DIY Eczema Cream with Colloidal Oatmeal
This DIY eczema cream recipe features:
- colloidal oatmeal – soothing, protective and anti-inflammatory (source, source, source)
- shea butter – emollient, anti-inflammatory (source)
- sunflower oil – shown to repair skin barrier, improves hydration (source, source)
Eczema is a miserable condition that causes skin to be intensely itchy and inflamed. Atopic dermatitis (AD) is one of the most common forms of eczema, so you’ll sometimes see the two terms interchanged.
I had severe eczema as a kid and still get the occasional flareup in winter, plus my son also suffered from eczema when younger, so I’ve spent a lot of time trying different remedies out.
One of the keys to helping relieve the discomfort of eczema is to use a cream that soothes, moisturizes and helps protect the skin’s barrier. It’s also important to use it consistently.
Treatment for eczema is very individualized; what works well for one person, won’t necessarily work well for another.
There are usually allergies and other factors to consider too, but here’s one eczema cream recipe featuring colloidal oatmeal that you can try. (More to come in future blog posts!)
Ingredients for DIY Eczema Cream with Colloidal Oatmeal
You’ll need a scale to make this cream. (I use THIS ONE from LotionCrafter.) Links to Bramble Berry & Mountain Rose Herbs are affiliate links.
- 65 g distilled water
- 1 g (almost 1/2 tsp) colloidal oatmeal (I use THIS KIND.)
- 15 g sunflower oil
- 10 g shea butter
- 7 g vegetable emulsifying wax (I use Mountain Rose Herbs brand.)
- preservative of choice (see note)
- optional – few drops of lavender essential oil
Colloidal oatmeal is the star of this cream and is used at 1% in the recipe.
THESE TWO CLINICAL STUDIES showed that a 1% colloidal oatmeal cream alone was effective in reducing symptoms of mild to moderate atopic dermatitis (eczema).
Wondering what colloidal oatmeal is and if you can make it at home? Check out THIS excellent article over on the LisaLise blog.
Directions to Make
Weigh out the distilled water in a heatproof container. (I use small jelly/canning jars.) Add the colloidal oatmeal and mix well.
Weigh the sunflower oil, shea butter and vegetable emulsifying wax in a separate heatproof container.
Place both jars down into a saucepan containing an inch or so of water, forming a double boiler of sorts. Turn the burner to medium low and heat until the wax and butter are fully melted – about 10 to 15 minutes.
Pour the hot water/oatmeal and melted wax/butter/oil together into a clean jar and stir, stir, stir with a fork. Stir frequently until the lotion starts to thicken as it cools.
I place the container down into a bowl of ice water to help speed this step up and to make sure the shea butter cools quickly, to reduce the chance of grittiness.
Once cool enough for your preservative of choice, stir that in, then add the lavender essential oil, if using, and mix well.
I used 2 or 3 drops of a lovely lavender essential oil that was gifted to me at Christmas – it’s from The English Lavender Farm in Oregon and it smells sooo good!
This cream will start off thinner and more lotion-like, but it will thicken into a lovely cream after several hours.
Pour into lotion containers or jars.
Notes About Preservative Choices
My favorite nature-derived preservative is Leucidal SF Complete – derived from Lactobacillus & coconut ferment, used at a 2 to 4% rate, which is 2 to 4 grams in this recipe. (I usually go with 4%.)
It usually gives me a shelf life of at least 3 months, though I’ve heard from a couple of readers who’ve only gotten about 1 month shelf life when using. (Storage conditions and other lotion ingredients play a large role as well.)
Vitamin E will not kill bacteria or mold, so is not an effective preservative. It’s a great anti-oxidant though, that helps oils stay fresh longer.
Check LotionCrafter, Formulator Sample Shop or The Herbarie for all sorts of other preservative options – some are nature-derived, some are not. Be sure to read their product listings for individual usage rates and guidelines.
If you don’t want to use a preservative at all, then refrigerate your cream and use it up within a week or so. If you apply creams heavily and/or it’s used by several family members, you may use it up before that time.
(Related: HERE’s a blog post detailing more about my tests with nature-derived preservatives.)