Atopic dermatitis or more commonly known as eczema is a skin condition that can cause your skin to get dry, itch, inflamed, and even bleed out. This is a highly uncomfortable condition to have, which is why we often use dedicated soaps for eczema that can help prevent it from flaring up.
But, by knowing which soap works for your eczema, you can drastically reduce the effects it can have on your skin and help you get through your day-to-day life more pleasantly. That said, be sure to check out our buying guide below, reviewed by dermatologist Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz, and our list of the 10 best soaps for eczema.
Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz is the face behind Ask Your Derma. She is a board-certified dermatologist in Metro Manila. She is also an educator and digital creator on all things skin, hair, and nails. She is a Diplomate of the Philippine Dermatological Society and offers online video consultations. You can also catch her on her Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube channel.
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
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Here are some key points to consider:
Opt for fragrance-free soaps to prevent irritation.
Go for soaps that contain hydrating and soothing ingredients.
Be wary of harsh ingredients that could cause eczema to flare up.
Choose soaps with lower pH levels to avoid stripping your skin of moisture.
For more detailed information, read through the buying guide below:
Studies have shown that fragrance-heavy soaps cause the most irritation to the skin for people with eczema. This is mainly due to the fact that eczema as a skin condition, is easily triggered by external factors like smoke, dust, and scents found in certain soaps.
Thus, it is important to stay away from scented soaps in order to prevent your skin from getting inflamed and itchy. Opt for non-scented soaps in order to keep your skin healthy and free from any irritation that may cause further damage.
Fragrances have gotten a bad rep over the years. While fragrance is not 100% all that bad, if you have eczema, you fall into the percentage of the population that has a much higher risk of developing an irritation from fragrance.
Soaps strip away any dirt and bacteria that may be present on our skin. However, they also wash away natural oils that protect our skin, which may cause them to get dry and exacerbate those with eczema. Thus, it is essential to choose soaps that contain ingredients that nourish your skin. Read them down below.
Humectants are the group of ingredients that draw moisture to the skin, giving it hydration without making it feel heavy or malagkit. This makes it ideal given our humid weather. Soaps that contain ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, panthenol, and niacinamide are a great choice for people with eczema.
Humectants act sort of like a sponge by drawing in water from the deeper layers of the skin as well as from the environment.
#AskYourDerma Tip: Follow up immediately with a moisturizer within 10 minutes of bathing while your skin is still moist.
Eczema causes a person's skin to get dry and sometimes crack, leaving open wounds on the surface of their skin. But, you can prevent that by using soaps that contain occlusives like shea butter and lanolin.
Occlusives trap moisture in your skin by forming a protective layer over it. This also repairs the cracks in your skin barrier, making it look healthier and smoother.
Occlusives help prevent transepidermal water loss, which is one of the problems of people with eczema, by forming a protective film over the skin.
Emollients are similar to occlusives because they also form a film on your skin. But, they also help soften the skin and soothe itching and inflammation, making them helpful for those who have eczema. Certain ingredients like colloidal oatmeal, ceramides, and primrose oil help reinforce your skin barrier, keeping it soothed and hydrated.
Emollients are great for those with eczema as they can help smoothen out dry and flakey patches on your skin. This is definitely a must for eczematous skin as it helps restore and strengthen skin barrier function.
Most soaps include plenty of natural and non-natural ingredients that aim to help improve people’s aroma and provide more moisture to their skin. However, some ingredients can trigger skin conditions like eczema and cause it to significantly flare up.
That said, make sure to be wary of certain ingredients in soap that may trigger your eczema, and always look at the ingredient list. Some aggravating ingredients may include the following such as ethanol, retinol, propylene glycol, salicylic acid, and formaldehyde among others.
If you have eczema, then you should be a label reader.
#AskYourDerma Tip: Keep an allergy diary or a list of things that you've observed causes your skin to flare up. Then make sure to check out the ingredient lists of products before you use them.
