Already have an account?
Get back to the

The Best Lotions for Eczema to Soothe Scaling, Itchy Skin

Author photo
Written by Jenna Cartusciello
Best Lotions for Eczema

Hoping to find the best lotions for eczema? Testing a bunch of products at home isn’t ideal — just think of the spending and the inflammation! Fortunately, you can narrow down your selection by researching products first and weighing your choices based on ingredient lists, dermatologist recommendations and The National Eczema Association (NEA) guidelines. This comprehensive guide to the best lotions for eczema can help make that process as smooth as possible.

Why put so much effort into finding a good lotion? “Moisturizers are just as important if not more important than cleansers for eczema,” says Dr. Jenny Liu, dermatologist and YouTuber. “Moisturizing is probably the most important thing you can do when it comes to healing a skin barrier, minimizing flare-ups and treating chronic eczema.” Plus, finding the right lotion for your skin means you’ll have a reliable product for years to come (as long as the formulation doesn’t change). Learn more about the good and bad of lotions and how to use them below.

The Best Lotions for Eczema, According to Dermatologists 

Us Weekly aims to feature only the best products and services. We update when possible, but deals expire and prices can change.
If you buy something via one of our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more!

Finding the Best Lotions for Eczema

As you may already know, lotions are just one type of moisturizer available for eczema. Creams, ointments and balms are highly popular as well, and dermatologists often recommend them for extremely dry skin. So, it’s important to think about why you might want a lotion over a cream, ointment or balm.

Lotions tend to be runnier than creams or balms and therefore easier to apply. This may be ideal for you if your skin gets sensitive from the constant rubbing needed to help a thick cream sink in. In addition, lotions are great for warmer weather when you may only need a light layer of moisture.

Tips for Using Lotion

If you choose a lotion, a few rules remain the same. First: The best time to apply it is after your shower or bath. “After you come out, you want to pat your skin dry,” says Dr. Liu. “Don’t rub, which can irritate your skin. Within a minute, when your skin is still damp and soft, put on a moisturizer. That moisturizer will help seal in water and prevent water loss through your skin. Your skin will also absorb it more easily.”

Second: The American Academy of Dermatology strongly recommends that you perform skin testing before using a new product. To do this, apply a quarter-sized amount of the product twice daily to an area of your skin that a) doesn’t have eczema or atopic dermatitis, and b) doesn’t need to be washed frequently, like your hands. Wash the product off at the end of the day, and repeat this process for seven to 10 days. If you don’t have a reaction in that time frame, the product is likely safe for you to use.

Third: Make sure you check in with your dermatologist before using a product. A dermatologist can test you for certain allergies and determine the type of eczema you have, which will inform your purchasing decisions.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Lotions for Eczema

Helpful Ingredients

A good lotion for eczema will contain ingredients that can help soothe and nourish inflamed, dry skin. Dermatologists agree that the following ingredients work well for most patients with eczema, assuming those patients are not allergic:

  • Aloe vera, which contains antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation
  • Ceramides, or lipids that can help strengthen and repair the skin barrier
  • Colloidal oatmeal, which contains antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation and strengthen the skin barrier
  • Glycerin, a gentle, water-based moisturizer
  • Hyaluronic acid, a lubricant that naturally occurs in the body, and in skincare, helps skin cells retain water molecules
  • Mineral oil
  • Petrolatum
  • Shea butter, a seed fat that comes from the shea tree
  • Vitamin E

Harmful Ingredients

Many, many ingredients in skincare have the potential to irritate sensitive skin, especially eczema-prone skin. Not all of these ingredients are necessarily “bad,” but it is important to be aware of the components in a lotion that could trigger your symptoms. According to Dr. Liu, the most common irritants and allergens include fragrance (also listed as parfum), masking fragrance, or a scent used to cover up an odor, and denatured alcohol. So, opt for products marked as “fragrance free” rather than “unscented,” and check the ingredient label for denatured alcohol.

