I Finally Found An OTC Eczema Cream That Actually Relieved My Symptoms

I’ve always gotten by managing my eczema with topical steroid creams prescribed to me by my dermatologist. As effective as they can be, I’m constantly cautioned to use them sparingly or only in situations of severe flare-ups because of the potential for steroid withdrawal in cases of long-term use.

Anyone who has dealt with this common condition knows that over-the-counter anti-itch creams or sensitive-skin-friendly soaps don’t always relieve symptoms as much as we would like. When I got the chance to try Murad’s new line of eczema control products, I was desperate to take another crack at the world of non-prescription eczema care.

I have dabbled before in Murad’s offerings, a clinically formulated array of targeted skin care products containing ingredients that promise results. This same care was taken with the brand’s three-product eczema collection, which features colloidal oatmeal –– a tried and true salve known to soothe irritation ― as the star ingredient. And soothe it did.

Left: A moderate eczema flare-up with red, flaky patches. Right: After about three weeks of regularly applying the daily defense cream and quick relief treatment for bouts of itching.
Left: A moderate eczema flare-up with red, flaky patches. Right: After about three weeks of regularly applying the daily defense cream and quick relief treatment for bouts of itching.

I’ve used colloidal oatmeal before, but none had the same concentration of the ingredient as Murad’s formulations. I also appreciated that certain products contain other skin barrier-repairing ingredients, like niacinamide and mondo grass sugars.

Most of my persistent flare-ups occur on my hands and wrists and can produce everything from deeply forming cracks on my skin to inflamed, oozing clusters of bumps. While Murad’s eczema control products didn’t completely eliminate the more severe spots, I think they were effective at relieving unbearable bouts of itchiness, thus preventing further irritation and allowing the skin to heal. This means less cracking, less flaking skin and less discomfort.

If you want to know more, I’ve broken down the three products below, explaining which one I liked best, how I used them and what I thought of the particular formulations. (Note: I’m not a medical professional; it’s best to consult a dermatologist for any skin issues.)

HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. The author received complimentary items to test for the purposes of this story. Prices and availability are subject to change.


Quick relief colloidal oatmeal treatment

If you get one item from this line, make it this. According to Murad, this fast-acting treatment features a formulation that was inspired by steroid creams. It boasts a high concentration of 5% colloidal oatmeal to ward off any irritation and extend the time between flare-ups.

For the greatest effectiveness, I like to use this the second I start to feel the familiar beginnings of an itch or irritation, which means I can prevent a rash from reaching its full potential. I found the texture to be comforting, cooling and not sticky like topical steroid creams that just sit on the skin. Because it sinks in so well, I had no problem layering this underneath other products or even makeup, something that I wouldn’t normally be able to do without experiencing pilling or separation.


Soothing oat and peptide cleanser

As a person with chronically dry and highly sensitive skin, this is what I want from a cleanser. A creamy texture, a non-foaming formula and packed with ingredients that won’t make my skin feel tight and stripped.

Aside from the promised oat complex that works to soothe skin, it uses micellar cleansing peptides to draw away impurities as gently as possible. You can also expect to find a sugar complex and nourishing shea butter to impart a welcome dose of hydration. I definitely noticed that lingering feeling of shea butter on my skin post-rinse –– not in the sense that it felt like residue, but rather felt protected and prepared to receive my other skin care products.


Daily defense colloidal oatmeal cream

I found this cream to have a kind of slippery texture that took a little work to rub into the skin, but once it got there, it was a welcome feeling. Murad touts this daily moisturizer as a protective cream that uses mondo grass sugars to lock in critical moisture. I also appreciated the inclusion of niacinamide, which has a reputation for being a workhorse ingredient capable of strengthening the skin’s lipid barrier, something that eczema severely compromises.

Even though this cream is directed for use on the face, I mostly applied it to my hands since I don’t think this layered that well over other skin care products or under makeup.

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