The 8 Best Lotions for Eczema of 2020

Calm skin with these gentle, effective topicals

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First Look

Best Overall: Aquaphor Healing Ointment at Amazon

"The addition of glycerin helps prevent dryness from occurring in the first place by attracting water to the skin."

Best Budget: Cetaphil DailyAdvance Ultra Hydrating Lotion at Amazon

"A great option for people who prefer a lighter texture than an ointment as it goes on thin and will leave skin silky smooth."

Best for Face: Eucerin Daily Hydration Lotion at Amazon

"A non-greasy but hydrating lotion that will feel silky on your the most sensitive skin without clogging pores."

Best for Body: Cerave Moisturizing Cream at Amazon

"Has ceramides to help strengthen the skin barrier and lock in moisture while keeping potential eczema-triggering irritants at bay."

Best for Hands: Exederm Flare Control Cream at Amazon

"Provides fast, soothing relief from itching, inflammation, and the red rash often associated with contact dermatitis of the hands."

Best for Itch: CeraVe Itch Relief Moisturizing Lotion at Amazon

"Not only will it help soothe your skin and relieve irritation, but it will eliminate your impulse to scratch."

Best for Families: Vaseline All Over Balm at Amazon

"It is great for local areas because the petroleum jelly creates a great barrier to lock in the moisture."

Best Natural: Wild Naturals Eczema & Psoriasis Cream at Amazon

"Relies on the key ingredients of aloe vera and manuka honey to soothe and hydrate dry skin."

Eczema, also referred to as dermatitis, is a relatively common skin condition impacting approximately one in ten Americans at some point in their lifetime. “Eczema is a group of conditions that causes inflamed, irritated, and itchy skin,” says Nazanin Saedi, MD, director of the Jefferson Laser Surgery and Cosmetic Dermatology Center in Philadelphia.

Eczema can appear all over—your face, hands, on your elbows, behind your knees and other places on your body—manifesting as “a pink to red, scaly patch of dry skin,” she explains. It is often itchy, and unfortunately, scratching makes it worse.

There are plenty of factors that can potentially trigger eczema, and genetic and environmental factors may be influential. “Cold, dry air can definitely make it worse and we need to be aware as we go into colder months,” she adds.

It isn’t contagious, but can get better or worse over time. Unfortunately, there is no cure. “It’s often chronic and the inflammation leads to a disruption in the normal skin barrier.”

The good news? While eczema can’t be cured, it can be treated—no prescription needed. The key tactic in attacking eczema is hydration. “I recommend creams or ointments over lotions because they are better at creating a barrier for the skin,” Dr. Saedi suggests. “You also want to avoid products that are fragranced because they can be irritating and cause an exacerbation.” As for ingredients, she suggests looking for products with glycerin, “to help create a barrier,” and ceramides, “to help strengthen the barrier.”

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Aquaphor Healing Ointment

Aquaphor Ointment

 Courtesy of Amazon

If there is one multitasking skincare product that dermatologists are obsessed with, it is Aquaphor Healing Ointment. Made with 41 percent petroleum, it forms the protective barrier Dr. Saedi was talking about, helping lock moisture in. The addition of glycerin helps prevent dryness from occurring in the first place by attracting water to the skin. Not only is it a great treatment for eczema, you can use it as a body moisturizer, a dry hand treatment, on cracked heels, chapped lips, or even to help heal minor scrapes and cuts.

Best Budget: Cetaphil DailyAdvance Ultra Hydrating Lotion

Cetaphil is another dermatologist-endorsed brand that uses non-irritating ingredients to formulate effective, hydrating products for people suffering from skin issues. This ultra-hydrating lotion is made with moisturizing shea butter and glycerin to keep dryness at bay, macadamia nut oil, and vitamins E and B5. It is a great budget-friendly option for people who prefer a lighter texture than an ointment or cream, as it goes on thin, spreads easily, and will leave skin silky smooth without any stickiness or oily residue.

Best for Face: Eucerin Daily Hydration Lotion

You don’t need to spend a lot of money on an effective eczema face cream. Eucerin Daily Hydration Lotion is a non-greasy but hydrating lotion that will feel silky on your the most sensitive skin without clogging pores. Fragrance-free, like the majority of eczema-specific lotions, it includes effective ingredients such as sunflower oil and pro-vitamin B5.

Best for Body: Cerave Moisturizing Cream

Dr. Saedi is a huge fan of Cerave products, including their Moisturizing Cream, “which has ceramides to help strengthen the skin barrier” and will help lock in moisture while keeping potential eczema-triggering irritants at bay. Your skin will also reap the added hydration benefit of hyaluronic acid. This giant tub of ultra-rich moisturizer is perfect for your body, but probably too heavy for your face. 

