I receive tonnes of emails regarding this, and one of the most common emails I get all the time is: what do you use for moisturizer and what are the best body moisturizers for eczema?
Do you know if you are using the right ones or the wrong ones for your skin?
Because of the popularity of this question, I thought it would be time to finally make a video for all of you to go through the different body moisturizers that I recommend for eczema 🙂 I use most of the ones that I mention in the video – and I switch them up on a regular basis so that I get different benefits from each. Remember to find out what moisturizer works best for you, because what works best for me, may not work for you (as everyone’s skin type and eczema is completely different!).
Up to 60% of the ingredients you put will get absorbed into your body. So whatever you put inside you will get filtered by your liver; to help your liver do less work, you want to look for something as natural and as unrefined as possible. More chemicals means more toxins for your liver to filter. In today’s day, an overload of toxins, can easily lead to eczema.
Here are a few products I use for my body that are all natural with no harsh chemicals or preservatives that can irritate your skin.
I switch between these products (and they are also safe enough to be used on your face – just make sure not to overuse it as it may clog your pores). I enjoy these natural products because prescribed medications for eczema always contain chemicals and preservatives that are unhealthy for the skin.
Shea butter and eczema
Wondering is shea butter good for eczema? Shea butter has been known as a miracle cream to help people heal eczema, burns, sores, scars, dermatitis, psoriasis, dandruff, and stretch marks. It contains lots of fatty acids, which can help heal scars and diminish wrinkles by moisturizing the skin, accelerating cell renewal, and supporting circulation. I personally use shea butter on both my hands and sometimes on my face – but it can even be used for dry hair, split ends, and dry scalps!
Using shea butter for eczema is one of my top choices because it is SO rich in nutrients like vitamins A, E, and F, which help promote the healing of dry, damaged or inflamed skin. It also has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties which will help your eczema.
Shea butter also looks solid when you first open it – but don’t be afraid of it as it will melt once you rub it onto your skin. Even though it can be greasy, I love using shea butter for eczema because it is thick enough to penetrate and lock moisture into your skin. The smell may also take some getting used to (if you get the unrefined type), but it’s so potent because it also acts as a barrier to prevent contact with irritants, which will help reduce the likelihood of flare ups. I usually try not to touch anything for a few seconds after I’ve used it 🙂
One word of caution though – be careful with shea butter products that say “100% natural.” If it’s natural, it can still be refined. You want to look for unrefined shea butter. Unrefined shea butter is much better since it retains all its natural vitamins, especially vitamin A and vitamin E. Below is one brand that I like:
Fun fact: Shea butter also contains cinnamic acid (a substance that protect the skin from harmful UV rays), which is why it can also act as a natural sunscreen – with an SPF of approximately 6-10!
Africans have been using it for years – and since it’s natural, it is also safe enough to use on babies.
Coconut oil and eczema: Can coconut oil help eczema?
Does coconut oil help eczema? I use coconut oil for eczema and dry skin everyday. I have one jar for cooking, and one jar for my skin. If you’re like most eczema sufferers who tend to have dry skin, coconut oil can be very beneficial for eczema since it contains anti-fungal, antibacterial, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. It is also rich in nutrients such as Caprylic acid (helps kill bacteria), Lauric acid, Vitamin K, E and Capric acid (contains antiviral properties). All of these help combat itchiness, sooth the skin, and help repair broken skin. How long does it take for coconut oil to cure eczema though depends on your individual condition.
Using the oil is very easy – you can use it both externally and internally. For example, when using it externally, I usually apply the oil several times a day to dry skin or areas affected by the eczema. My eczema was really severe before, but I have heard of people who have used it and their itching was relieved by it. (Coconut oil can be comedogenic though – meaning that it can clog pores – so you may want to avoid using too much of it on your face).
You can also ingest the coconut oil internally. For example, you can add a spoon of coconut oil to your smoothie, or you can cook with it. I don’t enjoy the taste of eating it raw so I cook with coconut oil every day instead, and it’s great since it has a high smoke point. (Note: coconut oil is a plant fat, meaning that it is a medium chain fatty acid, which doesn’t make you put on weight; instead of burning like a fat, it burns like a carb, which will help you speed up your metabolism and assist in weight loss).
By taking coconut oil internally, it will give your body essential vitamins and fats to help fight infection, heal quicker, and reduce inflammation. I love taking coconut oil both internally and externally since it provides benefits both ways. The best coconut oil for eczema is Nature’s Way (or even Nutiva is a good brand to use.)
For best results, look for an unrefined, virgin, cold pressed coconut oil to treat eczema. Refined coconut oil has been processed, and has likely lost much of its healing properties during the processing of it. So is coconut oil good for eczema? It certainly is.
Castor oil and eczema
Castor oil is a very thick oil – and probably the “goo-iest” oil, but it has been a true life saver for me this winter. 🙂 My face has been extremely dry, and nothing has been able to moisturize it effectively. I discovered that putting castor oil on my face (I know, it’s very thick but it’s the only thing that will do), has done wonders by keeping it soft and moisturized for hours. Using castor oil for eczema also helps to increase the blood flow to the skin – which means that it helps the skin receive more nutrients and oxygen, making it healthier.
