Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Eczema and 7 Things You Can Do To Prevent or Help a Flair Up

Lets start by clarifying not all eczema is created equal.  Not even close.  Most of the remedies I suggest are targeted to mild to moderate flair ups.  No matter the type though, eczema stinks.  There are natural and effective ways, however, to treat and relieve eczema. It took me years to figure out something that worked to help with my son’s eczema.  I have put together a cheat sheet I hope will help you and save you some of the time and frustration we dealt with.
 What is Eczema and What Causes It?
Eczema is a chronic skin condition in which the skin becomes itchy, reddened, cracked and dry. It can be caused by an allergy or external irritant however, often the cause is unknown.

Where Should I Start? 
There is no easy answer to this.  There are different things to consider.  Is the patients eczema sever or mild.  If it is mild using quality skin products might be all that is needed.  However, if it is a moderate to sever case it is really important to try and determine the cause.  You can see an allergist for testing and/or try an elimination diet at home to see if it is food allergy or sensitivity.
I am a big believer that we have more food sensitivities than we often think.  Eating foods that irritates our body causes inflammation within the body.  That inflammation can take a toll in many ways, one being eczema. The best products in the world will not help if you keep fueling the cause of the inflammation.
Here is a great article on elimination diets and what to do. Detox diets are another great option and I will write more on that later. 
7 Things to Avoid to Prevent or Help a Flair Up?

  1. Avoid prolonged periods in hot water
  2. Avoid, rubbing the skin after a shower/bath.  Instead pat dry
  3. Avoid harsh soaps and solvents.  Particularly ones with Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate, Propylene glycol, and fragrance. (*Note it is hard to find cleaners free of these.  Sweet Cheeks makes a bath gel that is suitable but castile also works well)
  4. Avoid products containing mineral oil (*Note: mineral oil is used ubiquitously in the US.  Read the labels.)
  5. Avoid any products containing fragrance oil, even laundry detergent.
  6. Avoid tight clothes and synthetic fabrics,. Wear clothes that breath.
  7. Avoid know allergens if possible. If you have seasonal allergies try a Neti Pot

What About Home Remedies?
I would love nothing more than for you to purchase lots of our products!  However, I also know that there is no cure all for something like eczema.  Nothing thrills us more than the letters and e-mails we receive from customers telling us how well our product has worked and how thankful they are for it!
That said, I also understand wanting to test some basic remedies first.  The very first thing I would recommend is stop putting anything on your body that contains mineral oil.  It is a double whammy for eczema.  It blocks moisture from entering  the skin (which is what you want to happen with eczema) all the while that oily layer that sits on top, leaches moisture out of your skin.  There really is nothing worse for it.  From there I would try to get as gentle a soap as possible.  We even went to a 2 part baking soda to 1 part water mixture for a month.  Those two steps, for us…were world changers.  Give it about two weeks.  I would also recommend a quality moisturizer.  Yes, we make them, and there are many reasons I can tell you why ours are so good for eczema.  However,  in a pinch you can use olive oil or even better unrefined coconut oil to start with.  
What Sweet Cheeks products work best for Eczema?
First, our bath gel is great.  It is a castile base that has coconut oil and shea added to help counter the stripping effects soap has to skin.  However, if you don’t use our products please find a cleaner that does not contain the ingredients listed above in the “What Should I Avoid” section.
Second the body butter or solid moisturizer. I would recommend unscented, especially if you are having a bad flair up.  You can also do a combination of the solid after you shower and then keep a small tin of the butter to spot treat.
In another article I will be profiling some eczema treatment products so stay tuned. 
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Wednesday, March 19, 2014


We experienced huge growth in 2014 and have outgrown our space.  So we have launched an indiegogo campaign to help us revamp a new space.  Please consider checking it out, and sharing!  As alwasy...thank you for your support!!


Sweet Cheeks

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Are You Worthy of Your Wrinkles?

Not so long ago I had some pictures taken for the business.  The one we ended up using, was of a woman, about my age.  The photo we used was of her laughing, head thrown  back, eyes twinkling with joy, set against a bleak winter day.  It was fantastic. 

Before we settled on a picture the guy that took my photos came over one day and we were picking which photo to use.  Once settled upon, he then uses his Photoshop magic to change the lighting a bit, and create shadows that did not exist in the original photo.  It was really cool.  Then he took this app that looked like an eraser and starts to take her smile lines away. 

“Put those back!” I snapped. 

