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8 Best Body Washes for Eczema, According to Dermatologists

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Eczema affects 31 million people in the US alone, according to the National Eczema Association. Known for causing “red, itchy, and inflamed plaques of skin,” according to dermatologist Dr. Calvin Williams, a dermatologist at Essential Dermatology Group, eczema can be a tough skin condition to manage, especially because it cause breakouts anywhere on your body. The most common areas include “the insides of the elbows and backs of the knees, as well as wrists and neck,” board-certified dermatologist Dr. Hadley King, tells SheKnows, but “any area can be affected.” That’s why those of us struggling with this condition need a good body wash product to fall back on, one that cleanses and freshens your skin without drying it out.


To find a body wash that’s right for you, it’s important to remember that eczema (aka atopic dermatitis) is “more than just a superficial skin issue,” Williams says. “It’s a reflection of an immune system in distress and a person’s genetics, and the condition is often exacerbated by environmental triggers and stress.” Common symptoms include intense itching, patches of red and scaly skin, and dryness. Soothing and hydrating these irritated parts of your sin is a must, so when it comes to eczema body washes, some key ingredients include:

Shea butter, which contains fatty acids such as linoleic, oleic, and stearic acids to “help retain moisture on the skin and reduce risk of dryness,” cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Michele Green tells SheKnows.

Glycerin, a humectant (moisture-preserving substance) that “attracts and pulls water from the environment to hydrate the skin,” Green explains.

Colloidal oatmeal. Yes, oatmeal belongs in your skincare and your breakfast menu. According to Green, this ingredient is great for calming inflammation and shielding the skin from irritants while locking in moisture.

Vitamin E, or panthenol. This antioxidant “can protect the skin from environmental and oxidative stress and reduce skin redness and inflammation,” Green says.


Hyaluronic acid, which is the moisturizing ingredient. Hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water,” Williams explains, “significantly enhancing skin’s moisture content.”

Ceramides. These are lipids that help form your skin’s barrier and keep it moisturized. That’s “especially important for eczema-prone skin,” Williams says, which often has “a compromised barrier function and a loss of the normal ceramide levels.”

Occlusives, aka oils and waxes that “form an inert layer on the skin and physically block transepidermal water loss,” says King. Occlusives to look for include petrolatum, beeswax, mineral oil, silicones, lanolin, and zinc oxide.

Peptides. “Many individuals with eczema find that anti-aging products such as retinoids are far too harsh on their skin,” Dr. Dendy Engelman, a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist and Mohs surgeon at Shafer Clinic in New York City, tells SheKnows. Instead, she recommends purified pepitdes, which are “made for sensitive skin and gently help to address signs of aging.”

If you’re ready to try a new body wash for your eczema, it’s always a good idea to talk with your dermatologist, who can recommend products based on your skin’s unique needs. But if you’re looking for quick, general, doctor-approved solutions, you’ve come to the right place. Ahead, we rounded up dermatologists’ favorite body washes for eczema to help you find relief.

Best body washes for eczema recommended by dermatologists, at a glance

Best overall: Cetaphil Restoraderm Soothing Wash

Best for sensitive skin: Eucerin Eczema Relief Cream and Body Wash

Best oat formula: Aveeno’s Fragrance-Free Body Wash for Sensitive, Itchy, Dry Skin

Best cleansing oil: La Roche-Posay Lipikar AP+ Gentle Foaming Cleansing Oil

Best budget option: Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar

Best bubbly body wash: Beauty Pie Super Healthy Skin Moisturizing Shea Butter Suds Body Wash

Best bar soap: Beekman 1802 Lilac Dream Goat Milk Soap

Most versatile: Carter + Jane’s Naked The Everything Soap

Best overall

Cetaphil Restoraderm Soothing Wash

Recommended by three different dermatologists, Cetaphile Restoraderm Soothing Wash is formulated for “very dry, irritated skin,” says Williams. It packs a punch with nine different moisturizers, including glycerin and shea butter, which “hydrate the skin and repair the body’s natural moisture barrier,” Williams explains. “It also contains vitamin E to reduce skin inflammation and sensitivity.”

best for sensitive skin

Eucerin Eczema Relief Cream & Body Wash

Designed to be non-irritating and non-drying, Eucerin Eczema Relief Cream and Body Wash is a good choice for sensitive skin. “It is enriched with colloidal oatmeal  which helps protect and soothe the skin,” Dr. Barry Goldman of Barry Goldman Dermatology tells SheKnows, adding that this body wash is “well-liked by my patients.”

