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Best eczema cream: Soothe sensitive, itchy skin

Amanda Stellisano
8 Sep 2022
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The best eczema creams to moisturise and ease eczema irritation

For those dealing with eczema, finding a cream that can manage the symptoms is crucial. Without a proper eczema treatment, your life can be overtaken by the irritation of dry, irritated skin with rashes, bumps or even scaly and leathery spots. This can harm not only physical health, but mental health too.

First and foremost, eczema is a medical condition that will most likely need treatment from a dermatologist or a doctor. If you suffer from the condition, it’s best to consult your GP before trying over-the-counter recommendations. While these creams can help soothe sore skin, they won’t be a cure.

If you’re after respite, there are many creams available on the market that can ease the symptoms of eczema. The important thing to remember about finding the pinnacle of eczema creams is that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Everyone has unique skin, symptoms and needs. It can feel like a game trying to determine which ingredients will help and which make things worse, but once you find the right cream it can make a world of difference.

While the trial and error can be frustrating, we’ve got six recommendations to help narrow down your options.

READ NEXT: Our pick of the best creams for itchy skin rash


Best eczema creams: At a glance


How to choose the best eczema cream

When choosing a cream, there are features to look for that make it eczema-friendly.

What features should I look for in a good eczema cream?

When it comes to eczema, it’s actually more about looking for a lack of ingredients. You want an eczema cream to be as simple as possible. For example, look for:

  • Fragrance-free: The best creams for eczema won’t have any additives to make it smell appealing. Avoid creams that include perfumes, essential oils or even floral ingredients such as lavender or chamomile. Keep in mind that unscented is not the same as fragrance-free. Unscented may still have fragrant ingredients (such as florals) that are masked so they no longer have a scent.
  • Preservative-free: Also known as paraben-free, preservatives may show up in the ingredient list as methylparaben or butylparaben. They make creams last longer, but they can unfortunately contribute to inflammation as well.
  • Exfoliating acids-free: Glycolic, salicylic and lactic acids can dry your skin and cause irritation, so these are best avoided by those who have eczema.

What ingredients are best for eczema?

  • Emollients: This type of ingredient helps in repairing your skin. In particular, ceramides are helpful with eczema. They come from plant or animal fats and help improve the natural fats in your skin, and include ingredients such as cocoa butter, coconut oil and shea butter.
  • Humectants: These help bring moisture into your skin. Humectants can draw water from the air and bind to it, pulling it deep into your skin. Look for aloe vera or glycerin. Keep in mind that, on their own, humectants can sometimes cause stinging or burning. For eczema, they’re best when combined with other soothing ingredients.
  • Occlusives: After humectants bring moisture into your skin, occlusives lock the moisture in. This ingredient prevents moisture loss from evaporation, sealing it into place. These ingredients include coconut oil, mineral oil and petroleum jelly.

Other considerations

If you’re having trouble finding relief for your eczema, regular creams might not be the right choice. Some people need a prescription steroid cream to properly soothe flare-ups and irritation.

READ NEXT: The best moisturisers for all your skincare needs

The best eczema creams to buy in 2022

1. CeraVe Healing Ointment: The best overall eczema cream

Price: £18 | Buy now from Amazon

This product is accepted by the National Eczema Association in the US and is highly regarded as a source of relief from symptoms. The CeraVe Healing Ointment was developed alongside dermatologists to help protect dry, cracked and flaking skin as well as soothe discomfort.

The formula is non-greasy, so there’s no residue or difficulty rubbing it in. Its active ingredient is petrolatum, or petroleum jelly, so this product will seal the moisture into your skin.

This healing ointment is made with three essential ceramides, which help to heal and protect the skin’s natural barrier. It is fragrance-, preservative- and dye-free, so it’s much less likely to cause skin irritation. It’s also non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog your pores. While it’s marketed for dry skin, this product is suitable for all skin types, and can be used on the body, hands and face. Overall, it’s one of the most recommended products to help with eczema relief.

Key details – Skin type: Dry; Size: 5oz

2. Aquaphor Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment: The best eczema cream for inflammation

Price: £14 | Buy now from Amazon

This dermatologist-recommended product is specifically designed to benefit sensitive skin. It helps repair dry and cracked skin, bringing it back to its smooth and moisturised glory.

