What Ingredients To Avoid In Eczema Creams
Of course, there are ingredients youll want to avoid too, Dendy Engelman, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Medical Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery, tells SELF. Ingredients to watch out for include fragrances, exfoliating acids , harsh soaps, and retinol, she says: These can further irritate the skin by drying them out.
Dr. Nada Elbuluk, M.D., director of the Skin of Color Center and Pigmentary Program at USC, also notes to look at ingredients lists for anything you might be allergic to, because that will also cause a flare-up. I also recommend avoiding physical exfoliants and even certain fabrics such as wool, which can make eczema worse, she says.
So what are the absolute best eczema creams to hydrate, strengthen, and protect against flare-ups? We asked dermatologists to tell us what moisturizers they commonly recommend to their eczema patients. Heres what they suggest.
All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Other Tips For Preventing Dry Skin
- Do not use cleansing toners, colognes, body mists and splashes, aftershaves, or similar products that contain alcohol. Alcohol dries out skin.
- Avoid coarse, scratchy, or rough fabrics, such as wool, which can make skin feel itchy. Choose softer fabrics, like 100% cotton or silk. Keep this in mind when choosing bedding as well.
- Dry air and low-humidity can pull water from your skin. Running a humidifier in your home, particularly when you have the heat on, can restore moisture to the air. Aim for a humidity level of about 45% to 55%.
Best With Cocoa Butter: Nivea Cocoa Butter Body Cream
The cocoa butter and vitamin E in this affordable Nivea cream make it a dermatologist-favorite for lasting hydrating on very dry skin. “Cocoa butter creams are a superior choice during winter months ingredients that often combine coconut oil and shea butter , both of which are greatly moisturizing,” says Alicia Zalka, MD, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Surface Deep. You can use the cream all over your body, but the thick consistency makes it especially great for slathering on cracked hands and feet.
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Best Splurge: Augustinus Bader The Body Cream
This luxurious body cream may be on the pricier side, but we promise its worth it. Another favorite of Xue, this high-tech formula will not only solve your dry skin woes but will revitalize your whole bod. Thanks to stem cell research and the brands Trigger Factor Complexa triple threat of amino acids, vitamins, and synthesized moleculesthis miracle cream jump-starts the skins natural repair and renewal process. It also features Brazilian candela oil, a natural anti-inflammatory, as well as ultra-moisturizing shea butter and vitamins A and E.
The results? The skin looks and feels instantly softer, and over time, is visibly firmer with a reduction in sun damage, stretch marks, and even cellulite.
Active Ingredients: TFC8, shea butter | Skin Type: Dry, mature | Size: 6.7 fl. oz | SPF: None | Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Karit X Dehiya Summer Body Kit Karit $78
This collaboration with Black-owned, women-owned brands has led to the creation of a great skincare product that is influenced by African history. The body lotion is thick, creamy and decadent and has a pleasant fragrance. Those with eczema especially appreciate the fast-absorbent quality of this body cream that reinforces and rejuvenates the skin’s barriers. Plus, an important part of the Karité mission is to support other women and they donate 10% of all proceeds to Black Lives Matter.
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Eucerin Advanced Repair Lotion $924
Similar to Ceraves Daily Moisturizing Lotion, Eucerins Advanced Repair Lotion is enriched with ceramides and protects the skin barrier, Dr. Mack explained. It locks in moisture and provides 48 hours of moisture for the skin.
The Body Shop came on the map during the heightened body butter craze and, according to Dr. Mariwalla, its formulation has stood the test of time.
I would be doing a disservice if I didnt come back to The Body Shop Body Butter in Raspberry, she adds. Its an OG of melting hydration for the body.
Best For Sensitive Skin: Vanicream Moisturizing Cream For Sensitive Skin
Can be used all over
Not Byrdie Clean
If your skin is super sensitive, finding a lotion that doesnt irritate it can prove to be a challenge. But trust us, Vanicream works. This no-frills but effective body cream is free of fragrance, dyes, lanolin, botanical extracts, and parabens and is non-comedogenic, making it a solid choice for those with fussy, easily irritated skin. Its non-greasy, long-lasting formula spreads easily over the body like butter, soothing red, itchy, and cracked skin instantly. Plus, with such an affordable price point, you really cant go wrong.
Active Ingredients: Petrolatum | Skin Type: Dry | Size: 16 fl. oz | SPF: None | No | Cruelty-Free: No
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Choosing Lotion For Dry Itchy Skin A Buyers Guide
Not all lotions are made to cater to dry itchy skin. In fact, some formulations that are made for other purposes can make a skin rash even worse. Because flaky, dry skin is the manifestation of a problem, its important to make sure you choose a lotion that has the right ingredients to combat dryness and irritation.
To help you make the right choice, this short list of factors to consider should make it easier to find the best lotion for dry itchy skin.
- Active Ingredients. More often than not, skin becomes itchy as a result of dryness. The flaking skin causes irritation, and thus triggers the desire to scratch the area. The best way to resolve dry itchy skin with lotion would be to choose an option that incorporates the right moisturizing ingredients to seal in hydration and prevent both problems from getting worse.
