Friday 16 January 2015

21 Day XeraCalm Challenge

I have had eczema most of my life and the skin on my feet is especially bad. It isn't particularly itchy but it is red and scaly and doesn't look especially nice. In winter it isn't too bad as they are covered up with socks or tights but summer can be a nightmare and I am very conscious how bad they look. I'm sure most people don't notice them but I am a little paranoid about them as I do get the odd comment asking what's wrong with my feet. I have tried many different products over the years and some have worked and others haven't. The one thing I have found is that you do need to apply eczema products daily to keep your skin calm. 

XeraCalm is a new product from Avene and I was thrilled to be asked to take the 21 Day XeraCalm Challenge as knowing I needed to write about it meant that I would be sure to use it daily for 21 days otherwise it wouldn't be a fair test. The added bonus being that for once my feet would look good in winter as I do tend to skip moisturing my feet in winter because I know they won't be seen and it saves me a bit of time when I am rushing round in the morning.

So what do Avene say about the XeraCalm A.D Range - here is the information from the XeraCalm leaflet.

The XeraCalm A.D range was specially formulated with a minimum of ingredients to meet the needs of all skin types prone to irritations, redness and itching caused by skin dryness, atopy-prone skin and skin with moderate to severe dryness. The formula is fragrance free, paraben free and made with actives selected for their efficacy and gentleness.

The I-modulia complex is the result of 12 years of scientific development by the Perre Fabre Research Centre and is the quintessence of the active substances contained in a microflora of Avene Thermal Spring water. I-modulia is very effective and reuces itching sensations caaused by skin dryness and also sooths redness and irritations caused by the skin's hyper-reactivity.

CER-OMEGA lipids which resemble those found in the skin, help repair, nourish and strengthen the protective film, giving the skin better resistance against exterior aggressions.

Avene Thermal Spring Water with its soothing, anti-irritating properties reduces sensations of discomfort and softens the skin.

After reading all this I was very hopeful that I would be able see a difference in my skin but only time would tell!

Here are a couple of photos of my feet before I started using the XeraCalm, it was more difficult than I thought getting a picture of them!


Day 10
Day 21

As you can see from these photos, there is a huge improvement by day 10 and then when I reached day 21 there is a massive improvement, it's just a shame it is much too cold to show off off my feet at the minute!

I have been using the balm twice a day for the last 21 days and I am really pleased at how much better my feet now look. It really was worth persevering and using it every day. Now I have got into the habit of using it I will continue as I am so impressed with the results. I also liked the XeraCalm tube as it has a new style of nozzle which seemed to stay much cleaner than normal moisturisers do. As you squeeze the tube the middle circle in the centre rises and the balm comes out of the centre nozzle. When you stop squeezing the nozzle goes back flat again and you can just wipe the top with your finger and it doesn't get gungey and sticky at all, brilliant! The nozzle is also at the bottom which I much prefer as I store it on the bathroom window sill and it is always easy to squeeze it out, even when the tube is running out as all the cream is already at the bottom near the nozzle. 

I would certainly recommend this product because it has made such a difference to my feet and I will continue to buy it.

Disclaimer - I received a tube of Avene XeraCalm A.D for the purpose of this review but all words, pictures and opinions are my own.

Wednesday 7 January 2015

What's for tea?

William received a copy of Jamie's 15 minute meals for Christmas and has been trying out some of the recipes. He made the Thai Chicken Laksa which was delicious. We had never heard of Laksa before but it is a mildly spiced noodle squash broth. William went through the recipe first to see what additional ingredients we needed and wrote a shopping list for me. Armed with my list of ingredients I set off to the supermarket, the only ingredient I couldn't find was the dried kaffir lime leaves so we missed those out but it still tasted delicious. The chicken had a coating of honey, sesame seeds and Chinese five spice and was very tasty. We we definitely be making this again. 

The other meal he has made is the Swedish meatballs with celariac and spinach rice. Both me and Mark enjoyed these but William and Luke weren't keen and ended up having fishfingers! The meatballs were flavoured with dill which had quite a strong taste and this put the boys off. I think next time we make this we won't put the dill in. 

We have never tried celariac before but it was really nice with the rice and spinach. 

The one thing we did notice was that the meals took much longer than 15 minutes to make! I suspect that as William gets more familiar with the style of recipes he will speed up but at the minute he is allowing plenty of time to make them. He is adding notes in the recipe book as to what changes he will make next time. He is enjoying cooking and it is nice to try some different meals.

First walk of the New Year

Sunday was such a lovely morning that we decided to go for a walk. We set off from home and did a circular route across the fields that we like doing. One of the fields near the poultry farm had a new fence across and there were some very friendly sheep in the field.

It was quite a chilly day but it was nice to be outside and get some fresh air.

Thursday 1 January 2015


December has flown by, here are a few photos of what we have been doing.

The annual family Christmas party organised by Uncle Frank, it is now too big for his house so is held in the village hall. It was lovely seeing all the family and the children performed a great version of The Three Little Pigs

We took Daisy to see Aladdin at Lytham.

We had a great evening out at the Winter Wonderland at Event City, Manchester with Luke and Charlie.

We had the first frost of the year and the pond of the top of the road was finally drained after a lot of phone calls to the council.

We had all the family round for Christmas lunch

I made cranberry sauce for the first time which was delicious

Father Christmas came

Mark found enough candles for my birthday cake and we had a lovely day out in Skipton.

We had a trip on the Ravenglass railway.

We stayed at the Titanic hotel in Liverpool which was a lovely treat. We had a suite of rooms and I have never stayed in such a big hotel room before. We did some shopping in Liverpool and had a lovely meal in the restaurant.