Living with eczema comes with several challenges, one of which is trying to find soaps and shampoos that can thoroughly clean your sensitive dry skin without causing an eczema outbreak in the process.
Unfortunately, far too many soaps and shampoos are overly alkaline or have harsh ingredients that can strip away moisture and skin cells from your body.
Other soaps might have allergens like artificial fragrances that can trigger an allergic outbreak and start an eczema rash wherever the soap touches your body. We know it can be tough to find gentle soaps that won’t make your life more difficult or uncomfortable.
However, there is hope.
At Green Goo, we create all-natural products that are not only cleansing, but gentle and soothing for people with and without eczema. Because of this, we’ve already created a handful of the best plant-based soaps for people with existing skin issues or skin sensitivities.
First let's talk about eczema in case you don't know a lot about it and then we'll take a look at each soap type so you can determine whether or not it’ll be a good soap for your needs.
What is Eczema?
Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, is a skin condition that results in rashes or scaly patches of dry skin on your face or body. Sometimes, eczema comes from a genetic predisposition for the condition. Or, it could crop up due to an allergen or environmental factor. Most infants who have eczema end up growing out of it by around the age of five, but many more continue to deal with the condition into adulthood.
Because of this, it’s important to discover which soaps are best if you suffer from eczema. Eczema usually dries out the skin and results in sore rashes that can weep or bleed if rubbed too harshly. Harsh or alkaline soaps can dry out the skin and make eczema worse or lead to other, negative side effects.
What Kinds of Soaps Are Good for Eczema?
There are plenty of soaps that are great choices if you suffer either from consistent or occasional eczema outbreaks. Either way it’s a good idea to use eczema friendly soaps even if you only suffer from rashes or outbreaks once in a while. A particularly harsh soap can itself cause an outbreak. Better safe than sorry!
Unscented soaps are the way to go. That’s because scented soaps often include fragrances or other chemicals that can cause an allergic reaction and a rash. Unscented soaps are usually a little less chemically complex and are less likely to have artificial fragrances included in their ingredient compositions.
Soaps with Balanced pH
Your skin naturally has a pH level that's slightly acidic compared to a perfectly balanced 7. 14 is the most basic on the pH scale and 1 is the most acidic. You should target either soap with a balanced pH rating of around 7 or a slightly acidic pH rating of around 5.5 to 6.
5.5 is the pH level your skin has most of the time, and keeping it that way will help to prevent an eczema flare-up from occurring.
Never go with an overly alkaline soap (any soap with a pH rating of greater than 7 or 8). That’s because alkaline soaps can very easily dry out your skin, so while it’s not a bad direction to go if you have very oily skin, it’s generally not a good choice for eczema where the skin is already very dry.
At the same time, try to avoid any overly acidic soaps. Acid can break down or dry out the skin and cause surface-level damage, exacerbating any eczema rashes you may already be experiencing.
Plant-based soaps, however, take advantage of the fact that plant oils have a pH level that is near to our natural pH.
It’s all about balance!
No Dyes or Other Allergens
Similarly, try to avoid any dyes or allergens like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), artificial fragrances, and parabens . These are ingredients usually found in synthetic or chemical-heavy soaps, rather than all-natural soaps made from organically sourced ingredients. Again, any artificial stuff could trigger an eczema outbreak because of an allergic reaction.
It’s a far better choice to go with soaps made from proven, gentle ingredients, and plenty of natural oils.
No Harsh Cleaners or Alcohol
Lastly, be sure to target soaps that don’t have any harsh cleaners included in their formulas, like triclosan and DMDM hydantoin, or alcohol.
The latter is especially important: as an astringent, alcohol can very quickly dry out your skin and lead you to rub your skin or eczema rashes raw.
Top 3 Soaps for Eczema
Ready for some specific examples? The good news is that, while some traditional soaps might be out of the question, there are plenty of all-natural soap alternatives that you can use without having to worry about making your eczema worse.
Green Goo’s Unscented Castile Soap
The first of these is Green Goo’s Unscented Castile Soap. Don’t know what a castile soap is?
In brief, a castile soap is a type of all-natural soap made from plant or vegetable oils (though other versions of castile soap are made from animal fat). Instead of using harsh astringents and the other harmful ingredients we mentioned earlier like SLS or parabens, castile soap, Green Goos’ in particular, only has natural, plant-based ingredients that are gentle on your skin but can get the job done when it comes to cleaning.
The above Castile Soap from Green Goo checks all the boxes for those who suffer from eczema. It comes in a 12-ounce bottle and is made with all-natural oils and aloe vera, which adds extra moisturizing properties to the mix. Furthermore, it’s totally unscented, so you don’t have to worry about having an unexpected allergic reaction to the product.
Not only can castile soaps be used for cleaning your face or body, but they can also double as a shampoo, vegetable rinse solution, or all-purpose cleaner when combined with water. It even works well as a laundry detergent or stain remover. Suffice it to say that it’s easily one of the best soaps for eczema you can get.
Green Goo’s Calendula + Aloe Bar Soap
But what if you want a bar soap on your body instead? Fair enough – Green Goo’s Calendula + Aloe Bar Soap is the perfect pick.
This bar soap has been formulated from the ground up for sensitive or delicate skin. Like the last castile soap, it comes with aloe vera, plus calendula oil, which adds additional moisturization and a more soothing texture. Other ingredients include olive oil, coconut oil, and palm oil.
This particular bar soap is great for those with eczema since it doesn’t come with any fragrance or any artificial ingredients. So you probably don't have to worry about allergic reactions. Everything in this bar soap comes from a plant, and each bar should be long-lasting and cleanse your skin gently and naturally!
Green Goo’s Unscented Aloe Baby Wash Castile Soap
If you have an infant or young child that is suffering from eczema, this soap is specifically formulated for them. Green Goo’s Unscented Aloe Baby Wash Castile Soap is a variation of our regular castile soap with even more focus placed on gentleness.
All-natural oils and aloe vera combine to thoroughly but calmly cleanse the skin of any little one with eczema rashes or scaly patches.
Even better, you can double this as a shampoo or you can use it to wash your baby’s clothes. Because it’s so gentle, it shouldn’t exacerbate any of the symptoms of an eczema outbreak. Plus, our castile soap is great for anyone with sensitive skin, not just kids!
Make Sure to Moisturize After Washing!
All of the above soaps are great choices for those with eczema. But even if you use these exceptionally gentle soaps, you should remember to moisturize your skin as much as you can after taking a bath or shower.
The fact is that people with eczema usually have extremely dry skin. Many of the rashes eczema produces can lead to wounds or raw skin, which makes skin dryness an even greater problem. Even gentle soap can strip away some moisture from the topmost layers of your skin, which may lead to irritation or an outbreak if that hydration isn’t replaced.
A great moisturizer can seal in existing water and prevent any remaining water from evaporating. We’d always recommend using a moisturizer after taking a shower and scrubbing your skin, especially on your face if that’s where you get your worst eczema rashes.
Green Goo’s Dry Skin Salve works wonders as a whole-body moisturizer, and is specially formulated with eczema and other dry skin conditions in mind.
Ultimately, each of the above gentle soaps are perfect choices if you or your infant suffers from eczema rashes. Rather than stripping your skin or overly irritating it, these soaps can provide a gentle but thorough cleanse for your face and body, and many of them can work well as a shampoo, too!
Green Goo also makes a ton of other products that can help soothe and moisturize dry skin, so take a look at what plants with purpose can do for you and your skin!