Image source: Krishna Branch
Anyone with psoriasis knows how painful a flare-up can be. With its accompanying dryness, itchiness, and flakes, psoriasis can seriously rain on your parade. But these eight beauty and fashion bloggers with psoriasis don't let the condition cramp their style. In fact, they’ve found tricks and tools not only to cope with psoriasis but also look fabulous doing it. Once you read their tips, you’ll understand why they’ve amassed quite a following. Here’s how fashion and beauty pros manage their psoriasis flare-ups with enviable skills, and how you can too.
I calm flare-ups on my scalp with neem oil
Los Angeles-based beauty vlogger Yalon Hutchinson says she’d had psoriasis for 10 years when her father discovered her favorite product. He was researching ways to clear up scalp psoriasis when he stumbled on TheraNeem neem oil, which his daughter swears by.
“It’s 100 percent natural and works great for psoriasis on your scalp and helping boost new hair growth,” she says. “I used to hate wearing black because my scalp psoriasis would show on my clothes. But since I started using neem oil, I can wear black as much as I like to.”
When her scalp is particularly dry and itchy, she applies neem oil once a week for an hour before washing her hair. When she’s not having a flare-up, she uses Jamaican black castor oil instead to keep her scalp moisturized. On her skin, Hutchinson says African black soap and cortisone cream soothe breakouts. She also likes SheaMoisture CC Cream because it’s organic and made for sensitive skin.
Hutchinson loves cotton clothes and avoids anything that doesn’t stretch. She says Whole Foods’s eco-friendly clothing line may be good for women with sensitive skin. Ultimately, she chooses comfortable clothes that give her confidence.
“I have come to embrace my skin and what it looks like, so I don’t really cover up my flare-ups.”
I soothe itching with coconut oil
“They’re better than anything I’ve ever been prescribed by doctors,” she says.
Owen has suffered with eczema, allergies, and asthma her entire life and was diagnosed four years ago with psoriasis. “Flare-ups used to be really terrible for me. I had psoriasis all over my body—23 patches to be precise. I once counted!” After having UV treatment, she’s temporarily rid her body of psoriasis, but she still has flare-ups on her face and scalp. “They’re both incredibly dry and itchy. Sometimes it can be unbearable.”
To keep from irritating sore skin, Owen avoids makeup when she has psoriasis on her face. “I know it’s tough when you’re feeling self-conscious, but your skin needs to breathe and recover.”
She also recommends not wear clingy or synthetic fabrics. Instead, she recommends natural fibers like cotton, which are kinder to sensitive skin. During flare-ups, she wears airy tops and dresses on warmer days and soft trousers on chillier ones to keep irritation to a minimum. She tops off every look with a handbag.
“Sometimes I even base my outfits around handbags. Plus, you can never have enough of them!”
I cover up breakouts with green concealer, priming spray, and setting spray
British beauty vlogger Bryony (Bryneenee) Bateman says she never covers up her skin to please other people.
“I don’t care if people stare or ask questions. I use it as an opportunity to educate them and raise awareness,” she says.
Bateman loves beauty products and swears by moisturizing and priming skin, particularly during bad psoriasis breakouts. “It creates blank skin ready for foundation.” She turns to Dermalogica Ultracalming moisturizer for her face. Then she applies Urban Decay B6 Vitamin-Infused Complexion Prep Priming Spray before applying makeup.
Bateman had her first psoriasis flare-up seven years ago and started using Instagram and YouTube to connect with other people who have psoriasis.
“Concentrating on helping others manage their psoriasis has actually been a way of managing mine!” To keep her skin in check, Bateman takes a weekly bath with Westlab Dead Sea Salt. During flare-ups, she’ll hit the bath sometimes every day with an extra dose of sea salt. “When my psoriasis is bad, the only time I’m not in pain is in the bath.” She also applies coconut oil on her skin every morning and night and uses Capasal Therapeutic Shampoo, which contains salicylic acid and coconut oil to help with flakes.
To cover redness, Bateman uses green concealer by W7, Boots Natural Collection or MUA prime and conceal creams before foundation. “I go through it like nobody’s business!” she says. For the best coverage, Bateman swears by Maybelline Fit me! foundation and concealer. (She suggests testing them on a small patch of skin first to make sure they don’t irritate you). She finishes with a spritz of Urban Decay Chill Cooling and Hydrating Makeup Setting Spray. “It takes down the burning, and it’s super hydrating.”
I prevent irritation by avoiding products with fragrances, parabens, and sulfates
Sabrina Skiles, the 32-year-old style blogger of Homegrown Houston, says she loves Aveeno Active Naturals Skin Relief body wash and moisturizer because the line is fragrance-free. The oatmeal in the product soothes dry, itchy skin.
“It leaves my face feeling soft and clean, not heavy and thick like other face cleansers.” For her hair, she sticks with the sulfate-free OGX shampoo with Argan Oil.