On average, a person's skin has a pH level of 4.5 to 5.5. However, most soaps are made with 9 to 10 pH levels, which can make them harsher for people with sensitive skin or those suffering from conditions like eczema. This is because higher pH levels tend to strip the skin's natural moisture, causing it to get itchier and drier.
That is why you must go for soaps that have lower pH levels in order to help your skin retain its natural oils to keep it hydrated. This is essential for people with eczema since their skin barrier is already weakened, which means soaps with high pH levels can worsen their irritation-prone skin.
Aside from looking for a pH-balanced cleanser, consider looking for cleansers with barrier-strengthening ingredients like niacinamide or panthenol, to name a few.
Although soaps are commonly used when cleaning our skin, body washes can also do the same. This is because body washes are less harsh on the skin than regular soaps. They contain emollient ingredients like petrolatum, lanolin, and mineral oil, which leave a protective layer on the skin.
This leaves your skin feeling softer and moisturized, making it a great alternative for people dealing with eczema. However, this particular quality is also what some people dislike about them because it makes them feel sticky afterward.
Body soaps or body washes - these are equally effective in cleansing the body. So it boils down to your personal preference.
Click to purchase
Deep Cleansing Bar
A Soap for Everybody Regardless of Skin Type and Age
Soothing Body Wash
A Soothing Solution for Very Dry Skin
Eczema Relief Cream Body Wash
A Calming Body Wash to Relieve Itchy Skin
Sensitive Beauty Bar
An Affordable Option That Fits into Your Budget
Gentle Body Wash for Sensitive Skin
A Revitalizing Wash for Sensitive Skin
Skin Relief Body Wash
Has a Nourishing Formula Leaves Skin Soft to the Touch
Pro Ad Derma Skin Restoring Wash
An Ultra-Gentle Formula That’s Safe for Newborns
Facial Cleansing Bar
A Gentle Cleanser That Won’t Clog Your Pores
Shea Butter Extra Gentle Soap
A Moisturizing Soap for Everyday Use
Baby Milk Soap
Great for Babies and Adults Alike
Cetaphil is one of the most widely recommended soaps when it comes to dealing with sensitive skin or eczema, and it’s not hard to see why. Their soap cleans the skin to get rid of dirt and bacteria without stripping it of its natural oils. It now comes in a new and improved soap-free formula that contains glycerin, panthenol, and niacinamide.
Altogether, it aims to hydrate, moisturize, and protect your skin against the 5 signs of skin sensitivity, such as a weakened skin barrier, tightness, roughness, dryness, and irritation. It is also gentle enough to use on the face and body, has neutral pH levels, and has no fragrance! So, if you’re looking for a soap for eczema, you can never go wrong with this.
CeraVe is another go-to brand for people dealing with skin conditions like eczema, and their Soothing Body Wash is a great example of this. Its main ingredients consist of hyaluronic acid, which brings moisture to the skin, and ceramides that restore your skin's barrier. This is why it's a great choice for people with eczema or eczema-prone skin.
It also contains omega oils which can help calm and moisturize the skin. This makes it suitable for people with very dry and itchy skin, especially if you find traditional bar soap to be too drying. In addition, it is accepted by the National Eczema Association, so know that you're in good hands with this product.
If you frequently suffer from dry and itchy skin, normal soaps may not cut it. But, Eucerin’s Eczema Relief Cream Body Wash accomplishes this feat easily as it is specifically formulated to address the needs of eczema-prone skin. Its main ingredient is 2% colloidal oatmeal, which can help protect and soothe skin.
This helps to avoid itching or irritation people with sensitive skin might experience after showering. It has a low pH formula that’s soap, fragrance, and paraben-free. Plus, it also contains ceramides to help strengthen your skin’s protective barrier, making it suitable for those who suffer from more moderate cases of eczema.
If you're looking for a soap that not only helps you deal with eczema but also doesn't break the bank, then Dove's Sensitive Beauty Bar is the choice for you. It's made up of 1/4 moisturizing cream, which won't strip your skin of its natural oils and won't leave your skin feeling dry after use.
