The 15 Best Lotions for Eczema of 2023

Our best overall pick is La Roche-Posay Lipikar Soothing Relief Eczema Cream

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Best Lotions for Eczema

Byrdie / Chloe Jeong

Eczema, a skin condition that can cause itchy, red, dry, rough patches, is super common. According to the National Eczema Association, it affects roughly 10% of people in the U.S. It can be tricky to treat and often requires the assistance of a dermatologist, but “the good news is there are many over-the-counter products that can provide relief," says dermatologist Dendy Engleman, MD.

Byrdie Tested and Researched

Our top choice is La Roche-Posay Lipikar Soothing Relief Eczema Cream, which boasts a gentle yet effective formula and a stamp of approval from the National Eczema Association. If you're looking for something containing soothing colloidal oatmeal, you'll find it in Aveeno Eczema Therapy Daily Moisturizing Cream, which is an affordable drugstore pick.

"There are so many causes and triggers of eczema, which can occur from your scalp to your toes," adds dermatologist Francesca Fusco, MD. "But the one common denominator of treatment is moisturizing." In other words, using a moisturizer can go a long way toward helping you soothe your skin—so long as it’s appropriate for eczema-prone skin. 

We conducted hours of research on the best lotions for eczema, evaluating formulas on their active ingredients, and how well they deliver results. We also looked at what the formulas don't contain, like fragrance, parabens, or other potential irritants. After considering dozens of brands, and consulting with board-certified dermatologists, we landed on the following best in show.

Best Overall

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Soothing Relief Eczema Cream

4.9
La Roche-Posay Lipikar Eczema Soothing Relief Cream

Amazon

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Can be used on face or body

  • Helps soothe itchy skin

What We Don't Like
  • Has a very thick texture

Accepted by the National Eczema Association, this is clinically proven to relieve itchy, irritated skin and help visibly reduce the signs of eczema, according to the brand. At work are a host of soothing ingredients, including the brand’s eponymous prebiotic thermal water, which is so effective that there’s even a La Roche-Posay Thermal Center in France where eczema patients from all over the world come to experience its healing properties.

The prebiotic thermal water coupled with a new patented bacteria are meant to help the skin’s microbiome; maintaining this balance of bacteria that live on the surface of the skin is meant to not only help treat existing eczema symptoms but ward off future flare-ups, too. It also contains hydrating shea butter and anti-inflammatory niacinamide and is safe to use on children over three years of age. The thick (though not greasy) texture makes it a top choice for treating areas such as elbows, hands, and knees. 

Price at time of publish: $15

Active Ingredients: Prebiotic thermal water, shea butter, niacinamide | Size: 6.76 ounces | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Drugstore

Cetaphil Restoraderm Eczema Soothing Moisturizer

4.2
Cetaphil PRO Eczema Soothing Moisturizer

Amazon

What We Like
  • Fragrance-free

  • National Eczema Association approved

  • Rich, emollient texture

What We Don't Like
  • Contains alcohol

"Cetaphil has great products under their Restoraderm lines, which received the Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association," says Engelman. "This particular one contains a blend of 15 moisturizers and skin-essential vitamins to provide soothing relief for dry, itchy, irritated skin."

Dr. Nava Greenfield, MD, of Schweiger Dermatology Group is also a fan. “I use this because it has colloidal oatmeal, ceramides, and filaggrin, which not only hydrate but also provide nourishment to skin that lacks the ability to completely hydrate itself,” she explains.

Price at time of publish: $19

Active Ingredients: Colloidal oatmeal, ceramides | Size: 10 ounces | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Runner-Up, Best Drugstore

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

4.8
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

Amazon

What We Like
  • National Eczema Association approved

  • Non-comedogenic

  • Can be used on face or body

What We Don't Like
  • Contains parabens

Recommended by dermatologist Yoon-Soo Cindy Bae, MD, this is one of those all-in-one moisturizers that nips dryness in the bud. Packed with ceramides, humectants such as hyaluronic acid, and emollients, it locks in your skin's moisture for hours on end, according to the brand. Dr. Marina Peredo, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, sings its praises as well, lauding it for thoroughly and effectively relieving dry, flaky skin—without leaving behind a greasy or sticky after-feel.

