Itchy and painful skin blisters keeping you up at night? I feel your pain! As someone who battles with seborrheic dermatitis herself, I want you to know that you are not alone. Today, Beauty Insider Malaysia be tackling this very prickly subject and sharing some of the best eczema creams you can easily pick up at our local pharmacies.

The itch struggle is real!

What Is Eczema?

If you have patches of inflamed, itchy, crusty and scaly skin that just won’t go away, chances are you are dealing with a chronic skin condition known as eczema. While many children get over it as they get older, some have to deal with it well into adulthood. Unfortunately, there’s no known cure for it at the moment and it’s something that we just have to learn to live with and manage.

What Causes Eczema?

There are so many factors that can contribute to eczema and worsen flare-ups. This includes changes in temperature and humidity, food or contact allergies, genetic predisposition and stress. However, recent studies show that eczema flareups occur when a body has an abnormal immune response to a normally harmless fungus on the skin known as Malassezia. Although there is still much to learn about this fungus and its impact on our immune system, it’s good to identify our triggers in the meantime and manage them accordingly.

Tips On How To Calm Eczema

When you have eczema, I know it can be hard to fight the urge to scratch. The itchiness can be too much sometimes. To try to calm your eczema as much as possible, here are some tips you can try! Instead of scratching when you feel an itch, press down on your skin instead. If you still can’t fight it, try putting a bandage over it. Therefore, even if you do scratch, it won’t make it worse! Also, try to moisturise the affected areas twice a day. If not, you can apply anti-itch creams as well. Although the effects are temporary, it still calms it down. Taking a warm bath can also help calm your eczema as it will feel soothing. 

Keep a journal of your triggers to help avoid future flare-ups!

The Best Affordable Eczema Creams To Soothe Itchy And Irritated Skin

Management is key when it comes to keeping eczema in check. This includes managing your stress levels, avoiding foods that can trigger flare-ups, and keeping your skin clean, cool and moisturized. Moisturizing your skin often and regularly is essential to keep it from itching and blistering throughout the day. So without further ado, here are the go-to corticosteroid-free eczema creams to soothe itchy and irritated skin.

Rosken Skin Repair Dry Skin Cream For Dry To Extra Dry Skin

Rosken’s Dry Skin Cream For Dry To Extra Dry Skin is a favourite of mine and is still one of the creams I reach for when I’m having particularly dry and irritated skin. This Australian skincare staple contains nourishing ingredients like glycerin, olive oil and urea to boost moisture levels by 107% in 4 days and silicone to lock the moisture in place.

Why we love it:

  • pH balanced formulation
  • Retains the moisture level
  • Soothes irritation

Price: RM14.37

Where to buy: Watsons

Bio-Oil® Dry Skin Gel

Kiss goodbye to the signs of eczema with Bio-Oil® Dry Skin Gel. It is expertly formulated with a pioneering method to substitute inactive water, which is often found in skincare products. This highly rated product can replenish the skin from dryness with a whopping four times more oil. As other cream and lotion-based products usually contain about 70% water, such an ingredient tends to evaporate when applied to the skin. Therefore, it has no added benefits to the skin except for delivering a cooling sensation. With its top-notch formulation, Bio-Oil® Dry Skin Gel can relieve itchiness, tightness and flakiness with just one application.

Why we love it:

  • Dermatologically tested
  • Ideal for all skin types 
  • Relieves itchiness
  • Hydrates dry and flaky skin

Price: RM19.90 (50ml), RM34.95 (100ml) and RM58.25 (200ml)

Where to buy:  Shopee, Lazada, Guardian and Watsons

Physiogel Daily Moisture Therapy Cream For Dry And Sensitive Skin

Perfect for nighttime, this Therapy Cream by Physiogel feels incredibly rich and hydrating on the skin. If you have oily skin, you may find this cream a tad too heavy for your liking. But it’s great for super dry-skinned gals who want an overnight boost of moisture. The cream contains a unique blend of plant lipids that are closely similar in structure to the lipids present in our skin. Plus, it’s free of harmful chemicals like artificial pigments, preservatives and perfume to minimize the chance of irritation.