Potentially Irritating Ingredients

If you have contact dermatitis, certain ingredients in even the gentlest of lotions may still cause irritation. It’s important for your dermatologist to test you for allergies to help you narrow it down, but in the meantime, here are a few ingredients in gentle formulas that may still cause an allergic reaction or irritation:

  • Behentrimonium methosulfate, a hair conditioning agent
  • Benzyl alcohol, a preservative, scent-masking agent and solvent (it helps other ingredients stay dissolved)
  • Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), a preservative and fragrance masking ingredient
  • Methylparaben, a preservative
  • Propylene glycol, a skin-conditioning agent and anti-thickening agent
  • Propylparaben, a preservative and perfuming ingredient
  • Phenoxyethanol, a preservative that keeps a product’s formula shelf stable
  • T-butyl alcohol, a perfuming agent and solvent in the formula
  • Tocopheryl acetate, a skin conditioning agent
  • Triethanolamine, a thickening agent and fragrance masking ingredient

NEA Seal of Acceptance

Lotions that have the NEA Seal of Acceptance don’t contain any ingredients that the NEA marks as known irritants and allergens. Choosing a lotion that has the NEA Seal of Acceptance can therefore make it easier to find a product that works for you.

However, the NEA Seal of Acceptance isn’t the end all, be all. For example, some moisturizers on the approved list contain benzyl alcohol, an ingredient that many dermatologists recommend avoiding if you have sensitive skin. Plus, some moisturizers abide by the NEA Seal of Acceptance guidelines but don’t have a seal because they have not yet been tested by the NEA. So, this buyer’s guide includes some products that have the seal and some that don’t. Every product that has the seal is marked as having it.

Price

Skincare for eczema can get expensive, so finding a product that you can afford to buy regularly is important in maintaining healthy skin over the long haul. This buyer’s guide includes products that range between $5 and $30, and most of the recommendations cost below $20.

What Are the Different Types of Lotions for Eczema?

There are three primary types of lotions that dermatologists recommend for eczema: water based, oil based and medicated. 

Water-Based

A water-based lotion is a lotion that uses water as its primary base. These lotions can contain oils or emollients, as the oils are suspended in water formula. Water-based lotions usually have the lightest feel and dry down quickly.

Oil-Based

An oil-based lotion is a lotion that uses oil as its primary base. It can contain water-based ingredients, as these ingredients can be suspended in the formula so they don’t separate. Oil-based lotions are a great pick if you want a formula with a richer feel. Plus, oils can help “seal in” moisture so it doesn’t evaporate out of the skin during the day.

Medicated

A medicated lotion can be water or oil based, and it has one or more active ingredients that may require a dermatologist’s prescription. Common active ingredients in a medicated eczema lotion include colloidal oatmeal (if it’s at a concentration of 2% or higher), cortisone, calamine and allantoin.

1

Best Overall: Vanicream Moisturizing Lotion

Pros

  • NEA Seal of Acceptance
  • Sinks in quickly
  • Not oily

Cons

  • Contains a few ingredients that may cause reaction
  • Slightly “medical” unscented scent

According to Dr. Liu, dermatologists often recommend Vanicream products to eczema patients because they contain only simple, effective and gentle ingredients. The Vanicream Moisturizing Lotion not only has a short, simple ingredient list, but it also has a lightweight texture and sinks quickly into skin. This product has the NEA Seal of Acceptance.

This product has a low toxicity and irritation rating of three out of 10. This is mainly because it has a few ingredients that may cause an allergic reaction on highly sensitive skin, including BHT and propylene glycol. In addition, some customers may dislike the formula’s slightly “medical” scent, which likely comes from a lack of masking fragrance.

2

Best Budget: Eucerin Skin Calming Lotion

Pros

  • Gentle moisturizers
  • Thick and helps skin retain water
  • Easy application

Cons

  • Lotion may block the pump
  • Hard to get last of lotion out of the bottle

What makes the Eucerin Skin Calming Lotion a great budget pick? Eucerin is known for its gentle formulas, and this inexpensive lotion does a great job of soothing inflamed skin. It contains gentle moisturizers and skin-barrier strengtheners like glycerin and colloidal oatmeal. The consistency is also a bit thick for a lotion, which helps the skin retain water. Plus, the pump makes for easy application. This product has a low toxicity and irritation rating of two out of 10.

What you might not like: Some buyers found that the lotion was too thick for the pump and blocked it. In addition, it can be difficult to get the last of the lotion out of the bottle due to its design.

3

Best Splurge for Adults: La Roche-Posay Lipikar Daily Repair Moisturizing Lotion

Pros

  • NEA Seal of Acceptance
  • Soothing, extremely hydrating moisturizers
  • Non-oily finish

Cons

  • 4/10 toxicity and irritation rating
  • Niacinamide may cause irritation in some users
  • May take a while to sink into skin

The La Roche-Posay Lipikar Daily Repair Lotion is a favorite of Dr. Liu’s for many reasons: It contains soothing, extremely hydrating moisturizers like shea butter and glycerin, and it has powerhouse skincare ingredients like niacinamide to help the skin retain even more moisture. The formula also has a non-sticky, non-oily finish, and it has an NEA Seal of Acceptance.