Some of the most common active ingredients for these lotions include:
- Petrolatum. Better known as petroleum jelly, this thick, pasty, gelatinous substance coats the skin in a moist layer that penetrates the skin and hydrates its superficial layers.
- Shea Butter. This natural fat is extracted from the nut of the shea tree that is native to Africa. Its commonly included in many skin care product formulations because of its powerful hydrating effects and benefits.
- Tapioca Starch. While tapioca starch is most commonly used in baking and cooking, it has also found a purpose as a skin smoothening ingredient in many moisturizing lotions for dry and itchy skin.
Best For Arms: Amlactin Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion
Courtesy of Walmart
Ideal for those with keratosis pilaris
May smell unpleasant
Bumpy arms, no more! This body lotion from AmLactin is a dermatologist favorite. It not only deeply moisturizes dry skin with rich emollients and creamy humectants, but it also acts as a light exfoliator thats gentle enough for daily use. Formulated with 12% lactic acid, it boosts the skin natural renewal process by breaking down flakes and bumps, making it a great choice for anyone suffering from pesky keratosis pilarisaka, dry bumpy patches of skinon their arms .
Active Ingredients: 12% lactic acid | Skin Type: Dry | Size: 7.9 fl. oz | SPF: None | No | Cruelty-Free: Yes
This may cause slight irritation for dry skin thats sensitive or cracked and it may increase sensitivity to the sun, so aim to use this one at night or paired with an SPF.
With all the hand-washing and sanitizing were doing these days, the majority of us are suffering from rough, dry handsand before we know it, winter will be here, making things much worse. Treat them to a drink of moisture with this rich hand cream from Burts Bees. Infused with skin-loving ingredients like baobab oil, green tea extract, watermelon seed oil, and pumpkin oil, it deeply nourishes and gently exfoliates thirsty hands. The non-greasy formula is also unscented, so you can count on it to truly soothe and never irritate cracked or broken knuckles.
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What Kinds Of Moisturizers Are Most Effective For My Eczema
Not all moisturizers are created equal. In fact, there are many types of common moisturizers that arent good at helping control your eczema and may even make it flare or get worse. Its important to understand the differences between the three basic types of moisturizers ointments, creams, and lotions so that you can properly hydrate your skin and help keep your symptoms under control.
Moisturizers are classified based on the amount of oil and water they contain. The more oil in a moisturizer, the better it usually is at treating eczema. The best moisturizers to use are the ones that feel greasy , because they contain more oil. These are very effective at keeping moisture in and irritants out.
All moisturizers should also be applied to your hands immediately after washing and gently blotting them dry. For this reason, its a good idea to keep moisturizer near every sink in your home and carry a small tube with you at all times, so that you can reapply it throughout the day.
Best Balm: La Mer The Renewal Body Oil Balm
Courtesy of Sephora
Xue is a major fan of this luxurious moisturizer from La Mer, which applies as a balm and instantly melts into a silky oil upon skin contact. The Renewal Body Oil Balm may be pricey, but it features the brands signature Miracle Broth, a fermented mixture of sea kelp, vitamins, minerals, citrus oil, eucalyptus, sunflower, wheat germ, and alfalfa, which is the key ingredient in all of the brands cult-favorite products.
This powerhouse concoction, along with other nourishing oils, renews skin cells and heal dryness, redness, and irritation. The skin is left looking visibly more radiant, firmer, and healthierand, TBH, we feel a whole lot fancier.
Active Ingredients: Sea kelp, meadowfoam seed oil | Skin Type: All | Size: 6.7 fl. oz | SPF: None | No | Cruelty-Free: No
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Best With Ahas: Eucerin Advanced Repair Lotion
This fragrance-free lotion from Eucerin is formulated with ceramides, which protect your skin’s barrier and help lock in moisture, according to Dr. Jaliman. Since it also contains lactic acid , customers with keratosis pilaris swear that it really helps treat those small bumps. “This is like a miracle in a bottle,” said a shopper. “I suffer from super dry skin and this lotion is the only one that actually helps combat the dryness. I usually have really bad flaking on my face but after only two uses daily, I don’t have much of a problem with that.”
When Buying An Body Cream For Dry Itchy Skin How Should You Choose It
The quality of body cream for dry itchy skin is of utmost importance when purchasing. This factor will ensure that your purchase is durable and long-lasting if you consider it while making your purchase. It is important to consider the features of your product. Take a look at the features it offers they have a lot to offer.
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Best Moisturisers For Dry Flaky Itchy Skin
These creams arent messing around.
Okay, yes, winter is still a million years away, but if youre prone to dryness, youre pretty much always in need of a solid moisturiser for your flaky skin . And since Id hate to watch you sift through the obscenely large amount of face and body creams the beauty world has to offer, I did the hard work for ya. Ahead, the 15 best moisturisers for every dry skin typeyup, even your part-oily, part-dry face thats more than a little hard to please.