He stopped.  Likely a bit stunned.  And I simply said, “Leave them. I like them.” 

The reality is we chose a woman in her late 30’s early 40’s for a reason. However, I think he and I did not agree on the reason. 

His idea, was to erase the hands of time so that other women will look at her, realize her age and think on some level, “How does her skin look so good? Sweet Cheeks of course!” 

Aside from, as a women, being tired of being lied to with pictures, I don’t really think I knew what my idea was until that moment.  But there it was plain as day.  I love wrinkles.  I love the story they tell.  I love that every time this woman laughed too loud at a joke or cried too hard over a love not worth it, it was on her face.  I loved that the joy in the birth of her babies, was in the folds of her “worry lines.”  I love the way her smile lines highlighted her eyes and invited you to laugh with her.  Simply, she was stunning not despite her lines, but (in part at least) because of them.  Her lines are a map of where she has been.  I map of who she was and what it took to become who she is. They  a map that outlines the story of her life.

However, if I am honest…really honest, I don’t see my own lines that way.  I see every failure in them.  Every harsh word I spoke in anger.  Every extra cookie (not needed ), every pound lost and put on and lost again, and again and again.  I see, “you are not pretty”, “nor good enough”, “nor special.”   I see mostly, “you are not worthy.” Worthy of what?  You fill in the blank.

And I realized why I use “anti-aging” products.  It is not to get rid of the lines of my life.  No, not at all really.  It is simply to get my lines to tell a different story.   I use it somehow so that when you see my lines you will see in them, the time I picked up the spider and put him outside despite feeling like I would throw up from fear,  the time I wanted to yell at my husband because I felt sad/angry/scared, but found the strength to share how vulnerable I was feeling, the time I got it right…every time I managed to get it right.  I want you to see what a good friend I try be, and how much I love my family.  I want you to see despite being imperfect, how hard I try.  I want you to see my light and joy and inherent goodness.  I want you to see that I am worthy.  Worthy of what?  You fill in the blank.

And there it is.  Please, please evening primrose… make me worthy.

So we kept her wrinkles. Because it was honest, and honestly beautiful.  And she was worthy.  We are all worthy.

And the next time I looked in the mirror and felt the surge of disappointment in my lines.  I felt the shame of “not good enough.”  I looked a little deeper.  And I realized that my lines might very well tell the truth of my imperfection, but they also tell the truth of my moments of perfection. 

And the moments of my worthiness.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sweet Cheeks Popping Up in Orange in Carytown

Press Release:

Richmond, VA – January 27, 2014 – Sweet Cheeks All Natural Bath & Body, Richmond-based purveyors of all natural, bath and body products, will take over the second floor of Orange, a Carytown boutique, for their first-ever pop-up shop beginning Tuesday, January 28.  An open house is scheduled this Thursday, January 30 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. to celebrate and welcome guests with refreshments and the area’s only ‘bath bar’, where customers can create and customize their own bath salts and bath bombs. The pop up shop will run for three weeks, closing February 16.
Sweet Cheeks All Natural’s new store will carry a variety of bath and body products for men, women and children. The entire line is all natural, paraben free, and eco-friendly, with many of the ingredients sourced locally.
“We’re attempting to gauge the level of interest Richmonders have in a luxury bath and body shop. The pop up is fun, plus it gives us a front-seat opportunity to meet and educate consumers about the true meaning of all natural, eco-friendly, and green bath and body products and why they’re important,” says  Vanessa McCauley, owner of Sweet Cheeks All Natural.
McCauley was inspired by her children’s--and her own--sensitive skin issues. After trying numerous products and remedies, McCauley created Sweet Cheeks All Natural with the mission to create products that were not only safe for her family, but safe for the planet. 
About Sweet Cheeks All Natural
Vanessa McCauley began Sweet Cheeks All Natural after becoming frustrated with the lack of options for her son’s severe eczema. Setting out on a mission to find something to provide relief without a list of scary side effects, McCauley’s search was fruitless. That’s when she created what was needed—and was better—herself. Beginning with Baby Butter (a soothing moisturizing cream for babies), the line now includes a full-range of bath and body products and candles. 
Free of parabens, petroleums, and preservatives, Sweet Cheeks All Natural products are made from the finest plant-based oils and natural ingredients.  All Sweet Cheeks products are gentle to the body and to the earth, using earth friendly packaging and minimal secondary packaging. 

For more information about Sweet Cheeks All Natural, visit or through their online contact form at Find Sweet Cheeks All Natural on and