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The Best Emollient Moisturizers for People with Eczema

Requirements: Good Moisturization and Non-Irritating

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Updated January 17, 2014

People with eczema need a good moisturizer that replenishes the loss of natural oils from the skin. It is also important to have a moisturizer that doesn't irritate the skin. Unfortunately, many of the moisturizers on the market today have irritating ingredients like fragrances and preservatives. These emollient-based moisturizers are low-cost options that help keep skin hydrated without causing irritation.

Eucerin

Photo © Beiersdorf
Eucerin has been recommended for eczema patients for a long time, and it is still a good choice. It moisturizes with petroleum and mineral oil. The creme version can be pretty greasy, but the lotion is less so.

The manufacturer recommends using Eucerin on mildly flared to normal skin, as it has a thinner consistency than might be necessary for more severely inflamed skin. This also allows the product to be absorbed by the skin more easily.

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Aquaphor

Photo © Beiersdorf
Made by the same company as Eucerin, Aquaphor is an old standby that does a good job on very dry skin. It is an ointment that contains 41% petroleum jelly -- more than it's thinner counterpart.

The manufacturer recommends using Aquaphor for more severe cases of eczema, as skin may require the extra grease it provides to become adequately hydrated.

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Cetaphil

Photo © Galderma Laboratories, LP
Cetaphil has a long history of making products that don't contain irritants. If you don't care for super greasy creams, this may be a better selection for you. This cream also absorbs into the skin quickly.
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Moisturel

Photo © Westwood-Squibb Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Moisturel contains petroleum jelly and dimethicone, a type of silicone. Silicone is derived from silica (like sand) and gives a moisturizer a lot of "slip", meaning it spreads easily over the skin. Silicone usually makes a moisturizer feel more silky.
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Nivea Cream

Photo © Beiersdorf
Nivea Cream (original) contains more mineral oil than petroleum, meaning it soaks into the skin faster than some of the other creams on this list.
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Curel

Curel contains mainly glycerin and water and only comes in a lotion. This doesn't replace natural oils, like the other options. However, it is a solid choice for someone who isn't experiencing an eczema flare and wants to keep skin moisturized.
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