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Aveeno Eczema Products: Can They Help?

Medically reviewed by Kelsey Stalvey, PharmD
Posted on August 28, 2023

If you or a loved one is living with itchy, dry skin from eczema, you know that a good moisturizer for daily use is hard to come by. Aside from prescription remedies for eczema, MyEczemaTeam members often search for eczema therapies they can buy over the counter. One brand that members often come across for eczema relief is Aveeno Eczema Therapy.

In this article, we discuss the pros and cons of Aveeno skin care products. Remember, you should always consult with your dermatologist or other health care provider before adding new over-the-counter regimens to your skin care routine.

Member Experiences With Aveeno Eczema Products

Aveeno sells a wide variety of gels, balms, lotions, and creams for babies, children, and adults alike. The company even has individual packets of oatmeal bath treatment, which they market as “dermatologist recommended.” One MyEczemaTeam member shared their experience with this product: “I love Aveeno colloidal oatmeal. There’s a box of packages you can take baths with.”

Other MyEczemaTeam members have shared their experiences with Aveeno moisturizing cream for their eczema. “I’ve used Aveeno fragrance-free baby cleansing lotion for my sensitive skin,” one shared. “Aveeno baby cleanser is mostly an emollient but also quite thick. It has made a real improvement in my eczema.”

However, not all members have had great experiences with Aveeno products. “I have terrible dry skin on top of my eczema, which is on my face. Aveeno has not worked for me,” one member shared. Another said, “I was given Aveeno by the dermatologist and had a really bad reaction to it.”

It’s hard to predict how your skin may react to a new skin care product. Here, we review the major ingredients in Aveeno products and how to tell if this brand may be right for you.

Main Ingredients in Aveeno Eczema Products

The Aveeno website lists the full ingredient list for the company’s products, including its Eczema Therapy product line. While the ingredients and their amounts vary among these products based on the formulation, the main ingredient in most is an extract from oat and oat kernels. The scientific name for oat is ”Avena sativa,” which is where the name “Aveeno” comes from.

The use of oats for skin care dates back to ancient Rome. Colloidal oatmeal is a form of oatmeal that mixes well into creams and lotions and is used to treat multiple skin conditions, mainly eczema. One randomized study found that people with moderate to severe dry skin treated with colloidal oatmeal showed significant improvements in dryness, moisture, and skin barrier where the lotion was applied.

Since 2003, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has regulated colloidal oatmeal as a skin protectant for over-the-counter drug products. The starch in colloidal oatmeal allows it to hold in moisture when you put it on your skin. Colloidal oatmeal contains phenols — chemicals that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which protect against inflammatory skin conditions like eczema. Some oat phenols also absorb ultraviolet (UV) light, protecting your skin from the sun. Finally, oats contain saponins, soaplike compounds that serve as natural cleansers.

In combination, products with oat extract can act as a cleanser, moisturizer, buffer, and anti-inflammatory agent when applied to dry skin.

What Else Is in Aveeno Products?

Other ingredients listed in Aveeno products include:

  • Water — Used at the proper ratio, water helps give lotions, creams, and gels their proper consistencies.
  • Shea butter — A common ingredient in lotions and creams for eczema, shea butter is known to moisturize dry skin and reduce irritation.
  • Lactic acid — This key ingredient helps to create the ideal pH, acts as an exfoliant, moisturizes and traps in water, and acts as a buffer between your skin and the environment.

Some Aveeno products contain other ingredients, including the following.

Glycerin

For years, glycerin has been a key ingredient in topical skin care products (those applied directly to the skin). Glycerin strengthens the skin’s outer layer, shields it from irritants, and can even fight bacteria. It’s particularly effective for hydrating skin in dry and cold weather.

Isopropyl Palmitate

Isopropyl palmitate is used in skin care and cosmetics to make products feel smoother and improve their texture. It’s a synthetic mixture (a blend of substances created through human-made processes) that comes from isopropyl alcohol and palmitic acid. Adding isopropyl palmitate to products like lotions, creams, and moisturizers helps them spread more easily on the skin and gives them better overall feel.

Isododecane

Isododecane evaporates from your skin, rather than absorbs into it. It’s used as an emollient, which means it softens and soothes the skin. Isododecane gives the skin a light, nongreasy feeling and allows the skin care product to slip and slide rather than feel tacky. It’s also used as a solvent in make-up and make-up removers. A solvent is a substance used to dissolve other substances and help create a uniform mixture in cosmetic and skin care products.

Caprylyl Glycol

Caprylyl glycol is a skin conditioner that also has antimicrobial activity — it stops germs like bacteria from growing. This type of alcohol comes from fat, which means that it won’t dry out your skin. Caprylyl glycol is generally considered safe for most skin types.

1,2-Hexanediol

This multipurpose solvent has many uses. It helps dissolve other ingredients, works as an emollient to nourish and soften the skin, and keeps the skin hydrated. Furthermore, 1,2-hexanediol acts as a humectant, which prevents the product from losing moisture. A humectant draws in and holds onto water from the air, helping maintain skin moisture.

Candelilla Wax

With a feel and smell similar to beeswax, this humectant traps moisture and soothes dry skin without clogging pores. Candelilla wax gives products a structure that makes them easier to apply. Unlike beeswax, candelilla wax is not likely to cause an allergic reaction.

Tropolone

Tropolone is a preservative that helps skin care products stay fresh for longer. It has antioxidant and antibacterial activity and works better when it’s used with 1,2-hexanediol.

Other Products To Consider

If you have eczema, there are other skin care products to consider other than moisturizers and oat baths. One essential product to have in your medicine cabinet is sunscreen. Lactic acid, one of the ingredients in Aveeno products, makes your skin more susceptible to sun damage. Therefore, you’ll need to find and use a sunscreen that works well for you.

Although the ingredients in Aveeno skin care products have been shown to help with dry skin, their products might not work well for everyone. When trying a new product, try a patch test on a small area of skin to see how you react for the next 24 hours. Look out for rashes or worsening of symptoms before applying the product to a larger area of skin. During eczema flare-ups, don’t try out new products.

Talk to a health care professional about the products or ingredients that can help treat your eczema at home. Make sure to get approval from your health care provider before trying any new skin products.

Find Your Team

MyEczemaTeam is the social network for people with eczema and their loved ones. On MyEczemaTeam, more than 48,000 members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with eczema.

Are you or a loved one struggling to find products that help treat eczema symptoms? What products have worked best for you? Share your experience in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on your Activities page.

Posted on August 28, 2023
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Kelsey Stalvey, PharmD received her Doctor of Pharmacy from Pacific University School of Pharmacy in Portland, Oregon, and went on to complete a one-year postgraduate residency at Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Sarasota, Florida. Learn more about her here.
Scarlett Bergam, M.P.H. is a medical student at George Washington University and a former Fulbright research scholar in Durban, South Africa. Learn more about her here.

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