Why we love it:

  • Free from harmful chemicals
  • Long-lasting moisture
  • Repairs the skin’s moisture barrier

Price: RM51.75

Where to buy: Watsons

Dermaveen Moisturising Cream

Australia is well-known for their sunscreens and eczema skincare products, and this one too comes from the land down under. Personally, I am a huge fan of Dermaveen’s Soap Free Wash pH5.5 for cleansing both my face and body. So when I spotted their Moisturising Cream winking at me on a pharmacy shelf, I just had to try it! Just like the Soap Free Wash, this cream contains calming colloidal oatmeal and a rich cream consistency to envelop and infuse the skin with moisture.

Why we love it:

  • Soothes inflamed skin
  • Replenishes moisture
  • Thick texture

Price: RM26.90

Where to buy: Shopee

Aveeno Active Naturals Daily Moisturizing Lotion

This one by Aveeno comes in the form of a lotion but feels as moisturizing as a cream, sans the heaviness and greasiness. Just like the Dermaveen cream, this lotion contains colloidal oatmeal as well as glycerin to protect dry skin for up to 24 hours. I like the fact that it comes with a pump dispenser, so it’s really easy to reach for when I’m moisturizing larger surface areas like my arms and legs.

Why we love it:

  • Lightweight
  • Long-lasting hydration
  • Fragrance-free

Price: RM47.43

Where to buy: Shopee

QV Oil-Free Moisturiser

If you want your skin to feel moisturised in the daytime without it looking shiny and feeling greasy, this oil-free option by QV might just be what you’re after. I personally like applying it after cleansing and following up with my all-time favourite Biore sunscreens for a comfortable matte finish.

Why we love it:

  • Oil-free formulation
  • Matte finish
  • Dermatologist-tested

Price: RM47.70

Where to buy: Watsons

Egoderm Cream For Spot Treatments

A tiny bit is all you need with this spot treatment cream by Egoderm. It’s a great corticosteroid alternative for soothing dry, red and itchy patches. However, just a heads-up – its smell can come across as a little strong, so you may find it off-putting initially. In fact, the pungent smell comes from the cream’s active ingredient ichthammol, which contains anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and fungicidal properties.

Why we love it:

  • Relieves itchy rashes
  • Soothes dry skin
  • Antibacterial properties

Price: RM23.15

Where to buy: Watsons

Atopiclair Non-Steroidal Cream

This non-steroidal cream by Atopiclair is a lifesaver for eczema flare-ups. Its key ingredients include glycyrrhetinic acid and hyaluronic acid to repair the skin’s moisture barrier and soothe inflammation.

Why we love it:

  • Fragrance-free
  • Improves skin barrier function
  • Soothes inflammation

Price: RM55.45

Where to buy: Watsons

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream

Ah, Cetaphil – it’s one of the most popular eczema skincare brands on the local market. And with good reason! It’s ultra-gentle and contains a superior system of powerful emollients and humectants to deliver long-lasting hydration to the skin. Plus, it’s scent-free so you don’t have to worry about it irritating your skin throughout the day.

Why we love it:

  • Scent-free
  • Intense hydration
  • Packed with nourishing ingredients

Price: RM37.31

Where to buy: Watsons

Beta-Skin Natural Active Beta Glucan Cream

This cream was actually recommended to me by a dermatologist. It is definitely one of the pricier creams available but it is incredibly effective. Its main ingredient beta glucan comes from oats, and helps to support cell regeneration and provide instant relief to aggravated skin. Additionally, the cream contains flax seed fatty acids, coconut oil and colloidal silver to thoroughly protect and nourish the skin.

Why we love it:

  • Ideal for face and body
  • Antibacterial properties
  • Soothes irritation and redness

Price: RM189.00

Where to buy: Shopee

Naveen Chamomile Moisturizing Cream

I was an avid user of this chamomile cream years ago, and I’m still a fan of it to this day. It’s certified halal and organic, and best of all, it works! The cream has a soft silk-like consistency, because of its omega-rich blend of macadamia, jojoba and olive seed oils. In addition to that, it also contains organic chamomile flower water to soothe redness and calm inflammation. Overall, this is the priciest of the lot, but that’s because it contains ethically-sourced, high quality and certified organic ingredients.

