The 15 Best Eczema Creams of 2022 to Fight Uncomfortable Flare-Ups

Our best overall pick is Aveeno's Eczema Therapy Itch Relief Balm

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Byrdie / Lecia Landis

If you’re dealing with eczema, know that you’re not alone. According to the National Eczema Association, one in 10 people will develop eczema at some point in their life. “Classic eczema is characterized by itchy, dry, inflamed, red or pink skin,” explains Dr. Marie Hayag, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York.

Byrdie Reviewed & Approved

Our best overall pick is  Aveeno's Eczema Therapy Itch Relief Balm an affordable, effective cream that’s approved by the National Eczema Association. Since eczema affects both babies, kids, and adults, there are many options that are safe for all ages, including two of our go-to's, the La Roche-Posay Lipikar Eczema Soothing Relief Cream and Mustela Stelatopia Emollient Balm.  

The good news? The treatments and solutions are well-known, and there are plenty of OTC options that can help. “An important factor in treating eczema is keeping the skin well-moisturized to help alleviate symptoms. Look for moisturizers that contain humectants, occlusives, and emollients,” advises Hayag. On the flip side, avoid formulas with fragrance, as this is a major potential irritant, as well as any creams that contain alpha- or beta-hydroxy acids, which can dry out the skin further, she explains.

The bottom line: A good eczema cream can go a long way towards making your skin feel better, especially if your eczema is on the milder side, says Hayag. Use it daily, but if you don’t start to see some improvement after a few days, consider paying a visit to your derm, as you may need to get a prescription-strength cream involved, as well.

We conducted hours of research on the best eczema creams, evaluating each on active ingredients and additives paying particular attention to things like fragrance and whether or not a formula is clean. We also looked for formulas that are backed by clinicals to help ensure their efficacy. After considering dozens of different brands, and consulting with a board-certified dermatologist, we compiled the following list of the best in show. 

Ahead, the best eczema creams you can get over the counter.

Best Overall: Aveeno Eczema Therapy Itch Relief Balm

4.7
Aveeno Eczema Therapy Itch Relief Balm

Amazon

What We Like
  • Super moisturizing

  • Helps relieve itching

  • Rich, creamy texture

What We Don't Like
  • Can create too much of a barrier

Who else recommends it? The Strategist, New York Post, and Greatist all picked the Aveeno Eczema Therapy Itch Relief Balm.

What do buyers say? 92% of 16,400+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

Hayag says this is a true winner for helping eczematic skin, due in large part to the addition of colloidal oatmeal to help soothe itch and irritation. Plus, it also contains a ceramide that helps lock in hydration and ensures a strong and healthy skin barrier—a major boon for anyone with eczema. It’s so good that it even boasts the National Eczema Association’s seal of approval.

Active Ingredients: 1% colloidal oatmeal, ceramides | Skin Type: Dry | Size: 11 fl. oz. | SPF: No | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Overall, Runner-Up: CeraVe Eczema Relief Creamy Oil

CeraVe Eczema Relief Creamy Oil

Walmart

What We Like
  • Absorbs quickly

  • Super moisturizing

  • Lightweight

What We Don't Like
  • Could be longer-lasting

The majority of this brand’s products are hydrating and gentle and generally great picks for anyone with eczema. But this particular SKU really takes the cake. Yes, it contains oil (safflower oil, to be specific), but it’s more of a lightweight ointment than traditional liquid oil, filled with ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and soothing colloidal oatmeal. Happy reviewers love both how quickly it absorbs and how well it works, and it’s worth noting that this, too, is approved by the National Eczema Association.

Active Ingredients: 1% colloidal oatmeal, oil blend, ceramides | Skin Type: Dry | Size: 8 fl. oz. | SPF: No | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Budget: Eucerin Eczema Relief Cream Full Body Lotion for Eczema-Prone Skin

Eucerin Eczema Relief Cream

Amazon

What We Like
  • Comes in two sizes

  • Can be used on babies and toddlers

  • A little goes a long way

What We Don't Like
  • Contains mineral oil

Effective and affordable, what more could you ask for? This option boasts the important things you need in an eczema cream—colloidal oatmeal, ceramides, hydrating glycerin—and none of the things you don’t, namely fragrance, says New York City board-certified dermatologist Dr. Debra Jaliman who is a fan. It helps alleviate itching, too, and hydrates skin for up to 24 hours.

