The Best Body Washes for Eczema
Eczema is the name for a group of skin conditions that result in dry, irritated and inflamed skin. Eczema is a form of dermatitis, which is a group of conditions resulting in skin irritation.
There are seven different types of eczema: Atopic dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, contact dermatitis, discoid or nummular eczema, neurodermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis and stasis dermatitis. Atopic eczema is the most common form, generally starting in infancy/childhood and continuing throughout life. It can be present on its own, or alongside other forms of eczema.
The symptoms of eczema include dry, itchy and sore skin. For some people, there are only patches of irritated skin, while others experience widespread inflammation throughout the body.
The cause of eczema remains relatively unknown. Current understanding defines eczema as being a complex interaction between an individual’s genes and their environment.
Who is at risk?
Eczema is more common in young children, but can occur in any age group. Risk factors include a family history of eczema, and stress. Other risk factors include suffering from asthma, or allergies.
Eczema tends to affect the same number of men and women. Something to keep in mind is that male skin tends to be more oily and shiny compared with female skin, making females more prone to dry skin and flares of eczema.
What are the triggers?
While eczema affects everyone differently, and because of this has different triggers, some common triggers include:
- Living in more extreme environments – either cold and damp, or hot regions.
- Issues with your immune system which can trigger flare ups
- Mental health can also impact your eczema symptoms, due to the increased stress. The exact link here is not yet clearly understood, but it is known that stress can result in physical symptoms, affecting different people in different ways.
- Dry skin can lead to an eczema flare up, making it important to stay on top of your self care routine and apply body wash and moisturizer regularly.
- Irritants: many common household products can trigger eczema, for example laundry detergent, shampoo and body wash. This means it’s important to check the ingredient list on the products you’re buying to make sure they won’t cause further irritation to your skin.
How is it diagnosed?
Generally, eczema is diagnosed by firstly taking your medical history, followed by a skin examination. If there is still uncertainty about the cause of your skin irritation, your doctor may carry out further tests to rule out potential allergies.
How is it treated?
Currently, there is no cure for eczema. In some cases, it’s possible to grow out of eczema and you may find that symptoms improve with time. Key treatments include
- Emollients: Daily moisturizers to prevent the skin from drying out.
- Corticosteroids: During flare ups, these are commonly used to reduce swelling and redness. They help to bring your eczema symptoms under control, fast. Corticosteroids can either be administered directly onto the skin (topically) or ingested (orally). Topical corticosteroids are generally safer, however they can be less effective. While oral steroids are more effective, they are generally used more in the short term given their side effects.
What body wash ingredients should be avoided?
As fragrances are the ‘trade secret’ of any brand, manufacturers aren’t required to report on their ingredient list. They can be full of many different ingredients and are a common cause of irritation. Instead, it’s sensible to opt for one of the best body washes for eczema which are either fragrance free products, or body washes that use the power of nature to scent their products.
Retinoids are a class of compounds derived from vitamin A. They are often added to products to make the skin appear more youthful. However, they can trigger eczema flare ups.
Parabens are very common ingredients in skin care products as they act as preservatives, allowing you to use your products for much longer. However, they can trigger eczema in some cases and are generally best avoided. Recent research has shed light on the potential harm they can cause the body, including a link to cancer risk.
1. Blu Atlas Body Wash
When Blu Atlas entered the health care scene in 2022, they took the world by storm with their beautifully natural, science-backed formulas. They’ve proven that looking after yourself doesn’t have to be complicated. Their formula is free of artificial fragrance, but doesn’t compromise on smell by using powerful natural ingredients, suitable for both men and women. Some of their favorite ingredients include green tea which provides care rich in antioxidants, helping to reduce redness and inflammation. Aloe vera is one of nature’s most powerful moisturizers, and is also rich in vitamin C, E and vitamin A. Sugarcane is a gentle natural exfoliant, helping to bring back your skin’s glow.
With no artificial ingredients, and free from parabens, sulfates and phthalates, Blu Atlas is a great choice, whether you’re experiencing eczema or tend to have dry skin. It’s also pH balanced, so you don’t have to worry about it stripping or weakening your skin’s natural barriers.
They also offer a shower bundle that includes shampoo and conditioner if you’re after their full treatment! Choose between natural, or their naturally scented coconut apricot body wash.
