The 10 Best Lotions for Eczema of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream restores and protects the skin's barrier

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The Best Lotions for Eczema, Tested and Reviewed

Verywell Health / Julia Warren

Eczema is a common skin condition affecting over 30 million Americans and around 10% of the world's population. "Eczema tends to cause dry, flaky, rough, and red skin," says Rebecca Marcus, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Maei Md. "Typically, it shows up on the flexural area of the body [such as] backs of knees, insides of wrists, and elbows, but can also appear elsewhere—including on the hands and face."

Tested & Approved

Awarded a seal of acceptance from the National Eczema Association, Vanicream  Moisturizing Skin Cream is a thick, rich cream free of fragrance and other common irritants like parabens and dyes—so it won't aggravate your skin further. For accessible options available in many local drugstores, Eucerin Daily Hydration Lotion is a light, everyday formula enriched with sunflower oil for superior protection.

While there are several causes of eczema, including genetics, there's currently no cure. However, treatments can help ease the symptoms of eczema—such as itching, redness, and dryness. The best eczema lotions and creams provide topical therapy that helps restore the skin's barrier, lock in moisture, and reduce inflammation. 

"A fragrance-free moisturizer should always be applied within three minutes of getting out of the bath or shower," explains Dr. Marcus. Timely hydration ensures the skin cells can function correctly and protect against irritants, infections, and allergens. But choosing the right product is essential to ensure you're not aggravating symptoms. We tested 16 lotions to evaluate their efficacy, texture, value, and more. Each tester used the products for two weeks at a time on their eczema flares, and some testers also applied the products as a daily moisturizer to combat dry skin. 

Here are the best lotions for eczema—according to our test.

Best Overall

Vanicream Moisturizing Cream for Sensitive Skin

4.9
Vanicream Moisturizing Cream

Target

Pros
  • Restores and maintains skin's moisture level

  • Won’t clog pores

  • Accepted by the National Eczema Association

Cons
  • Takes a few minutes to absorb

  • May feel heavy

In our test, Vanicream ranked best overall after impressing our tester with its instant hydration and long-lasting moisture. Our tester found the texture and consistency of Vanicream to be smooth and creamy, with just the right amount of thickness. It absorbed well and didn't leave behind a greasy residue. 

"It's thick and emollient and feels kind of luxurious," our tester remarked. Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream can be applied to your entire body, including the face, and can be used as often as needed.

This lotion is non-comedogenic, which means it won't clog pores and is free of common allergens like dye, fragrance, lanolin, parabens, and formaldehyde. It also has the National Eczema Association's seal of acceptance—a designation given to products that have been evaluated and shown to be suitable for eczema sufferers.

Price at time of publication: $13

Active Ingredients: Petrolatum  | Scent: Fragrance-free | Usage: Apply as often as needed to the face, hands, feet, or body to moisturize the skin.

vanicream and cerave moisturizing cream swatches on skin
At a glance, Vanicream (left) and CeraVe (right) look to have similar consistency and textures. Verywell Health / Ashleigh Morley.

Best Drugstore

Eucerin Daily Hydration Lotion

4.7
Eucerin Daily Hydration Lotion

CVS

Pros
  • Delivers 24-hour moisture

  • Antioxidant-rich

  • Fragrance and dye-free

Cons
  • May not be heavy enough for severe eczema or dry skin

  • Slight scent may be unappealing to some

Eucerin Daily Hydration Lotion is a drugstore favorite that impressed our tester with its ability to hydrate and keep her skin feeling smooth all day long. This lotion is enriched with Pro-vitamin B5 and sunflower oil, which is rich in antioxidants to maintain healthy-looking skin. It's also fragrance and dye free, making it ideal for those with sensitive skin. The non-greasy formula absorbs quickly—perfect for daily use.

Eucerin Daily Hydration Lotion has a light, creamy consistency our tester found very pleasant. "I liked that it went on smoothly, really coated my skin well, and left it feeling super hydrated," she said. Its 24-hour formula means you can apply it just once or twice a day for long-lasting results.