Why we love it:

  • Powered by chamomile
  • Organic
  • Infused with hydrating ingredients

Price: RM186.59

Where to buy: Qoo10

Origins Three Part Harmony Nourishing Cream For Renewal, Repair and Radiance

This cream is nourishing and suitable for those with dry, oily and normal skin types. The Origins Three Part Harmony Nourishing Cream For Renewal, Repair and Radiance is also 100% vegetarian. One of its main ingredients is Tazetta Lily Bulb which helps with hydrating the skin. It also has the benefit of restoring the moisture barrier of the skin. Thus, it helps provide radiance to the skin. 

Why we love it:

  • Ideal for normal, dry and oil skin
  • Fortifies the moisture barrier
  • Improves skin radiance

Price: RM95.00

Where to buy: Shopee

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream

Another eczema cream is First Aid’s Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. This cream is super moisturising and is able to absorb quickly as well. It has the benefit of providing long-lasting and immediate hydration. It is suitable for distressed and dry skin, as well as those suffering from eczema. This Ultra Repair Cream is also an award-winning product and caters to all types of skin. Its formula also consists of Colloidal Oatmeal which helps moisturise and soothe your skin. 

Why we love it:

  • Clean formulation
  • Instant hydration
  • Ideal for all skin types

Price: RM55.00

Where to buy: Sephora

La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water

The La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water is a face mist that is suitable for sensitive skin. It has the benefit of helping to tone and refresh your skin. Its formula contains selenium, copper, as well as a neutral pH level. Besides that, it is also enriched naturally with minerals. The properties of antioxidants have also been demonstrated scientifically to help soothe the skin. 

Why we love it:

  • Refresh the skin
  • Soothes irritation and redness
  • Suitable for sensitive skin

Price: RM41.90

Where to buy: Watsons

Suu Balm Rapid Itch Relief Moisturiser 

The Suu Balm Rapid Itch Relief Moisturiser does not contain steroids, which makes it suitable for all types of skin. Besides that, its formula is also hypoallergenic and Halal-certified. It has the benefit of providing relief of itchiness and moisturisation to the skin. Therefore, it is suitable for those that have itchy and sensitive skin. It contains ceramides, which help deeply moisturise the skin as well. Ensuring that it is comfortable to use all day, it doesn’t have a sticky texture and is lightweight.

Why we love it:

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Lightweight texture
  • Relieves itchiness

Price: RM56.50

Where to buy: Suu Balm Malaysia

Eucerin Eczema Relief Body Cream 

This eczema cream from Eucerin is suitable for both adults and children. The Eucerin Eczema Relief Body Cream is also quite gentle, making it suitable for everyday use. The brand Eucerin is also recommended by both pharmacists and Dermatologists. To help soothe irritated skin, its formula contains licochalcone and ceramide-3. It also contains natural oatmeal and helps with relieving eczema that is itchy, irritated and dry. It has also been proven clinically to benefit skin that is prone to eczema. 

Why we love it:

  • Suitable for adults and children
  • Relieves symptoms of eczema
  • Deep hydration

Price: RM87.00

Where to buy: Shopee

Bonus! Application Tips

Now before you start using any of these creams, here are a couple of tips to help optimize their absorption and efficacy. Firstly, I recommend applying your cream immediately after cleansing. Moisturizers absorb better into the skin when it’s damp and this also helps to prevent transepidermal water loss. Secondly, always do a test patch when it comes to new creams to ensure that you don’t get a major allergic reaction. Finally, always steer clear of anything that contains artificial fragrance in it, as it’s usually a huge trigger for eczema flare-ups.

Still thirsting for knowledge on dry skin? Check out our expert insights on how to manage skin dryness here!

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Author Clara Siew