Note that this product has a toxicity and irritation rating of four out of 10, as it contains a few potential allergens and irritants. These include BHT, t-butyl alcohol and niacinamide. In addition, a few customers found that the formula takes a while to sink into the skin.

4

Best Drugstore: Eucerin Daily Hydration Lotion

Pros

  • Gentle hydrators
  • Sinks quickly into skin
  • Easy pump application

Cons

  • 5/10 toxicity and irritation rating
  • May feel too lightweight
  • A few quality issues when buying from Amazon

Looking for a readily available and affordable eczema moisturizer? If so, try the Eucerin Daily Hydration Lotion. The lightweight formula contains gentle hydrators like sunflower seed oil, glycerin and coconut-derived fatty acids to help replenish the skin barrier’s moisture. The lotion also sinks quickly into the skin, and the pump makes for an easy application. Overall, this product gets very positive reviews for its well-tolerated formula and lightweight feel.

This product has a toxicity and irritation rating of five out of 10 since it contains a few potential allergens. These include phenoxyethanol, tocopheryl acetate and BHT. In addition, a few customers found the formula to be too lightweight and not hydrating enough.

5

Best for Skin Barrier Repair: CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion

Pros

  • NEA Seal of Acceptance
  • 3 essential ceramides in the formula
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • 5/10 toxicity and irritation rating
  • Pricey
  • Amazon shipping issues

CeraVe is best known for products that help repair a damaged skin barrier, and the Daily Moisturizing Lotion is an excellent example. It contains three essential ceramides, or lipids that help “glue” together skin cells, as well as gentle hydrators like glycerin, cetearyl alcohol (an emollient) and dimethicone. The formula also has the NEA Seal of Acceptance.

However, this product has a toxicity and irritation rating of five out of 10 because it contains a few potential allergens and irritants. These include Behentrimonium methosulfate, methylparaben and propylparaben. In addition, a few Amazon customers received bottles with faulty pumps or bottles that spilled in the packaging.

6

Best With Oat: Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion, Fragrance Free

Pros

  • 2/10 toxicity and irritation rating
  • Very hydrating feel
  • Prebiotics may help balance skin microbiome

Cons

  • Contains benzyl alcohol
  • A few customers received bottles with faulty pumps
  • May not sink into skin completely

Colloidal oatmeal is an excellent ingredient for eczema patients because it effectively binds to the skin and keeps moisture contained, plus it reduces itchiness and inflammation. The Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion not only contains colloidal oatmeal, but also prebiotics (which may help balance the skin’s microbiome) and gentle hydrators like dimethicone and cetyl alcohol. In addition, this product has a low toxicity and irritation rating of two out of 10.

On the other hand, the formula contains benzyl alcohol which may trigger contact dermatitis. A few customers also received bottles with faulty pumps, and some buyers disliked the finish and noticed that it didn’t sink into the skin completely. (This is likely because it contains a high concentration of dimethicone, which doesn’t easily absorb into skin.)

7

Best for Face and Body: Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion

Pros

  • NEA Seal of Acceptance
  • Non comedogenic (won’t clog pores)
  • All-day hydration

Cons

  • 3/10 toxicity and irritation rating
  • Pricey
  • May leave a tacky finish

Not all moisturizers that work for the body work for the face, but the Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion does double duty. The formula won’t clog pores, thanks to non comedogenic hydrators like glycerin, cetearyl alcohol, avocado oil and dimethicone. It also has the NEA Seal of Acceptance. Overall, buyers love that the lotion makes skin feel extremely soft and well hydrated throughout the day.

Note that this product has a toxicity and irritation rating of three out of 10. It contains a few ingredients that may cause irritation or an allergic reaction, including benzyl alcohol, tocopheryl acetate and avocado oil.

8

Best for Cold Weather: Lubriderm Advanced Therapy Lotion for Itchy, Extra-Dry Skin, Fragrance Free

Pros

  • Contains pro-ceramide
  • Rich hydration
  • Sinks easily into skin

Cons

  • 5/10 toxicity and irritation rating
  • Quality issues when purchasing the product from Amazon

While creams are usually better than lotions at maintaining skin hydration in cold weather, the Lubriderm Advanced Therapy Lotion is the exception. It contains rich hydrators like glycerin, coconut-derived triglycerides and mineral oil. It also has pro-ceramide (from oat kernels), or a lipid that helps the skin produce ceramides for a healthy skin barrier. As for consistency and feel, this product easily sinks into the skin and leaves a dewy finish.