Castor oil is a vegetable oil derived from the castor bean seed in its purest form. Is castor oil good for eczema? Well it is definitely an amazing oil with many healing properties. It is anti-inflammatory and highly emollient, meaning that it reduces inflammation, moisturizes dry patches, and increases hydration by preventing water from being lost through the skin. For eczema, this is a very good thing because it locks in the moisture and also has properties that speed up the healing of scars, wounds, and cuts (my naturopath used to tell me to use it to heal my scars).
Castor oil is also very good for eczema because it has anti-viral properties that help inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi. It is also an excellent anti-oxidant and has compounds to fight aging and wrinkling 🙂
Besides using it for eczema, you can use it as natural hair care to promote hair growth, and as a treatment for dandruff, eczema, and dry scalp. The oil will help provide moisture and increase blood circulation in the scalp. (Castor oil can also be used on your eyelashes – it helps it grow quicker and stronger!)
As with everything else, be cautious with your source of castor oil. Much of the oil that’s sold in stores comes from castor seeds that have been heavily sprayed with pesticides, solvent-extracted (hexane is commonly used), deodorized, or chemically processed. These damage beneficial phytonutrients and add toxins to the oil which is supposed to be healing for your skin.
I use this brand by Heritage Products because it’s organic, cold-pressed (meaning that it is not heated in a way that destroys the nutrients), and hexane-free. I also used to work in a health food store that recommended this brand.
Calendula for eczema
Calendula cream has amazing skin properties to help heal eczema. It can be pricey and it often comes in a smaller bottle – but a little dab goes a long way! Calendula comes from the flowers of the Calendula officinalis (a marigold plant), and besides eczema, it’s also used to treat burns, irritations and sores. Calendula is effective because it benefits eczema by reducing inflammation, eliminating bacteria, and helping the skin heal. It is also rich in antibacterial and immunostimulant properties to make it extremely useful in treating slow-healing cuts and cuts in people who have compromised immune systems. The herb stimulates the production of collagen at wound sites and minimizes scarring as well!
Most importantly to note is that Calendula has a high content of flavonoids and antioxidants, and has shown in animal studies to speed up wound-healing by increasing blood flow to the affected area and promoting the production of collagen proteins. Calendula also possesses anti-septic and anti-inflammatory effects due to its flavonoid content.
Jojoba Oil for eczema
Jojoba oil is a wonderful oil for eczema! It’s thin, light, and effective – but it can be pretty expensive (which is why I usually only use it on my face). It’s produced from the seeds of jojoba plant and is rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins B and E, plus minerals such as copper, chromium and zinc. These nutrients work to speed up wound healing, softens dry patches and restores the skin to a healthy condition.
Jojoba oil also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to help calm the inflammation (in fact, a 2005 study has shown that jojoba oil helped reduce inflammation in rats). It is non-comedogenic (does not clog pores) and has high amount of ceramides which covers the skin cells and helps regulate hydration. Scarring can be reduced with jojoba oil. The oil contains a variety of the organic tocopherol compounds, which make up vitamin E (which promotes healthy, clear skin and helps with scarring).
Sometimes I feel that the jojoba oil is not always strong enough to moisturize the dryness on my face – but most people have felt otherwise, since it’s known to quickly get absorbed into the skin. Interestingly enough, jojoba oil’s chemical structure is very similar to sebum (the natural oils produced by our skin), which means it is absorbed easily and should not feel too greasy. Jojoba oil can actually be used as sebum substitution for people with decreased sebum production (especially since our skin stops making sebum when we are 21 years of age). In fact, a small pilot study showed that a combination of hydrolyzed jojoba with glycerol can help preserve the moisturizing effect up to 24 hours after applying it onto the skin.
Once again, make sure to use cold-pressed jojoba oil so that it’s nutrients are not lost. Jojoba oil is safe enough to use on babies who have cradle cap, nappy rash, and eczema. Unlike other almond oil-based products, jojoba is a nut free product, reducing any allergy risks. The wonderful thing about jojoba oil is that it can even help moisturize the scalp, help remove dandruff, and act as a natural sunscreen since it has a natural SPF of 4.
For those wondering which of the 5 products will work best on you – remember, everyone’s skin is different; be aware of your skin, try out various products and find out which one suits your skin the most. Usually there are very few allergies to these moisturizers as well, but just to be safe, you can always try doing a patch test (i.e. putting a small amount of it on your skin to make sure you don’t react before putting it on a larger spot). Check out my store section for other products that may interest you as well. 🙂
What natural moisturizers do you use and particularly like? Feel free to comment below!
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Abby is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist who helps clients achieve optimal health. She is passionate about seeing people use health and nutrition to transform lives. She hopes that her experiences and knowledge can help educate others on natural remedies that will help eczema. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or YouTube for more updates!
Disclaimer: All the information found on this website should be used for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace proper medical advice. Always consult a qualified health care provider before embarking on a health or supplement plan.