This Aquaphor ointment is not only great for your skin, it also helps dry, chapped lips. It’s fragrance- and preservative-free, so is less likely to cause skin irritation. That said, it does include lanolin alcohol, which some people may be sensitive to, so be sure to test on a small patch of skin before applying liberally.

If you’re prone to inflammation, the emollients in this healing ointment may help. The active ingredient is petrolatum, but it also includes mineral oil and glycerin. Together, these ingredients may repair the skin’s barrier as well as lock in moisture. This can ultimately help soothe inflammation when your eczema flares up.

Key details – Skin type: Dry to extremely dry, sensitive; Size: 3.5oz

3. Eucerin AtoControl Face Care Cream: The best eczema cream for the face

Price: £16 | Buy now from Boots

The AtoControl line of Eucerin products is designed with eczema-prone skin in mind and is perfect for daily use. The Face Care Cream uses a high concentration of ingredients such as evening primrose oil and grape seed oil.

These omega fatty acids pair with licorice extract to soothe and restore your skin, improving its natural barrier and strengthening it. This cream has no fragrances, dyes or parabens so the risk of irritation is minimised. It’s so gentle that it has been approved for use on children and even babies with skin irritation.

With a solid mix of emollients, humectants and occlusives in the ingredient list, you can be sure that your face will feel the benefit.

Key details – Skin type: Dry; Size: 50ml

Buy now from Boots


4. La Roche-Posay Lipikar AP+M: The best eczema cream for all ages

Price: £21 | Buy now from Boots

A well-known name in the world of skincare, La Roche-Posay offers products that are not only suitable for eczema-prone skin, but designed for infants as young as two weeks old.

The Lipikar AP+M (aqua posae plus microresyl) formula can significantly reduce itching and the frequency of inflammation. Aqua posae helps to rebalance the skin’s microbiome while shea butter repairs the skin’s barrier. Add La Roche-Possay’s thermal spring water for irritation prevention, and you have a well-rounded cream that provides long-lasting comfort and moisture.

The formula is as minimalist as possible. It’s paraben- and fragrance-free, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. The company claims that clinical tests for the formula not only showed reduced itching and prolonged time between flare-ups, but an improvement in sleep and overall quality of life. Since it’s usable on the face and body, for all genders and ages, it’s a perfect choice to help your whole family stay moisturised and comfortable.

Key details – Skin type: Dry to very dry; Size: 400ml

Buy now from Boots


5. Aveeno Dermexa Emollient Cream: The best eczema cream for itchy skin

Price: £11 | Buy now from Boots

This lightweight emollient cream still packs a punch when used on dry, itchy skin. One benefit it touts that others on this list don’t mention is that it’s fast-absorbing. Once you put it on, there’s no dancing around waiting for it to soak in before you get dressed.

The cream is unscented and has a great ingredient list, including glycerin, ceramides and petrolatum. The company’s big brag on this product, however, is the Prebiotic Triple Oat Complex.

This complex includes colloidal oatmeal, oat oil and oat essence. Oats naturally include vitamins, proteins and lipids that help soothe skin, lock in moisture and – most importantly – act as an anti-irritant. It’s this feature that helps to calm the itching and reduce flare-ups.

This cream is accepted by the US National Eczema Association and can improve your skin’s appearance in as little as a week.

Key details – Skin type: Very dry, itchy; Size: 200ml

Buy now from Boots


6. HydraNure Dry Skin Cream: The best eczema cream with natural ingredients

Price: £15 | Buy now from Amazon

Some people are, understandably, very conscious of the ingredients they put on their body. That’s why HydraNure created a cream made of natural, organic ingredients that could still help with eczema.

It’s designed to benefit adults and children alike. There are six main ingredients: aloe vera, calendula, grape seed, sesame seed, shea butter and vitamin E. It is worth noting that calendula is a floral ingredient, which (as we mentioned earlier) can cause irritation for some.

This formula is practically teeming with vitamins B, C, D and E, all of which are helpful in reducing rashes and healing skin. Shea butter acts as an emollient and aloe vera provides both moisture and healing properties.
It doesn’t include potential irritants such as parabens, perfumes or dyes. If you’re looking for organic or natural ingredients, this might be your best bet.

Key details – Skin type: Dry; Size: 300ml

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