When you have psoriasis, hydration is a must for managing the red, scaly rash. In addition to listening to your dermatologist and exploring treatments, over-the-counter moisturizers are a daily necessity for smoothing your skin, reducing scaliness, relieving itch, and soothing inflammation. But don’t just reach for any moisturizer on the shelf.
Formula-wise, you want to go for those crafted with sensitive, psoriasis-prone skin in mind, which is exactly what you’ll find below. Read on to discover 17 of the best lotions for psoriasis, each of which is soothing and made with high-quality ingredients.
What Is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is one of the most common immune-mediated diseases in the United States, affecting nearly 3% of the population. Immune-mediated diseases are those with unclear causes but are characterized by inflammation caused by a dysfunction of the immune system.
Psoriasis inflammation shows up as raised red, white, or silvery plaques, or scales, on the skin triggered by an overactive immune system that speeds up skin cell growth. Instead of having normal skin cell shedding about every month or so, psoriasis makes skin cells grow much faster and pile up on the skin’s surface rather than shedding. This results in rough, scaly patches on the skin that can cause itching, burning, stinging, or soreness.
What Causes Psoriasis?
No one really knows what initially triggers psoriasis, though some people might have a genetic predisposition. Psoriasis can affect anyone at any age, and cases can range from mild to severe. One-third of cases see symptoms before the age of 20, though many others appear between the ages of 20 and 40.
There are a few factors known to worsen existing symptoms or trigger an onset of psoriasis:
Viruses and illness
Smoking and alcohol consumption
Inflammatory diets high in processed meat, sugars, and sodium
Whether your psoriasis is mild or severe, it’s always a good idea to check with your dermatologist on the best course of action.
What Are the Signs of Psoriasis?
Psoriasis can affect any part of the body from head to toe, but the plaques most commonly occur on areas like the knees, elbows, and scalp. It’s worth noting that the symptoms come and go, and there could be times when your psoriasis goes into a period of remission and you experience no symptoms at all.
However, if your condition is active, these are some of the symptoms you might experience:
Inflamed, red patches with silvery scales
Dry, cracked skin
Burning or stinging
The Importance of Moisturizing for Psoriasis
Lotions, creams, and ointments are one of the best methods for alleviating symptoms like dryness and itchiness. The emollients found in these moisturizing products help soften, smooth, and protect skin by creating a hydrating barrier.
For mild cases of psoriasis, there are many incredible over-the-counter lotions, creams, and treatments that can help ease your symptoms. However, not all lotions are created equally. Some can even make your symptoms worse, which is why it’s important to find lotions and creams that help your psoriasis. Find 17 of the best lotions for psoriasis below.
17 Best Lotions for Psoriasis
We recommend the Blu Atlas Body Lotion as our top pick because it gently nourishes skin and softens scales with the perfect blend of emollients, occlusives, and hydrators. It’s formulated with shea butter, one of the best plant-based ingredients for treating psoriasis, which loads down on moisture to support the skin barrier, calm inflammation, and comfort itchy, ashy skin. This clean, psoriasis-friendly lotion also includes jojoba oil and squalane, both of which are similar in structure to our skin’s natural oils, making them among the most effective natural moisturizers.
There’s also seaweed extract – swimming in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants – to support healthy, hydrated skin. Olive oil esters ensure this body lotion has a smooth and creamy texture, all while packing long-lasting moisturization benefits for the skin.
It’s at our number one spot thanks to Blu Atlas’ commitment to creating high-quality, non-toxic products, all vetted through scientific research. In addition to being rich in natural skin nourishers, it’s vegan, cruelty-free, and free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances. This body lotion is gentle through and through, but we suggest using the fragrance-free version for sensitive, psoriasis-prone skin.
Price: $40 | Key Ingredients: Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil, Squalane, Seaweed, Olive Oil Esters
2. CeraVe Psoriasis Moisturizing Cream
Developed by dermatologists and adorned with the National Psoriasis Foundation Seal of Recognition, the CeraVe Psoriasis Moisturizing Cream is one experts stand by — and it’s easy to see why. The formula is brimming with helpful ingredients that gently exfoliate and hydrate the skin to provide comfort and keep symptoms at bay.