Best oat formula

Aveeno’s Fragrance-Free Body Wash for Sensitive, Itchy, Dry Skin

$13.48

$17.99

25% off

$10.99

Green calls Aveeno’s Fragrance-Free Body Wash for Sensitive, Itchy, Dry Skin an “excellent” choice for soothing eczema symptoms. “Its formulation contains a soothing triple oat formula to reduce irritation and moisturize the skin,” she explains. “This body wash is free of parabens, dyes, sulfates, and soaps and has been allergy tested, making it well-suited for individuals with eczema.”

best cleansing oil

La Roche-Posay Lipikar AP+ Gentle Foaming Cleansing Oil

Goldman says he personally uses this unique cleansing oil from La Roche-Posay, which is accepted by the National Eczema Association and formulated for dry and extra dry skin. “Body washes enriched with shea butter and glycerin may leave a protective layer on the skin,” he explains, and this cleanser has both, along with La Roche-Posay spring water and niacinamide to soothe and restore your skin’s moisture barrier.

best budget option

Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar

“I often recommend Dove Sensitive Skin Bar Soap to my patients with eczema,” Williams says. He likes this beauty bar because of its “gentle, hypoallergenic formula,” which is “enriched with moisturizing creams that nourish the skin, rather than stripping it of natural oils like many traditional soaps.” At less than $10, it’s also one of the more budget-friendly (but still effective) options on this list.

best bubbly body wash

Beauty Pie Super Healthy Skin Moisturizing Shea Butter Suds Body Wash

This sudsy, luxurious body wash from Beauty Pie leaves even the driest, eczema-prone skin feeling soft and supple. “The creamy and moisturizing formulation has humectant, emollient and occlusive properties with ingredients like glycerin, sweet almond oil, coconut oil and shea butter,” says King, who recommends this body wash for people with eczema. It’s also “soothing and anti-inflammatory” thanks to ingredients like aloe vera, she says, and doesn’t include sulfates or harsh detergents.

best bar soap

Beekman 1802 Lilac Dream Goat Milk Soap

With a soothing lavender scent and creamy texture, this goat milk soap from Beekman 1802 is a luxurious choice at a budget price for people with eczema. As King points out, it’s full of “glycerin, goat milk, jojoba seed oil, kukui not oil and shea butter [to] hydrate the skin, support the skin barrier, and help to lock in moisture.”

most versatile

Carter + Jane’s Naked The Everything Soap

It’s called The Everything Soap for a reason. This wash from Carter + Jane is meant to replace not only your body wash but also your facial cleanser and hand soap, and its moisturizing ingredients make it a great choice for those with eczema. “Glycerin, moringa seed oil, baobab seed oil and prickly pear seed oil hydrate and moisturize the skin, supporting the skin barrier,” King explains. It also skips out on harsh detergents while staying microbiome-friendly, she adds.

Ingredients to avoid in eczema body wash

As important as grabbing the right body wash for your eczema is avoiding the ones that don’t work so well. It’s a good idea to “avoid harsh soaps, sulfates, and alcohol-based products, as they can strip natural oils and exacerbate dryness and irritation,” dermatologist and chief medical officer at DermOnDemand Dr. Hannah Kopelman tells SheKnows. She also recommends steering clear of parabens and fragrances. (You’ll notice some of these products have fragrances, so it’s best to clear these with your dermatologist first and use them on a small amount of skin to start.) Alcohols, dyes, and other harsh chemicals are also red-flag ingredients to avoid.

Harsh or exfoliating cleansers aren’t good choices for eczema-prone skin either, as they can further dry out the skin. If you’re treating acne, watch out for ingredients like glycolic or salicylic acid too. While these are often used in acne-prone or oily skin, Goldman says, “they may be irritating and aggravate eczema prone skin by disturbing the skin barrier.”

How to use eczema body wash

Massage your eczema body wash into your skin for about a minute, using your hands or a soft wash cloth. “Remember that body washes are only supposed to stay on your skin for a short amount of time,” Williams says. “Patients who leave the washes on their skin for extended periods of time will often face irritation, despite using even the most gentle of body washes.”

Rinse thoroughly using lukewarm water (hot temperatures “can cause excess stress to your skin and strip it of its natural oils,” Engelman says) and pat your skin dry. Follow up your cleansing routine by applying a fragrance-free, hydrating lotion, Engelman says. “I also like to recommend using more than one product on your skin after your shower to provide multiple barriers,” she says. “Always layer products from thinnest to thickest.”

If you experience painful or bleeding skin due to eczema-related itching, Engelman recommends talking to a dermatologist. “They can give you the best guidance on products to use and help you to understand your specific skin’s sensitivities better.”

Before you go, check out our favorite skincare products for teens:

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