11 Essential Oils for Eczema to Soothe and Hydrate Your Skin

Eczema is a skin condition that causes dry, rough, and inflamed patches onto the skin. Studies show that over 30 million Americans are affected by eczema, and there are several types: atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, nummular eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, and stasis dermatitis. It's most common with babies and children but, fortunately, fades over time.

This is exactly what happened to me. I suffered from eczema for many many years of my childhood. The itching on my arms, backs of my legs, ears, and neck was uncontrollable, and I have vivid memories of going to one doctor's appointment after the next in search of some sort of prescription or cream that would rid my skin of this agony. Little did I or my parents know that there are essential oils for eczema to soothe my skin just as well as any over-the-counter, topical treatment.

"Essential oils and pure carrier oils are a great option for eczema because they are super effective yet gentle on the skin, they are easy to experiment with because of their simplicity of formula," explains Vitruvi co-founder Sara Panton, who dreamed up one of the best essential-oil aromatherapy lines on the market. "My brother had eczema while he was younger, and I remember it always being difficult to navigate the reactions he would have to treatments and prescription products because their complexity would often irritate the skin further, causing the skin to become even more inflamed."

Like for Panton's brother, my struggle with finding a prescription free of harsh chemicals that would anger my sensitive skin was like adding insult to injury. However, there is a specific way to use essential oils for eczema to fully maximize its benefits.

"The best way to use essential oils is to have them blended with a carrier oil," suggests Andrea Lopez, esthetician and founder of Bonum Vitae, an ethical, cruelty-free line of plant-based oils. "Carrier oils are natural too but act as a 'vehicle' delivering the essential oils in an efficient manner to the areas desired. Bonum Vitae offers two blends that would be great for anyone who suffers from eczema. The dry blend and oily/acneic blend contain many of the ingredients listed above."

For further guidance, we also tapped Andrea Barone Sazwan, a reiki master, chartered herbalist, and founder of crystal-infused skincare line Crystal Hills. See the specific essential oils for eczema that she, Panton, and Lopez recommend below.