Inside, you’ll find 2% salicylic acid and lactic acid, which help relieve scaling, redness, dryness, and flakiness by gently sloughing away scales. Niacinamide — a vitamin B3 derivative — helps calm redness and irritation while a blend of three essential ceramides locks in moisture and supports the skin barrier. There are also a ton of emollients like shea butter, glycerin, and urea that soothe and moisturize.
Price: $20–$25 | Key Ingredients: Salicylic Acid, Urea, Ceramides, Niacinamide, Lactic Acid
3. TriDerma Psoriasis Control Face & Body Cream
Another favorite is the TriDerma Psoriasis Control Face & Body Cream. This ultra-moisturizing cream quickly targets psoriasis symptoms such as redness, flakiness, dead skin cell buildup, dryness, and itching with a curated selection of healing ingredients known to help soothe and prevent the recurrence of the skin condition.
The non-greasy formula includes an aloe vera complex containing more than 200 healing properties to soothe irritation, beeswax to calm inflammation, and salicylic acid to remove those inflamed patches of thickened skin. It sports the NPF Seal of Recognition, so you know it’s safe and effective for treating psoriasis symptoms.
Price: $7+ | Key Ingredients: Salicylic Acid, Urea, Aloe Vera, Shea Butter, Colloidal Oats, Beeswax
4. La Roche-Posay Lipikar AP+M Triple Repair Moisturizing Cream
Clinically shown to reduce the appearance of dry, rough skin and provide 48 hours of non-stop hydration, La Roche-Posay’s Lipikar Triple Repair Moisturizer is a brilliant option. The fragrance-free and hypoallergenic lotion has a hydrating, gentle formula that can be used on all skin types and ages to relieve feelings of itchiness, dryness, and skin discomfort.
Ceramide-3, shea butter, glycerin, and niacinamide replenish the skin’s lipids and soothe inflammation, while the brand’s iconic prebiotic thermal water balances the microbiome and softens scales.
Price: $14.99+ | Key Ingredients: Shea Butter, Ceramide-3, Niacinamide, Prebiotic Thermal Water
5. Bioderma Atoderm Intensive Balm
If you’re looking for an everyday moisture-replenishing body lotion ideal for super sensitive, irritation-prone skin, look no further than the Bioderma Atoderm Intensive Balm. Non-greasy, non-sticky, and free from fragrance, this nourishing body lotion sinks in quickly to relieve feelings of discomfort. Goodbye dry, itchy skin.
It soothes and restores skin with glycerin, ceramides, cholesterol, sunflower seed oil, and vitamin E. Use it on both the face and body for less itch and a healthier skin barrier.
Price: $27.99 | Key Ingredients: Glycerin, Cholesterol, Ceramides, Vitamin E
6. Gold Bond Multi-Symptom Psoriasis Relief Cream
The best lotions for psoriasis don’t just moisturize and soothe irritation — they help control the recurrence of symptoms. Enter the Gold Bond Multi-Symptom Psoriasis Relief Cream. Another National Psoriasis Foundation Recognized formula, this dermatologist-approved cream relieves symptoms like itchiness, irritation, redness, flakiness, and scaly skin.
It contains the maximum 3% OTC strength of salicylic acid to exfoliate psoriasis plaques, as well as gluconolactone — a gentle PHA that helps dissolve dead skin cells. Ceramides, ProVitamin D, urea, glycerin, and other nourishing ingredients help increase and maintain skin moisture levels. The cherry on top is that you can find it for less than $10 at most retailers. It’s a win-win.
Price: $9.97+ | Key Ingredients: Salicylic Acid, Ceramides, Gluconolactone, ProVitamin D, Urea, Glycerin
7. Eucerin Roughness Relief Lotion
This drugstore find is one of the best and most affordable lotions for psoriasis. Thanks to the key ingredient urea, Eucerin Roughness Relief Lotion is excellent at softening the skin and breaking down psoriasis plaques. Urea is a natural skin moisturizer that can help ease symptoms by soothing, softening, protecting, and improving the skin’s ability to repair itself. Though it’s not as well recognized for treating psoriasis compared to ingredients like salicylic acid, it’s absolutely one to look out for — which is why it’s commonly used in psoriasis-friendly formulas.
There are also ceramides, natural moisturizing factors, and exfoliating lactic acid, which help improve the look and feel of the skin. Consistency-wise, this formula is pretty rich and can take a while to absorb for some users, but the moisturization is unmatched.
