[Product Review] Mustela Dermo-Pediatrics: Stelatopia

Baby James suffers from eczema, and while it is a manageable skin condition it also hasn’t been a walk in the park. I’m not surprised he has it since it runs in both sides of our families. On top of that, our harsh Canadian Winters plus dry indoor heating aren’t exactly helpful either. Admittedly I was hoping he would beat the odds at birth but hey, pediatric atopic dermatitis (as it’s also known) is quite common.

As a mother, and particularly as a pharmacist, I know there is no easy fix. Some children “grow out” of eczema while for others it’s lifelong management. Flareups can come and go, and for as many good skin days there can be double the bad. My goal is to space out the time between flareups for as long as possible. Initially I was frustrated because I was determined to heal James as effectively and as quickly as possible, but it wasn’t going as planned. Now I just take each day as it comes. Moisturizing around-the-clock? You bet. Steroids for flareups? Absolutely. Humidifiers? Of course. Oatmeal soaks, oil baths? Check. Soap-free pH balanced wash? No problem. Bath water thermometer? Got it. Organic cotton clothes? Sure. Silk scratch sleeves and bamboo sleep sacks? Why not. Natural laundry detergent? Yup. Nails cut and filed on a daily basis? Definitely. Fragrance free everything? I wouldn’t have it any other way!

And yet even after all that he can still wake up with dry red patches on his face (not shown in this post), legs and arms, accompanied by scratch marks. Surprisingly his trunk is always spared.

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James’ knee after some intense scratching

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Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation: James’ discoloured scars will fade over time

It’s not until you have a child of your own suffering from eczema that you realize just how exhausting the condition can be. Up until 5 months of age (he’s nearing 9 months now), sleep deprivation for my itchy baby was most certainly guaranteed. James used to, and on some days still does, wake up many times throughout the night to scratch his head and face. During the day, if you held him towards you he would forcefully and aggressively rub his face against your shirt for relief. Tummy time was difficult because he would suddenly rub his face against the mat, or start scratching his head (scalp eczema). Many of these actions caused chafing on his skin and made a bad situation worse. Constantly on watch, we were always on the lookout to keep his hands away from his face. Thankfully his skin has improved and he’s come a long way.

Just as important then as it is for me now, I devote myself to breaking James’ Itch Scratch Cycle. One way to do so is by strengthening the skin barrier through hydration and replenishing lipids that are lacking, such as ceramides. As an avid skincare fanatic I have a collection of products that have been tested on myself and on James. Just because something doesn’t work for someone else doesn’t mean it won’t work for you, and vice-versa.

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The many products of a skincare obsessed mom

For this review Mustela sent me a complimentary care package from their Stelatopia range, but the opinions and claims reflected in this blog post are my own and not those of Mustela. We received samples of their Cream Cleanser, Moisturizing Cream, and Lipid-Replenishing Balm.

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Left to right: Stelatopia Cream Cleanser, Stelatopia Moisturizing Cream for Very Dry Skin, Stelatopia Lipid-Replenishing Balm

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Sample of what each product looks like, from top to bottom: Stelatopia Moisturizing Cream for Very Dry Skin, Stelatopia Cream Cleanser, Stelatopia Lipid-Replenishing Balm

Of the many creams, ointments and natural oils that we’ve tried thus far, the Mustela Stelatopia Moisturizing Cream remains our top go-to moisturizer for ease of application and effectiveness. It’s fragrance-free, absorbs and spreads easily and doesn’t leave any residue behind. Compared to Lipikar Baume AP+ by La Roche Posay (another household favourite of ours), Stelatopia has a more fluid-like consistency rather than the thicker more balm-like texture of Lipikar AP+. The fluidity of the Stelatopia Moisturizing Cream allows us to apply it as quickly as possible while covering a large area, which is important for a fidgety infant such as ours 😛 . We like to rub our creams into our skin while counting to 10 to allow increased penetration of product.

We can tell that Stelatopia Moisturizing Cream doesn’t irritate James’ skin because he doesn’t cry whenever we apply it, whereas the Lipikar AP+ appears to sting. According to the Mustela website, the Stelatopia range contains natural oils that “soothe the skin, (and) stimulates the synthesis of key lipids in the epidermis,” such as sunflower distillate and/or plum oil.

Stelatopia lipid-replenishing balm has a thicker, richer consistency resembling Lipikar AP+ that moisturizes very well. We apply it onto severely distressed skin that is both dry and irritated, and have seen great results! This particular one is not yet available in Canada, so we look forward to its upcoming availability at Canadian retailers.

During James’ lukewarm baths we gently cleanse his skin with Stelatopia Cream Cleanser. It is a soap-free product that doesn’t dry out the skin, and as the name suggests it feels like cream. The cleanser is silky to the touch and glides easily over James’ body.

James’ skin made significant improvements after 2 days of care using Mustela Stelatopia products:

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James’ skin has improved since using the Mustela Stelatopia line. Moisturizing his skin is key because in order to have a strong foundation his skin should never feel dry under any circumstances; irritants more easily penetrate dry skin. For flareups we use steroids sparingly, and in James’ case that’s 1% hydrocortisone ointment. For additional skincare tips, such as the proper technique for applying steroid creams, check out Aini Baby, a Canadian online retailer featuring award winning eczema care products. Also be sure to check out the Mustela Canada website for advice, additional products and skincare lines!

Cheers,

Melissa

Comments

  1. Hi, just read this product review, and i would like to ask if you have applied the steroids while you are using mustela stelatopia line product? As you said james skin have a significant improvement after 2 days using of stelatopia, i was wondering it is cure by stelatopia or eith the conjuction of steroids.

  2. Melissa and Joseph says:

    Hi Priscilla,

    Thanks for reading. 🙂 When we used the Mustela Stelatopia products as listed in the post we didn’t apply any steroids on James because we were trying out the line on its own. Good skin is so hard to come by!

    Cheers,

    Melissa

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