Skiles says stress, alcohol, and environmental changes are triggers for her psoriasis. Over the past 15 years, her flare-ups have appeared in random patches on her elbows, knees, and scalp most severely. During flare-ups, moisturizing daily is key. “It makes it easier to apply makeup. And I don’t feel the need to pile it on thick.” She uses bareMinerals since it’s lightweight.
“Once your skin’s hydrated, a little foundation and blush will go a long way,” she adds.
As for her clothes, Skiles says fabrics like viscose, cotton, or jersey, look put-together while allowing your skin to breathe. Polyester and wool are no-no’s! Accessories like a bright scarf or statement necklace help take her mind off psoriasis flare-ups.
“Embrace your flare-ups. If you’re not feeling like yourself, grab a light sweater, put on that chunky necklace, and grab a cute bag. Let these be the conversation starters!”
I treat myself to a manicure during flare-ups
When Helen Hanrahan, author of the Dublin, Ireland-based blog The Flaky Fashionista is having a psoriasis flare-up, she enjoys some me-time to take her mind off things.
“The little bit of pampering gives you a lift, and your newly painted nails will give you something pretty to focus on and distract you from your skin.”
For the past three years, Hanrahan has been on a biologic drug that has stopped her psoriasis flare-ups. But for nearly 20 years before, her skin was constantly problematic, especially during stressful times.
“Use tons and tons of moisturizer before applying makeup to ensure that your makeup stays in place and doesn’t dry out your skin too much.” Her go-to camouflage makeup: Vichy Dermafinish Foundation and Setting Powder.
For those with scalp psoriasis, Hanrahan suggests skipping dark tops. “They highlight the problem. Make paler shades such as white, taupe, grey, cream, or beige your go-to colors.” She avoids lace too, since it can scratch and highlight inflamed skin.
“I find accessories are great for distracting the eye if your psoriasis is bad -- scarves, costume jewelry, jaunty fedoras.”
I exfoliate psoriasis flakes with my Clarisonic brush
Beauty vlogger Krishna Branch says that while it won’t work for everyone with psoriasis, she swears by her Clarisonic Acne Cleansing face brush. “The very gentle exfoliation helps to prep my skin for a smoother makeup application.”
Branch’s go-to day and night cream is SheaMoisture African Black Soap Problem Skin Moisturizer. She says it’s hydrating without being too greasy. She loves the brand’s cleansers and shampoos as well, crediting the natural ingredients for their minimal irritation. To keep her scalp hydrated and flakes at bay, she says coconut, olive, and avocado oils are a must.
During flare-ups, Branch tries to avoid makeup. When she does use it, she makes sure to moisturize with a heavy cream and then apply a face primer. “The extra barrier may help protect your skin from makeup, hopefully causing less irritation. When you’re done with your day, wash off the makeup as soon as you can.”
I soak in a bentonite clay bath at least once a week
Fashion blogger Katie Rose says one of her favorite psoriasis cures is bentonite clay baths. She buys a 2-pound tub of bentonite clay online and adds a few scoops to her bath. Then she soaks for a good 20 minutes once or twice a week.
“The bentonite clay helps draw toxins out from my skin and improves my psoriasis symptoms. It’s cleared my skin up a few times and is definitely something I recommend for any skin problems, not just psoriasis,” she says.
She also loves relaxing in a warm bath with sunflower and fractioned coconut oil, which also help soften psoriasis scales.
To minimize flare-ups, Rose avoids skincare products with parabens, sulfates, and fragrance. “I’ve found they make my psoriasis a million times worse and irritate my skin, making it sore.” Instead, she moisturizes with the Diprobase emollient cream recommended by her doctor.
To cover up psoriasis scars, Rose likes Sally Hansen Airbrush Spray-on Tan. “I’ve been using it for over 15 years now, and it’s a lifesaver. It hides everything, so I can wear my little black dress whenever I want. I love a good night out getting dolled up, and psoriasis won’t stop me looking good.”
I use minimal makeup when my psoriasis is bad
Glasgow-based blogger Jude Duncan of The Wee Blondie says moisturizer and mascara are all she needs when she’s having a flare-up.
“Putting foundation or other products on your psoriasis will only make it worse! Keep it light, and your skin will be so grateful,” she says.
For the past four years, Duncan has battled psoriasis on her face and scalp. To manage breakouts, Duncan uses Aveeno for Sensitive Skin shampoo twice a week and shower gel two times a day. They’re gentle on her skin and affordable.
“They’re the only products that don’t irritate my psoriasis and don’t smell like tar.” For her face, she loves Cetraben Emollient Cream. “It’s so light but gives you amazing skin.”
These eight fashion and beauty bloggers remind us to put our best foot forward, no matter what qualities we may not love about ourselves. Their pro tips for managing psoriasis are truly inspiring. What are your best tricks of the trade to treat psoriasis symptoms? Share them with us in the comments below!
Colleen de Bellefonds is a Paris-based health and wellness journalist with over a decade of experience regularly writing and editing for publications including WhatToExpect.com, Women’s Health, WebMD, Healthgrades.com, and CleanPlates.com. Find her on Twitter @ColleenCYNC.