The downsides: The Lubriderm Advanced Therapy Lotion has a moderate toxicity and irritation rating of five out of 10. Ingredients that may cause irritation or an allergic reaction include phenoxyethanol, BHT and tocopheryl acetate. In addition, a few customers experienced quality issues when purchasing the product off of Amazon.

9

Best for Babies: Hello Bello Premium Baby Lotion, Fragrance Free

Pros

  • NEA Seal of Acceptance
  • Contains pro-ceramide
  • A little goes a long way

Cons

  • Runny
  • Comes out of bottle too quickly
  • Unscented smell may be off putting

What makes Hello Bello such a good pick for delicate, eczema-prone baby skin? This NEA-approved formula contains gentle, nourishing moisturizers like coconut-derived triglyceride, glycerin, cetearyl alcohol and shea butter. It also has oat kernel extract, a pro-ceramide that encourages skin barrier repair. Buyers note that a little goes a long way!

On the other hand, the consistency of this formula is quite runny, which means too much can easily come out of the bottle at one time. Some buyers also dislike the unscented smell of the lotion. This product does not yet have a toxicity rating, though similar Hello Bello products (namely, the Premium Baby Lotion with a lavender scent) have a low toxicity rating of one out of 10.

10

Best Splurge for Babies: Earth Mama Simply Non-Scents Baby Lotion

Pros

  • NEA Seal of Acceptance
  • 1/10 toxicity and irritation rating
  • Simple formula

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Plant extracts may cause irritation
  • Quality issues when buying from Amazon

The Earth Mama Simply Non-Scents Baby Lotion isn’t just great for babies — it’s an excellent product for anyone who struggles with eczema. Non-irritating hydrators in the simple formula include aloe vera, shea butter, oat protein and cetearyl alcohol. It also contains antioxidants like calendula flower extract that may soothe inflammation. This product has a low toxicity and irritation rating of one out of 10, and it has an NEA Seal of Acceptance.

However, the plant extracts may cause an allergic reaction if you have contact dermatitis. This product is also pricey, and some customers experienced quality issues when buying from Amazon.

11

Best Drugstore for Babies: Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Lotion

Pros

  • Contains pro-ceramide
  • Non-irritating hydrators
  • Contains allantoin

Cons

  • Contains benzyl alcohol
  • Quality issues when buying from Amazon

What we like about the Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Lotion: This formula is designed to fortify and protect the skin barrier with the help of dimethicone and oat kernel flour, a pro-ceramide. The simple ingredient list also contains hydrators like glycerin and cetyl alcohol, and it has anti-inflammatory allantoin.

What could be improved: This product has a toxicity and irritation rating of three out of 10 as it contains benzyl alcohol, which may cause irritation. In addition, a few customers received leaking bottles from Amazon.

12

Best Budget for Babies: Baby Dove Sensitive Moisture Lotion, Fragrance Free

Pros

  • NEA Seal of Acceptance
  • Simple ingredient list
  • Absorbs into skin quickly

Cons

  • 3/10 toxicity and irritation rating
  • May not be hydrating enough in cold weather

Dermatologists often recommend the Baby Dove Sensitive Moisture Lotion for several reasons: It has a simple ingredient list, non-irritating hydrators like glycerin and dimethicone, and it’s affordable. The lightweight consistency means the lotion sinks into skin quickly and gives it a soft, hydrated feel. This product also has the NEA Seal of Acceptance.

The downsides: The Baby Dove Sensitive Moisture Lotion has a toxicity and irritation rating of three out of 10. Note that it contains a few potentially irritating ingredients, including triethanolamine and phenoxyethanol. In addition, a few customers found that the formula wasn’t hydrating enough in cooler weather.

13

Best Black-Founded Brand: Shea Moisture Oat Milk and Rice Water Baby Multi-Purpose Balm

Pros

  • NEA Seal of Acceptance
  • 2/10 toxicity and irritation rating
  • Rich hydrators

Cons

  • Certain ingredients may cause reaction
  • Oils may separate in lotion
  • Runny

Though Shea Moisture is no longer a Black-owned brand, it is still Black-founded and Black-led. If you want to support the brand, trying the Oat Milk and Rice Water Balm is a great way to do so. It contains eczema-friendly ingredients like sunflower seed oil, cetearyl alcohol, shea butter, coconut oil, glycerin and rice extract. The rich formula has a low toxicity and irritation rating of two out of 10 and an NEA Seal of Acceptance.

