Buy Now or Cry Later: The All-Natural Balm That Helped Heal My Eczema

Say "see ya" to dry, flaky skin.

June 25, 2019

By Lucy Lau / Photo: Little Fox Apothecary

Buy Now or Cry Later is a bi-weekly(ish) feature that recommends the newest, coolest and best fashion, beauty and home finds in our fair city. Heed our advice and buy now—or risk a stream of tears later if and when an item sells out.

A week ago, the skin around my eyes was so swollen, dry and inflamed it hurt to blink. I looked like I had been punched in the face—or, at the very minimum, stung directly on my eyelids by a swarm of bees that had, erm, made a beeline for my face overnight. My general eye area had been this way—painfully red, itchy and puffy—on and off for almost two months at that point, even as I scaled back my skincare and cosmetic routines so that I was only cleansing with water.

The doctors I had seen—all three of ’em!—were at a loss of what to do. They prescribed topical corticosteroids, which seemed to work to relieve the swelling at first though not without drying out my eyelids so badly I needed I separate prescription to soothe that. As I awaited a dermatologist appointment (apparently a three- to six-month wait that I had seemingly cut to a week after—PRO TIP—crying in the club ER), I began rifling around my bathroom drawers for something—anything!!!—that would help calm a particularly nasty flare-up I was experiencing. I came across Little Fox Apothecary’s Skin Replenish Body Butter, which I proceeded to slather around my eyes after reading the words “relieve dryness, itching & inflammation” on the label.

The product was one of 60-plus beauty items I was tasked with sampling for our Made in Vancouver awards, so this wasn’t the first time I was using it. And though I’ll admit I didn’t think much of it during that initial round of testing (it was a perfectly fine moisturizer, but nothing groundbreaking for skin that’s already in decent shape), tackling symptoms of eczema and psoriasis is where it really shines. The product has a buttery whipped texture, which melts beautifully into the skin without leaving a greasy film, and there’s no initial burning sensation like I experienced with some of the topical corticosteroids I had tried weeks earlier. After one application, in fact, my skin felt immediately soothed. And I had no reservations about slathering more on as needed thanks to the clean ingredients: shea butter, cedarwood, lavender, vitamin E oil.

When I finally stepped into the dermatologist’s office and was told it was allergic eczema I was experiencing—though the worst of it had subsided at that point—I was prescribed yet another topical corticosteroid. I applied a thick layer of that around my eyes exactly once before deciding to go back to Little Fox’s Replenish. I realized I much prefer the latter’s effects: it relieves my itching, flaking skin without leaving a tight, drying feeling. And its list of vegan, I-can-actually-pronounce-them ingredients is much appreesh’d since I’m using it around a super sensitive area on my face. My skin is at last A-OK, but I know what jar I’ll be reaching for if I ever have another flare-up.

Little Fox Apothecary Skin Replenish Body Butter, $24.95

Available at Midtown Main (3128 Main St.), Second Nature Home Boutique (3565 Commercial St.), as well as online.


More from our “Buy Now or Cry Later” series:

A Sunny Jumpsuit That Makes Summer Dressing Easy-Peasy

A Made-in-Vancouver Serum That’s Evening the Heck Out of My Skin

A Cheery, Reusable (and Locally Crafted!) Grocery Bag


Get the Newsletter

Own your city with Vancouver’s thrice-weekly scoop on the latest restaurant news, must-shop hotspots and can’t miss events. Rest assured your email is safe with us.