Price at time of publication: $31 for 3-pack

Active Ingredients: Helianthus Annuus seed oil, petrolatum, glycerin | Scent: Fragrance-free  | Usage: Smooth over skin every day. For best results, apply immediately after bathing.

Best Fragrance-Free

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Soothing Relief Eczema Cream

4.9
La Roche-Posay Lipikar Eczema Soothing Relief Cream

Amazon

Pros
  • Rich in selenium, a natural antioxidant

  • Free of parabens, fragrance, and steroids

  • Accepted by the National Eczema Association

Cons
  • Not for children under three

  • Not suitable for those allergic to oats

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Soothing Cream is a rich, fragrance-free product ideal for those with sensitive skin. Our testers found La Roche-Posay Lipikar Soothing Cream extremely hydrating and soothing. "It's rich and thick in a satisfying way," one tester said. 

Its unique formula contains selenium, a natural antioxidant, to help soothe and protect the skin. Colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, and La Roche-Posay Prebiotic Thermal Water work together to nourish the skin and replenish the lipid barrier. This cream is also free of parabens, fragrance, and steroids and has the National Eczema Association’s seal of acceptance.

This product is suitable for children and adults over the age of three. It can be used on the face and body as often as needed to replenish and protect the skin from dryness and irritation.

Price at time of publication: $15

Active Ingredients: 1% colloidal oatmeal skin protectant, niacinamide | Scent: Fragrance-free | Usage: Apply over body parts affected by dryness or itchiness. Gently massage into skin until completely absorbed.

Best for Psoriasis

Wild Naturals Eczema & Psoriasis Cream

4.9
Wild Naturals Eczema & Psoriasis Cream

Amazon

Pros
  • Cooling sensation instantly soothes skin

  • Contains manuka honey for collagen grown

  • Has a neutral pH similar to skin

Cons
  • Leaves behind a white residue

  • Tub packaging can be unhygienic

This cream from Wild Naturals is our favorite for psoriasis, thanks to its cooling sensation that instantly soothes dry, irritated skin. This cream is formulated with manuka honey to help promote collagen growth, balance skin pH, and calm redness. Other key ingredients include organic aloe vera, shea butter, and hemp seed oil—all of which have hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties.

In our tests, Wild Naturals Eczema & Psoriasis Cream impressed with its thick texture—which easily glides onto the skin without leaving a greasy residue. Our tester appreciated the naturally-derived scent of the product. "I was so surprised at how unique and pleasant the smell was," she said. This cream is infused with vitamins B5, C, and E and provides antioxidant protection against environmental stressors.

Price at time of publication: $22

Active Ingredients: Aloe Vera, manuka honey, cocoa seed butter, coconut oil, vitamin E, vitamin B5, shea butter, Olea europaea fruit (Olive) oil, hemp seed oil, vitamin C | Scent: Fragrance-free | Usage: Apply to clean skin 2 to 3 times per day or as needed.

Best Hydrating

La Roche-Posay Lipikar AP+M Triple Repair Moisturizing Body Cream

4.5
La Roche-Posay Lipikar AP+M Triple Repair Moisturizing Body Cream

Amazon

Pros
  • Prebiotics help fortify the skin's natural barrier

  • Non-greasy, fast-absorbing formula

  • Paraben and fragrance-free

Cons
  • Pump bottle is hard to use

  • Formula is a bit greasy

Our testers found La Roche-Posay Lipikar Triple Repair Moisturizing Body Cream thick and hydrating as a daily body lotion, but it can also be used on the face. Formulated with La Roche-Posay Prebiotic Thermal Water, shea butter, glycerin, and niacinamide—this cream is clinically shown to hydrate and soothe dry, itchy skin for up to 48 hours.

Our testers liked the cream's easy application, although the pump bottle packaging was a bit difficult to use. The formula has a slightly greasy texture but is still non-comedogenic and won't clog pores. Accepted by the National Eczema Association, this cream is also free of parabens, fragrances, and steroids that could further irritate eczema-prone skin.