Active Ingredients: 1% colloidal oatmeal, glycerin, castor oil | Skin Type: Dry | Size: 8 / 14 fl. oz. | SPF: No | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Drugstore: La Roche-Posay Lipikar Soothing Relief Eczema Cream

4.9
La Roche-Posay Lipikar Eczema Soothing Relief Cream

Amazon

What We Like
  • Not greasy

  • Super moisturizing

  • Helps even out skin tone

What We Don't Like
  • Contains mineral oil

The beloved French pharmacy brand really gets it when it comes to eczema, and this multi-tasking cream is proof positive. The rich yet non-greasy moisturizer relies on several skin-soothing hydrators like colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, and niacinamide, as well as the brand’s own thermal spring water, which is rich in anti-inflammatory minerals. Also nice: It's equally effective for flare-ups on the face, body, and hands, and is safe for both kids and adults.

Active Ingredients: 1% colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, niacinamide | Skin Type: Dry | Size: 6.7 fl. oz. | SPF: No | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Drugstore, Runner-Up: Aveeno Eczema Therapy Daily Moisturizing Cream

Aveeno Eczema Therapy Daily Moisturizing Cream

Amazon

What We Like
  • Good daily use formula

  • Affordable

  • National Eczema Assocation’s Seal of Approval

What We Don’t Like
  • Not clean or cruelty-free

Jaliman recommends this drugstore find, another option from Aveeno (though one that’s not quite as thick and rich as the balm that tops this list). She lauds it for touting a one-percent concentration for colloidal oatmeal, as well as ceramides that help moisturize and protect the skin. Plus, since it’s more lightweight than the balm, it’s great to use every day and even under clothing.

Active Ingredients: 1% colloidal oatmeal, ceramides | Skin Type: Dry | Size: 12 fl. oz. | SPF: No | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Face and Body: Vanicream Moisturizing Lotion

Vanicream Moisturizing Lotion

LovelySkin

What We Like
  • Non-irritating

  • Lightweight

  • Absorbs quickly

What We Don't Like
  • Contains BHT

Believe it or not, eczema flare-ups can happen on your face and body. If you're prone to both, reach for this option, another one of Hayag’s picks. “This is a good option for people with eczema because it’s suitable to use on both the face and body and is fragrance-free,” she says. She also adds that the petrolatum in the formula is very effective for helping maintain proper skin hydration, a key piece of the eczema-treating puzzle.

Active Ingredients: Petrolatum | Skin Type: Dry | Size: 1 lb. | SPF: No | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Hands: Skinfix Eczema Hand Repair Cream

Skinfix Eczema Hand Repair Cream

Sephora

What We Like
  • Absorbs quickly

  • Soothes sensitive skin

  • Contains hydrating oils

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey for a small bottle

Yes, eczema on your body is annoying. But dealing with eczema on your hands can be a real pain in the you-know-what, given that one, you’re always washing them, and two, they’re constantly exposed to the elements. That’s why we love that this pulls double-duty, both as a delightfully hydrating hand cream (credit sweet almond oil), but also helps soothe eczema and any other rashes or irritation, thanks to the addition of colloidal oats.

Active Ingredients: 1% colloidal oatmeal, 0.3% allantoin, 5% sweet almond oil | Skin Type: Dry | Size: 3 fl. oz. | SPF: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Flare-Ups: Cortizone-10 Maximum Strength

Cortizone-10

Amazon

What We Like
  • Effective

  • Helps relieve itching

  • Works quickly

What We Don't Like
  • Contains parabens

Hayag suggests trying this OTC hydrocortisone cream if your eczema really starts to get uncomfortable. “Consider this if your eczema is very irritating. It can be applied up three times daily for up to a week on the affected area,” she says. (Though FYI, if it’s not getting any better after that, it’s probably time to pay your derm a visit.)

Active Ingredients: 1% hydrocortisone | Skin Type: Dry | Size: 2 fl. oz. | SPF: No | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Hydrating: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration

4.9
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration

Amazon

What We Like
  • Rich, hydrating formula

  • Comes in multiple sizes

  • Absorbs quickly

What We Don't Like
  • A little greasy

Eczema and dry skin go hand-in-hand; if you have eczema, your skin is dry, and if you have dry skin, you can be more prone to get eczema. Enter this rich and nourishing cream, which has achieved a large following for a reason. It drastically increases skin hydration yet still absorbs lightning fast.

Active Ingredients: 0.5% colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, allantoin | Skin Type: Dry | Size: 2 / 6 / 8 fl. oz. | SPF: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Hydrating, Runner-Up: Bodewell Eczema Daily Calming Cream

Bodewell Eczema Daily Calming Cream

Bodewell

What We Like
  • Very hydrating

  • Clean and cruelty-free

What We Don’t Like
  • Expensive

Another pick that relies on soothing colloidal oatmeal, this also boasts a proprietary blend of 22 botanical ingredients that further help to both calm the skin and deeply moisturize, too. (There is also extra-emollient coconut oil in the mix, which is part of what makes this so great for anyone battling both eczema patches and dryness.) It’s perfect to use all over the body; the brand says it can be used on the face, too, though in our experience, it’s a bit too thick for that. Fragrance-and steroid-free, we also appreciate that it comes with a money-back guarantee if it doesn’t work for you. Yes, this formula is expensive—but the proprietary blend of botanical extracts justifies the cost in our book.