Price: $11 | Key Ingredients: Urea, Glycerin, Shea Butter, Lactic Acid, Ceramide 3
8. Dermoia Manuka Honey Eczema Cream
Treat psoriasis symptoms like itching, dryness, and flaking with this Manuka honey-enriched cream. 100% natural New Zealand Manuka honey is a potent anti-inflammatory ingredient, helping treat redness and irritation associated with psoriasis flares. Other ingredients like aloe vera, colloidal oatmeal, and arnica extract — a natural healing, pain-relieving ingredient derived from the Arnica montana plant — provide relief for inflammation, itching, and soreness.
Its rich, creamy, non-greasy texture comes from a skin-soothing blend of jojoba oil, shea butter, açai palm fruit oil, and vitamin E. In addition to its mighty medley of plant-based ingredients, the formula is cruelty-free, paraben-free, and safe for all skin types and ages.
Price: $39.95 | Key Ingredients: Manuka Honey, Colloidal Oatmeal, Shea Butter, Aloe Vera, Jojoba Oil
9. Curél Hydra Therapy Itch Defense Wet Skin Moisturizer
Intense itchiness is one of the worst symptoms associated with psoriasis, which is why having Curel’s Hydra Therapy Itch Defense in your shower is a must. Yep, we said shower. This lightweight lotion for psoriasis is designed for use on wet skin, meaning you apply it right after showering while your skin is still damp.
The water-activated formula helps draw in moisture lingering on your skin’s surface, so you can absorb as much hydration as possible. Enriched with vitamin E, oatmeal extract, and a ceramide complex, your skin is bound to feel less dry and itchy post-use. As if you needed another reason to try this lotion, it also features the National Psoriasis Foundation Seal of Recognition.
Price: $11.99 | Key Ingredients: Glycerin, Shea Butter, Vitamin E, Oatmeal Extract, Ceramides
10. Codex Beauty Labs Bia Hydrating Skin Superfood
For treating smaller plaques or moisturizing the sensitive skin on the face, try the Codex Labs’ Bia Hydrating Skin Superfood. This ultra-hydrating cream sinks quickly into the skin to restore moisture levels. A patented BioComplex formula — enriched with soothing botanicals like comfrey, calendula, marshmallow extract, immortelle, and heartsease — addresses symptoms of dryness, flaking, and itching while softening, soothing, and promoting an even skin tone.
This microbiome-friendly superfood cream is certified vegan, cruelty-free, and Psoriasis Foundation-approved. Bonus: The travel-friendly size makes it perfect to take on the go.
Price: $35 | Key Ingredients: Omega 3, Vitamin B12, Sweet Almond Oil, Lactobacillus Ferment, Botanical Complex
11. CeraVe Salicylic Acid Lotion for Rough and Bumpy Skin
Going in with an exfoliating AHA or BHA lotion can be a total game-changer for those with thick psoriasis plaques. The CeraVe Salicylic Acid Lotion is a go-to recommendation from dermatologists since it treats dead skin cell buildup and symptoms like dryness with a combination of salicylic acid, lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides.
Salicylic and lactic acids gently exfoliate, smoothing skin and sloughing away the skin cell buildup associated with psoriasis plaques and scales. So that the lotion is still moisturizing and suitable for sensitive skin, it also contains cholesterol, three essential ceramides, and hyaluronic acid to hydrate and improve the appearance of rough, dry skin.
Price: $16+ | Key Ingredients: Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramides, Cholesterol
12. Paula’s Choice Skin Revealing Body Lotion 10% AHA
Speaking of exfoliation, have you met Paula’s Choice Skin Revealing Body Lotion 10% AHA yet? This best-selling body lotion is a top pick for those who want to hydrate and improve skin smoothness and tone. Glycolic acid is the main exfoliator here, transforming rough texture by breaking down thick skin plaques.
Shea butter and dimethicone condition and smooth the skin, green tea and chamomile combat redness and inflammation, and glycerin hydrates. While some can use this lotion daily, the 10% AHA might make it too strong for others, so start with a weekly application and build your tolerance up from there.
Price: $29 | Key Ingredients: Glycolic Acid, Shea Butter, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Green Tea Extract, Chamomile Extract
13. PCA Skin CliniCalm 1%
Formulated with a maximum over-the-counter strength of 1% hydrocortisone — a corticosteroid hormone — PCA Skin’s CliniCalm 1% tackles psoriasis symptoms like skin itching, irritation, and discomfort. It continues to soothe with calming ingredients like glycerin, honey, aloe vera, bisabolol, and linseed oil that ensure skin stays hydrated and comfortable.
