Skincare Skills

by Lydia

Skincare blogger

April 17, 2021

Whilst there are plenty of creams out there to help with dry skin and eczema, finding a cream to care for the fragile skin under your eyes and on your eyelids when you have eczema is a whole other ball game.

There’s no need to worry though - we’ve looked at the best eye creams for eczema currently on the market, and have identified our Top 5.  We have the corresponding product reviews to follow, along with a buying guide, showing you what to look out for in a good eye cream for eczema.  We also have an FAQ section for you, composed of answers to your most frequently asked questions.

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Best Eye Creams for Eczema - Comparison Table

Best Eye Creams for Eczema - Reviews

This eye gel cream from Cetaphil is a bestseller with Amazon, and even after 500 customer ratings, the average rating remains above 4 stars!

What we love about it is just how hydrating it is, thanks to its inclusion of hyaluronic acid, which provides immediate hydration and really nourishes the delicate skin around the eyes.

It has a few other skin loving ingredients too, like licorice extract and a vitamin complex (which most likely includes vitamins B and E but not A).  And these provide yet more benefit than hydration - they brighten and smooth the under eye area, leaving you to look well rested.

It has been tested by dermatologists and has been deemed by them to be suitable for those with sensitive skin.  But not only that, it’s also ophthalmologist tested too. It’s also hypoallergenic, which means that there’s nothing in the tube that will irritate your skin.

The beauty of this eye cream is that it’s unique formula allows it to be absorbed quickly into the skin like a gel, yet moisturizers deeply like a cream, locking that much needed moisture in.  It feels so refreshing.

It’s also non-comedogenic and won’t clog your pores.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Best seller

  • Highly rated by customers

  • Provides deep and intense hydration

  • Packed with skin loving ingredients

  • Brightens and smooths the under eye area

  • Dermatologists and ophthalmologist tested

  • Hypoallergenic, won’t irritate your skin

  • Non-comedogenic, won’t clog your pores

  • Absorbs quickly into the skin

  • Feels great

Cons

  • The tube is quite small

Here’s an eye repair cream from CeraVe, a brand that dermatologists can’t promote enough.

This product is both dermatologist and ophthalmologist tested, so is deemed perfectly safe to be used around the eye area.  But not only that but it also comes with the NEA Seal of Acceptance. The National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance only applies to products that are suitable for use for those with eczema or sensitive skin conditions.

It works by reducing the look of dark circles and puffiness while simultaneously restoring and repairing the delicate skin barrier around your eyes.

It uses hyaluronic acid to deeply hydrate the skin, and uses a MultiVesicular emulsion to deliver the moisture to your skin slowly, keeping your skin hydrated for a good 24 hours from application.

It also contains ceramides 1,3 and 6-II, which are important for repairing and restoring the skin’s protective barrier.

It’s really gentle on your skin, hypoallergenic and fragrance free.  And it won’t clog your pores.

Pros

  • Dermatologist tested
  • Ophthalmologist tested

  • Reduces the look of dark circles and puffiness

  • Restores and repairs the delicate skin barrier around your eyes

  • Comes with the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance

  • Uses hyaluronic acid to deeply hydrate the skin

  • Keeps your skin hydrated for a full 24 hours

  • Contains ceramides 1,3 and 6-II

  • Gentle on your skin

  • Hypoallergenic and fragrance free

  • Won’t clog your pores

Cons

  • It’s a small tube

This eczema cream from Exederm is a real hit with customers.

This product is specially formulated to treat eczema flare ups, and provides fast, soothing relief, not only from itching and inflammation but from redness as well.

It received the National Eczema Association's coveted Seal of Acceptance with a perfect 5 out of 5 score.  And we can see why...

It’s the only paraben-free hydrocortisone cream available in the US, and it offers the maximum strength of the corticosteroid available without a prescription, 1%

It’s not just parabens it’s free of either, it’s also free of fragrance, colors and dyes, SLS or SLES, propylene, and cocamidopropyl.  So not even the milder irritants are to be found in it.

It’s only right to tell you that the box says not to use it on your eyes, however many customers have used it on their eyelids and under eyes to great effect.  You just have to be really careful not to get the cream in your eyes.