Price at time of publish: $17

Active Ingredients: Ceramides, hyaluronic acid | Size: 19 ounces | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Face and Body

Vanicream Moisturizing Cream for Sensitive Skin

4.9
Vanicream Moisturizing Cream

Target

What We Like
  • Easy-to-use pump dispenser

  • National Eczema Association approved

  • Thick, yet not greasy

What We Don't Like
  • Contains BHT

Bae is also a fan of this multi-tasking formula. The gentle yet hardworking cream is often recommended by dermatologists for patients dealing with all kinds of skin irritations, eczema included because it’s paraben-, dye-, and fragrance-free. And we appreciate that it works just as well on eczema patches that pop up on the face as it does for patches on the body since it won’t clog pores.

Price at time of publish: $17 

Active Ingredients: Petrolatum | Size: 16 ounces | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Hands

Eczema Honey Oatmeal Hand Cream

eczema-honey-oatmeal-hand-cream

Amazon

What We Like
  • Packed with natural ingredients

  • Contains colloidal oatmeal to soothe itchiness

  • Contains nourishing oils

What We Don't Like
  • Somewhat pricey

Itchy, dry, and irritated hands can be a real drag, which is where this cream comes in to save the day. The award-winning, dermatologist-tested formula is packed with ingredients like vitamin E, avocado oil, colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, and honey to totally nourish and revitalize the hands while relieving itch. Also nice? The formula is cruelty-free, clean, and free of parabens, phthalates, petrolatum, and SLS.

Price at time of publish: $24 

Active Ingredients: Vitamin E, avocado oil, colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, honey | Size: 4 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Budget

Aveeno Eczema Therapy Daily Moisturizing Cream

Aveeno Eczema Therapy Daily Moisturizing Cream

Amazon

What We Like
  • Fragrance-free

  • National Eczema Association approved

  • Helps soothe itchy skin

What We Don't Like
  • Packaging could be improved

This wallet-friendly classic is clinically proven to relieve dry, itchy, and irritated skin associated with eczema, according to the brand. Credit a formula packed with colloidal oatmeal (a soothing ingredient that the FDA deems an effective skin protectant) plus skin-strengthening ceramides and lipids. It’s no surprise it’s also earned a stamp of approval from the National Eczema Association.

Price at time of publish: $39

Active Ingredients: Colloidal oatmeal, ceramides | Size: 7.3 ounces | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Ointment

Aquaphor Healing Ointment

4.4
Aquaphor Healing Ointment

Walgreens

What We Like
  • Effective multi-tasker

  • Affordable

  • Has a foam tip for easy application

What We Don't Like
  • Isn’t hydrating in and of itself

A thicker, petroleum-based ointment is great for helping to create a protective barrier on eczematic, compromised skin. Both Peredo and Greenfield recommend this particular option. “It’s preservative- and fragrance-free, ideal for those who have sensitive skin and eczema,” says Peredo, while Greenfield adds that it’s much easier to apply than many other petroleum ointments.

Price at time of publish: $10

Active Ingredients: Petrolatum | Size: 1.75 ounces | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Lightweight

Nivea Essentially Enriched Hand and Body Lotion

Nivea Essentially Enriched Hand and Body Lotion

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Lightweight and fast-absorbing

  • Affordable

  • Provides long-lasting hydration

What We Don't Like
  • Contains fragrance, which can be irritating

“I recommend this lotion for people with eczema because I like that it contains almond oil, which is rich in anti-inflammatory properties,” says Greenfield. It’s also much more lightweight than many formulas on this list, a good choice for those who don’t want super thick or rich formulas; Greenfield notes that it feels great applied evenly on large areas of the skin.

Price at time of publish: $7

Active Ingredients: Mineral oil, glycerin, sweet almond oil | Size: 16.9 ounces | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Itchy Skin

Curel Itch Defense Calming Body Lotion

Curel Itch Defense Calming Body Lotion

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • National Eczema Association approved

  • Absorbs fast

What We Don't Like
  • Contains parabens

Itching can be one of the most irksome symptoms of eczema; happily, this lotion can help counteract that. The fragrance-free, National Eczema Association-approved formula promises not only to instantly help calm and soothe itchy skin but also help ward off future flare-ups by addressing ceramide levels, pH levels, and moisture levels.

