9 Expert-Endorsed Skincare Products for Psoriasis

Health Writer
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It can be hard to find the right skincare products for psoriasis. Many common ingredients can aggravate psoriasis, while others help to relieve itching, redness, and scaling. Everyone’s skin is different, so some amount of trial and error is needed to find the best products to help manage your psoriasis. As a general rule, go for ultra-hydrating ingredients and steer clear of potentially irritating dyes, fragrances, and chemicals. To get you started, check out these expert recommendations.


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St. Ives Hydration Cactus Water & Hibiscus Cleansing Stick

If you have psoriasis on your face, a face wash suitable for sensitive skin is crucial. Dermatologist Debra Jaliman, M.D., recommends St. Ives Hydration Cactus Water & Hibiscus Cleansing Stick because it’s very gentle, non-comedogenic (it won’t block pores) and free from aluminum, dyes, and parabens. Lawrence J. Green, M.D., National Psoriasis Foundation board member, advises against using an exfoliator on facial psoriasis because it can irritate the skin and cause the redness to spread.

$7.89, Target


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Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash

Psoriasis-prone skin needs a body wash that’s gentle and hydrating. Dr. Jaliman recommends Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash, which has a mild cleansing formula and doesn’t strip skin of nutrients. It’s hypoallergenic and free from fragrance, aluminum, dyes, parabens, sulfates, and soap. “Soap-free cleansers are preferable to soap, as the pH of true soap is quite high, about 9-10, which can irritate the skin,” said board-certified dermatologist Fayne Frey, M.D.

$5.89, Target


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Vanicream Z-Bar Medicated Cleansing Bar

If you like to use a bar cleanser, board-certified dermatologist Rhonda Q. Klein, M.D., recommends Vanicream Z-Bar Medicated Cleansing Bar. It contains pyrithione zinc two percent, which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and helps to relieve itching, redness, flaking, and scaling associated with psoriasis. At the same time, it’s free of chemical irritants found in ordinary zinc pyrithione cleansing bar (fragrance, dyes, parabens, lanolin, etc.) so it won’t inflame your skin.

$8.95, Pharmaceutical Specialties, Inc.


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Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo

For scalp psoriasis, Yunyoung Claire Chang, M.D. recommends a shampoo containing salicylic acid, which is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat psoriasis. Salicylic acid is a peeling agent that helps soften and remove the thick scale of psoriasis and allows the skin to absorb other topical medications. Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo, containing salicylic acid three percent, is fragrance-free, color-free, and preservative-free, and is suitable for regular use.

$5.89, Amazon.com


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Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo

Another shampoo Dr. Chang recommends for scalp psoriasis is Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo. While the T/Sal shampoo is salicylic acid-based, T/Gel is coal tar-based. Solubilized coal tar extract helps slow the rapid growth of skin cells and reduces inflammation, which leads to improved appearance of scale and itch in psoriasis. “With consistent use, tar shampoos when rubbed into the scalp are thought to decrease the proliferation of skin cells that builds up in psoriasis,” said Dr. Green.

$7.99, Target


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Calysta Labs Clarifying Charcoal Peel-Off Mask

According to physician Dr. Hardik Soni, many face masks draw out impurities but don’t provide the additional ingredients required to reduce inflammation and soothe the skin that’s so important for people with psoriasis. Dr. Soni recommends Calysta Labs Clarifying Charcoal Peel-Off, which contains aloe leaf juice to help fight inflammation and redness, leaving the skin super smooth and moisturized.

$49.00, Calysta Labs


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Cerave Moisturizing Cream

Skin with psoriasis has reduced levels of ceramides, so applying a great emollient should be part of your daily skincare routine. Frequent emollient use helps hydrate the skin and repair the skin barrier, says Dr. Chang. She recommends Cerave Moisturizing Cream, which has three essential ceramics and hyaluronic acid, but is also gentle and fragrance-free. Products with strong fragrances are best avoided, as they can further irritate and inflame psoriatic skin.

$14.32, Amazon.com


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Gold Bond Multi-Symptom Psoriasis Relief Cream

Dr. Chang recommends Gold Bond Multi-Symptom Psoriasis Relief Cream to all her psoriasis patients. Its main ingredient is salicylic acid three percent, and it also contains ceramides to hydrate the skin and prevent damage to the skin barrier. It’s free from steroids, which can increase skin irritation and dryness in some people with psoriasis.

$9.97, Walmart


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SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50

All types of skin need protection from the sun, but some chemical sunscreens can irritate psoriatic skin. Dr. Jaliman recommends SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50, which is a physical sunscreen. Physical sunscreens, which contain active mineral ingredients like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, work by forming a barrier on top of the skin’s surface to deflect and scatter harmful ultraviolet rays, providing just as much protection as chemical sunscreens but are less likely to cause irritation.

$34.00, Dermstore