I have had eczema my whole life, and it's always been an issue for me finding skincare products that help alleviate itching, redness, and dryness. For years I went to the dermatologist twice a week for lightbooth UV therapy (it was literally a stand-up tanning bed) and I had prescriptions for several topical steroids.
As well as eczema, I also have a rare auto-immune disorder called Dermatomyositis, which caused my skin to get even WORSE for over a year before I started on prednisone and other medications. If you've ever been on prednisone, you know that it's not something you want to take for an extended period of time. Since I have been off prednisone and a bunch of my other medications, I've adopted a skincare regimen that has proved to work relatively well. Right now where the eczema is the worst is my feet and calves, but I do have patches on my elbows, hands, and thighs.
In the morning and night, I use this beautiful product as a skincare "base coat", if you will. The alpha-hydroxy acid in it helps break down dead skin cells and it's wonderful. It was part of a regimen that my dermatologist recommended 3 years ago and I have stuck to it pretty regularly.
After the Eucerin cream, I slap on some of this stuff, which I've only been able to find at my UrgentCare pharmacy so I don't know how widely available it is. But if you can find it, it's awesome. Cutemol doesn't have much of a smell, and it's an almost glue-like texture, but once you get it on the skin it starts to warm up and melt down to a softer texture.
That's basically what I do in the morning and night every night with cotton socks over it. When I was first diagnosed with psoriasis in high school (which may or may not have been a fluke, according to my other doctors), I would use my steroid creams and Aquaphor underneath cotton socks and gloves. Seriously, I wore cotton gloves to bed every night. It was bad. Aquaphor is a good alternative if you can handle the thick petroleum jelly consistency. It works, but it's a pain in the butt.
As far as daily hand creams and moisturizers, here are a couple of my favorites.
Lush Dream Cream is such a holy grail product that I can't imagine not owning it. I used it in place of the Eucerin lotion for awhile, but found that I was going through so much so quickly that I didn't want to spend to much and went back to the Eucerin. This is a great moisturizer for the body and hands, and it literally has every good ingredient in it.
Pure shea butter is another staple for me. Cocoa butter works fine as well, but I find that shea butter lasts longer on the skin. This little tub I found at Metropolitan Market, but you can find pure shea butter at Sephora, and various online shops (even check Etsy for wholesale sellers for crazy cheap prices).
I use a couple other hand creams (JR Watkins is my favorite), but for the most part all of them include some percentage of shea butter. However, when looking at labels, make sure to see how much shea butter there actually is. I am always skeptical when I see "shea butter lotion" and there's like 10% shea butter. I've found it to be the "acai berry" of the skincare market - a total buzzword that gets overused to sell more product.
A new purchase for me is this next product that I got from Escentual.com when they were having a 1/3 off their French skincare products. I'm still on the fence about whether or not it does a whole lot, but it hasn't bothered my skin so that's a plus! But I do know it's helped my friend Estee of Essiebutton.com with her eczema. Hopefully I know fully if I like it by the time I head to Canada next month so I can pick up some more if I like it. Thank you French Canada!
I hope that this was helpful and gave you some ideas if you have been currently looking for some real deal skincare (aka NOT Bath and Body Works). I wouldn't recommend using any of these on your face, but I'm sure if you have eczema or psoriasis on your face, you're hopefully seeing a dermatologist about it. I've been lucky enough to not have any of my skincare problems spread to my face. Thank goodness.