skin care

The Best Eczema Creams for Your Dry, Parched Skin

Photo-Illustration: Courtesy of the Retailers

I’ve had eczema since I was a kid, which means my skin has never not been dry, scaly, and red, even in the summertime. I’m always itchy, too; right now, I can pinpoint about three different places on my body that I’d love to scratch.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for eczema. And although steroids do help, when you’ve used them for as long as I have — I’m going on three decades now —  they can wreak havoc on your skin, adding extra wrinkles and discoloration and thinning out the top layers. (My hands look more tattered and aged than the rest of my body, and I’m pretty sure it’s because, over time, I’ve applied the strongest steroids there.)

Thankfully, however, I’ve found creams that, with diligent use, help prevent my eczema from getting to the point where I actually need steroids. They keep my skin smooth, moisturized, and free of that pesky itch. Below are the best eczema creams I’ve ever used.

The Miracle Worker

It’s been said that eczema is the “itch that rashes” — first you itch, then you scratch, and the next thing you know, you’ve got a red, weepy rash. This CeraVe lotion is the only product that has ever stopped my itching cold. I just slather a generous layer on the itchy spot and truly, within seconds, I no longer want to claw at my flesh. It is hands down the best product I could recommend to you for eczema. Buy this ASAP.

The Holy Grail

Oh my Godthis product. For a year, I had a stubborn patch of eczema on my cheek that refused to go away, no matter what creams I put on it. Steroids would make it disappear, but only temporarily, because days after I stopped the steroid the spot would come back even angrier. I begrudgingly resigned myself to the cycle of steroids and suffering. But after just one day of using the Avène Cicalfate Restorative Skin Cream, the redness, dryness, and overall irritation in the area was significantly reduced. After a few days, the spot was gone.

The Best of Both Worlds

Dove’s DermaSeries line is relatively new, but the lotion is an instant classic — it’s seriously incredible. I lather it all over my body at night after I shower, and I never feel gross and sticky when I put my pajamas on afterward. It’s light enough that it absorbs into my skin quickly, but heavy enough that it restores my moisture barrier better than any over-the-counter product I’ve ever used. With regular application, my skin remains smooth and supple.

The Go-To

This body lotion is my go-to. It’s light but heavy, and it dries down in a way that makes me feel moisturized but not greasy. I like this one just as much as I like Dove DermaSeries — they’re interchangeable for me. You can’t go wrong with either. I’ve also seen people use the cream version of this product on their face, though I’ve yet to try that myself.

The Really Thick and Goopy One

Dove’s lotion is amazing, but if you like a thicker, heavier moisturizer, try this Eucerin product. It’s sticky, so you’ll definitely feel it on your skin when you finish applying it, but you will also get really great results. I especially like lathering it on my legs at night and waking up feeling like a Nair ad.

The Very Popular One

Full disclosure: This lotion is not for me. I think the consistency is too watery, and even when it absorbed into my skin, I never felt like it was actually doing anything. But tons of people love it, including a friend who swears if she goes more than three days without using it, all her eczema symptoms come back. It’s also worth noting that it has an average of 4.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

The Vaseline-Adjacent One

$17

I use this on my lips and on areas of my skin that are extra dry and irritated and are probably one night of scratching away from requiring topical steroids. And it really does help. Even though it has the same petroleum-jellylike consistency as Vaseline, it’s not as greasy and it won’t just sit on top of your eczema; it will actually absorb into your skin, soothing the redness and slowing down the itchy feeling.

If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission. 

The Best Eczema Creams for Your Dry, Parched Skin