Price at time of publication: $20

Active Ingredients: Colloidal oatmeal, La Roche-Posay prebiotic thermal water, shea butter, glycerin, niacinamide  | Scent: Fragrance-free | Usage: Apply body cream to clean skin morning and evening. Gently massage the product on the skin until absorbed.

best eczema lotion

Maggie Badore

Best for Daily Use

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

4.8
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

Amazon

Pros
  • Hyaluronic acid helps lock in moisture

  • Ceramides restore the skin's natural barrier

Cons
  • May not be hydrating enough for dehydrated skin

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is a rich yet lightweight cream perfect for daily use. Formulated with essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid, this cream helps to restore the skin's natural barrier and lock in moisture for up to 24 hours of hydration. Our tester loved the creamy texture— which she prefers over thin lotions—and found it wasn't greasy or heavy. However, it took a few minutes to fully absorb—though it absorbs faster than our best overall pick from Vanicream.

CeraVe is also fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, and free of other potential irritants like sulfates and parabens. The controlled release of ingredients ensures your skin stays hydrated throughout the day. While it may not be best for severe eczema flares, we found it worked well as a daily moisturizer to help to prevent eczema flare-ups and maintain balanced skin.

Price at time of publication: $17

Active Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, ceramides (3, 1, and 6-II), glycerin  | Scent: Fragrance-free  | Usage: Apply liberally to face, hands, and body as often as needed.

Best Non-Greasy

Exederm Flare Control Cream

Pros
  • Contains hydrocortisone

  • Free of potential irritants

  • Maximum strength available without a prescription

Cons
  • Not suitable for use around the eyes

  • May not be hydrating enough for very dry skin

Exederm Flare Control Cream is a maximum-strength corticosteroid product safe for adults and children over the age of two. This cream is formulated with 1% hydrocortisone and relieves eczema flare-ups, itchiness, irritation, and swelling. Our tester found it very effective and loved its lack of residue. It's also approved by the National Eczema Association—the first and only hydrocortisone cream to receive this distinction.

Because this cream contains steroids, it's not suitable for use around the eyes. And while it's powerful, it may be a bit drying and not quite as hydrating as other options on this list. But if you're looking for an OTC steroid cream free of potential irritants like fragrances, dyes, parabens, and other additives—Exederm Flare Control Cream stacks up as one of our top picks.

Price at time of publication: $13

Active Ingredients: Hydrocortisone acetate USP 1%   | Scent: Fragrance-free | Usage: Apply to the affected area up to 4 times daily.

best eczema lotion

unknown

Best Balm

Aveeno Eczema Therapy Itch Relief Balm

4.7
Aveeno Eczema Therapy Nighttime Itch Relief Balm

Walmart

Pros
  • Contains colloidal oatmeal for itch relief

  • Steroid-free

  • Can be used as a spot treatment or all over

Cons
  • May have to apply multiple times each day

  • Not suitable for those allergic to oats

Aveeno Eczema Therapy Balm is a steroid-free moisturizer made with colloidal oatmeal—which binds to the skin and replenishes moisture—to soothe eczema flare-ups and itchiness. Our tester found the texture similar to that of a thick hand lotion, but it went on smoothly and evenly without leaving a residue on her clothes or bedding.

Aveeno also recommends this balm as a spot treatment for areas of dryness or irritation. And while it's not quite as emollient as other options on this list—the company claims it soothes the skin for up to six hours—you may need to apply it more often throughout the day. Overall, it's an excellent choice if you're looking for a steroid-free option to calm your skin.

