The 16 Best Face Creams for Eczema That Treat Dry, Itchy skin

An application a day keeps the irritation away.

woman with eczema on her face applying cream
(Image credit: Westend61)

Allow me to be blunt: Eczema on your face isn’t fun. It can be wildly itchy, sting, burn, cause bumps and blisters—and a regular moisturizer isn't going to cut it. The good news: Eczema is so common (up to 15 million people have to deal with it) that dermatologists have a pretty solid idea of what causes it (scroll down for the info) and are well-versed in the best face creams for eczema to alleviate symptoms. “Dry skin can cause inflammation, which leads to eczema,” explains Nava Greenfield, M.D. and board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group.

As such, cosmetic chemists, doctors, and other beauty pros have spent years cooking up ultra-hydrating balms, creams, and ointments that will give eczema-prone skin an extra hefty dose of hydration. Here, we've rounded up the best.

What to Look For in an Eczema Face Cream

  • Texture

“I encourage my patients to look for thicker moisturizing creams, balms, and ointments,” says Dustin Portela, D.O. and board-certified dermatologist at Treasure Valley Dermatology. By nature, face creams for eczema will be on the thicker side, but there is an element of preference as well. Some may prefer a silky cream, while others will gravitate towards a very occlusive balm.

  • Formulation

Most face creams for eczema include ingredients like colloidal oatmeal and ceramides—that's the baseline. However, Dr. Greenfield urges patients to take a closer look at the ingredient list. “Avoid any product with fragrance and use only products formulated with sensitive skin,” she advises.

The Best Face Creams for Eczema

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What Causes Eczema?

“Eczema causes are multifactorial,” explains Dr. Greenfield. “Genetic and environmental factors can trigger an inflammatory cascade that results in itching, scales, and redness.” Dry skin is by and large the biggest trigger, which is why people might notice more flares during the winter or in cold weather.

What Are the Types of Eczema?

“There are a lot of different kinds of eczema,” explains Dr. Gohara. While most eczema will be treated the same way, a quick visit to your doctor can help identify the specific type of eczema you’re dealing with. “Nummular eczema appears as round, red, and scaly plaques and most commonly presents on the arms and legs,” says Dr. Greenfield. “Dyshidrotic eczema shows up as small fluid-filled vesicles on the fingers and toes on the hands and feet.” There’s also atopic dermatitis, which is a bumpy rash that’s very common in babies.

When Should I See a Doctor for Eczema?

While using a tried-and-true eczema cream will do the job for some people, others might have to pay a visit to the dermatologist for a prescription steroid cream. “You should see results in two weeks, but see a doctor if the rash does not improve, worsens, or becomes itchy or painful," adds Dr. Greenfield.

That in mind, scroll ahead to shop for the best face creams for eczema. From ultra-nourishing drugstore options packed with calming and nourishing ingredients to dermatologist-formulated balms that promise overnight results, we’ve rounded up the top-rated products, below.

Meet the Experts

Nava Greenfield, M.D.

Dr. Nava Greenfield is a dermatologist practicing at Schweiger Dermatology Group. Dr. Greenfield earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Queens College, City University of New York, where she graduated Cum Laude with honors in mathematics, natural sciences, chemistry and biochemistry. Dr. Greenfield attended medical school at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University.

Dr. Greenfield has been published in many medical journals, including The Journal of Dermatological Treatment, and the Journal of Women’s Dermatology and Pediatrics. Dr. Greenfield is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, Women’s Dermatologic Society and the American Medical Association.

Dustin Portela, D.O.

Dustin Portela, D.O., is a Board Certified Dermatologist and Dermatologic Surgeon. He is certified through the American Board of Dermatology. His professional interests include skin cancer surgery and facial reconstruction, skin cancer prevention, complex medical dermatology and wound healing. Dr. Portela has lectured at national dermatology meetings and has published articles in several medical journals. Dr. Portela graduated with an Honors-Bachelor of Science in Zoology from Idaho State University. He received his medical degree at Des Moines University in Des Moines, IA graduating among the top of his class and being recognized with the Award for Excellence in Physiology.

Mona Gohara, M.D.

After graduating from medical school with AOA honors, Dr. Mona Gohara did her dermatology training at Yale New Haven Hospital, where she served as chief resident. Dr. Gohara continues to teach at Yale where she holds a faculty appointment as an associate clinical professor. Dr. Gohara and her husband have two tween boys.

Besides mothering and doctoring, she spends time educating the public on skin health, skin cancer, and sun protection. She has done this through writing, lecturing on the local, national, and international level, and by engaging popular media. Dr. Gohara serves as Vice President of the Women’s Dermatologic Society. She is an active member of The American Academy of Dermatology, where she chairs the Social Media Task Force, and The American Society For Dermatologic Surgery, where she chairs the Media Relations Work Group.

Samantha Holender
Beauty Editor

Samantha Holender is the Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she reports on the best new launches, dives into the science behind skincare, and shares the breakdown on the latest and greatest trends in the beauty space. She's studied up on every ingredient you'll find on INCI list and is constantly in search of the world's glowiest makeup products. Prior to joining the team, she worked as Us Weekly’s Beauty and Style Editor, where she stayed on the pulse of pop culture and broke down celebrity beauty routines, hair transformations, and red carpet looks. Her words have also appeared on Popsugar,,,, and Philadelphia Wedding. Samantha also serves as a board member for the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME). She first joined the organization in 2018, when she worked as an editorial intern at Food Network Magazine and Pioneer Woman Magazine. Samantha has a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from The George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs. While at GWU, she was a founding member of the school’s HerCampus chapter and served as its President for four years. When she’s not deep in the beauty closet or swatching eyeshadows, you can find her obsessing over Real Housewives and all things Bravo. Keep up with her on Instagram @samholender.

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