At Honey Bear Soaps, the first product we created was a psoriasis soap bar, because we have close friends and family who suffer from these conditions and desperately needed a product that could offer relief at an affordable cost. It’s a subject we’re passionate about, and have put in many hours, researching and formulating all-natural products for. That said, we’ve determined a list of 7 top ingredients that you should definitely look for in a psoriasis or eczema soap. These ingredients work in different ways and together to help slough off dry, flaky skin, AND to nourish and moisturize the new skin underneath to keep scales, itching, and dryness at bay.
1. Aloe Vera Gel (or Juice)
Aloe vera is an anti-inflammatory that calms itch/burn and helps reduce redness in skin. It is often used as a sunburn or bug bite treatment for this reason. It also helps to keep skin hydrated to prevent future flare ups keep your skin hydrated.
One 2010 study showed that aloe vera gel was slightly more effective for treating symptoms or mild-to-moderate psoriasis than 0.1 percent triamcinolone acetonide, a steroid cream often prescribed to treat psoriasis.
Used alone, the difference between aloe gel and aloe juice is simply how thickly you’d like to lay on the product for relief. In soaps and most other skincare products, the difference is mostly negligible since aloe juice is just blended aloe gel. The end product has the same benefits either way.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a bit more of a heavy hitter when it comes to treating psoriasis plaques. It helps to soften and loosen them from the skin so they can be gently removed, AND moisturizes the new skin they reveal. The National Psoriasis Foundation recommends coconut oil for use in natural treatment of psoriasis – especially on the scalp. It also has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties to keep the new skin healthy.
It is most often recommended to use virgin cold processed coconut oil, because it has the least amount of processing and maintains as many of its natural benefits as possible.
3. Black Seed Oil
Black seed oil, also known as “black cumin seed oil”, has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, and anthelmintic (or antiparasitic) properties. According to one 2012 study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3785163/), it can help soothe any inflammation while also speeding up the skin’s healing process. Black seed oil is also an excellent moisturizer and may even reduce scale thickness.
However, this ingredient does come with a disclaimer: in large doses or with prolonged use, it may slow blood clotting and lower blood pressure. This means those with clotting disorders, diabetes, or low blood pressure should monitor for this or speak with a doctor before external use.
4. Calendula Oil
Calendula oil is another great oil with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It again helps to reduce inflammation and irritation from psoriasis and eczema. It also has the added benefit of potentially stimulating cell repair and growth, which allows for healthier, happier skin to replace the dry, itchy, irritated skin.
Also helpful is that calendula oil is formulated by adding the petals of the flower to a carrier oil. The carrier oil then absorbs all of the beneficial properties of the calendula petals and can then be used in various skin products. If the carrier oil is one that is also known to be beneficial to the skin, such as jojoba or hemp, then the resulting product has even MORE benefits for psoriasis and eczema.
5. Vegetable Glycerin
Vegetable glycerin is a naturally-derived form of glycerin that acts as a humectant. This means that it draws moisture in from the environment (even in dry climates) and retains it against the skin or hair. One study showed that glycerin was slightly more effective than silicone oil or even hyaluronic acid at retaining moisture in the skin.
This ingredient in a skincare product will help to boost moisture, calm irritation, improve the skin’s elasticity, and repair the barrier that healthy skin needs in order to STAY healthy.
Long-used for their calming skin properties, oats are often used as a soaking ingredient in baths or even as a gentle exfoliating ingredient in some soaps and scrubs. Oatmeal has been scientifically proven to reduce skin swelling and itching in a wide range of skin conditions. It also contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids – which are very healthy for the skin and help promote healing.
It’s important not to irritate psoriasis or eczema further in the quest to remove the dry, flaky skin. When using oats as a n exfoliator, look for products that have them finely ground and only use a small amount in the overall product. You’d want it to only be slightly grainy – not gritty or scratchy!
7. Green Tea
A 2007 study found that polyphenol compounds found in green tea can reduce skin lesions, reduce inflammation, and balance the immune cells that are associated with the development of psoriasis and eczema. When taken internally (drank), these benefits can help systemically from the inside. But when applied topically (in soaps or lotions), they can help directly at the visible source of discomfort. When included in powder form, they can also aid in the GENTLE exfoliation of dry, flaky skin.
In conclusion, finding the right soap for managing psoriasis or eczema is crucial, and understanding the key ingredients can make a significant difference. The seven top ingredients discussed in this article work synergistically to address the challenges posed by these skin conditions. By choosing skin products containing these ingredients, you can slough off dry, flaky skin, nourish the new skin, and keep the discomfort of scales, itching, and dryness at bay. Ultimately, these carefully selected ingredients provide a holistic approach to managing psoriasis and eczema, offering relief and promoting healthier, happier skin.