Price at time of publication: $19

Active Ingredients: Colloidal oatmeal, ceramide  | Scent: Fragrance-free | Usage: Apply as needed to the body or as a spot treatment.

best eczema lotion

Marisa Viglione

Best Calming

DermaDoctor Calm Cool Corrected Eczema Repair Balm

5
DermaDoctor Calm Cool Corrected Eczema Repair Balm

DermaDoctor

Pros
  • Clinical strength ingredients

  • Contains colloidal oatmeal for itch relief

  • Great for both children and adults

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Not suitable for those allergic to oats

An advanced, clinical-strength eczema repair balm, DermaDoctor Calm Cool Corrected Eczema 

Repair Balm is formulated with a potent blend of ingredients to soothe eczema flare-ups and restore moisture. Our tester found this balm very effective and appreciated the tub packaging, which makes it easy to apply and take on the go. 

This balm contains colloidal oatmeal, ceramides, and botanicals like black currant and borage seed oils—all of which work together to calm, cool, and repair the skin. However, because it's a bit pricey, it may not be the best option if you're on a budget. But if you're looking for a powerful repair balm suitable for head-to-toe use, this DermaDoctor option is worth considering.

Price at time of publication: $35

Active Ingredients: 1% Colloidal oatmeal | Scent: Fragrance-free | Usage: Apply to face, hands, and body twice daily.

Best for Kids

Honest Eczema Soothing Therapy Balm

4.7
Honest Eczema Soothing Therapy Balm

Amazon

Pros
  • Prebiotics nourish the skin's microbiome

  • Contains colloidal oatmeal to soothe skin

  • Steroid-free

Cons
  • Container is small

  • Not suitable for those allergic to oat

Eczema is a common skin condition that affects many infants and children early in life—as many as 60% of people with eczema develop it before their first birthday. And while many over-the-counter eczema treatments are on the market, not all are suitable for kids. Honest Eczema Soothing Therapy is a gentle, steroid-free cream that contains colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, and other calming ingredients to ease discomfort and restore moisture.

Our tester liked the pasty texture, which sets this cream apart from other lotions on this list. And because it's fragrance-free and hypoallergenic, the overall scent is very light and pleasant. It's also hypoallergenic, dermatologist-approved, and accepted by the National Eczema Association.

Price at time of publication: $14

Active Ingredients: 1% Colloidal oatmeal | Scent: Fragrance-free | Usage: Apply the soothing eczema balm where needed, as needed.

best eczema lotions

Julia Warren

How We Rated the Lotions for Eczema

  • 4.8 to 5 stars: These are the best lotions for eczema we tested. We recommend them without reservation.
  • 4.5 to 4.7 stars: These lotions for eczema are excellent—they might have minor flaws, but we still recommend them.
  • 4.0 to 4.5 stars: We think these are great lotions for eczema, but others are better.
  • 3.5 to 3.9 stars: These lotions for eczema are just average.
  • 3.4 and below: We don't recommend lotions for eczema with this rating; you won't find any on our list.

How We Tested the Lotions for Eczema

The Verywell Health team bought and tested 16 lotions for eczema based on three main criteria: efficacy, texture, and value. To assess the effectiveness of each lotion, our team used each product for at least two weeks on eczema-ridden skin, noting how long it took for the flare-ups to improve. We also looked for adverse effects, like excessive dryness, redness, or irritation.

In terms of texture, we looked for lotions that were thick enough to provide long-lasting hydration but not so thick they felt greasy or heavy on the skin. Staining clothing and bedding was also a concern, so we looked for lotions that absorbed quickly and didn't leave residue behind. Finally, we considered value by taking into account the price of each lotion and the results we experienced. We also looked at whether high-priced items were worth the extra cost based on performance and overall quality.

Lotions for Eczema We Also Tested

  • Vaseline All Over Balm: While hydrating, this balm is also very greasy and not as effective at treating damaged skin or improving rough skin texture.
  • Cetaphil Restoraderm Soothing Moisturizer: This rich and soothing lotion absorbs quickly but isn't strong enough for severe eczema.
  • CeraVe Hydrocortisone Cream: Another creamy lotion with the added benefit of corticosteroids, CeraVe Hydrocortisone Cream requires several applications in a short period to combat itchiness and inflammation.

