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The Best Moisturizers For Seborrheic Dermatitis


Though seborrheic dermatitis is mainly a skin condition of the scalp, it can also affect other parts of your face and body such as your eyebrows, nose, chest, arms, eyelids, and legs, says Dr. Azza Halim, M.D., a board-certified physician specializing in aesthetic medicine.

When shopping for the best moisturizers for seborrheic dermatitis, look for humectants — aka ingredients that retain and preserve moisture — that enhance water absorption from the dermis to the epidermis (e.g. honey, sorbitol, hyaluronic acid, lactic acid, glycolic acid, panthenol, or urea). Also, look for emollients to help with skin repair or occlusives, which are moisturizing agents, that create a barrier to protect your skin and prevent water loss, the doctor says. “Often times, a combination of the above categories of moisturizer are needed to soothe and heal areas of seborrheic dermatitis,” Dr. Halim adds.

Which Ingredients To Avoid

Dr. Halim advises that patients avoid denatured alcohol and similar drying agents, as well as menthol and menthol derivatives, citrus oils or extracts, and fragrances. These ingredients can trigger flare-ups by increasing skin irritation and sensitivity or by over-drying your skin, which can lead to an unwanted increase in oil production. She also suggests staying on top of the condition by washing with a gentle, water-soluble cleanser to remove grease, oil, and dirt; using hydrating toners; gently exfoliating with beta-hydroxy acids; and applying soothing moisturizers and sunscreen daily. But since every person’s skin is unique, Dr. Halim says it’s smart to talk to your doctor to figure out the best treatment option for you.

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