I haven’t really mentioned it on the blog, but at the beginning of the year major changes were made to the way my schedule works at work. I now have to be in the hospital when I’m on call, rather than accepting phone calls at home and driving in if I’m needed (not going to lie, I wasn’t crazy about this at first but the change has saved me multiple 2 am drives in to work during bad weather). This means that I’m spending a lot more time in the hospital, and I swear to you that the building is like one giant dehydrator. I can feel the air sucking the moisture out of my skin, soon I will turn into beef jerky or dried fruit perfect for taking with you on the go! Combine this with dry skin from winter and I’m about as dry as can be.
About the time I found out about my schedule change, I got this big old box of moisturizers in the mail from First Aid Beauty. I’ve reviewed a bunch of their products before, and even had a Twitter Party with the brand years ago. And I hate Twitter Parties, they go against everything this Shy Girl can handle. So, that should tell you something about how much I love First Aid Beauty. Anyways, that box had a ton of Ultra Repair Cream. Immediately I knew I would be taking most of those jars of moisturizer to work.
Currently in my office there are 2 huge tubs of Ultra Repair Cream, and many smaller tubes which I’ve been carrying around the ICU with me in the pocket of my coat. I alcohol foam and/or wash my hands before and after every patient encounter, so moisturizing multiple times a day is a must! I love that it feels soothing on my skin but doesn’t feel heavy or greasy afterwards. I’ve also been applying Ultra Repair Cream to my entire body at least once a day, and this has kept my eczema-prone skin happy and hydrated.
What makes Ultra Repair Cream different is that it contains so many soothing ingredients to help with irritated and unhappy skin, and it doesn’t depend upon a heavy occlusives to really hydrate your skin. That feeling most of us have after we use a moisturizer and it “feels” silky and thick and, with some moisturizers, almost greasy? That is from the occlusives. You won’t feel that with Ultra Repair Cream, but your skin instead will feel soft, you’ll have less redness and irritation and my skin feels more normal when I’ve been using this regularly.
Here are some of the ingredient highlights: • Colloidal Oatmeal: I think it’s rather telling that the #1 ingredient is Oats, which shows antioxidant activity, inhibits prostaglandins (anti-inflammatory activity) and works to clean the skin when used in cleansers. • Stearic Acid: A thickening and emulsifying agent, this is a naturally found fatty acid, it can feel soft and sometimes slightly waxy on the skin when applied (it’s that “slip” that you can sometimes feel). • Glycerin: Humectant • C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate: Emollient (again, look at that moisturizer post. This is good stuff!) It will also make things feel less greasy. • Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride: Quite a ways down the list, you’ll see the first occlusive moisturizer • Glyceryl Stearate: A combo of Stearic Acid and Glycerin • Cetearyl Alcohol: Emulsifier made from wax (not really an alcohol the way we think of it…) • Caprylyl Glycol: Emollient • Shea Butter: Emollient • Squalene: Emollient • Allantoin: Moisturizing, helps to slough dead skin cells and anti-inflammatory all at once! • Feverfew: Anti-inflammatory that also helps to decrease redness • Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (Green Tea): Contains polyphenols, which are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, though they even suppress cancer. While most of the research into these effects used intake of the polyphenols rather than topical use, “most researchers agree that tea (black, green, or white) has potent anti-inflammatory properties and that it is a potent antioxidant whether consumed orally or applied topically” • Licorice Root: Helps to decrease melanin production, so can help with hyperpigmentation • Ceramide 3: Emollient
Ultra Repair Cream comes in a very big tub, and really, it’s a huge supply. A little of this stuff will go a long way. It is a strange lotion/creamy/slightly goopy consistency for me, I haven’t fully figured it out. It feels immediately soothing when I put it on, and it sinks into my skin very quickly. Which I love. I have no residue left behind and it doesn’t feel greasy.
I’ve been using this pretty much only on my body (especially my hands), though you could use it on your face as well. It’s definitely too much hydration for my combination skin to use every day on my face, but it did work really well one day when I was feeling dry. I’ve noticed that it works best when used consistently, which really allows those anti-inflammatory ingredients to work.