Ingredients to Look For (and Avoid) In Eczema Products

Let face it, all eczema products are not created equal.  Some eczema skin products that are “specially formulated” for the condition may actually contain ingredients that can make your skin condition worse.  Other products make lofty claims to improve eczema, but fall short dramatically.  So what are the best products for eczema?  Well, that depends solely on the needs of the individual.  However, there are a few ingredients that every eczema sufferer should look for (and avoid) in eczema products.

Emollients

Anyone who suffers from eczema needs a good moisturizer that helps to replenish the natural oils in the skin. Emollient-rich moisturizers are ideal for eczema skin because they help to keep the skin hydrated without causing irritation. In fact, studies have shown that emollient-based cleansers effectively adds moisture and doesn’t dry out the skin.

Emollients

An emollient is a little like regular moisturizer, except that it’s got a base of fat. The fat layer helps to seal the moisture inside your skin, stop itching, and stop cracking.  Applying emollients directly to the skin after bathing or showering helps to lock in the moisture.

Ceramides

Scientists have discovered that people with eczema have significantly fewer ceramides in the top layer of the skin–specifically the stratum corneum.  The stratum corneum is the main barrier of the skin that keeps out and prevents chemicals from being absorbed into the body and prevents water from escaping the skin.

Eczema treatment products that contain ceramides help to replace this important skin barrier.  Even though there are several moisturizers that claim to have ceramides in their ingredients, they are only regular moisturizers unless they can show:

  • The moisturizer also contains cholesterol and free fatty acids
  • The ratio of these three ingredients is correct

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that is one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants. Vitamin E exists in eight different forms called “isomers”: alpha, beta, gamma, and delta tocopherol; and alpha, beta, gamma, and delta tocotrienol.  Vitamin E is great when applied directly affected eczema areas, as it has proven anti microbial qualities. This doesn’t mean to much to most people, but certain microbes and bacteria are thought to be responsible for a large percentage of the itching and discomfort from eczema, so removing them with Vitamin E can really bring some relief.  Also, it’s worth noting that synthetic vitamin E will not have the same benefits as a natural version.

Vitamin E
Important Note
Please note that not all good eczema products will have all of these ingredients together. Aim for having eczema skincare products in your repertoire that have at least one of the ingredients above, and none of the ingredients listed below.

Ingredients to Avoid in Skin Products for Eczema
  • Fragrance. Fragrances found in eczema products can cause allergic reactions.  Linalool is a type of fragrance that is a common culprit of contact allergies.
  • Nickel.  Nickel is the most common substance that causes eczema.
  • Alcohol.  Alcohol is very drying to the skin and may make your eczema condition worse.
  • Parabens.  Parabens are antimicrobial preservatives that may cause irritation
  • Sulfates.  Sulfates are harsh detergents that can further dry out the skin
  • Propylene glycol.  Propylene glycol is an irritant known to cause contact eczema
  • Colors/dyes.
  • Formaldehyde.  This ingredient is a known carcinogen and an irritant

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