The 10 Best Do-It-All Balms for Psoriasis
When you have a condition like psoriasis, moisturizing isn’t up for debate. Leave those thick, scaly, and painful skin plaque spots dry, and they’ll quickly become worse before your eyes—cracking, bleeding, flaking, the works. The thing is, though, when it comes to stubborn psoriasis plaques, most lightweight lotions won’t cut it. Sure, they might work fine as your base layer of hydration, but as far as treating specific areas goes, well, that’s where your heavy-duty emollients come in. Ahead, find 10 dermatologist- and patient-recommended balms and salves suitable for softening psoriasis spots.
Aveeno Cracked Skin Relief Cica Ointment
Aveeno combined calming ingredients like centella asiatica (a plant extract also known as cica) and colloidal oatmeal into a base of petrolatum to create this skin-soothing ointment, which comes recommended by Sejal Shah, M.D., a dermatologist in private practice in New York City. “It forms a protective seal over cracked skin and soothes inflammation fast,” she says. “Plus, its applicator tip makes it easy to use on elbows and knees where psoriasis commonly develops,” she adds. Keep a tube in your desk so you can lube up in the bathroom at work.
*Available at amazon.com
Vaseline Jelly All Over Body Balm Stick
Exciting news: Everyone’s favorite drugstore skin savior now comes in an ultra-convenient, TSA-friendly stick that makes it much easier to apply to feet and tricky crevices (such as under the breasts), which often flare up from psoriasis. “Triple purified petrolatum helps protect and soften the skin, and this brand-new formula gives the same benefits you’re used to, but in a new, no-mess stick dispenser,” says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical dermatology research at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City.
Available at target.com, $6.
CeraVe Healing Ointment
This ointment features a blend of ultra-hydrating ceramides to help retain moisture and protect the skin barrier—that, and it’s free of the common skin irritants like lanolin and synthetic fragrance. It’s also got the National Eczema Association seal of approval, so you know it means business. “This…softens the skin and delivers ceramides to fill in cracks between cells in the outer skin layer,” explains Dr. Zeichner.
Available at walmart.com, $21.
Psoriasis Honey Skin-Renewing Cream
After creating a best-selling cream for eczema, folks with psoriasis wrote in and begged the USA-based brand to make a solution for psoriasis, too. Sure enough, they delivered. Comprised of pure honey, beeswax, and grapeseed oil to soothe rough spots, as well as salicylic acid to gently exfoliate the skin, this creamy, balm-like elixir works serious magic on stubborn plaques and dry spots. Check out the #psoriasishoney hashtag on Instagram to see more from customers who swear by the stuff.
Available at psoriasishoney.org, $30.
Egyptian Magic All-Purpose Skin Cream
Beloved by skin experts and celebrities alike, this multi-use balm feels like a lightweight blanket on dry, distressed skin. While you can use it for a variety of skin ailments (acne, eczema, etc.), it’s especially beneficial for conditions like psoriasis as it’s made with a blend of anti-inflammatory ingredients—including bee propolis (a substance made by bees to seal hive cracks), royal jelly (a combo of water and nectar produced by worker bees), and bee pollen. Additionally, unlike some ointments, it sinks into the skin almost instantly, so it won’t leave grease stains on your clothes.
Available at costco.com, $31.
CV Skinlabs Restorative Skin Balm
Rather than using petrolatum as a base, this soothing balm features a cocktail of carnauba and beeswax, vitamin E, as well as powerhouse healing ingredients like sea buckthorn oil, shea butter, arnica, and turmeric. It’s also housed in a tiny tube (a little goes a long way) that you can pop in your purse or backpack to easily reapply throughout the day or as needed.
Available at cvskinlabs.com, $15.
Skinfix 911 Ointment
Nourish and soothe scaly spots in seconds with this fast-acting, highly-concentrated balm from Skinfix, which contains .5% allantoin, from the root of the Comfrey herb, to help expedite healing, as well as several intense hydrators like cupuaçu butter (from a tropical rainforest tree related to cacao), coconut and jojoba oils, and shea butter.
Available at skinfix.com, $24.
Dr. Rogers Restore Healing Balm
Developed by board-certified dermatologist, Heather Rogers, this multi-use balm contains just three hard-working ingredients: castor-seed oil, glycerin, and hydrogenated castor oil, the latter of which is a thicker form of the oil that gives the formula its rich, balmy consistency. Apply it to parched, flaky patches of skin and you’ll feel instant relief.
Available at doctorrogers.com, $30.
Farmacy Honey Savior All-in-One Skin Salve
Noticing a trend here? Honey is a common ingredient used in skin balms and ointments due to its natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties. It’s also chock-full of antioxidants needed for optimal skin health and is a fabulous thickener when it comes to formulating. Aside from Farmacy’s patented Echinacea GreenEnvy honey, it also contains propolis, royal jelly, and jojoba, castor, and sunflower oils. Slather it on a scaly spot and watch as the skin soaks it up and becomes instantly smoother.
Available at sephora.com, $34.
MG217 Psoriasis Treatment, Medicated Conditioning 2% Coal Tar Multi-Symptom Ointment
This no-frills treatment contains coal tar (sounds scary but is totally safe in small amounts) that, according to Dr. Shah, helps slow the cell overgrowth that leads to psoriasis plaques. This goes on thick—but not sticky—to lock in nutrients like vitamins A, D, and E, plus the skin’s natural moisture, for overnight itch-relief.
Available at amazon.com, $7.