2. Wild Naturals Eczema body wash
Manuka honey is packed full of nutrients, which works miracles on the skin. It’s known for soothing eczema, has strong antibacterial properties, promotes wound healing, as well as having anti fungal and anti inflammatory properties. Aloe vera and vitamin E are great for soothing the skin, reducing skin itching, and fighting against damage from free radicals. Cehami flower extract from all the way over in Australia is used for reducing itchiness and redness, improving your overall complexion.
Wild Naturals’ products are built around the natural pH of your skin to ensure balance is maintained. Rather than adding water to dilute their key ingredients, their main ingredient is aloe – ensuring that you get concentrated, high quality ingredients. It’s these choices that Wild Naturals have made that set them apart from many other body washes for eczema on the market.
Committed to results, Wild Naturals offers a 100% money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied. People have commented on how effective this body wash has been even on more severe eczema, without leaving any greasy after effects.
3. Nola Skin Essentials: Oats of Glory
Designed for sensitive skin, this oat based body wash is an all natural option that you’ll definitely want to try. Colloidal oatmeal binds to the skin, to create a protective barrier and keep out dry air, helping to maintain moisture long term. Shea oil moisturizes the skin, improving the appearance of dry or rough patches.
Nola Skin creates clean, vegan products for every skin type, crafted in small batches to determine the perfect balance of ingredients. They offer bundles targeted at different skin types if you want to get a full package tailored to your needs.
People absolutely love Nola Skin products, saying they make them feel on top of the world, evening out their skin and helping with their overall confidence.
4. Monat Body Care: Moisturize and replenish body wash
This body wash is hugely refreshing and leaves the skin feeling soft and supple, targeting dryness at its source. With touches of peony and pink pepper, you’ll be turning heads with this delicious summery scent. Beetroot extract also has a number of surprising skin benefits. It fights acne and gives the skin a glow, smooths the complexion and moisturizes. Because they are a cosmetics brand, they don’t claim to work any miracles on eczema. However, many loyal customers have commented on the huge difference this body wash has made on their symptoms, so it may be worth a try for you too!
Monat Body Care started simply with one family, aiming to create products and a global community that feels like a part of that family. They’re conscious about their environmental footprint too, looking at ways to source ingredients carefully and optimize packaging.
5. Honest Company: Soothing therapy eczema body wash
Perfect for skin in need of gentle care, this body wash is great at targeting dry patches and restoring your skin’s natural balance. Prebiotics are compounds found in food that promote the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut. They also play a role in your skin care, balancing the good and bad bacteria on your skin. Colloidal oatmeal, found in many of the body washes on this list, is great for its skin soothing effects. This soothing therapy body wash is also great for babies and young children, so it can provide solutions for the whole family!
Honest Company was created with an emphasis on sustainability and inclusivity, and maintaining an honest approach in every way possible. They’ve banned a series of questionable ingredients from all of their products. Their team has devoted over 18,000 hours of their time to volunteering, finding different ways to give back to the community where possible. Honest also partnered with Baby2Baby, providing essential products to at-risk communities. Clearly, they’re about delivering results but also don’t shy away from the details, making them a great option to support.
6. Cetaphil Pro Restoraderm soothing body wash
Arginine is a non-essential amino acid that is usually produced by the body, important for fighting off free radical damage. Overall, arginine has soothing properties and reduces aging of the skin, helping to calm skin with eczema. To complement this, filaggrin, a protein complex, is present to help build the skin’s barrier and maintain moisture over time. This body wash also features one of our favorite ingredients, colloidal oatmeal. Cetaphil is endorsed by the National Eczema Association so you can guarantee it’s been certified and tested.
They recommend applying their eczema formulated moisturizer after bathing. Customers love how well this formula works on sensitive skin. It’s also great given the size of the packaging, allowing you to get your value for money and meaning you can use this body wash for longer. It’s great if you’re looking for something fragrance free, ensuring you’re getting soothing results without any complicated ingredients.
8. Oilatum Shower Gel
Formulated for dry skin and eczema, Oilatum offers a simple fragrance free body wash that delivers strong results. This gel works by boosting the outer protective layer of the skin, helping to form a protective film that hydrates and retains moisture in the skin. Liquid paraffin is the key ingredient, which works by locking in moisture and preventing skin itching.
Oilatum has scientists committed to ongoing research, to help determine the best ingredients that deliver long-lasting results, and provide the best relief for eczema symptoms.
