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.