What to Look for in a Lotion for Eczema

Ingredients

“When considering over-the-counter creams, occlusives, humectants, and emollients are all great options. Occlusive ingredients to look out for are petrolatum and silicone derivatives, such as dimethicone," says Angie Seelal, registered physician’s assistant (RPA-C) at Advanced Dermatology PC.

"Humectants are hygroscopic (or water-attracting) moisturizers that actively pull and absorb water and hydrate the outer layer of the skin. Humectants, such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid, in many of the skin-care products are already in your arsenal. Shea butter, colloidal oatmeal, and ceramides are all emollients that are great for moisturizing the skin, as well.”

But it’s also important to know what ingredients to avoid in a lotion or moisturizer. Avoid glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and alcohol because these ingredients can dry and irritate the skin, says Kemuto Mokaya, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in Houston, Texas. 

Other skincare ingredients that can irritate skin or make eczema symptoms worse, according to Dr. Mokaya, include:

  • Fragrances, including essential oils
  • Vitamin A derivatives, such as retinol and retinoids
  • Parabens
  • Formaldehyde 

Check the product labels for potentially irritating fragrances or ingredients. If you’re not sure what an ingredient is, check the National Eczema Association’s glossary of skincare ingredients.

The American Academy of Dermatology also recommends testing all products before using them. To test a skincare product, apply a small amount to an area of your skin without eczema or atopic dermatitis and leave it on for 24 hours. If your skin remains clear after 24 hours, it’s less likely to cause an eczema flare-up.

Moisturizer Types

There are different types of moisturizers used for treating eczema—ointments, creams, and lotions. Each has different benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to choose the right type for you.

Ointments

According to the National Eczema Association, ointments are usually the first choice for treating eczema symptoms. Ointments have the highest oil content of all the moisturizer types, so they’re good at sealing moisture in the skin and don’t generally burn or irritate sensitive skin.

Creams

Creams contain less oil than ointments and are less greasy on the skin but are also good at sealing moisture. Skin barrier creams are also a good option—they contain ceramides that form a protective barrier on the skin and help seal in moisture and keep irritants out.

Lotions

Lotions are the most lightweight in consistency and texture, but because they are primarily made of water, they evaporate quickly so you may need to reapply the product more often.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can lotion get rid of eczema?

    Lotion can help relieve the symptoms of eczema by keeping your skin moisturized and hydrated. However, there's no “cure” for eczema, and the condition will often come and go throughout your lifetime. Dr. Marcus recommends following an eczema skincare routine that includes avoiding products with fragrance.

  • How often should you apply lotion for eczema?

    It’s best to apply lotion for eczema often—several times a day, if possible—to keep your skin hydrated and prevent flare-ups. Dr. Marcus recommends applying a fragrance-free moisturizer within three minutes of your shower or bath to lock in moisture and strengthen the skin barrier.

  • What are other treatments for eczema?

    To soothe your skin, try soaking in a warm bath containing colloidal oatmeal for about 10 minutes. While your skin is still damp, use a moisturizer formulated to protect the skin barrier. To help get rid of flakes, look for a lotion with ammonium lactate or alpha-hydroxy acid.

    Additionally, Rachel Nazarian, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York, recommends using topical over-the-counter hydrocortisone and regularly using topical emollients, such as Vaseline. “By first using humectants that draw moisture into skin, then locking the moisture in by using an emollient, those suffering from eczema can find the greatest and quickest method of improving the hydration barrier,” she says.

Why Trust Verywell Health

Lindsay Modglin has written articles for Insider, Forbes, Everyday Health, and many more. As a nurse, she has a decade of clinical health and wellness experience. She holds a professional certificate in scientific writing from Stanford University, further helping her break down complex health concepts into easy-to-understand language. Her number-one priority is ensuring that readers have access to accurate and actionable information so they can make the best decisions for their health.

4 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. National Eczema Association. Eczema stats.

  2. American Academy of Dermatology Association. How to Treat Eczema in Babies.

  3. American Academy of Dermatology Association. Eczema types: Atopic dermatitis: Tips for coping.

  4. National Eczema Association. Controlling eczema by moisturizing.

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