On top of that, this psoriasis treatment is formulated with phospholipids that provide a healing barrier and go deep within the skin layers to repair and hydrate. Compared to other products on our list, this formula is silky and lightweight, which is great if you don’t like thick, rich creams.
Price: $55 | Key Ingredients: Hydrocortisone, Hyaluronic Acid, Aloe Vera, Phospholipids, Honey
14. SkinCeuticals Hydra Balm
Add the SkinCeuticals Hydra Balm to your cart next time you’re skincare shopping if you need a hydrating, occlusive ointment for those ultra-dry, itchy areas. Commonly used for patients post skin procedure, this multi-purpose balm adds necessary hydration while forming a protective occlusive barrier over compromised skin.
Aloe vera, bisabolol, and squalane soothe irritation and hydrate dry skin, chamomile extract calms inflammation and redness, and pure petroleum seals in moisture and provides relief for rough, itchy skin. The travel-friendly size makes it ideal for treating psoriasis on smaller spots or specific areas like your hands or knees.
Price: $24 | Key Ingredients: Aloe Vera, Petroleum, Bisabolol, Squalane, Chamomile Extract
15. First Honey Skin Therapy Cream
The healing powers of honey shouldn’t go unnoticed. Luckily, you can enjoy all the skin benefits of medical-grade Manuka honey right here in First Honey’s Skin Therapy Cream. Infused with the highest quality of Manuka honey harvested from the brand’s bees in New Zealand, this dermatologist-tested cream calms inflammation and draws moisture into the skin.
In addition, Manuka honey’s antibacterial and restorative properties rebalance the microbiome by lowering the skin’s pH level. The formula is also rich in emollients, antioxidants, and fatty acids that support a healthy skin barrier.
Price: $10.99 | Key Ingredients: Manuka Honey, Shea Butter, Stearic Acid, Olive Fruit Oil, Panthenol
16. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Body Gel Cream with Hyaluronic Acid
Psoriasis sufferers know the pain and discomfort associated with dry, patchy skin. That’s why doubling down on hydrators — like hyaluronic acid — can be a huge help. Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Body Gel Cream is a favorite for thousands of skincare lovers because it is lightweight, oil-free, hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and suitable for sensitive skin.
The key ingredient is hyaluronic acid, a humectant with the ability to draw 1,000 times its weight in water into the skin. There’s also glycerin and dimethicone, two gentle moisturizing ingredients that help lock in hydration and smooth rough areas.
Price: $12.99 | Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic Acid, Glycerin, Petrolatum, Dimethicone
17. Skinfix Eczema+ Targeted Body Balm
Mild cases of psoriasis and eczema are often treated in the same way and benefit from similar ingredients, so don’t let the “eczema” label scare you — this Targeted Body Balm will also work on psoriasis-affected skin.
Its formula contains 0% water and a whole lot of effective, nourishing ingredients to target dryness, skin plaques, redness, and irritation. There is 2% colloidal oatmeal to reduce itching and discomfort, 7% sweet almond oil to moisturize and relieve dryness, and 15% zinc oxide to support the skin barrier. This might be one of the more expensive lotions for psoriasis on our list, but its supercharged blend of powerhouse, clinically-proven ingredients makes it well worth it.
Price: $26 | Key Ingredients: Aloe Vera, Allantoin, Colloidal Oatmeal, Sweet Almond Oil, Zinc Oxide
Choosing the Best Lotion for Psoriasis
Seal of Approval
When shopping for psoriasis-friendly skincare products, it’s always a good idea to look for the National Psoriasis Foundation Seal of Recognition, which recognizes non-irritating and safe over-the-counter products created for those with psoriasis or sensitive skin. Other expert-backed, dermatologist-approved products are also worth testing out.
For people with plaque psoriasis, it’s best to opt for gentle formulas that won’t aggravate or worsen flare-ups. Look for terms like hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and microbiome friendly.
