Tested on animals:No
Very dry, irritated skin might seem like something only adults get, but eczema is not uncommon among small children. Kids Eczema Balm from Skinfix claims to gently and effectively treat that issue with this thick cream, and actually gets a lot right with its formula. Unfortunately, a couple of potentially problematic ingredients keep this from earning our recommendation; instead this only gets an average, two-star rating.
Kids Eczema Balm is a cream that comes in a plastic tube with a flip-top cap. This balm is designed more as a spot treatment instead of an overall cream, and you can tell why; the main active ingredient here is zinc oxide (15%), which means this is quite thick and will leave a strong white cast on skin. While this ingredient is known mainly for its use as a sunscreen, it's also a great anti-irritant that can serve to soothe inflamed skin—and inflammation is one of the hallmarks of eczema.
Sweet almond oil, colloidal oatmeal, and allantoin round out the active ingredients in this formula, and they're all effective when it comes to treating eczema, regardless of your age. Like zinc oxide, oatmeal and allantoin are effective anti-irritants, and sweet almond oil is a skin identical ingredient that will help repair a damaged skin barrier. As far as inactive ingredients go, this has good emollients like shea butter and sunflower oil. Skin will certainly feel smoother, softer, and less flaky after this is applied!
The reason this isn't getting a higher rating, though, is that this formula includes styrax, balsam tolu, and benzoin. These are all fragrant balsam extracts that can serve as skin irritants. While they aren't present in a huge amount (in fact, they're toward the end of the ingredient list), keep in mind this product is designed for people with damaged skin barriers; any amount of potential irritation could do further damage. This is particularly true of children's skin, which is still developing and is more sensitive than adult skin. See the More Info section for additional details.
That's a shame, because otherwise Kids Eczema Balm would definitely have earned our recommendation because of its mix of anti-irritant and emollient ingredients. Instead, we suggest considering some of the options on our list of Best Sensitive Skin Products.
Note: Despite the fact this contains a high amount of zinc oxide, it isn't formulated to work as a sunscreen. Sunscreen actives require careful dispersion and formulation to function as a sunscreen active, so don't look to this to do double-duty as an SPF.
- Contains some powerhouse anti-irritant and emollient ingredients to soothe skin.
- Contains a small amount of styrax, balsam tolu, and benzoin, which are not the best for sensitive skin, like those this is marketed towards.
Irritation from High Amounts of Fragrance: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way for all skin types to go for all skin types (Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2008 & American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003).
The sneaky part about irritation is that research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see it or feel it for your skin to suffer damage, and that damage may remain hidden for a long time (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008).
In fact, the effect of inflammation in the skin is cumulative, and repeated exposure to irritants contributes to a weakened skin barrier, slower healing (including of red marks from breakouts), and a dull, uneven complexion (Aging, 2012 & Chemical Immunology and Allergy, 2012).