The Best Eczema Lotions, According To Dermatologists

No more skin freakouts.

Maddy Zollo Rusbosin and Daley Quinn |

A refresher: With eczema, “the skin barrier is not working as well as it should be, so the skin develops microscopic cracks, loses hydration and becomes inflamed,” says dermatologist Dr Joshua Zeichner. Those scaly, dry, itchy patches can appear anywhere on the body, including the backs of knees, the neck and the inner elbows.

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Fragrance is a known irritant (so lay off the super-fruity lotions ASAP), as well as artificial dyes, says dermatologist Dr Evan Rieder. You should also also skip formulas with exfoliating ingredients like glycolic or salicylic acid — the last thing your dry skin needs is extra exfoliation. And lay off the botanicals. “Plant-based ingredients like citrus fruit extracts and mint may cause irritation if the plant is a primary ingredient,” says Rieder. Instead, Zeichner says, look for eczema lotions with these soothing ingredients:

– Colloidal oatmeal: It’s FDA-approved to protect skin and treat eczema.
– Petroleum jelly: It locks in hydration and seals the skin.
– Mineral oil: Like petroleum jelly, it creates a protective seal over the skin to keep moisture in.

If you’re still not sure exactly what to scoop up, check out these best eczema lotions that are derm-approved:

Vaseline Blue Seal Petroleum Jelly Original (R16)


“One of the best topicals for eczema is Vaseline (or petroleum) ointment,” says Rieder. “Though it can be greasy, nothing protects the skin like it. One tip I give to my patients who are really suffering from itchy, dry skin or eczema is to apply Vaseline to their arms and legs before they go to bed and wrap with socks and gloves or cling film. The occlusive barrier allows the skin to recover through the night and alleviates concerns about getting work clothing messy during the days.” Available at Dis-Chem.

Cetaphil Restoraderm Moisturising Lotion (R270)


“Formulated with advanced ceramide and filaggrin technology, a protein in the skin that helps strengthen the skin barrier, this moisturiser is clinically proven to restore and improve the skin’s ability to retain vital moisture, leaving eczema and atopic-prone skin feeling soft, smooth and healthy,” says dermatological surgeon Dr Dendy Engelman. Available at Dis-Chem.

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Aveeno Nourishing Skin Relief Lotion (R95)


“Colloidal oatmeal helps coat and protect the skin to allow the skin to repair itself,” says Zeichner. “The rich consistency is great for people with extra dry skin.” Available at Clicks.

Kiehl’s Creme de Corps (R720)


“For dry, chapped, and irritated skin, it’s really important to minimise fragrance,” says Rieder. “This is a hydrating moisturising cream without a greasy feel or a significant fragrance component. It’s great for generally dry skin and also for people with eczema. It also comes in a variety of vehicles — creams, oils, lotions and body butter — allowing people to customise the product to their skin type.” Available at Kiehl’s.

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balm AP+ (R290)


“Formulated with thermal spring water, this lotion not only hydrates, but can also help promote a healthy microbiome on the skin,” explains Zeichner. Available at Dermastore.

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