Oilatum also has separate products designed for children, specially crafted through keeping in mind the differences in skin composition between adults and children. Young children’s skin is thinner and more susceptible than adults’, making it of even more importance to preserve the skin’s external barrier to provide protection from external irritants. Their website is full of advice around dealing with eczema in babies, young children, and even if you’re looking for advice for yourself! It’s great to find community and support when getting advice to best look after your eczema symptoms, so you can get the answers you need.
9. The Beauty of Eczema: Skin Warrior Wash
Tested by dermatologists, this body wash is suitable for acne prone, eczema prone, or psoriasis prone skin. Oat lipids and almond oil provide the hydration your skin needs, full of vitamin E for antioxidant benefits and overall improvements in skin health.
This skin warrior wash is suitable for use on your face, hands, and body. Huge numbers of five star reviews highlight the transformations it’s resulted in for many experiencing eczema. Reviewers are delighted to finally be able to have comforting, pain free showers that allow them to regain control over their eczema symptoms. If you have any questions before trying out their body wash, Beauty of Eczema offers an online chat option on their website to help you on your self care journey.
The Beauty of Eczema was created by Camille Knowles who had experienced her own lifelong struggles with eczema. She’s written multiple books on eczema, hoping to inspire others with her own wisdom on how to live a glowing life and not be held back by symptoms. Camille also emphasizes the importance of tuning into your body, given the strong relationship between stress and eczema flare ups. She recommends using flare ups as a sign to look inwards and take steps to look after yourself like going to sleep earlier, getting out in nature or setting more boundaries.
7. Shea Moisture African Black Soap: Soothing body wash
Tailored for eczema and psoriasis therapy, this cleansing body wash will work wonders on your skin. Shea moisture is centered around homeopathic therapy – where less is more. In homeopathy, ailments are treated by using minute doses of natural substances, enabling the body to heal. While homeopathy may not be the first line of treatment chosen by your doctor, some consumers have found huge improvements from using this soap bar.
The key ingredient of this African Black Soap is aloe which provides moisture, and hydrocotyle asiatica, a plant known for its antioxidant, anti-cellulite, anti-aging, and anti-inflammatory properties. This is all locked together with fair trade shea butter, one of nature’s finest moisturizers, extracted from the nut of the African shea tree. Shea Moisture carefully formulates their products with no sulfates, parabens, mineral oil, animal testing or phthalates.
With every purchase you are supporting local communities. To date, Shea Moisture has given $10 million to black communities through donations, partnerships and purpose driven programs. You can also join their mail list to learn more about beauty tips and tricks.
Before trying this product we recommend doing a test patch on your skin, as important to note that tea tree oil doesn’t work for everyone!
8. Puracy Body Wash: Citrus and Sea Salt
This all-natural cleanser uses plant-based moisturizers including grapefruit essential oil to deliver maximal moisturizing effects. Natural preservatives include potassium sorbate and citric acid, rather than complicated, artificial preservatives that could potentially cause harm to your body. They offer three delicious scents so you can choose between citrus and sea salt, bergamot and sandalwood, or coconut and vanilla. Puracy is hypoallergenic making it a great option if you have eczema, and it’s also gluten free and biodegradable – ticking all the right boxes.
Puracy was founded with the aim of creating that perfect shower moment, where you have time completely to yourself, free from any responsibilities. Created by scientists and dermatologists, Puracy is also backed by evidence to provide solutions for the whole family.
9. SVR: TOPIALYSE Gel Lavant
This affordable body wash is great at providing 24 hour relief for dry skin. SVR is a French dermocosmetic brand that has been offering skin solutions for over 60 years. Using omega 3, 6 and 9 for essential skin hydration, and for balancing oil production. Omega fatty acids have been found to significantly improve eczema symptoms. Prebiotics strengthen the skin, while nicotinamide (a form of vitamin B) improves uneven skin tone, and helps to build proteins in the skin to build a barrier against environmental damage and skin dehydration.
After testing on users, SVR found that over 90% reported instant soothing and comforting, reduced skin itchiness, and reduced sensations of tightness and irritation. With just 10 simple ingredients, this formula has been carefully tested to ensure it doesn’t have any harmful effects on the body. This all-round body wash is suitable for all skin types and ages, leaving silky smooth skin after every shower.
