A simple guide to preventing eczema flare-ups, free from irritating sulfates and fillers
If you suffer from one of those irritatingly itchy skin conditions that fall under the medical umbrella of atopic, we’re here to help you find the best soap for eczema.
Did you know that 3% of adults and 10% to 20% of children suffer from eczema? Moreover, 45% of Americans describe their skin as “sensitive.” While there is no cure for eczema, the most effective treatment is simply avoiding harsh chemicals and scratchy fabrics. But that’s often easier said than done.
We’re willing to bet you’ve had more trouble than you expected finding a soap that is truly gentle. That’s because the FDA has limited authority over skin care products, and cosmetics in general. In fact, according to the National Eczema Association, terms like “hypoallergenic,” “fragrance-free,” and even “organic” may be misleading.
We’ve crafted this guide to help you find the best soap for eczema by guiding you through the ins and outs of reading labels, with a special emphasis on what ingredients to avoid.
Shopping Tips For Finding the Best Soap For Eczema
Unfortunately, you can’t trust everything you read on a label. Your first course of action for finding the best soap for eczema is to flip the bottle over and take a long look at the ingredients. (Hint: The less you have to look at, the better!)
Here are a few key shopping tips:
- Stick to products with fewer ingredients.
- Don’t try new products if you’re currently experiencing a flare-up.
- Test a small amount of soap on a sensitive patch of skin, like your wrist or the back of your knee, before you commit to a half hour of tub time with it.
- The best soap for eczema usually contains plant-based ingredients as they tend to be less abrasive.
- Avoid fragrances as they can be especially harsh on sensitive skin.
- Always use the product as directed.
- Research ingredients using these reliable resources:
As we mentioned above, some products that claim to be “unscented” or “fragrance-free” are still permitted to use those terms as long as the fragrances used have a dual purpose. Get to know your fragrances so you can find them hidden on labels.
The Best Soap For Eczema Has These Ingredients
The following ingredients are shown to gently moisturize and revitalize sensitive skin. Keep an eye out for them in the best soap for eczema.
- Shea butter, glycerin, cocoa butter, coconut oil, olive oil, and lanolin are all gentle and moisturizing bases. The best way to prevent an eczema flare-up is to keep your skin nourished and hydrated, so look for products with these as the main ingredients.
- Hyaluronic acid helps draw moisture from the air into your skin.
- Niacinamide, or vitamin B3, may reduce redness and strengthen your skin.
- Oatmeal and chamomile often provide relief to red, itchy skin.
Avoid These Ingredients If You Have Eczema
There are more harsh chemicals than we can name here, but the following ingredients are the most common – and most irritating – ingredients in soap. The best soap for eczema does not include:
- Preservatives – Yes, even organic soaps use preservatives. But you’ll want to keep a lookout for parabens, such as methylparaben and butylparaben. These ingredients may lead to inflammation. Natural preservatives like neem oil or grapefriend seed extract are less irritating.
- Fragrances – Fragrance oils are synthetic. Soap companies are not required to provide a full list of the chemical composition of their fragrance oils, which commonly consist of 20 – 80 chemicals. Fragrance oils are created from petroleum by-products and are hard on your skin. Instead, look for natural essential oils or buy from one of the trusted vendors listed below.
- Glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and retinol – These ingredients tend to dry out and irritate skin. Eczema causes the skin barrier to weaken, letting moisture escape and toxic chemicals to enter. The addition of any of these ingredients will only make the problem worse
- Surfactants, such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) – While surfactants help soap lather, they are linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, skin irritation, and organ toxicity. Natural alternatives include alginate, made from mineral and vitamin rich algae, and castile soap, named for olive oil-based soap that originated in Castile, Spain.
Our Top Recommendations For The Best Soap For Eczema
Best Bar Soap For Eczema
Kiss My Face has an 86% olive oil bar soap for superior moisturizing. Certified cruelty free, non GMO, and fragrance free, this soap will leave you with a kissable face – and you may just want to kiss the company!
Sam’s Natural is generally targeted toward men, but their Shea Butter Body Bar knows no bounds. Made out of a combination of shea butter and coconut oil, this natural soap is perfect for sensitive skin.
Softest Shower Gel For Eczema
Loaded with soothing ingredients like oat milk, lavender, rose, and chamomile, vegan brand Lush’s cocoa butter and glycerin based shower cream, Oaty Creamy Dreamy, is designed to keep your skin hydrated and alleviate itch.
Most Soothing Hand Soap For Eczema
Tom’s of Maine has been creating all-natural, cruelty free personal products since 1948. It’s no wonder they’ve mastered gentle hand soap. We recommend Tom’s Natural Beauty Bar Soap. It’s unscented, hypoallergenic, and contains no artificial colors, fragrances, or preservatives. On the flip side, it hydrates and soothes sensitive skin with chamomile, olive oil, and natural vitamin E, making it among the best soap for eczema.
Most Luxurious Bath Soak For Eczema
For people with eczema, a simple bath can feel like spa treatment. However, even the top all-natural bath bomb brands often throw synthetic fragrances into the mix. We recommend trying Eczema Honey’s soothing Oatmeal Bath Bomb. This bomb uses cocoa butter and witch hazel to moisturize, oatmeal to relieve itch, and essential oils for a relaxing aroma.
Gentlest Baby & Kids Soap For Eczema
Need to soothe your little one’s skin? Ethique makes an all-in-one soap, shampoo, and bodywash for your tyke. This brand is cruelty-free, eco-friendly, vegan, compostable, waste free, and palm oil free.