Best Emollients for Eczema

Before looking into the best emollients for eczema, you should know that there are many types of emollients.

These are:

  • Leave-on emollients (lotions, creams, hydrating gels. sprays, and ointments)
  • Bath and shower products, and
  • Emollient wash products

This is a list of all the different types of emollients and we have made it very simple to choose.

Lighter Emollients:

1. Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion with Soothing Oat

This is a lightweight lotion that is fragrance-free, non-greasy, and non-comedogenic. It is made with oats and should provide a soothing and moisturizing effect on the skin.

Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour is the main ingredient.

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Petrolatum, Isopropyl Palmitate, Dimethicone, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Cetyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Chloride.

2. Dermol 500 lotion (anti-microbial)

Dermol 500 Lotion is an antimicrobial and emollient treatment used for dry or problem skin. It helps treat and prevent dry and itchy skin conditions, especially eczema and dermatitis.

It can be used as a leave-on application and as a soap substitute.

Ingredients: Benzalkonium Chloride (antimicrobial), Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride (antimicrobial), Liquid Paraffin (2.5% w/w), Isopropyl Myristate (2.5% w/w), Cetostearyl Alcohol, Macrogol Cetostearyl, Ether (cetomacrogol 1000), Phenoxyethanol and Purified Water.

3. QV – Skin Lotion

This lotion is suitable for use on dry, scaly skin, winter itch, ichthyosis, and dermatitis. It is a pH-balanced, low-irritant formulation, free from colour, lanolin, fragrance, and propylene glycol. 

It helps to relieve symptoms of atopic eczema and psoriasis.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Petrolatum, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Steareth-2, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Dichlorobenzyl Alcohol, Polyacrylic Acid, Triethanolamine.

4. Other lighter emollients:

  • E45 – Eczema Repair Cream
  • E45 – lotion
  • Eucerin – Intensive 10% lotion
  • ZeroAQS cream
  • Zeroguent cream
  • Aproderm colloidal oat cream

Moderate Emollients:

1. Aquadrate 10% cream

Aquadrate Cream is a cream that treats dry skin conditions. It contains urea, which is the skin’s natural moisturizer.

Active Ingredient: Urea 10% w/w contained in White Soft Paraffin.

Other Ingredients: Isopropyl Myristate, Maize Starch, Glyceryl Tribehenate, Palmitic Acid, Sorbitan Laurate, and Polyoxyethylene Fatty Glyceride.

2. Diprobase – Advanced Eczema Cream

This is a cream made for eczema-prone skin (red, inflamed, or damaged skin). It is fragrance-free, pH-friendly, non-greasy, and easily absorbed.

Ingredients: Purified Water, White Soft Paraffin (Petrolatum), Isopropyl Palmitate, Liquid Paraffin (Paraffinum Liquidum), Glycerin, Behenyl Alcohol, Cellulose, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Dimeticone, Citric Acid (Anhydrous), Arachidyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Glucoside, Hydroxyacetophenon, Potassium Hydroxide, and Xanthan Gum.

3. E45 cream

The E45 cream is a hydrating, triple-active moisturizer with medical-grade ingredients. It contains white soft paraffin, liquid paraffin, and wool fat. These ingredients have emollient and occlusive properties that help soften the skin and provide a protective layer on the skin to prevent water from evaporating from the skin and irritants from entering. It also contains Medilan, a medical-grade, hypoallergenic form of lanolin. It is non-greasy and perfume-free.

Ingredients: white soft paraffin 145mg/g, light liquid paraffin 126mg/g, and wool fat 10mg/g.

4. Other moderate emollients:

  • Aquamax cream
  • Aquamol cream
  • Aveeno cream
  • Balneum cream
  • Balneum Plus cream (anti-itch)
  • Cetraben emollient cream
  • Dermamist spray
  • Dermol cream (anti-microbial)
  • Doublebase gel
  • Doublebase Dayleve gel
  • E45 Itch Relief cream (anti-itch)
  • Eczmol cream (anti-microbial)
  • Emollin spray
  • Epaderm cream
  • Eucerin Intensive 10% cream
  • Hydromol cream
  • ImuDerm cream
  • Lipobase cream
  • Nutraplus cream
  • Oilatum cream
  • Oilatum Junior cream
  • QV cream
  • Ultrabase cream (Note: this is fragranced)
  • Unguentum M cream
  • Zerobase cream

Heavy Emollients:

1. QV intensive ointment

It is a water-free formulation containing five active ingredients to moisturize and hydrate the skin. It protects and soothes dry skin to promote healing.

It is free from fragrance and colour.

Ingredients: Light Liquid Paraffin (Paraffinum Liquidum), Petrolatum, Isopropyl Myristate, Polyethylene, Cetearyl Alcohol, Silica, Dimethicone.

2. Hydromol ointment

This is an ointment that includes yellow soft paraffin. It contains no added fragrances, colour, or preservatives.

This product is particularly useful for very dry skin or other skin conditions, for use under wet wraps, or as a night treatment.

Ingredients: Yellow soft paraffin 30 %w/w Emulsifying wax 30 %w/w

3. Epaderm ointment

Epaderm Ointment is a 3-in-1 emollient for the management of eczema and psoriasis. It can be used on the skin, as a bath additive, or as a skin cleanser.

It is free from fragrance, colouring, and SLS.

