When attempting to navigate the wide world of skincare and beauty products on the market today, knowing which ingredients to look for can be overwhelming for anyone, but if you have eczema, it can become all the more challenging.
If you struggle with sensitive skin, you likely already know that using the wrong formula can quickly cause an adverse reaction with symptoms like itchy skin, dryness, burning, irritation, redness, or eczema flare ups.
However, some good news is that a carefully curated skincare routine, containing the right ingredients has the power to do the opposite. By selecting natural ingredients that soothe, calm, hydrate, and support barrier function, you can do a lot to improve your everyday skin health and enjoy a glowing complexion without the stress of eczema symptoms.
At Flora & Noor we intentionally create gentle, eczema-friendly, over the counter formulas, that focus on promoting healing and addressing common concerns -- including inflammation, skin barrier dysfunction, moisture loss, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
So to help you get started, today we're talking about our go-to ingredients. Keep reading for everything you need to know!
Flora & Noor Top Picks: Our Favorite Skincare Ingredients For Eczema and Sensitive Skin Conditions
#1: Colloidal Oatmeal
The authority on skincare for eczema is the National Eczema Association and at the top of their must-have ingredients list is colloidal oatmeal. Found in a variety of formulas, colloidal oatmeal or oat butter gets the NEA seal of approval due to its soothing, calming, and moisture retention promoting properties.
In addition to topical products, oatmeal can also be used in an oatmeal bath. In clinical studies colloidal oatmeal has been shown to relieve itching, stinging, dryness, and other irritation in the event of an eczema flare.
#2: Aloe Vera
Known as one of nature's best ingredients for struggling or irritated skin is aloe vera. Derived from the succulent leaves and flowers of the aloe vera plant, aloe extract has been used for centuries to treat damaged, dehydrated, or dry skin, and today you'll find it in many skin care products, including creams and moisturizers that troubleshoot eczema or atopic dermatitis.
Some of the many benefits associated with aloe include its immune boosting, wound healing, antiseptic, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps the skin retain moisture, which aids in keeping the skin hydrated and strengthening the protective barrier.
#3: Shea Butter
One of the oldest and most world-renowned remedies for eczema is shea butter, which many cultures recognize as having powerful healing effects. It is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and naturally nourishing for the skin. For this reason you'll find it in products that support the skin after a burn or sun exposure, as well as moisturizers for the face and body.
Rich in fatty acids, vitamins, antioxidants, and other nutrients the skin needs for repair, shea butter can be used in its raw form or be combined with other calming ingredients to further enhance its many benefits.
Listed by the National Eczema Association as one of the best ingredients for eczema treatment, glycerin is a skin moisturizing agent often found in soaps, body washes, moisturizers, and eczema creams. And with good reason! When applied topically, glycerin promotes moisture retention and creates a protective layer on the surface of the skin.
Thanks to its intensely moisturizing properties, glycerin is ideal for people with eczema and anyone with dry skin. It's also a great choice for barrier repair and skin hydration if you live in a harsh climate, as dry air can strip healthy skin and cause skin barrier dysfunction.
The term humectant refers to cosmetic agents that bind with water and keep it locked in the skin longer. They are particularly helpful for anyone struggling with transepidermal water loss, which is a common condition that causes water to evaporate from the skin barrier.
Although glycerin tends to be the most popular humectant in skincare, other examples include propylene glycol, petroleum jelly or petrolatum. Because humectants still allow the skin to absorb moisture, they are preferable for skin types that struggle with moisture retention vs. occlusive ingredients like mineral oil or coconut oil which can prevent moisture from entering the epidermis.
#6: Vitamin E
Although all antioxidants are beneficial for the skin, one of the best for eczema and reactive skin is Vitamin E. It helps protect the skin cells from environmental damage and free radical activity which can contribute to compromised skin over the long term.
In skincare Vitamin E can be impactful for reducing redness or irritation. It may also be helpful for strengthening the skin barrier, as it is fat soluble and found in the skin's own oils or sebum.
According to experts, a common factor that contributes to atopic dermatitis and eczema flareups is inadequate levels of lipids, including fatty acids and ceramides found in the top layer of the epidermis. Ceramides are responsible for providing moisture and play an important role in skin barrier function, but when these components are lacking, the skin becomes more vulnerable to outside irritants and other eczema triggers.
Fortunately, topical formulas can be used to boost your ceramide levels and prevent eczema flare ups associated with a weak skin barrier. As an added bonus, they are also a potent anti-aging ingredient as your ceramide levels begin to naturally decline with age and contribute to signs of aging -- including fine lines and wrinkles.
In recent years, niacinamide from antioxidant vitamin B, has become one of the most popular skincare ingredients for eczema. This is because it has incredibly potent anti-inflammatory properties, perfect for calming symptoms like redness or irritated skin.
Additionally, niacinamide is an excellent choice for anyone experiencing acne, as it can help to prevent discoloration from post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. For anyone with melanin-rich skin, dark spots following an acne or eczema flare up are an especially common response to inflammation. However, by applying anti-inflammatory ingredients like niacinamide to the affected areas, you may be able to reduce or even prevent the lingering effects of acne.
#9 Hyaluronic Acid
Rounding up our list of top ingredients with the NEA seal of approval is hyaluronic acid, which as benefits for every skin type. It is one of the most effective hydrating ingredients and has been studied to bind with up to 1ooo times its own molecular weight in water, which can be especially helpful for dry or compromised skin.