What Ingredients Should You Look For In An Anti
Among some popular ingredients include hydrocortisone, pramoxine, menthol, or colloidal oatmeal.
- Hydrocortisone is a steroid that helps calm your skin’s response to itching. It also has a lot of anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it a great active ingredient for helping with itchy skin across the board.
- Pramoxine is a great alternative if you would rather not use a steroid. It’s a compound that helps reduce the pain and sensation of itching.
- Menthol, another steroid alternative, is a compound that provides a cooling sensation that also tricks your brain into not focusing on the itch, according to Dr. Cybele Fishman M.D., a board certified dermatologist at Integrative Dermatology.
- Colloidal oatmeal may help relieve irritated skin for those with eczema, says Dr. Fishman.
As a word of caution, anyone who is experiencing itchy skin when they’re pregnant, it’s wise to check with your doctor to see if an anti-cream is truly what you need. Depending on the person, continuous itching during pregnancy could indicate a larger health problem, Gohara notes. The same goes for non-pregnant folks, toocontinuous itching may be a symptom of something more serious, so it’s a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider if you’re concerned. We also advocate for seeking medical attention if your itching may be the result of a serious allergy or reactionbetter safe than sorry.
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Best For Legs: Glossier Body Hero Daily Perfecting Cream
Courtesy of Glossier
May not be ideal for sensitive skin
If youre not a fan of sticky, rich formulas, Glossiers Body Hero Daily Perfecting Cream is the body lotion for you. Another favorite of Gould, this creamy wonder is formulated with an antioxidant-rich mix of cactus flower extract, prickly pear extract, and yucca extract, which keeps dry skin at bay all day long sans any residue or stickiness.
While this body cream can be used all over, we especially love it for our legs. For one, it quickly absorbs into the skin, making it a great option to reach for when youre in a rushyou can throw your jeans on right over it. Second, we love the formulas tiny light-reflecting particles, which leave behind the prettiest shimmery sheen thats subtle enough for every day and leaves those gams even and radiant. This one does have a subtle orange blossom neroli scent, so keep in mind that it can potentially irritate sensitive skin.
Active Ingredients: Cactus flower and prickly pear extracts | Skin Type: Balanced | Size: 8.4 fl. oz | SPF: None | No | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Best Scent: African Botanics Jardin Sauvage Botanical Body Cream
Courtesy of Net-a-Porter
Helps even out skin tone
This luxurious body cream from African Botanics is loved by Xue for its deeply hydrating and skin-revitalizing qualities. The brand sources wild-growing African Fynbos flora and nutrient-rich South African plants to nourish the skin and infuses the formula with peptides and antioxidants to support skin health. It also contains caffeine, brown seaweed extract to boost collagen production and protect from environmental stressors, and vitamin C to reduce dark spots and even skin tone. But what were really obsessing over? The scent.
Thanks to all of the organic and wildcrafted plants in its formula, its natural fragrance is described as that of a wild garden in full bloom, and believe us when we say its heavenly. Wild cape may, rose, jasmine, and ravensara blend with lime and vetiver to create an exotic, floral aroma thats soft and never overpowering.
Active Ingredients: Rose flower oil, squalane | Skin Type: All | Size: 6.8 fl. oz | SPF: None | Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes
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Cerave Moisturizing Cream Amazon $1689
This lightweight daily moisturizing lotion has won numerous awards and is an industry-wide fan favorite. CeraVe products are trusted and this one also doesn’t disappoint. Developed by dermatologists, this lotion is fragrance-free and helps even with those who have super sensitive skin. Also, if you don’t want to get a separate facial location, then you don’t have to as this multi-purpose moisturizer works great on a dry face too.
How We Selected The Moisturizers For Dry Skin
To find the best moisturizers for dry skin, we asked two dermatologists to tell us what to look for and avoid when choosing a product that offers deep, lasting hydration. They suggested choosing moisturizers made with a combination of humectant and occlusive ingredients to draw more water to the skin and then lock it in, creating a continuous barrier. They also stressed the importance of finding products that contain emollients like ceramides and shea butter, too, since these function like the glue that holds your skin together and keeps it strong.
We scoured the internet for moisturizers formulated to hydrate your face and body, noting when a product could do double-duty . We also looked for facial moisturizers with extra benefits, like SPF protection and tinted hydration for layering under makeup.
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Best For Extremely Dry Skin: Aquaphor Healing Ointment
If your skin is extremely dry, then you might need something even more hydrating, like Aquaphor’s Healing Ointment. Dr. Mauricio calls it her “go-to” for sealing in the skin’s moisture barrier, adding that it’s an essential for treating cracked lips and dry hands that result from wearing face masks and constantly washing hands during the pandemic. “I also recommend using this product as an overnight treatment for severely dry, cracked skin where you can apply a generous amount to the affected areas, cover with plastic wrap, and leave on overnight then wash off excess in the morning,” she says.