SVR also offers eco-friendly refill options to help save on plastic packaging, too!
10. Pai Skincare: Gentle Genius
Made for sensitive skin, tested on and built for those with eczema, dry skin or psoriasis. Usually, shower gels are not an option for anyone with sensitive skin as foaming agents can be potential skin irritants. However, Pai skincare has developed this gentle solution with the dynamic duo of their camellia and bergamot body wash paired with a konjac sponge to help with application. Camellia isn’t just there for the scent, it is also rich in antioxidants and has strong anti-aging power, leaving the skin feeling moist and hydrated.
Their fully compostable packaging can be disposed of in either food waste or compost. We recommend pairing this body wash with their calendula and jojoba comforting body cream. Pai’s founder suffered from urticaria and found that her irritated, hypersensitive skin wasn’t responding to other products available. As a result, she became determined to create skincare solutions that are organic, effective, and cruelty free. Pai skincare is a brand you can confidently put your trust in to give you results!
11. Vanicream Gentle Body Wash
If you’re looking for an option that is friendly on your wallet, Vanicream could be the answer you need. Vanicream was founded by two pharmacists, working alongside dermatologists, who realized that many patients needed better solutions for their skin conditions. In 1975, they developed their own brand tailored for sensitive skin, to meet the needs of the community. This brand was developed alongside their own full-time hospital work.
Free from fragrances, lanolin and parabens, this research-backed solution may be the solution to your ongoing dry skin. Vanicream recommends using their body wash daily, either applying with a washcloth or with your hands.
12. Eucerin Eczema Relief Cream & Body Wash
Last but not least, we have Eucerin eczema relief’s combined body wash and cream. This non-foaming wash is formulated specifically for dry, itchy skin associated with eczema. It’s low pH, and free of any fragrances or dyes.
The body wash is made with 2% Colloidal Oatmeal, a skin protectant, which is made from simply grinding oat grain into a fine powder! Colloidal oatmeal is recommended for a wide variety of skin conditions given its healing properties, helping to soothe the skin and lock in moisture. Ceramides are another key ingredient. These are lipids that are naturally found in the skin, but are also added to skincare products to create a protective layer in the skin to prevent loss of moisture. They can help to protect your skin from environmental damage, potential allergens, and promote anti aging by keeping your skin well hydrated.
Eucerin has devoted years of research to finding the best ingredients for skin, taking into account different skin types, meaning you know you’re in safe hands. They’re also transparent about their ingredient list on their website, so you can check to see if there is anything you’re concerned about.
Frequently asked questions
How often should I use body wash?
If you’re using one of the best body washes for eczema, a pH-balanced body wash that is gentle on your skin, then it should be safe to use every time you shower. If you’re wondering about whether you should be showering and applying body wash in the morning or the evening, that depends on your own lifestyle. If you’re relatively active and working up a sweat during the day then it makes sense to shower and night time and go to sleep feeling refreshed. If you tend to sweat at night and need some help to perk up in the morning, then a morning shower may be the best option for you.
What are other ways to alleviate eczema symptoms?
- Showers: Taking long, hot showers can unnecessarily dry out your skin and trigger an eczema flare up (as well as wasting water!) When you can, aim for short, warm showers or baths to keep you clean while still maintaining the moisture in your skin.
- Antihistamines: While these aren’t a cure for eczema, antihistamines can be a great solution if you want to relieve itchiness – particularly if your symptoms are interfering with your sleep.
- Clothes: Some clothing that is too tight or synthetic materials such as polyester and nylon can irritate the skin. This means you should opt for clothes that fit you well and give you room to breathe, so your skin isn’t under excessive pressure. In the cold, it’s important to wear gloves to protect your hands against cold, harsh air.
- Dust: Regularly cleaning your house and work environment can minimize the risk of dust flaring up your eczema symptoms.
- Wash items before you use them: If you’ve purchased new blankets, clothes, or anything that will be in contact with your skin, it’s a safe rule to wash it before use. Some chemicals can remain from the manufacturing process so it’s important to remove these to reduce the chance of skin irritation.
- Self care: As stress can exacerbate symptoms, it’s really important to take the time to look after yourself. This can also become a vicious cycle, where your irritated skin triggers additional stress. Take the time to look after yourself and find activities that help you to relax – even simple steps like a few minutes of deep breathing every day can make a significant difference!