By Laura Dolgy (bio below)
It’s no secret that finding the best eczema soap or really sensitive skin is a nightmare. Most soaps end up leaving skin feeling dry and even more irritated. Not to mention that harsh and hot water can only exacerbate eczema symptoms. It’s enough to make us want to eliminate washing and bathing of any kind.
If you’re having trouble finding an alternative to harsh soaps, then this post is for you. This week, we’re sharing the worst and best eczema soaps.
Please keep in mind that although these treatments can relieve eczema, we are in no way medical professionals. If you’re experiencing severe eczema symptoms like fever or an infection, it is best to seek medical advice immediately.
The Truth about Soap and Eczema
As you probably already know, soap is known to dry skin out. This is mostly due to harsh chemicals that remove moisture from the skin. These chemicals can also cause severe reactions and irritation, specifically for those suffering from eczema or extremely sensitive skin.
So why is it so hard finding a soap that works with your eczema? Well to be quite honest – most (if not almost all) skincare products that exist today are loaded with nasty ingredients such as parabens, plastics or one of the worst culprit – fragrances.
To keep your skin well protected and safe from infection, opting for natural, chemical-free soaps are the best decision. They tend to be gentler and won’t dry out the skin like others will.
What is the Worst Soap for Eczema?
Aside from soap with nasty ingredients such as parabens, plastics or fragrances, there are many other types of soap that can exacerbate eczema. Here is a list of the top soaps to avoid:
What kid doesn’t love a bubble bath? Or adult for that matter?! Unfortunately most bubble baths can really cause your eczema to flare up. But why are bubble baths so terrible for dry skin? Well for one, foaming agents use many chemicals that easily irritate skin. Another reason is that all soap will dry out the skin and the longer the skin is exposed to soap, as in soaking in a bubble bath, the more the skin will dry out. In fact, for baths, we suggest never using any soap until the very end and then quickly rinsing it off the skin. Never sit in soapy water for an extended period of time.
Although there are some very rare “eczema-safe” bubble baths out there, it’s best to err on the side of caution. So, we do NOT recommend bubble baths for children or adults with eczema.
Sanitizers & Foaming Soaps
Although we’ve been discussing soaps primarily for bath use, there are also many soaps that can exacerbate hand eczema. Hand sanitizers are probably one of the worst things you can use! Why? Because there is nothing else as drying as alcohol and that is the primary ingredient in most sanitizers.
Another one is foaming soap, which is extremely harsh for sensitive skin. It usually includes unsafe chemicals and ingredients made to create an overabundance of foam, but these things really irritate the skin. Hand eczema is actually very common due to chemical agents included in products such as hand cleansers and dish soap.
If you have trouble with hand eczema, make sure to read 5 Handy Ways to Keep Hand Eczema Under Control.
Although this is technically not a soap, many people enjoy adding scented oils to their bath to help them unwind and relax. However, like we mentioned earlier, most fragrant type products can exacerbate eczema.
In general we suggest avoiding scented oils with added “fragrance” or “perfume.” Instead we recommend just adding drops of pure essential oils to your bath. For tips, check out The Best Essential Oils for Eczema.
What is the Best Eczema Soap?
We already mentioned there are many soaps that must be avoided for eczema, but fortunately there are many great, natural alternatives available.
If you’re suffering from dry, itchy or irritated eczema, it’s always best to opt for a product that contains either olive oil or a fatty base like shea to nurture your skin and not strip it of moisture like commercial brands will. We don’t find coconut oil only bases to be rich and moisturizing enough, so in general we don’t recommend those, although they are natural.
This Emily Skin Soothers Soap for Eczema contains natural Chinese herbs, as well as olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter and many more natural and eczema safe ingredients. Not only is it perfect as a bathing soap for eczema, but it can also be doubled up for showering. It is both nourishing and extremely moisturizing for the driest skin. We’ve heard it works great for shampoo too if you have shorter hair.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a bottled soap, the above product is also available in liquid form, arguably even better as a shampoo. Check out this natural body wash for eczema.
We mentioned that we love olive oil based soaps, but we find tallow pretty great as well. This Grass Fed Tallow Soap is made with the purest form of grass fed tallow and is extremely nourishing and moisturizing. Not only is it excellent for eczema, but it’s simple ingredients are gentle enough for sensitive and allergy-prone skin.
Lastly, the 20% Pine Tar Soap is both anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, which makes it perfect for eczema, psoriasis and rosacea. Pine tar is actually known to speed up the growth of new skin cells and helps restore the appearance of skin. This eczema soap can also double up as a shampoo for scalp eczema, psoriasis and dandruff.
Although soap for eczema might be difficult to find, it’s not impossible. As discussed, there are a variety of different natural, eczema-safe alternatives that can be provide soothing and nourishing relief.
Have you found the best eczema soap?
Share it with us in the comments below!
Bio: Laura is a contributor and content developer for It’s An Itchy Little World. She is in no way a medical professional. Her comments, suggestions, and reflections are not intended to replace any medical advice. Always seek the help of a medical professional before undertaking any diet or lifestyle changes. Please see It’s An Itchy Little World’s disclaimer for information about affiliate links and more.