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Skincare Ingredients for Eczema and What to Avoid


If you have eczema, you already know that what you use — or don't use — on your skin might affect whether it is red, dry, and irritating. Choosing which products are safe for you, on the other hand, may need some trial and error.

"The right skin-care regimen can help preserve skin function in eczema, but the incorrect one can make matters worse," says Joshua Zeichner, MD, head of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

Source: Vancouver Coastal Health Research Insitute

According to the National Eczema Association, the most prevalent kind of eczema is an itchy skin disease known as atopic dermatitis (NEA). In contrast to contact dermatitis, which can be traced back to a single irritant or allergen, atopic eczema has no known cause. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, it appears to be associated to allergens indirectly since it is frequent in patients who have respiratory allergy symptoms such as asthma (ACAAI).

Eczema must be treated appropriately from the time it occurs, which, according to NEA and ACAAI figures, is in the first five years of life for between 80 and 90 percent of people who have it.

Signs and Symptoms of Eczema 

The face is not the only part of the body that can be impacted. "After weeks to months of scratching, eczema patches on the body can grow thick and discolored, and they can form scabs." "The discoloration might last for months after the itching has stopped," Wu explains. According to the AAD, thickened skin from years of scratching may itch all the time.

One major source of annoyance with adult eczema is that it generally appears on the face and neck. (Children can have facial eczema, too.) “The skin on the face is thinner than elsewhere on the body, so it’s more sensitive.

Since eczema makes your skin sensitive, you may be more susceptible to different forms of dermatitis than someone who does not have eczema. Hands are particularly vulnerable to the illness due to their proximity to several allergy and irritating stimuli. Handwashing, while vital, is only one method. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, frequent hand washing damages the skin barrier, resulting in dry and cracked skin, itching, and probable infection (AAFA). Hand sanitizing might aggravate eczema-prone skin even more. To prevent hand dryness, the AAFA recommends washing your hands with soap and water rather than hand sanitizer, and then using a moisturizer immediately afterwards. This is important to remember during the COVID-19 epidemic, when keeping hands clean is critical.

Trigger Factors of Eczema

Dehydration, environmental pressures, vitamin deficiencies, and other factors can all contribute to dry skin. There is, however, a skin illness that causes inflamed, itchy skin. Eczema is a skin disorder. According to the National Eczema Association, one out of every ten Americans will get eczema at some point in their lives, with the prevalence rising in early childhood, and 31.6 million Americans now suffer from it. The bottom line is that eczema occurs and is pretty common.

What really causes eczema? "The causes of eczema can range from stress to irritating substances, environmental exposures, illness, and allergies, both dietary and seasonal."

Skincare for Eczema

When putting together an eczema skin-care routine, "hydration" is the key term. "We know that with eczema, the skin barrier is not functioning properly, therefore maintaining skin moisture is critical," explains Dr. Zeichner.

Source: Everyday Health

The other key term is "soothing." "Look for products designed exclusively for sensitive skin," advises Wu. "These are typically free of fragrance and other elements known to exacerbate eczema, such as lanolin," says the American Academy of Dermatology. "Skip "unscented" goods, which may have a concealed aroma and may irritate your skin, and opt for a product labeled "dye-free."

Thinking of emphasizing products that hydrate and soothe, according to the AAD, an eczema-friendly moisturizer may play an important part in your skin-care regimen, not only by helping relieve some of the irritation of dry skin but also by helping your skin recover. It may help reduce your need for eczema medication and prevent eczema flare-ups from becoming tough to manage, according to the organization.

An emollient-rich moisturizer can be beneficial on its own, but when used with a corticosteroid cream, the moisturizer boosts the cream's efficiency and may reduce the amount of time you need to use the steroid. According to Harvard Health Publishing, you should simply avoid applying the steroid cream with your moisturizer. (Wait a few minutes between applications to allow each product to do its job.) According to Zeichner, the order in which they should be applied is open for debate. "I have them moisturize first to prime and hydrate the skin - moisturizers are applied liberally, while steroids are used sparingly." As a result, putting the moisturizer on top of the steroids may accidentally transfer them to other regions.

A Starter Skincare Schedule for Eczema




  • Start with a gentle cleanser if your skin is oily. “I recommend gentle, hydrating washes that cleanse without compromising the skin barrier,” says Zeichner. If you have dry or normal skin, just splash your face with water.
  • Use your eczema treatment products, which may include a moisturizer and topical relief cream.
  • Apply daily sunscreen.
  • Wash with cleanser or plain water. If you wear makeup, Zeichner advises avoiding makeup wipes to remove the makeup, because they can be irritating. “Instead, try a biphasic or an oil-based makeup remover,” he says.
  • Apply any treatment product, such as a topical corticosteroid cream or other prescription cream.
  • Follow with moisturizer. Also, when you moisturize is key. “Moisturize within five minutes of getting out of the shower to lock in hydration,” says Zeichner. If you wait too long to moisturize, your skin may actually become drier, notes the National Eczema Society.
  • Consider a humidifier in the bedroom to prevent dry air from affecting the skin, suggests Zeichner. “Look for a cool mist humidifier, which is as effective as hot steam options but safer because they won't burn you if you get too close,” he says.

Adapted from Everyday Health

Ingredients for Eczema

The good news is that you may cure the afflicted skin topically and avoid flare-ups of symptoms. Here are six items that can help soothe, relax, and even prevent eczema from wreaking havoc on your skin.


Petrolatum (made from petroleum) is a thick emollient that helps prevent 99 percent of water loss from your skin. The skin is considerably more capable of rebuilding the barrier if water is kept contained in the injured outer layers where it is lacking. What about the remaining 1% of water?