In addition, some of the many benefits of hyaluronic acid are its ability to improve skin elasticity, minimize the appearance of fine lines, and promote an overall smooth, supple complexion.
#10: Rose Water
For replenishing a depleted skin barrier, rose water is an amazing ingredient for all skin types. In skincare formulas, it has been shown to reduce redness, and provide relief for symptoms of irritation or allergic reaction, such as itchy skin, flaky skin, and moderate eczema.
When paired with other hydrators like hyaluronic acid, it can be beneficial for boosting the skin's natural moisture factor and keeping it hydrated for longer periods of time. We also love that its subtle floral aroma is a dermatologist-approved alternative for anyone who prefers fragrance free formulas or products without added scents.
Another trending ingredient in skincare is peptides, which are the amino acid chains found naturally in the body. Acting as internal messengers, peptides can be used to elicit various responses and address numerous health concerns.
In skincare, synthetic peptides work much the same way, signaling the body to carry out important skin health functions. Peptides can be used to help the skin reduce inflammation, produce more moisture, create new collagen, and expedite repair processes, making them an incredible addition to just about any cosmetic formula.
#12: Vitamin C
A staple that belongs in any healthy skin routine is Vitamin C. The benefits of Vitamin C are almost too numerous to name, but a few of our favorites include its natural brightening effects for dullness or discoloration, its immunity boosting properties for addressing chronic skin conditions, and its high antioxidant content for combating UV damage.
Although certain types of Vitamin C can cause irritation in compromised or eczema prone skin, the trick is to look for a stable and gentle form like sodium ascorbyl phosphate. When formulated properly and at the right concentration, Vitamin C can help promote skin barrier repair.
#13: Licorice Root
Licorice root has been used for centuries in herbal remedies and today it is considered to be multi-tasking ingredient that can be used to target a number of common skin concerns. A few of its reported effects include brightening for dark spots, improving acne scars, and reducing inflammation.
In topical formulas, including moisturizers, eye creams, and dandruff shampoos, it is able to produce impressive effects without irritating the skin and may be particularly beneficial for eczema due to its overall skin-soothing properties.
As it turns out, papaya may be as nourishing for your skin as it is for the rest of the body. Rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and beta-carotene, it infuses the skin with nutrients needed to function optimally. It also possesses natural anti-fungal, anti-viral, and antibacterial properties.
But that's not all! When featured in skincare, papaya works to digest dead skin cells, making it easier for moisturizers to be absorbed and improving flaky skin. For sensitive or eczema prone skin, papain enzyme makes a great alternative to harsh alpha-hydroxy acids, delivering all skin-smoothing and softening benefits of exfoliation without disrupting healthy skin barrier function.
#15: Pomegranate Extract
Pomegranate extract from pomegranate seeds is yet another beautiful botanical ingredient for addressing eczema and struggling skin. Appearing in everything from masks to moisturizers, it has been shown to not only improve hydration and moisture levels but also reduce inflammation, redness, and other eczema symptoms.
Another amazing way pomegranate is used is to support skin repair processes. Leveraging its antimicrobial effects, it is often featured in formulas for treating wounds, burns, abrasions, and broken skin to boost healing time and regenerate healthy skin.
Product Picks: Flora & Noor Collections For Eczema and Sensitive Skin
The Rose Renewal Collection
For anyone with dry skin, eczema, or a skin sensitivity, the Rose Renewal line has been specially designed to provide relief, replenishment, and skin barrier support.
All products are formulated with real rose ingredients, steeped in H2O for intense hydration and ultra-calming properties. Key items from this collection include:
Rose Renewal Cleanser: A gentle, hydrating daily face wash for removing makeup, dirt, and debris, featuring ceramides, hyaluronic acid, rose water, and hibiscus.
Rose Renewal Toner: Our best-selling toner for hydration and skin refreshment. This luxe formula contains many of our must-haves, including rose water, aloe vera, Vitamin C, and Egyptian rose petals.
- Renewal 24/7 Ceramide and Tri-Peptide Moisturizer: One of our favorite Flora & Noor moisturizers filled with peptides, ceramides, rose water, and hyaluronic acid to enhance skin barrier function, optimize hydration levels and leave the skin looking radiant.
The Vitamin C Collection
For acne care and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation in melanin-rich skin, The Vitamin C Collection gives you your daily dose of C while working to strengthen the skin barrier and prevent eczema flares. It also encourages glowing side effects like healthy collagen production and a luminous complexion. Our hero products from this range are:
Boost & Brighten Vitamin C Cleanser: A super C-enriched cleanser that won't irritate or strip the skin. We've packed this one with aloe vera, as well as antioxidants Vitamin C and Vitamin E
Vitamin C Resurfacing Toner: Our powerhouse toner for aging concerns and overall brightening benefits features all the right stuff for sensitive and eczema prone skin. Included in the mix are Vitamin C, aloe vera, pomegranate, and niacinamide.
Bright Side Serum: For your fix of concentrated C, this incredible serum is gentle, yet highly effective for brightening, toning, and targeting discoloration. To create this formula we use the highest bioavailable form of Vitamin C, and combine it with vegan hyaluronic acid for extra hydrating properties.
- Super Glow Gel Moisturizer: Highly moisturizing, hydrating, and filled with healing botanicals, this formula is enhanced with some of Mother Nature's best natural brighteners, including licorice root, niacinamide, Vitamin C, and more.