Active Ingredients: Colloidal oatmeal, botanical blend | Skin Type: Dry | Size: 8 fl. oz. | SPF: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Natural: Beurre Extra Shea Butter Eczema Cream

Beurre Shea Butter Eczema Cream

Verishop

What We Like
  • Multipurpose product

  • Contains vitamins A and E

  • Rich, nourishing formula

What We Don't Like
  • A little greasy

This 100% naturally derived cream includes shea butter and calendula oil and provides some much-needed relief from eczema flare-ups. Plus, the formula is fragrance-free, so you can trust it won’t cause any further irritation or itching—even for those with extra sensitive skin. It can also be used to treat other skin conditions like dermatitis, psoriasis, and rashes.

Active Ingredients: Shea butter, vitamin E, chamomile butter | Skin Type: Dry | Size: 7.8 fl. oz. | SPF: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Multi-Purpose: Avène Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream

Avene Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream

Avene

What We Like
  • Protects and nourishes skin

  • Helps fade scars

  • A little goes a long way

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey for a small bottle

Great for eczema, this option is also great for your skin health in general. “This cream contains a copper-zinc sulfate complex, which promotes a healthy environment for the skin and prevents bacterial growth. Plus, it contains glycerin which is a great humectant,” says Hayag, who is a fan.

Active Ingredients: Mineral oil, arginine | Skin Type: Dry | Size: 1.3 fl. oz. | SPF: No | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Face: Tower 28 SOS Intensive Redness Relief Serum

Tower 28 Beauty SOS Intensive Redness Relief Serum

Sephora

What We Like
  • Great for eczema and/or sensitive skin

  • National Eczema Assocation’s Seal of Approval

  • Minimal ingredients

What We Don’t Like
  • Small bottle

While eczema can (and does) happen on both the face and body, you want to make sure the products you’re using are appropriate for the area you’re treating. If you’re battling flare-ups on your face, consider this serum. The star of the show is hypochlorous acid—we know what you’re thinking, an acid? For eczema? But it’s not an irritating acid, rather,  it’s a naturally anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory wonder ingredient. It’s why this formula is ideal not only for those with eczema (it touts the National Eczema Association’s Seal of Approval, but also a top choice for anyone with generally easily-stressed out skin.

Active Ingredients: Hypochlorous acid | Skin Type: Sensitive | Size: 2 fl. oz. | SPF: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Itching: Avène Eau Thermale XeraCalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Balm

Avene Xera Calm A.D. Lipid-Replenishing Balm

Dermstore

What We Like
  • Can be used on everyone

  • Helps combat itch and moisturizes

What We Don’t Like
  • Not clean or cruelty-free

This contains no preservatives or fragrance, but does have hydrating hyaluronic acid and glycerin, says Jaliman of another one of her picks. “It’s good for calming and reducing the itching associated with eczema,” she adds. Credit the use of a complex derived from the brand’s thermal spring water that soothes that uncomfortable, itchy sensation 

No preservatives, no fragrance, hyaluronic acid, glycerin.  All good ingredients to calm and reduce the persistent itching so-often associated with eczema.

Active Ingredients: Avene thermal spring water, mineral oil | Skin Type: Dry | Size: 6.76 fl. oz. | SPF: No | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for the Whole Family: Mustela Stelatopia Emollient Blam with Sunflower Oil

Mustela Stelatopia Emollient Balm

Amazon

What We Like
  • Can be used on everyone, even newborns

  • Steroid- and fragrance-free

  • Reviewers say it works quickly

What We Don’t Like
  • Pricey

According to the National Eczema Association, approximately 7% of U.S. adults develop eczema before the age of 2.1 The point is, it’s an extremely common condition, for babies and kids, and adults alike. If that’s the case in your house, keep this skin-saver at the ready. Ultra-gentle, it’s safe even on newborns (and in our experience, works like a charm at clearing up eczema patches on babies), yet still effective enough for the whole family to use. Free of fragrance and parabens, it has the National Eczema Association’s Seal of Approval and has also been clinically tested under both pediatric and dermatologic control. 89% of the formula is made from ingredients of natural origin; case in point, ingredients such as avocado and sunflower oil help moisturize and soothe the skin. Although this pick is on the more expensive side, because it’s been clinically tested to be safe for newborn skin, we think the formula is worth the spend.

