Best eczema soothing creams by BIPOC-owned brands
2 Gen Z eczema kids talk about 2 eczema-soothing brands they love: Topicals & Eczema Honey Co.
By Zehra Naqvi & Samia Abbasi
Atopic Dermatitis, commonly known as eczema, is a skin condition that makes your skin red, flaky, and itchy. Every person’s eczema looks different: it can appear on different body parts, have different triggers (i.e. weather), and happen at any age.
Dr. Peter Lio explains, “Eczema can have a huge impact on quality of life—not just that of the patient, but on family and friends too. The itch can make it difficult to concentrate, poor sleep can make people feel like zombies during the day, and treatments and precautions can take a toll on time, energy and money.”
Eczema is exhausting. Take it from us, it isn’t just a ‘rash’ that comes and goes.
Read on to learn about our favorite eczema-soothing products that were actually created by people who have eczema & other skin conditions, and how we became empowered to learn more about our respective skin conditions.
Editor’s Note: These are stories from 2 people with eczema. What works for them, might not work for your specific skin condition. We recommend that you consult with a doctor or dermatologist before trying something new and spot testing new creams on a small part of your skin first.
Zehra Naqvi: Topicals Like Butter is the KEY to keeping my dry skin moisturized.
What eczema looks like for me: Growing up, I always had very dry, sensitive, and irritable skin. It started when I was a baby, picked up again in first grade, and then, for the most part, it ended. However, when I made the move from Hong Kong to New York, I faced my first winter in an entirely different climate. As such, my hands swelled up and became itchy, red, dry and uncomfortable. I had to slather my hands in various ointments, creams, and sleep in gloves at night to make sure they would say moisturized. Even more so, I realized it wasn’t just the harsh winters that could trigger my eczema but even hot, humid, and muggy weather. After almost 10 years without eczema, it came back with full force in my 20s.
Since then, I’ve come to learn that I rely more on the treatments with ingredients I understand rather than those that I don’t.
photo credit: Topicals
What actually soothes my eczema: I used to rely heavily on dermatologists’ recommendations but found that it wasn’t healing my eczema or fully calming it down. Rather, I turned to products that had ingredients I actually knew. I started with Lanolips Rose Hand Cream, because I knew Lanolin was a truly nourishing ingredient. But, what really changed my eczema experience was Topicals Like Butter Hydrating Mask. Topicals is a Gen Z, Asian & Black-owned skincare brand that champions “fluid, imperfect, shape-shifting, and real representations of your skin and life.” Knowing that this product was designed with eczema and dry skin in mind, I immediately felt the difference in the way it nourished my skin. Instead of feeling like my eczema had flaked off and would eventually come back, my affected skin areas felt truly moisturized. Even more so, my skin absorbed Topicals rather than just sitting on top of the affected area. Typically, I had to cover my hands or other affected areas in a bandage to prevent the ointments from smearing everywhere.
Instead, Topicals eased into my skin and healed it rather than prevented a momentary flare-up.
Samia Abbasi: Eczema Honey Co.’s Skin Soothing Cream has been life-changing during a bad eczema flare-up.
What eczema looks like for me: I was diagnosed with eczema on my fingers and toes when I was 5 years old, triggered by cold weather. Since then, the eczema on my hands is almost nonexistent, but the eczema on my feet has gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. Imagine feeling a hot, itchy sensation on your feet during your college graduation on a rainy May day—yikes. The constant itchiness is hard to deal with while I’m trying to work or sleep. During a particularly bad eczema flare up that I’m currently experiencing, the prescription Triamcinolone cream hasn't really been helping.
2 things happened next: 1.) I opened up about my eczema on Twitter, and a friend recommended that I try prescription Fluocinonide cream. 2.) I sent my doctor a more specific account of my eczema along with pictures (they aren’t cute at all!) and he suggested that I might have Raynaud’s disease. Essentially with Raynaud’s, your feet or hands turn purple/very pale in cold weather or times of stress, which then triggers the inflammation and intense itchiness. Looking into it more, I was shocked to see pictures online that looked similar to my toes. My dad’s skin sometimes turns purple, and my late grandfather’s hands also would turn very pale in the winter. I’m mind blown that I’m 22 and just found out that there’s more to my skin condition than just eczema. I’ve always deferred to doctors to just prescribe me with what I need and move on.
I’ve been learning to advocate for my well-being and truly listen to what my body needs.
At the onset of my current eczema flare up, I bought a couple of products from Eczema Honey Co.: a South Asian-owned brand creating “safe, non-toxic, and highly soothing skincare products.” I could immediately tell from the intentionality behind the branding and products that this was created by people who have eczema (co-founder Ariel Patel has eczema!).
photo credit: Eczema Honey Co.
My new eczema-soothing routine: Once in the morning and nighttime, I spot treat my toes with prescription Fluocinonide cream, followed by a thin layer of Eczema Honey Original Skin Soothing Cream on my toes. It has a honey-like consistency that melts into your skin. After that, I apply the Oatmeal Body Lotion all over my feet. I like that the body lotion has a light consistency and a mattefying feel. I put a thin sock and then a thick sock over my feet to prevent them from getting too cold.
The Skin Soothing Cream has significantly decreased my eczema itch. How do I know? I’ve been sleeping much better, and I can actually focus on my work.
I only feel a dull, itchy sensation once a day compared to several times every day. Some of my other favorite Eczema Kid-friendly products are: Eucerin Eczema Relief Cream and Aveeno Skin Relief Body Wash. I feel empowered to research more about my unique skin condition and how to better treat it. There are additional ways to manage and mitigate my flare ups, especially by recognizing and responding to my triggers before they have an impact.
Cover photo designed by: Isa Medina-Kim, @isamedinakim