OTC Eczema Creams of 2021

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

Here are the best over-the-counter eczema creams on the market to check out.

Best Overall: Aveeno Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream

This cream is accepted by the National Eczema Association for its healing abilities. It's nourishing to irritated skin and provides immediate relief thanks to its contents like ceramides and colloidal oatmeal. The oatmeal works to restore the skin's normal pH, and attract and hold in moisture.

Another great thing about this product is that it's gentle enough for kids and babies to use as well. It's also steroid and fragrance-free, so that it's sure not to irritate sensitive or irritated skin.

Best Budget: Neosporin Eczema Essentials

This gentle formula is super healing and restorative to irritated skin. It contains colloidal oatmeal, as well as a relipid formula, which contains a humectant, emollient and a botanical blend. All of this will not only add in moisture, but it works to keep it in so that your skin can heal. After daily use of this product, you should see healing results in just three days.

This is also non-greasy or irritating for the skin. It can even be used on people of all ages, and it's approved by the National Eczema Association.

Best for Sensitive Skin: Gladskin Eczema Cream

The goal of this cream is to reduce redness and itchiness, and it focuses on building up the skin's microbiome of good bacteria. This cream contains colloidal oatmeal, petrolatum, mineral oil and colloidal oatmeal, all of which work to restore your skin's moisture barrier. This is a great choice for those with sensitive skin, and it's safe to use on babies who are three months old and up.

Best for Face: Cetaphil Body and Face Moisturizing Lotion

If you're prone to eczema breakouts on your face, you already know how sensitive the area can be and how necessary it is to get it under control quickly. This cream is as gentle as it is effective. It's also great to use on a daily basis as a preventative.

It is packed with vitamin E and avocado oil. It contains dimethicone, which is a skin occlusive that helps prevent moisture loss, or in this case, works to hold in the moisture provided by the cream. It's lightweight and approved for all ages.

Best for Hands: Skinfix Eczema Hand Repair Cream

This is a super heavy-duty hand cream that gets serious results. It's clinically proven to reduce itching, stinging, and cracking from eczema. It does this with a blend of humectants, occlusives, and emollient.

In addition to popular ingredients like colloidal oatmeal, this formula also includes jojoba, sweet almond, and sunflower seed oils. Together, these work to nourish hands and leave them feeling soft and relieved.

Best for Full Body: Eucerin Eczema Relief Body Creme

Those who have been dealing with outbreaks for a while are probably familiar with Eucerin, as it's a bit of a cornerstone. This lotion delivers 24-hours of hydration, and has colloidal oatmeal, ceramide 3 and licorice root extract. All of these ingredients will nourish, soften, and provide relief to irritated skin.

Best Antifungal: FineVine Daily Remedy Super Balm

If you're facing eczema outbreaks on your feet, this is a great choice. This cream has antifungal properties, which is great for preventing and treating athlete's foot and ringworm. It has the texture of an ointment, so it's a bit thicker than other creams, but it's very effective at relieving skin that is super dry, cracked, or scaly.

Best for Babies: Pipette Eczema Lotion

While a few of the formulas on the list can work for babies, this one is formulated specifically for your little one. It's petroleum and steroid-free, and is chock full of plant-derived ingredients. In addition to colloidal oatmeal and ceramides, it also features plant-derived squalane. This works to balance the microbiome and build up a more resilient moisture barrier.

Best Natural: Ora's Amazing Herbal Touchy Skin Salve

This brand is known for its base oil, which is a blend of organic calendula, licorice, burdock, comfrey, plantain, St. John's wort, and thyme. It has the texture of a thick balm, but it's great at holding in moisture and providing immediate relief.

Final Verdict

Make sure you're seeking out creams with humectants, emollients, and occlusives. If you're looking for a lotion for general eczema symptoms, Aveeno Eczema Daily Therapy Moisturizing Cream is a great place to start. If you're very sensitive to texture, opt for a cream that's specifically targeted towards people with sensitive skin like Gladskin's Eczema Cream. Finally, make sure you're applying them regularly.

Ingredients:

Try to hit all three main categories: humectants, emollients, and occlusives. Creams that also include shea butter, glycerin, and lanolin will help repair skin and help it look healthier. Products that list one of these ingredients are especially useful, says Dr. Munzer Sundos, Ph.D, founder of Nupeutics Health. Hyaluronic acid helps draw moisture from the air to the skin. Smooth on cream with hyaluronic acid for an extra boost of moisture and to ease eczema symptoms and dry skin, Dr. Sundos adds.

Texture:

If you can't stand the feeling of oily or greasy products, opt for creams over balms and ointments. Four popular types of eczema creams include: Lotions: Lotions have high consistency and include water as one of their main ingredients. They have a low oil content and usually moisturize for a short period of time. Creams: Creams usually have a higher oil content and are thicker than lotions. They're generally formulated for the face and work well with other products. Moisturizers: They are a mixture of oil and water-soluble components (emulsion) to restore the outermost layer of the skin to its natural condition. Balms: Balms are plant oil-based ointments used to heal or soothe the skin. They are thicker than lotions and creams; thus, they provide superior protection and deeply nourish skin.

Potential Side Effects:

According to Tiffany Libby, M.D., a dermatologist and director of Mohs Micrographic and Dermatologic Surgery, patients typically don't see allergic reactions to OTC eczema creams, as most are formulated specifically for sensitive or eczema-prone skin types and will be fragrance-free and hypoallergenic. She recommends looking for these specifications on labels, or sticking to brands that dedicate themselves to catering to sensitive and eczema-prone skin types. Dr. Sundos agrees, and adds that allergic reactions to Hyaluronic acid are uncommon, as hyaluronic acid is a key component of the skin and allergic reactions are rare.

Khadidja Toure, founder of Kubra Kay skincare, who has also dealt with eczema herself, notes that You should avoid eczema creams that contain synthetic fragrance or dyes. These elements will only further irritate an eczema flare up. Most people who suffer from dry skin don't realize that they have a mild form of eczema, which is caused by a simple disruption of their skin barrier from a lack of hydration and/or a decrease in their skin's natural production of oils.Tiffany Libby, M.D., dermatologist and director of Mohs Micrographic and Dermatologic Surgery

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