Emollients, a.k.a moisturisers are the main treatment for eczema. People with atopic dermatitis (and other forms of eczema) need to use these creams every day, morning and night, to protect the outermost layer of their skin (also known as the skin barrier). The reason for this is a weakened skin barrier; eczema sufferers are susceptible to irritants, bacteria and allergens.
Luckily, for you, emollients are my specialist subject. I’ve had eczema since birth and finished more tubs and tubes than I could count. In that time, I have discovered a handful of hero products that are too good to keep to myself. Whether you’re looking for a lotion, cream, or need help choosing what’s best for you – I can help.
What’s the difference between a lotion, cream, balm and an ointment?
The main difference is the water content. Typically, the more oil a product it has the better it will be for eczema. Lotions have the highest water content, then cream, balm, and ointments have the lowest, which is why people with very severe eczema tend to use them.
1. The Lotion
Choose a lotion if:
✓ You have mild eczema.
✓ You don’t like wearing heavy creams.
✓ You want a fast-absorbing texture.
✓ You want a lighter texture during hotter weather.
✓ You want to re-apply frequently.
My recommendation: Eucerin UreaRepair Plus 10% Urea Lotion
A few years ago I wouldn’t have given a lotion a second look. They have a bad rep for not being the best option for someone with eczema due to their high water content. The Eucerin UreaRepair Plus Lotion, however, doesn’t deserve this reputation – it’s in a league of its own.
The lotion contains a unique combination of ingredients that set it apart from the rest; urea, ceramides and other Natural Moisturising Factors help to lock moisture into the skin and repair the skin’s barrier to prevent more moisture loss. The formula is light and comfortable too, so if heavy creams or greasy oils are your worst nightmare, this is the ideal treatment for you.
2. The Cream
Choose a cream if:
✓ You have moderate to severe eczema.
✓ You want a heavier formula than a lotion.
✓ You don’t like greasy, heavy textures.
✓ You want a formula that’s very easy to apply.
My recommendation: QV Cream For Dry Skin Conditions
If you’re looking for an eczema cream, QV won’t let you down – I can vouch for that. It’s been a firm favourite of mine for many years, and I’m not alone either, dermatologists recommend it. Australia’s number one moisturiser for dry skin, it’s a go-to if you need something heavier than a lotion (like me), and dislike the feeling of ointments on your skin.
The formula contains 10% hydrating glycerol, 10% light liquid paraffin and 5% soft paraffin. Despite its hydrating ingredient line-up the cream doesn’t feel heavy on the skin and absorbs quickly. The packaging presents a big bonus too; not only does it come in a variety of sizes, but the pump format comes with a pointed bottom that ensures you get every last drop of the formula – the pump also stops any nasties getting in too!
Learn more about QV skincare, and living with eczema on #NightInWithEscentual.
3. The Oil-Balm
Choose an oil-balm if:
✓ You have moderate to severe eczema.
✓ You want something rich, without any greasiness.
✓ You want something easy to apply.
My recommendation: Uriage Xemose Anti Itch Soothing Oil Balm
If lotions are too light, creams don’t quite cut it, and ointments are way too greasy for you, an oil-balm is your match. Xemose Balm is one of my favourites because it doesn’t feel like an eczema treatment when you’re applying it. Shea butter and Uriage Thermal Water are a few of the ingredients behind its pampering texture that leave the body with the most beautiful shine.
At first pump, it looks like a cream, but when you start massaging it, it transforms into an oil. What’s unique about this is, as it changes texture, it creates a film to protect the skin’s barrier. Another reason I often turn to this oil-balm is its innovative anti-itch technology, which is a lifesaver if, like me, you’re most itchy after a shower.
4. The Ointment
Why choose an ointment?
✓ You have severe eczema.
✓ You want to wear the formula overnight.
✓ You don’t want to reapply frequently.
✓ You want a soap substitute.
✓ You want a targeted treatment.
My recommendation: QV Intensive Ointment For Very Dry Skin Conditions
Another QV product? What can I say? I’m a big fan! I have a love-hate relationship with ointments. My skin loves them, but I’m not too fond of their texture – it gets everywhere. But if I had to use one, I’d reach for the Intensive Ointment every time. Yes it’s thick, yes it’s greasy, but that’s what an ointment is, and if you’re having a bad flare-up you won’t mind slathering this on one bit. Of all the QV formulas, this has the highest concentrations with 50.5% light liquid paraffin and 20% soft white paraffin. Because of its greasy feel, I suggest wearing this overnight.