One of the best ways to keep your skin comfortable and prevent future flare-ups is by keeping it well moisturized. Using a moisturizing lotion with ingredients like emollients, ceramides, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid will soften scales, soothe irritation, and help repair the skin’s moisture barrier. In general, the drier your skin is, the more prone you’ll be to irritation, redness, cracking, and flaking, so nourishing the skin daily with a moisturizing lotion is vital.
The Best Skincare Ingredients for Psoriasis
Salicylic acid is one of the only active ingredients approved by the FDA in treatments for psoriasis. Salicylic acid is most known as a BHA — or beta hydroxy acid — which is oil-soluble and penetrates deep into the pores to exfoliate and unclog. This BHA is also recognized as a keratolytic or peeling agent that causes the outer layer of skin to shed. This is great in psoriasis treatment because it helps to soften and remove scales.
Ceramides are lipids found naturally in the upper skin layer and are essential for healthy skin barrier function. In those with psoriasis, the synthesis of ceramides is impaired, leading to a compromised skin structure and barrier function.
Without adequate ceramide levels, the skin becomes drier and more susceptible to irritation, inflammation, and other psoriasis symptoms. That’s where using a ceramide moisturizer comes into play. Topical use of ceramides helps restore the skin barrier, boost moisture levels, and calm irritation.
Look for humectants like glycerin and hyaluronic acid in your skincare products for psoriasis, as they hydrate and nourish the skin. By boosting the skin’s moisture levels, these humectants can alleviate symptoms like dryness, flaking, and itching.
Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 used for topical and supplement purposes. It’s becoming an increasingly popular skincare ingredient thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Because it helps calm and promote skin balance, it can be good for mild or moderate cases of inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis.
Colloidal oatmeal is one of those ingredients that goes way back in dermatology and has been used in skincare for centuries. One reason colloidal oatmeal is so beneficial is its anti-inflammatory abilities that naturally soothe inflammation and reduce itching. Colloidal oats are also moisturizing, which makes them a go-to ingredient in lotions and creams.
Like salicylic acid, AHAs are also amazing at softening and smoothing the appearance of plaques. AHAs — such as glycolic acid and lactic acid — exfoliate the top layers of the skin. This is great for reducing the thick, flaky scale of psoriasis lesions. Lactic acid tends to be a gentler option than both glycolic and salicylic acid, though all are effective at exfoliating the skin. AHAs also function as humectants, drawing water into the skin for extra hydration.
Urea is a natural moisturizing factor found in the outer layer of the skin. Those suffering from psoriasis have lower amounts of urea, which is why topical application of this ingredient is effective at easing psoriasis symptoms.
Urea is considered an emollient, meaning it moisturizes the skin and helps reduce water loss. It also softens the outer layer of the skin, making it easier to remove psoriasis plaques. Urea can also soothe the skin, relieving symptoms like itching.
Moisture is a must when you have psoriasis. Rich emollients like shea butter have proven to be effective moisturizing agents for those with psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions that need an extra moisture boost. In addition to being moisturizing, shea butter is anti-inflammatory and helps soothe symptoms of redness and itching.
What to Avoid if You Have Psoriasis
Products with Chemicals, Fragrances, and Dyes
Having a moisturizing lotion in your routine is essential for combating symptoms like itching and flaking, but it’s important to know not all lotions are safe and non-irritating for psoriasis-affected skin. The National Psoriasis Foundation suggests avoiding lotions with added chemicals, fragrances, and dyes since these can irritate the skin and make symptoms worse.
Even essential oils, which are used to fragrance many skincare products, can be irritating for those with psoriasis. To ensure your lotion and other face and body products are safe for sensitive skin, look for a formula that says “fragrance-free.”
Harsh Surfactants and Sulfates
When it comes to cleansing, many soaps and cleansers are too harsh for psoriasis-affected skin and can lead to more flare-ups. Many dermatologists recommend oil-based cleansers, which effectively cleanse the skin from dirt and debris but aren’t as irritating.
Picking or Scratching
Itchy skin is a common psoriasis symptom, affecting nearly 70 to 90 percent of all who have the skin condition. The itching itself is triggered by inflammation, making it tempting to want to scratch or pick the skin. However, experts recommend avoiding scratching or picking since it can make the plaques worse and increase your risk of infection.
To combat the itch, introduce moisturizing, anti-itch lotions into your routine several times a day. Cold compresses, avoiding hot baths or showers, and using creams or other treatments to help remove psoriasis plaques can also help relieve itching.