Best Moisturizers for Scaly Skin and Eczema

Eczema is one of the most common skin conditions in the United States. Although there is no "cure" for eczema, there are many ways to manage it. That includes moisturizers that contain alpha-hydroxy acids, or AHAs. AHAs are naturally occurring and are derived from fruit and milk sugars. These are the five types of AHAs found in skincare products and their sources:

  • Glycolic Acid: Sugar cane
  • Lactic Acid: Milk
  • Malic Acid: Apples and pears
  • Citric Acid: Oranges and lemons
  • Tartaric Acid: Grapes

AHA moisturizers work especially well on scaly skin because of their exfoliating properties. They do not contain any harsh, irritating ingredients, making them especially useful for those with mild cases of eczema. It should be noted that they should not be used on areas of broken skin because they can sting.

If you suffer from scaly skin or eczema, try one of these moisturizers:

LactiCare Lotion

Woman putting on lotion


Philipp Nemenz / Getty Images 

LactiCare Lotion contains lactic acid as the exfoliating ingredient and mineral oil as the moisturizing ingredient. It is reasonably priced and would be one of my top picks, except that it has a small hint of fragrance. For anyone with sensitive skin, any type of fragrance can be extremely irritating.

Lac-Hydrin Five

Lac-Hydrin Five contains lactic acid that is buffered with ammonium hydroxide. This means that its pH level is closer to that of normal skin, which causes less stinging. The change in pH, however, often lessens the effectiveness of the exfoliant.

Eucerin Intensive Repair

Eucerin is one of the most tried and true, most recommended eczema moisturizers. Eucerin Intensive Repair contains the alpha hydroxy acid urea, which helps exfoliate flaky skin. It also contains mineral oil and castor oil to moisturize.

Nutraderm Advanced Formula Therapeutic Lotion

Nutraderm Therapeutic Lotion contains alpha-hydroxy acids for extra dry skin, but at a lower concentration than the other moisturizers included in this list. This means that Nutraderm won't clog pores, but it probably won't exfoliate flaky skin as well as other products in this review.

Aqua Care

Aqua Care contains 10 percent urea and provides major relief for dry skin. It absorbs quickly without leaving a greasy, sticky feeling, it's safe enough to use all over the body, and it will help restore moisture and soften even the driest, roughest skin.

Udderly Smooth Extra Care Hand and Body Cream

Udderly Smooth Extra Care Hand & Body Cream contains 20 percent urea, making it a great option for very dry skin. This cream absorbs quickly and provides long-lasting moisture. It's perfect to use on the hands, heels, knees, and elbows, but given its high concentration, it may sting if applied to the face. It's also made in the United States.

Aqua Glycolic Hand and Body Lotion

Aqua Glycolic Hand & Body Lotion contains 14 percent glycolic acid at a pH level of 4.4. At this pH level, it functions more as a moisturizer than an exfoliant. Still, it does exfoliate and remove dead skin cells. Continued use of Aqua Glycolic will reveal softer, smoother skin. It's also fast-absorbing and unscented.

AmLactin Ultra

AmLactin Ultra's Ultraplex formulation is a proprietary blend of potent lactic acids. Its thick formula soothes rough, dry skin, but it's non-greasy. AmLactin Ultra is also fragrance-free.

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