Pros

  • Customers love this product
  • Provides fast, soothing relief, from itching, inflammation and redness

  • Received the National Eczema Association's coveted Seal of Acceptance

  • Offers the maximum strength of the corticosteroid available without a prescription

  • Completely free of parabens, fragrance, colors and dyes, and other irritants

Cons

  • Please refer to our buying guide with regards to whether using corticosteroids is right for you

If, having read our buying guide below, you decide that you don’t want to go down the route of using corticosteroids, then this would be the cream to go for.

If this cream works for you, and we think it will, there’ll be no need to resort to topical steroid creams.  

It’s a prescription-strength eczema treatment that has now been cleared for sale by the FDA and can now be bought without a doctor’s prescription.

It has a total of 3 different clinically proven benefits.  The first of which is relief from eczema symptoms such as itching and dryness.  But it also restores the integrity of the skin’s protective barrier, and best of all, keeps your eczema in remission for longer.

It’s suitable for use all over the body, including the face and eye area (just don’t let it get in the eye).

In addition to being steroid free, it’s also free of a lot of the irritants you can get in some creams, there’s no added dyes, fragrances, sulfates or parabens. Making it hypoallergenic.

The active ingredients include a unique composition of skin-based lipids which are designed to help restore the skin’s protective barrier, and a naturally occurring fatty acid called Palmitamide MEA, which has those much needed antioxidants.

Better yet, there are no age restrictions as to who can use it.

Pros

  • Prescription-strength eczema treatment
  • Provides relief from itching and dryness

  • Restores the skin’s protective barrier

  • Keeps your eczema in remission for longer

  • Suitable for use on the face

  • Steroid free

  • Hypoallergenic

  • No added dyes, fragrances, sulfates or parabens

  • No age restrictions

Cons

  • Does not contain corticosteroids, but that’s not always a bad thing - please refer to our buying guide for more information

This cream from Eucerin is dermatologist recommended, and is specially formulated to combat eczema conditions.  It flies off the shelves with Amazon and elsewhere, and customers rave about it.

We have done our homework on this eczema cream and are pleased to report that it’s perfectly safe to use around the eye area.

It provides all day hydration, and at the same time combats minor irritation, and reduces the incidence of eczema flare ups.  And not only does it relieve and soothe the skin, but over time it strengthens the skin’s natural barrier too.

It’s made with truly skin loving ingredients, such as oatmeal, ceramide-3, and licorice root extract.

It’s gentle enough for everyday use, and can be used with just about all age groups, the only exception being newborn babies.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Great brand

  • Big hit with customers

  • Dermatologist recommended

  • Safe to use around the eye area

  • Provides all day hydration

  • Combats minor irritation

  • Reduces the incidence of eczema flare ups

  • Strengthens the skin’s natural barrier

  • Made with truly skin loving ingredients

  • Gentle enough for everyday use

  • Can be used with most age groups

Cons

  • It doesn’t contain any corticosteroids, but that’s not always a bad thing - see our buying guide for more information

Best Eye Creams for Eczema - Buyers Guide

First we’ll take a look at what to look for in an eye cream, and what ingredients you may need to avoid in an eye cream if you’re prone to eczema in the eye area.

Then we will zoom in on how eczema around the eyes can be treated, and walk you through the various treatments and skin care ingredients.  

Skin care ingredients to be aware of in eye creams

A good eye cream can do wonders for your appearance, making you look healthy and youthful.  However some eye cream ingredients will help with your eczema, whilst others will hinder it.  You need to look for eye creams that are suitable for dry, sensitive skin.

Eye cream ingredients that will benefit your skin include moisturizers such as hyaluronic acid or ceramides, antioxidants such as those found in vitamins C and E, niacinamide which is a form of vitamin B3, and peptides.

Eye cream ingredients to avoid include retinol, found in vitamin A, as it can be quite drying and damaging.  And in case your eczema is triggered by an allergic reaction, you should also avoid added fragrances, colors and harsh preservatives such as parabens.

