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NOW READING What Is Eczema? Causes, Triggers, and 5 Soothing Products to Try
January 28, 2021

What Is Eczema? Causes, Triggers, and 5 Soothing Products to Try

There’s dry skin, and then there’s, well, dry skin. If your parched complexion looks and feels more like an itchy, red, flaking nuisance sometimes, there’s a good chance you’re actually dealing with eczema.


“Eczema is a broad term meaning to ‘boil over,’” says Dr. Glynis Ablon, MD, FAAD, director of the Ablon Skin Institute & Research Center and Associate Clinical Professor at UCLA. “It encompasses many different skin disorders, including atopic dermatitis, and can start in childhood or adulthood or be continuous.” It can also range from mildly annoying to severe. 



Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone: According to the National Eczema Association, over 31 million Americans have some form of this condition. And while there’s no true cause that’s been identified yet, experts suspect it has to do with a combination of triggers. 


“Trigger factors include topical ingredients and chemicals, exposures to environmental toxins and pollution, nutritional stimulants, stress, and genetic predisposition,” says Ablon. These triggers can cue eczema’s characteristic inflammatory response. 


Of course, you should see a dermatologist for a correct diagnosis — and if it is, indeed, eczema, your first step should be figuring out your personal triggers and avoiding them when possible, says Ablon. (Keeping a food and product diary is a good place to start, she suggests.)


After that, “protecting the skin barrier is one of the best things you can do,” she adds. That’s where these miracle workers come in. From topicals that protect the skin with ceramides to soothing, hydrating must-haves, here are five products to know and love.



Skinfix Eczema Care Kit


Ablon is a fan of Skinfix for eczema sufferers — the trouble is, choosing just one product from their eczema line is nearly impossible. The solution? Their four-piece Eczema Care Kit, which includes their Eczema+ Hand Repair Cream, Targeted Body Balm, Dermatitis Face Balm, and Foaming Oil Body Wash. While each product features its own special blend of clinically proven ingredients, itch-soothing colloidal oatmeal and nourishing sweet almond oil are a couple of the stars. 

If you do want to pick just one? Go for the obsession-worthy Hand Repair Cream — or three. (One for your car, purse, and desk.)


CeraVe Eczema Creamy Oil


The ceramides in CeraVe also get top marks from Ablon. While this classic drugstore brand offers a range of derm-recommended products for eczema, we particularly love this body cream-slash-oil thanks to its formula of hydrating hyaluronic acid, safflower oil, and niacinamide. (Plus, there’s something that feels so luxe about lathering on a body oil after stepping out of the shower.)


Pipette Eczema Lotion


Don’t let the brand’s baby-skincare lines throw you off — this ultra-calming eczema lotion smooths and relieves dry skin for all ages. It’s made with a plant-based blend of barrier-strengthening ceramides, lightly hydrating squalene, and colloidal oat, which renews the skin’s lipid barrier. Bonus: It’s also received the Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association. 


Eczema Honey Original Skin-Soothing Cream


Using the soothing power of honey, this unique product does double-duty by deeply moisturizing and soothing itchiness and irritation. For extra staying power, you can also lock it in with a good old-fashioned lotion on top. It can be used as a makeup remover and a lip balm, too — a true do-it-all product.


Bodewell Anti-Itch Cream


If itchy skin is your biggest eczema-related complaint, enter Bodewell’s Anti-Itch Cream. Crafted with the brand’s signature plant technology and a proprietary blend of centella asiatica, oat extract, and ceramides, it also helps with redness, burning, flaking, and extreme dryness. 

Alexa is a Denver-based writer, editor, and marketing pro who covers all things wellness, travel, beauty, and lifestyle. She has written for Women’s Health, Woman’s Day, Runner’s World, Self Magazine. When she’s not crafting content, you can find her hiking or skiing (depending on the season), drinking red wine, or planning her next travel adventure.



I have eczema. I’ll definitely will have to try those product out. I don’t so much have a problem with itching but more so discoloration and dry patches in and off randomly. Decreasing my sugar intake, removing wheat and dairy have helped but I notice I have more flare ups during the winter time. I usually use True Moringa Oil (Simplicity) and it seems to get the job done.

As a person who suffers from eczema, adding ceramides to my skincare routine is a must to restore my skin barrier. I look for this ingredient not just on the moisturizer I use, but also on my face wash, serum, lip balm, and body cream. My go-to brand will always be CeraVe and I love that you put it on your product recommendations.

Thank you, alexatucker, for offering so many different options! I had eczema as a child, but it disappeared, only to reemerge in my 40s. Most often, it results from moisture trapped under my wedding rings. I've had to learn to take my rings off at night while doing my skincare routine because layering toners and essences with them on leads to fire-hot itchy eczema that I must predominantly battle with steroids. Ceramide-rich creams, like those available from illiyoon and COSRX (I love the Balancium Comfort Ceramide Cream) tamp down the fire and help my skin heal. I'm... Read more

For someone who suffers from this issue like me, I find maintaining that oil mantle and adding gentle oils/ fats into my face and body products has really helped and focusing at internal supplementation/ diet with items rich in omegas( fish, nuts)

I use True Moringa Oil (Simplicity). I have also implemented more Omega 3 fatty acids into my diet as well along with seamoss

I just learned about the brand Eczema Honey to address this skin concern.


my daughter's asthma manifest thru eczema


Forwarding this article to my parents, they both have Eczema!


A friend of mine struggles with eczema and I will definitely be sharing this! These are even useful for people who don't have eczema as well and I've been wanting to try Pipette for a while. Thanks!


31M people struggle with eczema, wow! It just shows you how wide spread this is. One ingredient that helps many people in Asia is green tea based formulations or camellia flower extracts.

I know so many friends/family that have eczema and majority of them never knew how to treat it. CeraVe’s option is awesome! I really love their products since they are so gentle yet very effective. I will recommend Bodewell to anyone with itchy skin. Thank you for this article, I will share it because I know so many people will get great use from it. :)