Active Ingredients: Avocado perseose, sunflower oil distillate | Skin Type: All | Size: 6.76 fl. oz. | SPF: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Final Verdict

Our best overall pick is  Aveeno's Eczema Therapy Itch Relief Balm  an affordable, effective cream that’s approved by the National Eczema Association. Since eczema affects both babies, kids, and adults, there are many options that are safe for all ages, including two of our go-to's, the La Roche-Posay Lipikar Eczema Soothing Relief Cream and Mustela Stelatopia Emollient Balm

  • Dr. Debra Jaliman is a New York City board-certified dermatologist. She’s an Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Icahn School of Medicine Mount Sinai, and the author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets From a Top New York Dermatologist.
  • Dr. Marie Hayag is a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of Fifth Avenue Aesthetics in New York City. She specializes in both cosmetic and medical dermatology and is also an Assistant Clinical Professor at Mount Sinai Hospital.

What to Look For in an Eczema Cream

Fragrance-Free

According to Hayag, fragrance is one of the most common irritants in many skincare products. Fragrance can be composed of hundreds of synthetic chemicals, and the full composition isn't usually revealed. Therefore it's impossible for someone to know whether or not a potential allergen is present. It's definitely worth avoiding if you have sensitive skin in general, but even more so if you’re dealing with eczema.

Ceramides

These ingredients pull double-duty, helping to both smooth and soften the skin while also bolstering the skin barrier so that moisture can’t escape and irritants can’t get in—super important when it comes to eczema.

Colloidal Oats

Many of the products on this list tout this ingredient, a well-known skin-calming and soothing ingredient that can help alleviate much of the discomfort that can come with eczema.

FAQ
  • Should you cover your eczema cream?

    You can cover your eczema cream with a wet bandage. This treatment is known as wet wrap therapy. According to the National Eczema Association, wet wrap therapy is effective at rehydrating the skin and helping topical treatments work better. After applying your cream, dampen a piece of gauze or fabric and wrap it around the area. Then wrap a dry bandage around the wet one. It also helps to wear clothing over the bandage, if possible, to keep it from being disturbed. You can leave them on for a few hours or overnight but make sure they remain damp throughout.

  • What are the signs that your eczema cream is working?

    Redness, itchiness, and flaking should reduce if your eczema cream is working. If these symptoms become more intense, you should try another cream and/or meet with your dermatologist to discuss other treatment options.

Why Trust Byrdie

Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. Having dealt with eczema since she was a toddler, she has extensive experience with all of the many over-the-counter eczema creams on the market. 

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Hon KL, Yong V, Leung TF. Research statistics in atopic eczema: what disease is this?Ital J Pediatr. 2012;38:26. Published 2012 Jun 9. doi:10.1186/1824-7288-38-26

  2. The 11 Very Best Treatments for Eczema. The Strategist. https://nymag.com/strategist/article/best-eczema-treatments.html

  3. 23 best eczema treatments, creams, lotions and more, per dermatologists. New York Post. https://nypost.com/article/best-eczema-treatments-creams-lotions/

  4. 8 Best Eczema Creams of 2022 According to Dermatologists. Greatist. https://greatist.com/eczema/best-eczema-cream

  5. Reynertson KA, Garay M, Nebus J, et al. Anti-inflammatory activities of colloidal oatmeal (Avena sativa) contribute to the effectiveness of oats in treatment of itch associated with dry, irritated skinJ Drugs Dermatol. 2015;14(1):43-48.

  6. Spada F, Barnes TM, Greive KA. Skin hydration is significantly increased by a cream formulated to mimic the skin’s own natural moisturizing systems. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2018;11:491-497. doi:10.2147/CCID.S177697

  7. Ingredient and Safety Guide. La Roche Posay. https://www.laroche-posay.us/expert-advice/ingredient-and-safety-guide.html.

  8. Lin TK, Zhong L, Santiago JL. Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils. Int J Mol Sci. 2017;19(1):70. doi:10.3390/ijms19010070

  9. Bains P, Kaur M, Kaur J, Sharma S. Nicotinamide: Mechanism of action and indications in dermatologyIndian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2018;84(2):234-237. doi:10.4103/ijdvl.IJDVL_286_17

  10. Spada F, Barnes TM, Greive KA. Skin hydration is significantly increased by a cream formulated to mimic the skin’s own natural moisturizing systems. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2018;11:491-497.

  11. Varma SR, Sivaprakasam TO, Arumugam I, et al. In vitro anti-inflammatory and skin protective properties of Virgin coconut oil. J Tradit Complement Med. 2018;9(1):5-14.

  12. Del Rosso JQ, Bhatia N. Status report on topical hypochlorous acid: clinical relevance of specific formulations, potential modes of action, and study outcomes. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2018;11(11):36-39.

  13. Lin TK, Zhong L, Santiago JL. Anti-inflammatory and skin barrier repair effects of topical application of some plant oils. Int J Mol Sci. 2017;19(1):70.

  14. Wet Wrap Therapy. National Eczema Association. https://nationaleczema.org/eczema/treatment/wet-wrap-therapy/.

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