Ingredients: Cetomacrogol Emulsifying Wax (contains Cetostearyl Alcohol and Macrogol Cetostearyl Ether 22), Yellow Soft Paraffin, and Liquid Paraffin.

4. Other Heavy Emollients:

  • Diprobase ointment
  • Hydrous ointment BP
  • Liquid & white soft paraffin (50%/50%) BP X
  • White soft paraffin BP
  • Yellow soft paraffin BP
  • Zeroderm ointment

Bath and Shower Products:

Bath Products:

1. Aveeno – Bath and Shower Oil

You can use this in the shower or bath every day to soothe dry, itchy skin. It contains mineral oil and natural oatmeal to moisturize and soothe your skin.

Ingredients: Mineral Oil, Oats, Laureth-4, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzaldehyde, Silica.

2. Balneum Bath Oil

Balneum is a bath addictive that contains soya oil and is used for the treatment of eczema and dermatitis. Soya oil is an emollient that soothes and softens dry skin by helping to replace lost oils. The oil forms a thin film on your skin and helps to stop your skin from drying out and so makes it feel soft.

Active ingredient: Soya oil 84.75 %

Other ingredients: Polyoxyethylene lauryl ether, oleic acid, diethanolamide, perfume oil (d-limonene, linalool), propylene glycol (E1520), buthylhydroxytoluene (E321), ascorbyl palmitate and citric acid

3. Cetraben Emollient Bath Additive

This product is lanolin, fragrance, and preservative-free and contains a high percentage of light liquid paraffin to replace lost skin oils and thereby increase skin surface lipids (SSL).

Ingredients: Light Liquid Paraffin.

4. Other Bath Products:

  • Dermalo bath emollient
  • Doublebase emollient bath additive
  • E45 emollient bath oil
  • Hydromol bath and shower emollient
  • LPL63.4 emollient bath
  • Oilatum emollient bath additive
  • Oilatum Junior bath additive
  • QV bath oil
  • Zerolatum emollient medicinal bath oil
  • Zeroneum bath oil

Shower Products:

1. Doublebase Emollient Shower Gel

Active Ingredients: Isopropyl Myristate (15% w/w) and Liquid Paraffin (15% w/w).

Other ingredients: Macrogol Cetostearyl Ether (Cetomacrogol), Glycerol, Carbomer, Sorbitan Laurate, Trolamine, Phenoxyethanol, and Purified Water.

2. Hydromol Bath and Shower Emollient

Hydromol Bath & Shower Emollient is free from preservatives and fragrances. It moisturises and softens dry skin and eczema.

It fully disperses in the bath water and does not leave a residue on the bath or shower.

Active Ingredients: Light Liquid Paraffin and Isopropyl Myristate.

Other Ingredients: C12-C14 alcohol with 3 Molecules of Ethylene Oxide, Polyol Fatty Acid Ester and Iso-Octyl Stearate.

3. Oilatum Shower Emollient (gel)

It is specially made to be used in the shower to treat eczema and related dry skin conditions. It helps relieve itching and forms a protective film that moisturizes and conditions the skin. It is also fragrance-free

Active ingredients: Light Liquid Paraffin 70% w/w

Other Ingredients: Polyethylene, 2-Octadodecanol, Polyethylene Glycol 400 Dilaurate, Polyoxyethylene 40 Sorbitol Septaoleate, Polypropyleneglycol-2-Myristyl Ether propionate, Polyphenylmethyl Siloxane Copolymer.

4. Antimicrobial bath/shower additives:

  • Dermol 600 bath emollient
  • Dermol 200 shower emollient
  • Emulsiderm liquid emulsion
  • Oilatum Plus bath additive

Emollient wash products:

1. Aquamax Cream Wash

This is a non-foaming soap substitute that softens and moisturizes dry skin but also helps prevent skin drying. It contains no soap, detergents, or fragrance.

Ingredients: Purified water, white soft paraffin BP, cetostearyl alcohol, liquid paraffin, Polysorbate 60, Phenoxyethanol.

2. Dermol wash emulsion (has antimicrobial additives)

This wash can be used as a soap substitute to prevent skin from drying when washing your hands. It contains antimicrobials to reduce inflammation and rid the skin of toxins which can lead to itchy skin. It contains isopropyl myristate and liquid paraffin that helps to restore moisture balance in the skin by rehydrating.

Active Ingredients: Isopropyl Myristate (2.5% w/w), Liquid Paraffin (2.5% w/w), Benzalkonium Chloride (0.1% w/w), and Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride (0.1% w/w).

Other Ingredients: Cetostearyl Alcohol, Macrogol Cetostearyl Ether (cetomacrogol 1000), Phenoxyethanol and Purified Water.

3. E45 Emollient Shower Cream

E45 Emollient Shower Cream helps soothes your skin and prevent dryness by helping your skin retain its natural moisture. It is free from soap and detergents.

Ingredients: Aqua, Petrolatum, Isopropyl Palmitate, Octyldodecanol, Sorbitan Stearate, Paraffinum Liquidum, Polysorbate 60, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Poloxamer 407, Chlorhexidine Digluconate, Acetic Acid, BHT.

Which of these emollients would be suitable for me?

The best emollient depends on the type of severity of your eczema. It also depends on the type of emollient and how it feels on your skin.