Price at time of publish: $10

Active Ingredients: Glycerin, petrolatum, dimethicone | Size: 20 ounces | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Very Dry Skin

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration

4.9
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration

Dermstore

What We Like
  • Great for sensitive skin

  • Can be used on face or body

  • Available in multiple sizes

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

"First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream is a double-hitter because it's a head-to-toe moisturizer that provides instant relief and long-term hydration for dry, distressed skin, even when eczema is involved," explains Fusco of one of her go-tos. You get the benefits of colloidal oatmeal, a time-honored calmer of eczema, without having to sit in an oatmeal bath, she adds. And along with being super hydrating, it also helps quell itch.

Price at time of publish: $38

Active Ingredients: Colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, allantoin | Size: 6 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best With Hydrocortisone

Sarna Eczema Relief Whipped Foam

Sarna Eczema Relief Whipped Foam

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Works quickly

  • Absorbs fast and isn’t greasy

  • Foaming texture

What We Don't Like
  • Shouldn’t be used daily/continuously

The truth of the matter is, when a really bad eczema flare strikes, a plain old lotion isn’t going to do much. You need a little more of a heavy-hitting active ingredient, such as hydrocortisone. The OTC steroid is often recommended by dermatologists to help quell redness, inflammation, and itch—all symptoms of an eczema flare. Here, it comes in a maximum-strength 1% concentration, though in a lightweight and fast-absorbing foam that’s much more enjoyable to use than other, goopy hydrocortisone creams.

Price at time of publish: $16

Active Ingredients: Hydrocortisone | Size: 1.7 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Unknown | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Oil

Lizzie's All-Natural Products Eczema Oil

Lizzie's All-Natural Products Eczema Oil

Courtesy of Lizzie's All-Natural Products

What We Like
  • Strengthen's skin barrier

  • Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal

  • Super nourishing

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

While this one may *technically* not be a lotion, this nourishing body oil truly brings much-needed relief during an eczema flare-up. Infused with coconut oil and safflower oil, the formula has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties to soothe and protect the skin while strengthening its natural barrier.

Price at time of publish: $46

Active Ingredients: Coconut oil, safflower oil | Size: 8 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Mask

Topicals Like Butter Mask Hydrating Mask

Topicals Like Butter Mask Hydrating Mask

Sephora

What We Like
  • Packed with soothing, anti-inflammatory ingredients

  • Safe for face and body

  • Clean, vegan, and cruelty-free

What We Don't Like
  • Can pill if too much is applied

While it's more of a treatment than a lotion, this creamy mask is choice for soothing and replenishing dry, sensitive, eczema-prone skin. Safe for use on the face and body, it's packed with skin-protecting and irritation-quelling ingredients like colloidal oatmeal, centella asiatica, and ceramides. Use it as a quick 20-minute mask before your shower, or leave it on overnight for a supremely nourishing treatment. 

Price at time of publish: $34

Active Ingredients: Colloidal oatmeal, centella asiatica, ceramides | Size: 1.7 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Balm

Honest Eczema Soothing Therapy Balm

4.7
Honest Eczema Soothing Therapy Balm

Amazon

What We Like
  • Instant relief

  • Gentle formula

  • Reduces redness and itching

What We Don't Like
  • Hard to spread

If you prefer a balm, Honest is your best bet. The therapeutic formula contains eczema-fighting all-star colloidal oatmeal to instantly reduce redness and soothe itching, while aloe vera calms the skin and shea butter delivers much-needed moisture. Just a heads up, the thicker consistency can be tricky to spread—you'll want to warm it in your hands for a few seconds before rubbing it in.