It is also fragrance-free, making it a great option for people struggling with dry and itchy skin when exposed to fragrance. And with its affordability and gentle formula, it's one of the mildest and most nourishing soaps for people looking for a budget-friendly option.
Vanicream's Gentle Body Wash has been recognized by the National Eczema Association, making it one of the best choices for people dealing with dry and sensitive skin. It utilizes ingredients like glycerin to moisturize your skin and repair any cracks or damages as a result of scratching or inflammation.
It also helps to make sure your skin remains moisturized and hydrated after every shower and ensures you won't feel any itchiness or irritation whatsoever. This makes it the perfect choice for people with particularly sensitive skin. Its gentle formulation makes it suitable for kids too!
With Aveeno’s Skin Relief body wash, your skin will experience smoothness like never before. It is packed with triple oat complex such as oat oil, oat flour, and oat extract to help moisturize skin and alleviate dryness, perfect for those with eczema-prone skin.
In addition, oatmeal is helpful for soothing itchiness, so your skin feels soft and moisturized to the touch after taking a bath. This makes this body wash gentle enough for daily use. If you’re not a fan of body washes, don’t fret as this is also available in a bar form!
Another product from Cetaphil, the Pro Ad Derma Skin Restoring Wash, is formulated specifically for eczema-prone skin. It contains their patented Miracare and Filaggrin technology to restore your skin barrier and improve your skin’s moisture retention.
Moreover, it contains ceramide complex and vitamins B5 and B3, making it beneficial in soothing dry and itchy skin. It is even recommended for all ages, even newborns. So, if your little ones have eczema-prone skin, this is a great choice to meet their daily skin needs.
If you’re looking for a facial cleanser that won't further irritate eczema, Neutrogena’s Facial Cleansing Bar might be the one for you. Its main ingredient is glycerin, which can help lock in your skin’s moisture and won’t leave your skin dry after you rinse it.
What’s great about this cleanser is that it can remove oil, dirt, and grime on your face, which is great especially if you wear makeup or you’re always out and about. Best of all, it won’t leave any residue that can clog your pores!
From the name itself, L'Occitane's Shea Butter Extra Gentle Soap consists of shea butter known for its moisturizing and soothing effects. Shea butter also helps soften the skin and forms a protective layer, making it a great pick if you have eczema or are eczema-prone.
Apart from that, this soap only contains a few ingredients, namely organic shea butter, a foaming base, and sweet almond milk. Users love how mild this soap is. They also like how it feels nice and gentle on the skin, making it suitable for daily use!
Johnson's Baby Milk Soap is a great choice for parents looking to prevent their baby's eczema from flaring up. With over 100 years of experience, you can bet they can be trusted. Their soap consists of milk proteins and vitamin E to keep your baby's skin soft and nourished.
And though its pH levels are higher, it is still recommended by dermatologists for people looking to calm skin irritations. Best of all, even if you're an adult looking for a soap that'll help calm your eczema, know that this soap is still a viable option for you.
When it comes to eczema, it is best that you consult your board-certified dermatologist of choice early on so that the correct diagnosis can be made. Improving eczema starts with good skincare habits, such as using a moisturizing soap and, of course, moisturizers. But remember, it's not the only treatment option!
Below are some of the most asked questions on the web answered by board-certified dermatologist Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz.
Remember, eczema is an umbrella term for different types of conditions. Sulfur is generally drying, so it may not be ideal for those with atopic dermatitis.
However, it can be beneficial for those with psoriasis. Best to consult your dermatologist to make a proper assessment of your skin condition.
The best soap for eczema is one that helps keep your skin moisturized. At the end of the day, it boils down to trying it out and making sure it's the best for YOUR skin.
Absolutely no! While Perla is marketed as hypoallergenic and gentle, it is meant for clothes and not for your skin.
Give your skin more TLC! Below are some links for more of our articles that list down the best sensitive skin-friendly skincare products.
Author: Aaron Joseph L. Costes
Editor: J. Cuizon
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