"Petrolatum is particularly effective since it is critical that the skin not be fully sealed for lengthy periods of time," adds Maiman. "Some water loss is important because it stimulates a feedback process that triggers the formation of lipids (fats), which may be thought of as the bricks of a skin barrier reminiscent of brick and mortar." Apply immediately to breakouts after showering or throughout the day if itching persists.

Colloidal Oatmeal

Colloidal oatmeal is a natural substance that has been shown to be effective in treating and alleviating the symptoms of eczema. "Oatmeal is an emollient, which helps hydrate the skin by preserving the skin barrier and delivering moisture to the skin," explains Orit Markowitz, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. "It is also an anti-inflammatory, focusing on and treating inflammation and redness."

Markowitz suggests bathing in oatmeal for persons with eczema, but the component may also be found in skin-care products, such as body washes and moisturizers, and used as required.


Staying hydrated is essential when dealing with eczema. Humectants aid in the retention of moisture in the skin by pulling water molecules from lower cell layers like a magnet, making them effective in the management of dry, dehydrated, and irritated skin in need of barrier repair. According to Maiman, humectants may collect water vapor from the air to help hydrate the skin when humidity levels above 70%.

According to Maiman, "humectants also accelerate the shedding of dead skin cells by breaking down the proteins that keep the cells together." As a result, they can relieve the feel and look of flaky skin and skin that has hardened as a result of inflammation, scratching, or rubbing, as observed in persons with persistent eczema."

The two most important types of humectants are synthetic and natural. In low doses, synthetic humectants include substances such as propylene glycol, urea, glycerin, and lactic acid, which are widely found in cosmetic products; but, when used in excess, they can interfere with the body's self-hydration systems, potentially drying skin over time.

Natural humectants, on the other hand, bring moisture from the lower skin layers to the surface while improving the skin's moisturizing powers. According to Maiman, the most prevalent natural humectant to seek for in a moisturizer is hyaluronic acid.


Ceramides are fat molecules present in our skin's top layer that help protect and moisturize it. According to Julie Russak, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, atopic skin is intrinsically impaired by ceramide deficits. Ceramides are components of the skin's natural protective barrier.

This results in increased transepidermal water loss and xerosis, which is another technical word for dry skin. Replenishing these ceramides allows the skin's protective barrier to be rebuilt. It's also worth mentioning that people with eczema have less ceramides in their skin, which indicates they don't get enough moisture. But don't worry; ceramides may be replaced with over-the-counter moisturizers.

Virgin Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is still a superfood that is fantastic for baking and hydrating our skin. It's a natural oil extracted from a coconut kernel that includes lauric acid, a fatty acid that promotes and boosts antibacterial activity, which aids in the reduction of germs and other skin illnesses and disorders.

"Virgin coconut oil can enhance skin capacitance, minimize transepidermal water loss, and aid in the regeneration of skin barrier function," explains cosmetic chemist David Petrillo. "In general, virgin coconut is a good moisturizer, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial agent that is also quite mild on the skin."First, because it is comedogenic, it might cause acne in acne-prone people. Also, because people with eczema are more likely to develop food allergies and may even develop them in adulthood, an allergic reaction could theoretically be triggered by application (though this would be uncommon)." That being said, if you are acne-prone or have food allergies, consult with your dermatologist before using coconut oil.


If you go down any cosmetic aisle, you'll notice a vitamin C product on practically every shelf. However, vitamin C is not the only water-soluble vitamin that improves skin health. Niacinamide is a kind of vitamin B3 that helps to reduce permeability and moisture retention while also decreasing irritation and guarding against wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and fine lines.

Another significant advantage of the substance is that it is anti-inflammatory and can lower inflammatory cytokines, which are proteins generated by immune cells in response to particular responses or situations.


Ingredients that are Spikes Eczema

  •  Fragrances

"Fragrances are added to make items smell beautiful and, in certain cases, to hide the odor of undesirable chemicals (a so-called'masking fragrance,'" Lio explained. "However, they are a rather common allergen to which many people with sensitive skin might react." Fragrance should be avoided wherever feasible for persons with sensitive skin or AD."

  • Retinoids

"Retinoids are a fascinating family of vitamin A-related medications. They are beneficial for both acne and anti-aging, but they come at a cost: they are frequently irritating and can cause eczema flare-ups. These should be avoided or handled with extreme caution in people with sensitive skin, according to Lio.

  • Ethanol

"Ethanol (alcohol) is frequently used in gels. These are lightweight, cooling, and dissipate in seconds, making them ideal for hair-bearing regions. Alcohols, on the other hand, can sting, burn, and dry up the skin in individuals with Alzheimer's disease and sensitive skin, therefore they should be avoided," Lio stated.

  • Aromatherapy oils

"Contrary to common assumption, natural scents are just as likely as synthetic perfumes to induce allergies," Yu stated."Tea tree oil, for example, is a natural superhero," Lio pointed out. "It is utilized in a range of skincare products because of its anti-acne, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial characteristics." However, because it may be unpleasant and induce allergic contact dermatitis, it is usually best avoided.


In summary, people with eczema have an overactive immune system that produces inflammation in response to one or more triggers, resulting in red, itchy, flaky skin that may crack or bleed.

When the barrier's integrity is disrupted, moisture can escape and bacteria can enter more easily, predisposing to infection. According to Maiman, people with a more intrinsic type of eczema have a mutation in the gene responsible for producing filaggrin, a protein essential for maintaining the integrity of the skin barrier.