I know exactly what you going through and then some. I have atopic dermatitis (eczema) which means I have crazy sensitive skin and am very limited to what I can use. I'm not from the USA though, so you may not have access to the brands I use.
For my clothes, I used Omo Sensitive which hasn't given me any problems that I can tell. It's a little bit on the pricier side, so I've started substituting half of the detergent with baking soda to save money. My clothes still come out clean.
I haven't had much luck using "natural" body washes/soaps as I find the essential oils that they usually contain irritate my skin. I've been using dove's beauty bar for a few years as it doesn't dry out my skin. I use the normal bar on good days, as I love the scent but when I'm experiencing a flare up I have to switch to the unscented.
If you have issues with Dove, I would recommend Cetaphil. They make the only cream and face wash that I can use on my face for a prolonged period of time without irritating me. I suspect that their body wash would be similar.
If you really want to find a more "natural" solution, perhaps try a goats milk soap. I found an organic soap which didn't irritate me but it did dry out my skin (as with all soaps) so I stopped using it.
Good luck - sensitive skin is not fun
LadyRider has very sensitive skin and in our house we use Tide Free & Gentle and add baking soda that we buy by the big bag. For softener we infrequently use Bounce Perfume free (Unscented I guess).
For bar soap we used Ivory bar soap for years and years. Only recently is she able to switch to Dove.
The best is unscented bar soap that has glycerin in it.
I feel your pain: I have had skin sensitivities since infancy, and a few years ago I began to have some particularly painful and resistant rashes. Long story short: I saw an allergist. Turns out that I am allergic to Balsam of Peru, which is the resin of a South American tree. Strange, I know. It is an acquired allergy, most likely the result of repeated exposure. Balsam of Peru is found in lots of toiletries, cosmetics, and cleaning products, so it is important to check the ingredient lists of what you purchase. The problem is that the chemical component is more likely to listed instead of the actual resin. This might help:
This may or may not be the source of your problems, but there are some precautions you can take to minimize irritations. Use "perfume and dye-free" products, especially laundry detergent (I use Tide or ALL) and dryer sheets (Bounce). "Unscented" is not the same since it might contain the allergen but the scent is masked. My soap and mositurizing products are by Cetaphil, although sometimes I buy the less-expensive CVS brand. I avoid perfumes & colognes. Careful with make-up, too: That very expensive primer by Smashbox turned me into a tomato-face overnight.
I'm not a fan of washing your cooch with anything other than water... but apres sex I use baby wipes...also during my cycle if there are a lot of clots...baby wipes. That way I'm not screwing with my internal bacteria.
There are tonnes of choices for baby wipes. I use no name scent free ones from my local grocery store.
i think those probably have glycerin in them, which is pretty drying. i'll only use a glycerin based thing on my face if it's also tempered by other ingredients in decidedly unnatural ways.
for skin conditions, the only thing i've ever heard about in north america (from medical people) is Dove, or yeah, water only. have you had bad luck with Dove?
i don't think it's available in the US without a prescription, but aqueous cream has been advised for skin conditions in other countries (as a cleansing agent to be used with water, not a moisturizer, which it's been used for in the past). wait, you have uk connections, right? get them to send you some! (again, really not 'natural', but v effective)
I use ShiKai shower gel, which are soap free, but I don't think there are any unscented versions.
Original Post by cptbunny:
I found an article online about a woman with the same issues (VVS) as me and she switched to Dr. Brennor's Castille soaps... has anyone tried it? My main concern is the smell. I've tried a lot of natural products and many of them smell awful.
I'm trying to find the best least expensive options. :/
I'm sure you've tried tonnes of stuff for this condition... probably until you're blue in the face... But...I had a strange and unmanageable similar condition for about 2 years that doctors told me I had to pretty much suffer through. The tissue was so fragile it would tear open and ...well ridiculous pain and endless weeping and rage at the medical community ensued.
I did discover that if I treated the symptoms of irritation with, of all things, vagasil I began to manage the tearing issues, extra strength. It stung at first but that was because the tissue was soo tender and inflamed and sensitive. I also moved out of my apartment that had a black mold issue and (I discovered as I moved out) had ridiculously old pipes and over the next 6 months the issue resolved itself.
I have no idea if this is at all helpful to you... but I thought I would share my experience.