When we talk about eczema, it’s usually in the context of dry skin. But—fun fact!—the condition can occur in oily-skinned folks, too. Thanks to the fact that many products used to treat breakouts are drying, eczema patches may pop up on acne-prone skin. Luckily, these are fairly easy to treat, and all of the best products come from the drugstore.
“The issue with eczema is that because you’re unable to keep enough moisture under the skin, your barrier is weakened and generally more sensitive,” says Rachel Nazarian, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. “So when you’re trying to treat oily skin with eczema, it’s important to remember the two guiding principles of eczema in general: humectants and emollients.”
In order to rebuild that weakened skin barrier, you’ll need an ingredient that draws in moisture (a humectant) and one that locks it in skin (an emollient). “Look for a humectant like hyaluronic acid, which is really lightweight and won’t occlude the skin, or glycerin, which will help to soften the skin and act as an anti-inflammatory,” says Dr. Nazarian. “Then an emollient, like Vaseline or Aquaphor, will help lock in the moisture and won’t be too occlusive on oily skin as long as you use a light layer.”
It’s important to remember that oily skin needs moisture and that you shouldn’t shy away from these hydrating ingredients—especially when there’s eczema in the mix. “It’s about choosing a formulation that does not have extra ingredients and is not overly thick,” says Michele J. Farber, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Philadelphia. “It can also be helpful to take a break from your regular regimen, especially if you’re using acne medications or commonly drying meds, and give your skin time to heal,” she says. Below, three derm-approved moisturizers that are friends to both eczema and oily skin—all of which are under $15—so you can treat both in a single step.
This moisturizer was specifically designed for sensitive skin, so you know you can rely on it to soothe any eczema-induced irritation. A combination of hyaluronic acid and squalene will attract and lock moisture into your complexion.
Shop now: Vanicream Daily Facial Moisturizer, $15
2. Bioderma Atoderm Cream, $13
Dr. Nazarian is a fan of this particular moisturizer because it will help prevent the colonization of certain bacterias on the skin while also helping to calm irritation. It’s got a seal of approval from the National Eczema Association and will leave you feeling silky smooth wherever you apply.
Shop now: Bioderma Atoderm Cream, $13
For a light lotion that packs a majorly hydrating punch, Dr. Farber suggests this p.m. moisturizer. It’s got hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and niacinamide—three hero ingredients for fighting eczema—and won’t clog pores thanks to its oil-free formulation.
Shop now: Cerave PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion, $12
Got more questions about dealing with combination skin? Check out the video below.
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