If you have eczema, it can sometimes feel like you're in a constant battle with the dry, flaky scales that crop up on your face. "An impaired skin barrier is the primary cause of eczema," says Dr. Kenneth Howe, MD, a dermatologist at Wexler Dermatology in NYC. Since your skin's barrier is weak, you've got to be smart about what you put on your face — and what you use to cleanse it every day. So knowing the best face washes for eczema is an important piece of knowledge for you to posses.
Your skin's barrier is what protects it from the outside world. So when there are cracks present (thanks to eczema), it's easier for especially harsh irritants to infiltrate your dermis and wreak havoc. "Once present within the skin, these substances provoke an immune response, leading to the clinical manifestations we recognize as eczema," Dr. Howe says. Your face wash can exacerbate this issue, too. Pick something too harsh, and you can send your face into a full-blown freakout by stripping it of its natural oils.
So when looking for the best cleansers for eczema, the word to remember is gentle. But that can manifest in different ways for different people, since everyone has a particular skin type. So regardless of what yours is, there's a face-washing formula to help keep your eczema in check, ahead.
1The Best Micellar Water For Eczema
Dr. Howe says that micellar waters are fabulous options for eczema sufferers because of how gentle they are. And when it comes to micellar water, no option beats Bioderma's cult-favorite Sensibo H20 Micellar Water. It is specially formulated for folks with sensitive skin, mimicking your dermis' natural lipid layer for easy cleansing. Instead of using water to cleanse, Bioderma uses microscopic micelles that capture dirt and excess oils. You don't even have to rinse it, which means your sensitive, eczema-prone skin doesn't have to deal with hard water. For the best results, though, make sure you're using a 100 percent cotton pad or swab to apply the product. Synthetic materials can rough up your skin, which can exacerbate your eczema.
2The Best Cleanser For Dry Skin With Eczema
People with eczema also tend to have dry, flaky skin. Luckily, Hada Labo Tokyo's Gentle Hydrating Cleanser With Hyaluronic Acid covers all of your bases. It's formulated without alcohol — a notoriously drying ingredient — and with hyaluronic acid, which means it hydrates your skin while gently cleansing it. The beauty of hyaluronic acid lies in how lightweight of a moisturizer it is: it holds up to 1000 times its weight in moisture, meaning that this face wash actually works in harmony with your skin's natural moisture barrier. It's also free of alcohol, parabens, fragrances, dies, and, mineral oil, which is always a good thing.
3The Best Cleanser For Acne-Prone Skin With Eczema
Got acne and eczema? Then you know that the ingredients that work for one skin condition tend to make the other one flare up. That's why you should reach for La Roche-Posay's Effaclar Purifying Foaming Face Wash. It helps to clear up acne without the use of salicylic acid — which Dr. Howe says is a total nightmare for eczema. Instead, La Roche-Posay's face wash uses zinc pidolate to purify the skin. And since this wash is soap-free, that means you're steering clear of sodium lauryl sulfate — another ingredient common in face washes that can wreak havoc on your weakened lipid layer. And if that weren't enough, this formula is also free of parabens and alcohol. Sensitive skin types, rejoice.
4The Best Exfoliator For Eczema
While it might seem counter-intuitive to be exfoliating an already roughed-up complexion, this step is extremely important in maintaining the health of your eczema-prone skin. And the best exfoliating cleanser for eczema out there? Queen Helene Oatmeal 'N Honey Scrub. This cleanser offers a one-two punch: it sloughs off dead skin with the use of oatmeal — not overly harsh scrubbing beads that'll only make eczema worse. But then it comes in with soothing honey, which moisturizes skin keeps it protected, too. And once those dead skin cells are gone, you'll be amazed at how much better the rest of your skin care regimen works.
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