Price at time of publish: $15

Active Ingredients: Colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, aloe vera | Size: 3 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Double-Duty

Wild Naturals Eczema & Psoriasis Cream

4.9
Wild Naturals Eczema & Psoriasis Cream

Amazon

What We Like
  • Instantly soothes

  • Heals and prevents flare-ups

  • Glides on smoothly

What We Don't Like
  • May leave white residue

For those battling both eczema and psoriasis, we recommend Wild Naturals. The natural, plant-based formula contains manuka honey to simultaneously heal flare-ups and help prevent new ones from cropping up. Meanwhile, aloe vera soothes, and a blend of shea butter and coconut oil help lock in moisture. The only potential drawback is that this cream may leave behind a white residue, but it should absorbs completely before too long.

Price at time of publish: $23

Active Ingredients: Manuka honey, aloe vera, shea butter, coconut oil | Size: 4 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Final Verdict

Eczema is super common and can be tough to treat, but one of the best things to keep on hand is a good eczema lotion. The La Roche-Posay Lipikar Soothing Relief Eczema Cream is our overall favorite, a gentle yet effective pick that boasts the National Eczema Association’s seal of approval. There are also many good options to nab at the drugstore, including the Cetaphil Restoraderm Eczema Soothing Moisturizer and CeraVe Moisturizing Cream, both affordable, derm-favorites.

Meet the Expert

  • Dendy Engleman, MD, is a board-certified dermatologic surgeon at Shaefer Clinic Fifth Avenue in New York City and the Director of Dermatologist Surgery at Metropolitan Hospital.
  • Francesca Fusco, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist at Wexler Dermatology in New York City and an associate member of the American Academy of Dermatology.
  • Yoon-Soo Cindy Bae, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist at the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York. She’s authored over 40 academic articles, as well as several book chapters on a variety of topics.
  • Marina Peredo, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Dermatology, as well as the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery.
  • Nava Greenfield, MD, is a dermatologist practicing at Schweiger Dermatology Group. She’s a member of the American Academy of Dermatology and the Women’s Dermatologic Society.


What to Look for in a Lotion for Eczema

Texture

According to Peredo, the thicker the consistency, the better. “The thicker the base of the product, the more healing it will be and more effective for both preventing flare-ups and treating eczema,” she says.

Hypoallergenic

Greenfield says this is a good criterion to seek out, an indication that it’s a good formula for sensitive, easily-irritated, eczematous skin.

Ceramides

Both Peredo and Greenfield say ceramides are one of the best ingredients to look for, as they help reinforce the skin barrier, locking moisture in and keeping irritants that can make eczema worse out.

FAQ
  • How does lotion help to treat eczema?

    “They help the skin form a healthy skin barrier, which is an essential function of normal skin. Eczematous skin does not have the same skin barrier ability, which is what leads to the itching, rashes, dryness, and redness,” explains Greenfield. 

  • How often should you apply lotion for eczema?

    Peredo advises doing so at least twice a daily, ideally after showering or bathing, when the skin is moist, and the lotion can help lock in that extra moisture.

  • Does lotion for eczema expire?

    “Yes,” says Greenfield. All lotions and creams have a shelf life, so check the expiration before purchasing or using, she says.

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 products on the market. (Her personal favorite on this list is the First Aid Beauty cream).

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. National Eczema Association. Eczema stats.

  2. Levin J, Momin SB. How much do we really know about our favorite cosmeceutical ingredients?J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2010;3(2):22-41.

  3. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. CFR—code of federal regulations title 21.

  4. Chalmers JR, Axon E, Harvey J, et al. Different strategies for using topical corticosteroids in people with eczemaCochrane Database Syst Rev. 2019;2019(6):CD013356. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD013356

  5. Sobhan M, et al. The Efficacy of Colloidal Oatmeal Cream 1% as Add-on Therapy in the Management of Chronic Irritant Hand Eczema: A Double-Blind Study. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2020; 13: 241–251. Published 2020 Mar 25. doi: 10.2147/CCID.S246021

  6. Radha MH, et al. Evaluation of biological properties and clinical effectiveness of Aloe vera: A systematic review. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine. Published 2014 December 23.

  7. McLoone, Pauline et al. Honey: A Therapeutic Agent for Disorders of the Skin. Central Asian journal of global health vol. 5,1 241. 4 Aug. 2016, doi:10.5195/cajgh.2016.241

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