Billed as “the first sensitive skin moisturiser that relieves itch fast, Suu Balm is a cream that is targeted at anyone with itchy, dry skin, to provide rapid relief from itch and increase the frequency of moisturising. This is because according to the makers, breaking the itch-scratch cycle would prevent further damage – caused by scratching – to the skin.
Singapore’s first proven rapid itch relief moisturising cream
Added Dr John O’Shea, 39, Suu Balm co-founder, “Suu Balm is Singapore’s first proven rapid itch relieving moisturising cream which is dual-solution. It is the only product available that can moisturise the skin and offer rapid itch relief for dry, sensitive or irritated skin often caused by eczema or psoriasis.”
Highest concentration of ceramides
Compared to many other moisturising creams, Suu Balm contains one of the highest concentration of ceramides to be found in a moisturiser available in the consumer healthcare market.
Said Dr John, “Ceramides are crucial in structuring and maintaining the water permeable barrier function in the skin. It supports skin renewal and forms a barrier against moisture loss, thus protecting and repairing dry and sensitive skin.”
Another key ingredient in the cream is menthol, which has natural itch relieving properties. Added Dr John, “It provides a perceived skin cooling effect by activating the same nerve receptors as cold.”
Menthol has also been proven to relief itch intensity by up to 80 per cent.
Other key active ingredients
Other key active ingredients used in the cream are
- Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate (POLG) – To provide natural hydration and epidermal repair of the skin, with its excellent moisture holding capacity
- Hydroxyethyl Urea – To provide excellent moisturisation of the skin, increase skin elasticity and is easily absorbed without the sticky feeling.
The Suu Balm cream is also free from parabens, heavy metals and phthalates, ingredients that are potentially toxic or allergic, and also does not contain steroids.
Formulated for South East Asian climates
The cream is also specially formulated for the South East Asian climate. Explained Dr John, “It is light, non-greasy and highly absorbent, which is ideal for the hot and humid climate here.”
He continued “Most products are formulated in Europe, the United Stats and North Asia (Korea and Japan); these climates are more seasonal with colder and often less humid climates. Thus many creams formulated for these countries are too thick for tropical climates.”
Used to relieve all types of skin irritations
Suu Balm can be used to relieve all types of itches and skin irritations. Explained Dr John, “Menthol relieves itch of all cases, from bites to eczema. While Suu Balm is suitable for a variety of common skin irritations such as chafing, insect bites, hives and dryness, it works best to provide rapid relief for dry, sensitive or irritated skin often caused by conditions such as eczema.”
In fact some of the most common uses of Suu Balm are as follows:
- Soothing and repair skin for sufferers of eczema or psoriasis
- Preventing dry skin during travelling or at work’
- Reducing heat and redness after sports
- Reducing itch from insect bites
- Preventing age related dry and sensitive skin
Trying out the cream
Suu Balm recently gave me a tube of the cream to try out. Both my Mum – who has eczema, and I – who has dry fingers – tried out the cream.
The immediate coolness
Upon application of the cream, the first thing that I noticed was the coolness caused by the menthol which seemed to act as an instant itch reliever during the first few minutes of usage.
Said mum, “With the application of Suu Balm cream on the underside of my right index finger, this seems to have somewhat reduced the itch present. The dryness is still there, but it does not seem to be as bad now.”
Added Dr John, “The itch relief kicks in within minutes; in fact over 90 per cent of users get itch relief within five minutes of applying Suu Balm.”
The doctor also pointed out that though it is not necessary for the cream to be kept in the fridge, it would help to, as the cooling effect of the menthol would be pronounced.
Consistency is not thick
What I particularly liked about the cream, too, was that the consistency is not thick – and at the same time, it is absorbed easily into the skin within a few minutes – meaning that I can just go about my normal routines, and do have to sit around trying to frantically dry the cream on my hands under the fan – like what I have experienced with creams in the past.
Continuous application over time helps
After using the cream for about a week, the dryness in my fingers is still there, but it does seem to be slightly less dry. Perhaps a more prolonged period of usage of Suu Balm may be required, in order to restore the dry skin to normal.
Said Dr John, “While you can notice improvements within a day of using Suu Balm, continuous application may improve the skin condition considerably over time.”
Apply the cream several times per day
In order for the cream to be effective, Dr John actually recommends to apply the cream several times during the day. He says, “The best way to use Suu Balm is to apply it as often as necessary; this might be three or four times a day. It is best for patients to reapply the cream if they need to wash their hands especially since it’s important to moisturise dry, itchy skin frequently.”
However, doing this may be a bit of a hassle if you are out and about or if you have to do work frequently with your hands. As such, my mum and I mostly applied the cream before bedtime, and sometimes once more during the daytime if the opportunity arose.
Added my mum, “I had used the cream about twice a day but I think that if I had used it more often, then it may have helped me more.”
Not a permanent cure for skin dryness
Though the cream does help in the reduction of dry and itchy skin, Dr John pointed out that it is not a permanent cure for skin dryness. He says, “There is no cure for most causes of skin dryness. For example eczema is a disease whose cause is not yet fully understood; stopping the itch and therefore stopping the scratching, and repairing the defective skin barrier function are two key components of managing eczema but a cure for the disease remains elusive.”
He continued, “For older people, their skin glands produce less sebum as they age; this results in drying of the skin and itch over time. Again there is no cure for this. So older people with dry skin need to moisturise regularly.”
Where to get the cream
In Singapore, Suu Balm is available in a portable 75ml tube at SGD$19.90 and at home 350ml pump dispensers at SGD$49.90.
It can be bought at Watsons and NTUC FairPrice outlets across Singapore as well as from major hospital pharmacies, online and certain doctors clinics and NHG PolyClinics.