If you have eczema one thing is for sure: you have tried dozens of eczema skin care products and topical treatments. Each time you are hopeful, even excited, at the possibility that this new product will be the miracle to stop the itch.
However, the product usually doesn’t help and often it can make your eczema worse, and this is when despair can set in.
However, what you are missing is the true role of a topical treatment for eczema, which is this: to moisturise your skin and reduce water loss. This is what moisturisers and ointments do best and this is very helpful when you have dry skin and eczema. It’s just not the ONLY step, when treating eczema (dietary changes are necessary but that topic is for another blog).
The trick is to find the best cream or ointment for your skin type.
Over the past 12 years I’ve asked my eczema patients what topical treatments they have used on their eczema. I asked: 'Did it help?' and 'Did you have any adverse reactions?' And what I found is my patients usually fall into two categories:
- people who like herbal-based eczema creams and have had no adverse reactions to them (if that sounds like you then see products 2 to 5 on the list)
- then there are people who are super-sensitive and their skin responded better to very plain creams such as sorbolene and ointments (if this sounds like you, see the first product on the list).
FAQ: “What skin care product do you recommend for eczema?”
As an eczema nutritionist, patients ask me this almost daily. They say they are not keen on using topical steroids (as they are worried about the side-effects), and they are looking for a natural cream to use while they are following The Eczema Diet. I usually say "Everyone is different and it depends on if you are sensitive to salicylates or not." However, I have now compiled a list of the top 5 skin care products for eczema.
My criteria includes: must be natural or as close to natural as possible and must not contain suspect ingredients including propylene glycol, methylisothiazolinone (MI), mineral oil or parabens (to name a few). As more than 50% of people with eczema are sensitive to salicylates in foods, I have also marked salicylate-containing ingredients to help you find the right product for your skin …
This is my daughter's go-to product if her skin is flakey. OccluSiderm is recommended as an anti-inflammatory, healing occlusive following ablative cosmetic procedures. Occlusiderm is a natural alternative to petroleum occlusives that offer no healing and antioxidant benefits.
It contains Caster Bean Oil - a vegetable-based oil containing 90% ricinoleic acid, an unusual fatty acid that inhibits the growth of many viruses, bacteria, yeasts, and moulds. Castor bean oil reduces inflammation and increases skin immunity.
Lavender Essential Oil* - one of the gentlest essential oils to calm skin, it is also a powerful antibacterial agent to protect from post treatment infection.
Squalene* - is a 100% pure concentrate rich in antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients. It is a powerful and effective skin supplement proven to boost the immune system and help treat all inflammatory skin conditions.
Bisabolol* - a plant-derived ingredient from chamomile. A powerful anti-inflammatory that will help soothe and calm irritated skin.
It’s very plain and only contains two ingredients: Liquid paraffin 50%, white soft paraffin 50% so it's a lot like vaseline. It contains no preservatives, so if using a tub of Dermeze, use a spoon/spatula instead of dipping your fingers into the tub as your fingers can harbour bacteria and contaminate the product. Or favour the squeeze bottle as it will stay fresher for longer. Apply it sparingly and often.
[Dermeze also sells another product called ‘ Thick Cream’ but unfortunately it contains methylparaben – a synthetic paraben preservative - plus citric acid which can worsen eczema symptoms.] So stick with the Dermeze ‘Ointment’.
The following products contain herbs (which means they contain salicylates) so they are more suited to people who aren’t super-sensitive to salicylates and topical treatments in general.
Feedback about this product has been positive overall and the founder of the brand is passionate about her products. I love the ingredient evening primrose oil as it is great for eczema. This product contains natural salicylates and possibly gluten so it's not suitable for people who are sensitive to these natural chemicals. Contains avocado oil*, aloe vera*, borage seed oil, calendula herbal extract*, evening primrose oil, golden seal*, jojoba oil, rosehip oil*, tincture of benzoin, vitamin E (naturally derived), wheat germ oil^, colloidal oatmeal^.
Overall this looks like a great product and people seem to love it. Some people with eczema can have adverse reactions to olive oil, almond oil and citric acid so this product may not be suitable for super-sensitive eczema. Moo Goo clearly lists their ingredients on their website (I love that) and their active ingredients are 20mg/g aloe vera inner leaf juice fresh, marinara chamomilla flower liquid extract*, centella asiatica herb tincture*, 500 microgram/g sage oil dalmatian*, and their excipient ingredients include water – purified, almond oil*, cetostearyl alcohol & polysorbate 60, olive oil*, squalane, piroctine olamine, allantoin, d-alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E), citric acid, xanthan gum, and humulus lupulus (hop/oat) extract.
This product contains anti-inflammatory calendula extract*, Centella Asiatica extract*, propolis extract (from bees), emu oil*, manuka honey*. Also contains phenoxyethanol which is a preservative to prevent growth of bacteria. It contains salicylates and manuka honey so it may not be suitable for everyone. (My daughter was allergic to anything with manuka honey in it, but other people like this product).
Click on product headings for more information.