloading or aggravating her skin, Samantha applies the Intensive Moisture Cream every other day. “I can feel my skin calming almost immediately upon application,” she says, “and I’m really impressed by how quickly it gets absorbed to form a strong yet lightweight shield over my skin.”

Having gone through a long and painful skin journey over the years, Samantha certainly knows the importance of patience. “For those suffering from eczema, it will get better,” she advises. “Just keep trying because once you find the right skincare routine for yourself – like how I did – the results will be worth it and you will definitely become a more confident person.”


“I don't know how Curél managed to create such a perfect texture. The Facial Cream is thick yet lightweight to give a very moisturising and velvety after feel,” says Christabel. Photo from GirlStyle Singapore

Christabel Teo, 23

Upon first glance, Christabel comes off as the most confident person in the room. She greets everyone she meets with a bright, cheerful smile and posts videos of herself dancing to the latest K-pop hits on her Instagram account. So it comes as a surprise to find out that not many years ago, Christabel’s confidence had hit rock bottom.

The cause? Severe hormonal acne. 

“I used to think I was so lucky that I never experienced any breakouts in my early teens,” she says, “but when I entered poly(technic), I had the worst breakout of my life.” Christabel felt so insecure that she hid her skin under makeup and face masks even during dance practices. She watched countless YouTube tutorials, tried ‘viral’ skincare products and home remedies – even applying ground orange peels to her face to lighten her hyperpigmentation battle scars. “I endured the pain and tried to believe that all these methods would work miracles. But deep down, I knew that was not the way to go.” 

Eventually, Christabel’s hormones calmed down, as did her breakouts. But her skin barrier remained compromised as a result of her constant trial-and-error approach to skincare. “After all those ‘experiments’, my skin probably had chemical burns and its pH balance was affected. I needed products that are gentle and suitable for sensitive skin."

That led Christabel to Curél. Having used mostly Korean or American skincare brands, she was keen to try something different this time. “I always knew that Japan has very innovative technology,” she notes, “But after trying Curél for two weeks, I now understand why people say Japanese products are in another league.”


Christabel's skin before and after two weeks of testing.Photo from GirlStyle Singapore

Christabel used to believe that the tighter the skin feels after cleansing, the cleaner it is. But over the years, she learnt that overstripping your skin of its natural oils can be harmful. “That’s why I love the Curél Foaming Facial Wash; it feels gentle but thoroughly washes away any dirt, oil or makeup without any residual skin tightness.” As for the Intensive Moisture Cream, Christabel is a major fan of it. “Japanese technology is indeed praiseworthy,” she says, “I don't know how Curél managed to create such a perfect texture. It is thick yet lightweight to give a very moisturising and velvety after feel.” 

After two weeks of testing, she has noticed that her skin looks velvety smooth and sports a subtle glow – no more oily or greasy complexion. “For once, I truly feel like my skin is balanced and I'm doing a good job at taking care of my complexion. When all I really did was add Curél to my skincare routine.”

Besides managing her stress, Heather also turned to Curél to reset and repair her skin.Photo from GirlStyle Singapore

Heather Chiam, 25

Like many women, Heather loves jewellery – not just wearing it but designing it too. As a final year design student at NAFA, she’s no stranger to spending long hours in the workshop crafting fine bracelets, earrings, and necklaces.

But Heather’s passion for jewellery design had unfortunate side effects: earlier this year, she started developing redness, itching, and even eczema around her face, neck, and especially her hands. “Completing my final year project was a high-pressure experience,” she recalls. “Not only was I stressed, the hot, dry, and dusty workshop environment really took a toll on my skin.” 

This is not surprising, considering that Singapore has the one of the highest incidences of eczema in the world, affecting one in 10 adults. Excessive perspiration due to the hot and humid weather can affect the skin’s barrier function. In addition, house dust mites (common triggers of eczema) thrive in tropical climates.

Frustrated, Heather resorted to wearing gloves, using hand sanitisers, and showering more frequently. She experienced the worst flare-up when she started using Vaseline Repairing Jelly – most likely an adverse reaction to petroleum jelly. “That was my wake-up call that I need to manage my stress levels and allow my skin to reset and heal itself.”

What drew Heather to Curél was its long-standing reputation as a dermatologist-recommended brand that is specially formulated for those with dry and sensitive skin. “I pay attention to the ingredients list in every skincare product,” she says, “So I was drawn to the fact that Intensive Moisture Face Care range contains gentle ingredients such as glycerin, eucalyptus leaf extract, and cyclopentasiloxane that help with moisture  retention.”

Heather's skin before and after two weeks of testing.Photo from GirlStyle Singapore

After completing her final year project, Heather’s stress lessened and she was able to give her skin a breather. Within two weeks of testing the Foaming Facial Wash and Intensive Moisture Cream, she started to notice gradual but visible improvements to her skin. Although smoother and calmer, her skin still sports dry patches from time to time – so Heather applies a thicker layer of Intensive Moisture Cream on her face and neck for an added moisturising protection against the harsh element.

“Stress and lifestyle habits play an important role in your skin health but a gentle skincare routine can make all the difference,” says Heather. “Curél has strengthened my skin against any irritation, and I'm confident my skin will continue to improve with continued use.”

Want to find out more about managing your skin sensitivity? Head here to discover Curél’s Intensive Moisture Face Care range and the product reviews from 20 GirlStyle readers!

This post is brought to you by Curél.