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Whether you’re constantly combatting eczema or trying to ward off occasional flare-ups, there’s no denying that the pesky skin condition is no fun to deal with. The itchy, red, bumpy patches can pop up all over your body, from head to toe, seemingly without warning, and are both unsightly and notably uncomfortable, too. While the exact cause of eczema is still largely unknown, the general consensus is that it’s likely due to a combination of factors, including genetics and immune system function.
There are also a host of environmental factors that can play a role in either triggering a flare-up or exacerbating existing eczema; these include cold weather, skin irritation, and dryness. Adding insult to energy, eczema can affect anyone and everyone, from babies to adults. Luckily, there are a host of over-the-counter treatment options available that offer safe and effective solutions for eczema sufferers. The key: Looking for ingredients that both soothe redness and itch, and those that help strengthen the skin barrier. Here, the top eczema creams to try next time your skin is acting up.
Best Overall: La Roche-Posay Lipikar Eczema Soothing Relief Cream
Accepted by the National Eczema Association, this is clinically proven to relieve itchy, irritated skin and help visibly reduce the signs of eczema. 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 sufferers from all over the world come to experience its healing properties.
The prebiotic thermal water, coupled with a new patented bacteria, work to help the skin’s microbiome; maintaining this balance of bacteria that live on the surface of the skin can 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 choice for treating areas such as elbows, hands, and knees.
Best Budget: Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream
Don’t be fooled by the name; this wallet-friendly option works equally well on eczema sufferers of all ages. Steroid-, fragrance-, paraben-, and phthalate- free, it contains colloidal oatmeal to quell and soothe itchy skin and dimethicone to relieve dryness. At the same time, ceramides go to work repairing and strengthening the skin barrier. Also accepted by the National Eczema Association, at a price like this, you can afford to slather it on all over with reckless abandon.
Best to Use Around the Eyes: Weleda Baby Sensitive Care Face Cream-White Mallow
Eczema flare-ups on the face are common, especially around the eyes, posing a tricky conundrum, since many treatments are too thick to use on the thin skin in this area. Enter this option, which uses white mallow, a plant long known and used for its calming, soothing, and hydrating properties. Coupled with soothing oils, it gently yet effectively moisturizes and protects even the most delicate skin. It’s also fragrance-free, another important quality to look for in products you’re using around your eyes.
Best Balm: Restore Healing Balm
Think of this as a more natural version of your go-to tube of multi-purpose ointment. Entirely petroleum-free, the dermatologist-created formula instead uses glycerin to attract water to the skin, plus emollient castor seed oil and wax to lock it in. With additional anti-inflammatory benefits, it’s an excellent way to soothe eczema patches, though you can also use it to treat chapped lips, cuts and scrapes, burns, even diaper rash.
Best Moisturizer: First Aid Beauty Ultra Hydration Repair Cream
When you want a product that pulls double duty as both an eczema treatment and body cream, reach for this jar. The brand’s best-seller, it’s so popular that one is sold every minute in the U.S. A power trio of calming colloidal oatmeal, skin-strengthening ceramide 3, and hydrating shea butter deliver immediate relief and hydration—a 169 percent immediate improvement in hydration, according to a clinical study, to be exact.
Still, the lightweight and whipped texture ensures there’s never any greasy after-feel, not always the case with such reparative formulas (so much so that you can use it on your face, too). And as if that weren’t enough, it also features First Aid Beauty’s Antioxidant Booster, a unique blend of antioxidants, to help protect your skin even further.
Best for the Whole Family: Mustela Stelatopia Eczema Cream
Clinically-tested for eczema-prone skin under both pediatric and dermatologic control, this one bottle can help soothe the skin of everyone in your family, even newborns. Credit avocado perseose, a patented natural ingredient that helps protect and strengthen even the most delicate of skin. Sunflower oil adds extra hydration in this lightweight fluid that absorbs instantly and relieves irritation and itching, fast. Hypoallergenic and free of parabens, fragrance, dyes, and phthalates, it’s safe enough to use daily, whether you’re treating existing eczema or trying to ward off any future flare-ups.
Best for Face: Dr. Roebuck’s Nuddy Ultra Hydrating and Repair Crème
This formula was specifically created to treat eczema; the founder’s physician father created it when he had eczema as a child. Still, because it’s so hydrating, it’s a particularly great option for the face, especially if your skin is dry or more mature. Castor seed oil hydrates and delivers anti-bacterial properties, while hyaluronic acid attracts moisture to and holds it in the skin (the molecule can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water.) The result? Not only an intense hit of instant hydration, but also a plumping and smoothing effect that can help minimize the look of fine lines. Eczema relief and less noticeable wrinkles? Yes, please.
Our writers spent 6 hours researching the most popular eczema creams on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 50 different creams overall, screened options from 40 different brands and manufacturers, read over 40 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 14 of the creams themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.