What could be improved: If you have contact dermatitis, you may react to one or more of the ingredients, particularly the coconut oil, grapefruit peel oil and lavender flower extract. You may also need to shake the bottle each time before applying the product, as the oils may separate. Note that some buyers disliked the runny consistency.

14

Best Thick Lotion for Itchiness: Gold Bond Medicated Eczema Relief, Skin Protectant Lotion

Pros

  • NEA Seal of Acceptance
  • Colloidal oatmeal helps relieve inflammation
  • Clinically tested

Cons

  • 5/10 toxicity and irritation rating
  • Some buyers received faulty bottles

While most lotions aren’t as thick or as deeply hydrating as creams, the Gold Bond Medicated Eczema Relief Lotion is a great exception. The NEA-approved formula contains colloidal oatmeal, an active ingredient that can help soothe itchy and inflamed skin. It also has rich hydrators like dimethicone, petrolatum and shea butter to help repair cracked, dry areas. Plus, clinical testing showed that most eczema patients experienced significant improvement in their flare-ups by using this lotion for two weeks.

However, this product has a toxicity and irritation rating of five out of 10, as it contains a few ingredients that may be irritating or cause an allergic reaction. These include tocopheryl acetate, phenoxyethanol and methylparaben. Additionally, some buyers received bottles with faulty or broken pumps.

15

Best Thin Lotion for Itchy Skin: Aveeno Anti-Itch Concentrated Lotion

Pros

  • Simple formula
  • Great for nighttime itchiness
  • Gentle hydrators

Cons

  • Pricey
  • 3/10 toxicity and irritation rating
  • Scent may be off putting

It’s not easy to soothe inflamed eczema once it becomes itchy, but the Aveeno Anti-Itch Concentrated Lotion can help. The lightweight formula contains a couple active ingredients to soothe itchiness, including calamine and pramoxine HCl. Gentle hydrators and skin barrier strengtheners include oat kernel oil (a pro-ceramide), glycerin, cetearyl alcohol and dimethicone. Overall, this is a great lotion to use at night when itchiness often starts.

This product has a toxicity and irritation rating of three out of 10. Potentially irritating ingredients include methylparaben. Also, a few customers found that the scent was a little off-putting, while others noted that the bottle is pricey for the size.

People Also Ask

  • Q: What skin lotion is good for eczema?

    A:The Vanicream Moisturizing Lotion is a great product for eczema as it has a soothing, no-nonsense formula and the NEA Seal of Acceptance.

  • Q: Is lotion good or bad for eczema?

    A:According to Dr. Liu, applying moisturizer after every bath or shower is a crucial part of skincare for eczema. Lotions are a great form of moisture for warmer weather, when heavier creams and balms can feel too heavy.

  • Q: Is Vaseline better than lotion for eczema?

    A:Vaseline is an excellent option for eczema because it forms a thick barrier, almost like a second skin, giving the skin barrier a chance to heal. However, it may feel too thick depending on the area of the body and the weather. In this case, an eczema lotion is a great alternative.

  • Q: How much does lotion for eczema cost?

    A:Lotions for eczema cost anywhere between $5 and $50. The recommendations in this guide fall between $5 and $30.

Why trust Us

At Us Weekly, we aim to inform readers to make smart purchasing decisions, saving you both time and money. Our editors are obsessed with finding products in a variety of categories from fashion and beauty, to home and fitness.

We try various products, so we can recommend our favorites, and we also summarize feedback and data from other customers. Data, like product reviews and ratings, helps us recommend the best product choices for individual price points and needs.

On top of that, we highlight unique product features for special use cases, ingredients preferences, and more. We strive to make sure you are discovering new products that can make your life easier, while keeping you up to date with the best product choices for types of items you already know and love.

Author photo

By Jenna Cartusciello

Affiliate Commerce Writer Jenna loves recommending great products to her friends and family, so helping the rest of the internet on their quest to find the best stuff makes tremendous sense! Though she mainly writes in-depth buyer’s guides these days, Jenna still enjoys crafting the occasional health article. In her spare time, she loves immersing herself in creative writing. Her favorite authors (for anyone who is willing to geek out with her) include Neil Gaiman, Cheryl Strayed, and Jennifer Egan.

Got a Tip form close button
Got a tip for US?
We're All Ears for Celebrity Buzz!