Because of my high-maintenance, eczema-prone skin, it’s always been difficult for me to find a body wash. If it’s too stripping, my skin will erupt in itchy, scaly patches, but if it’s too balmy my skin feels sticky and not properly cleaned. A scented body wash is something I’ve never been able to use — because perfumes have been known to trigger eczema flare ups, I’ve been selecting “no fragrance” body washes since I was a kid.
That is, until two weeks ago. If I’m being perfectly honest, I was initially attracted to Nécessaire on a superficial level — the products are pretty in the way products at a Parisian apothecary are pretty. Launched by Into the Gloss co-founder Nick Axelrod and Estée Lauder alum Randi Christiansen, it’s a “pH optimized” body care brand designed for sensitive skin. I thought the stuff would look nice in my bathroom. I also liked the convenience of the bottles’ twist caps. While they offer a fully “no fragrance” body wash, I decided to try the eucalyptus scent (I assumed the body wash wouldn’t work on my eczema anyway, but that my boyfriend might enjoy that scent.)
Still, I decided to give it a try, and the first thing I noticed was the body wash’s unique texture: its fatty acid and antioxidant-rich formula feels almost like a very thick oil. It’s reminiscent of honey. As you rub it into your wet skin, it doesn’t foam up in that super sudsy car-wash way that is so harsh on my skin. Instead, it gently emulsifies and washes away.
Now, whenever I try new body washes, the shower is the calm before the storm: once I get out and my skin starts to dry, my arms, legs, and feet typically get increasingly hot and itchy as the eczema flares up. But, ladies and gents, I’m thrilled to say this did not happen after using Nécessaire — instead, my skin was calm as I awaited my post-shower lotion. I put on Nécessaire’s no-fragrance version — it’s infused with marula, cacay, and meadowfoam oils — and became very fond of that, too. It’s not the one you reach for to combat a scaly flare up (I rely on prescription creams and this arsenal for that), but it’s a completely neutral, thick, moisturizing cream that gives winter skin the nourishment and hydration it needs.
I’ve been using this body wash and lotion as a part of my shower routine for a couple weeks now, and I’m happy to say my eczema and I are in a good place. Not to get ahead of myself, but I’m thinking about trying out the sandalwood scent.