Types of treatments for eczema around the eyes

The most important factors in helping your eyes to heal, are keeping the eye area clean and avoiding touching or scratching as best you can, as this is how to prevent any further irritation or infection.

The other main thing to do is to avoid any contact irritants and allergens that can trigger flare ups.  These may include certain makeup products, swimming goggles, contact lens solution, false eyelashes, and so on.

Beyond that, there are generally 3 main types of treatment for eczema around the eyes, there’s moisturizers, calcineurin inhibitors, and corticosteroids.

Moisturizing creams can be great for relieving any dryness and itching, and there are a lot of such creams freely available with and without prescription.  This can be one the best ways to treat eczema around the eyes, when the symptoms are mild.

When there’s significant inflammation around the eye however, you may prefer to use calcineurin inhibitors.  These can either be taken in tablet form, or applied on the affected area as a cream.

Any inflammation in your body is caused by your body’s immune system, acting (or overreacting) in response to anything that may harm your body.  Calcineurin inhibitors work against inflammation by suppressing this reaction by your immune system. This is why caution is recommended for using them.

Corticosteroids meanwhile can both treat inflammation and reduce dryness.  Like calcineurin inhibitors, they can either be taken in tablet form or applied as a cream to the affected area.  Like calcineurin inhibitors, corticosteroids also work by reducing the activity of the immune system.

With corticosteroid creams, your body can grow accustomed to its use, and they can lose some of their effectiveness over time.  The main danger in using corticosteroid creams close to the eye, is that they pose a risk of glaucoma. They can also induce other side effects, such as acne, hair growth on the areas treated, and thinning of the skin

Generally, only mild topical steroids (0.5-1% hydrocortisone) are recommended for eyelid eczema, since anything stronger can cause too much thinning of the skin in an area where skin is already very thin anyway.

However, corticosteroid tablets are reserved for only the most severe symptoms, since their side effects can be pretty serious, including but not limited to high blood pressure, diabetes, and osteoporosis.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I tell if it’s eczema?

Eczema around the eyes is also referred to as eyelid dermatitis, and can affect one or both of the eyes.  The eyelids, including the lower lids, can become irritated and itchy, dry, reddened and swollen. There can be other symptoms besides, but these are the main ones.  It is sometimes but not always caused by an allergic reaction. 

Is a standard eczema cream safe to use around the eyes?

Many eczema creams are safe to use around the eye area, including those in our Top 5 products.  However they do sometimes come with drawbacks and side effects. If you scroll back up, our buying guide talks you through the drawbacks of using calcineurin inhibitors and corticosteroids.

What causes eczema around the eyes?

Most researchers generally believe that a genetic predisposition to eczema plus an environmental trigger is what’s most likely to cause someone to develop eczema.

There are two main types of eczema around the eyes, and these are atopic contact dermatitis and irritant contact dermatitis.  Atopic contact dermatitis occurs when you come into contact with something you’re allergic to, and your body’s immune system acts to fight it, causing symptoms like redness and itching.

With irritant contact dermatitis, your skin begins to feel uncomfortable following contact with an irritant in your environment, without you having an allergic reaction to it.

Each type has a long list of potential triggers, and these are not just limited to solids.  Irritant contact dermatitis can also be caused by very hot or cold temperatures, very dry air, or rubbing or scratching of the eyes.

Does Vaseline help eyelid eczema?

It’s safe to use petroleum jelly such as Vaseline on eczema prone areas such as eyelids to help combat symptoms of dry skin.  In fact it can often be safer than regular moisturizers and creams which can sometimes have ingredients that can irritate the skin around your eyes.  However, it is important to note that Vaseline won’t heal your eczema.

Is eczema a sign of vitamin deficiency?

There seem to be links between lower levels of vitamins A and D with eczema and dry, itchy eyes.  If you are concerned that you may be experiencing a vitamin deficiency, our advice is to seek out a doctor and get the relevant blood tests to know for sure.  Sometimes vitamin deficiencies can be solved by the use of dietary supplements, and other times a regular injection may be necessary.

About the author 

Lydia

My name is Lydia Adams and I have been a skincare blogger in one way or another for many, many years.

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