Best for Hands: Exederm Flare Control Cream

Exederm Flare Control Cream is found in the first aid aisle of the drug store due to the fact that it features one percent hydrocortisone, a doctor recommended active ingredient to help heal irritated skin. It also provides fast, soothing relief from itching, inflammation, and the red rash often associated with contact dermatitis of the hands. Healthcare workers also use this concentrated cream on their face to help with skin issues—including maskne—caused by mask wearing. It has earned the seal of approval from the National Eczema Association, so you can be assured of its effectiveness. 

Best for Itch: CeraVe Itch Relief Moisturizing Lotion

CeraVe Itch Relief Moisturizing Lotion is another great option from the dermatologist-approved brand and has even earned the seal of acceptance from the National Eczema Association. In addition to ceramides, the key ingredient of this steroid-free product is one percent pramoxine hydrochloride, which helps with eczema-related itch almost immediately. Not only will it help soothe your skin and relieve irritation, but it will eliminate your impulse to scratch, which seriously disrupts the skin’s barrier, leading to more irritation and flakiness. 

Best for Families: Vaseline All Over Balm

Dr. Saedi is a huge fan of Vaseline products, specifically endorsing Vaseline All Over Balm as an effective eczema family treatment. “It is great for local areas because the petroleum jelly creates a great barrier to lock in the moisture,” she points out. Your average petroleum jelly can be messy—especially with kids—making it difficult to target specific areas, “that’s why I love the balm stick,” she maintains. 

Best Natural: Wild Naturals Eczema & Psoriasis Cream

We have some bad news for those searching for an “all natural” eczema product: “People are obsessed with natural, but natural doesn't mean better and less likely to react,” Dr. Saedi reveals. “I always recommend ingredients that are studied and we know work.” This is why the National Eczema Association doesn’t endorse any natural products. However, if being all-natural is a must for you, we suggest Wild Naturals Eczema & Psoriasis Cream, which relies on the key ingredients of aloe vera and manuka honey to soothe and hydrate dry skin. According to a study published in November 2018 in AIMS Microbiology, manuka honey is the “front runner of honeys for non-peroxide antimicrobial activity,” while a number of other studies have found that it is effective in treating eczema.

Final Verdict

As Dr. Saedi points out, your best bet in choosing a great eczema treatment is sticking with products utilizing ingredients proven effective. While there are several to choose from, our all-around top pick is Aquaphor Healing Ointment. Not only will it hydrate dry and itchy skin, but also promotes future hydration. We also love that it is in emollient form, giving you the option to use only a thin layer on the skin, or, for problem areas, applying a thick coat. Even though it is thicker than some of the other lotions on our list, it still feels silky smooth going on—not greasy.

What to Look for in a Lotion for Eczema

There are a few things to look for when choosing an eczema cream, lotion, or ointment.

Ingredients: As mentioned above, if you want an effective eczema treatment, only consider those utilizing effective ingredients including glycerine, ceramides, petrolatum, and even colloidal oatmeal. You should also avoid anything with fragrance, as they are often irritating to the skin. If you aren’t sure what an ingredient is, the National Eczema Association offers an extensive glossary to help you decode it. 

Targeting Specific Problem Areas: Another deciding factor when choosing a product is the location of your targeted treatment area. Different consistencies and solutions are better suited for specific regions. For example, when it comes to your face, you should avoid products with ingredients that could potentially clog pores and lead to breakouts. And, while a lotion is a great all-over body treatment, if you are battling eczema on your elbows or behind your knees, you will probably want a product that is a bit thicker and has more staying power. 

Size and Packaging: You will probably want to invest in a few products, based on packaging alone. While a huge tub of treatment is crucial to have on hand at home, you will likely need a portable product when you are on-the-go.

Why Trust Verywell Health

As an internationally recognized health writer and product guru, Leah Groth understands that nobody wants to waste their time or money on products that fail to rear results. Over the years, she has interviewed the world's top health experts and reviewed hundreds of items, to help readers like you discover the most effective health gadgets, goops, and aids that will help you look and feel your very best.

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Article 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. Silverberg JI, Hanifin JM. Adult eczema prevalence and associations with asthma and other health and demographic factors: a US population-based study. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2013;132(5):1132-8.

  2. Johnston M, Mcbride M, Dahiya D, Owusu-apenten R, Nigam PS. Antibacterial activity of Manuka honey and its components: An overview. AIMS Microbiol. 2018;4(4):655-664.

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