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Tia Mowry Is Changing the Narrative Around Sensitive Skin: ‘Vulnerability Is a Superpower’ (Exclusive)

Tia Mowry's Eczema Went Undiagnosed for Years — Here's Why
Tia Mowry. Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Tia Mowry loves the skin she’s in! But it hasn’t always been easy. In an exclusive interview with Us Weekly, the Aveeno ambassador opened up about her journey to getting diagnosed with eczema — and how she hopes speaking out will encourage more normalized conversations about skin sensitivities.

“Skin sensitivities are often seen as a weakness or an imperfection, the 44-year-old actress says. “And it’s something that we don’t necessarily talk about.”

It was for that reason — a lack of visibility of what eczema looks like on Black skin — that she and her mom, Darlene Mowry, battled with the inflammatory skin condition for years before receiving a diagnosis.

The Sister, Sister alum recalls getting “circle patches” on her arms when she was young. At the time, her mom told her, ‘Oh, that’s just from the sun,’ or ‘those are sunspots.’ But in reality, it was eczema; the doctor she and her mom went to wasn’t familiar with what eczema looked like on Black skin.

“Finally, as I got older, I remember going into [another] doctor’s office and my hands were literally peeling. I showed them to her and was like, ‘What is going on?’ She was like, ‘Oh, honey, that’s eczema.’ And this was a black doctor — it took a black doctor to properly diagnose what was going on.”

Mowry’s personal experience is a perfect fit for Aveeno’s newest campaign, which centers around the hashtag #ProudlySensitiveSkin. She and the brand hope to encourage people to share their sensitive skin stories to promote an open dialogue — and help others zero in on the root cause of their skin woes.

For her, a whole slew of culprits contributes to her skin’s inflammatory response. “When I’m stressed, I’ll have some sort of flare up, or when I’m going into a hot room into a cold room and the temperature fluctuates rather quickly.”

Another trigger is wine, or ” mommy juice,” as Mowry calls it. “If I’m drinking a certain amount of alcohol, it triggers an inflammatory response in my body and I will see flareups. I’ve learned not to drink too much.”

Mowry’s flareups are characterized by “tiny raised bumps” that appear on her arms and hands and “itch like crazy,” whereas her son, Cree, gets them on his face.

One of Mowry’s solutions for the whole family has been using Aveeno’s Eczema Therapy Rescue Relief Treatment Gel Cream ($13), containing 2% colloidal oatmeal to help soothe dry and itchy skin.

Mowry and her family are just a few of the millions who deal with sensitive skin. According to Aveeno’s first-ever State of Skin Sensitivity Report, a whopping 71% of adults identify as having sensitive skin.

If you’re among them, the brand encourages you to use the aforementioned hashtag and share your story on Instagram or TikTok, tagging Tag @AveenoUS and #Sweepstakes as well. After all, Mowry said it best: “Shared on the internet, sensitivity and vulnerability is a superpower.”

Everyone who participates will be entered for the chance to win a virtual mentoring session with either Mowry or another one of the brand’s partners, Hyram Yarbro.

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