7 Tips to Finding Moisturizer That Works for Seborrheic Dermatitis

Hi Christopher,

Thanks for checking in and providing your experience.
Out of all the commercial products out there, the Cetaphil Restoraderm line was my favourite for control my SD.
It provide good results for almost a year (skin remained SD free). A more detailed outline of my experience with these products can be found here:

My Seborrheic Dermatitis Skin Regimen

After a while, this approach seemed to loose effectiveness. This pushed me to keep doing research and then I ended up creating my own solution. A more detailed outline and overview of it can be found here:

My Seborrheic Dermatitis Skin Regimen 2.0

Others who have used it have reported similar results to me. However, there are also people who it didn’t seem to work for. This is likely due to a different set of microbes being at work on these individual’s skin.

Hope that helps.
Best of luck.

I really like this info given- I suffer from eczema and Seborrheic Dermatitis. I am allergic to coconut and all properties of coconut so I find it very hard for many years to find a good lotion with no coconut oils or properties( cocoate, caprilic Triglicerides copypolymer etc) I used to use the old vaseline intensive care lotion yellow bottle fro the late 90’s but this has now been discontinued and a new vaseline lotions are introduced with new ingredients that don’t agree with me. Would really love more advice as it making me more depressed especially at work having to face customers. Please help- I’m open to everything…

Hi every moisturiser seems to make things worse. I have been moisturising my t zone for years but maybe this is what is making it worse. Also have tried all medicated creams but none have done much to improve things. My t zone is not red. It is flaking and itching/irritated. Maybe all the moisturising is adding to the problem? Have heard people have succes with sea salt in water as a face wash. Have you heard of this or AVC on a cotton wool pad applied to the face? Your thoughts would be Much appreciated.

Hi Huyen,

Here in Canada they sell it at Wal-Mart. Both the cleanser and the moisturizer cost about $10-15 each. Amazon.com has them listed for roughly the same price as well. Not sure where you are located, but perhaps internationally it becomes much more expensive.

However, my regimen has currently changed from using Restoraderm products. A more detailed outline of my current regimen can be found here:
My Seborrheic Dermatitis Skin Regimen 2.0

Hope that helps and best of luck!

Hi Michael,

Just wondering if ever you try ACV? I have SD on my eyebrow and now its on my chin as well, its really itchy and flaky. I tried coconut oil but it makes worst! Then make some research and i found Apple cider Vinegar. I am using the Cerave which is ok but still i have very dry face and itchy face. I am thinking to switch to cethapil gentle cleanser and moisturising cream. I will wait for your reply thank you.

Really like the article, thank you for educating me! I suffer from SD, usually around my goatee, especially when I trim it. I have tried many products, but not much luck controlling, except when I use a steroid cream.

I’m trying to purchase the Cetaphil product you mention here, but can’t seem to determine which one you recommend, as there are many “Restoraderm” products. Is is the body lotion, or can you provide the specific name on the bottle?

Also, would you recommend using a pre-shave oil or another product before shaving, would this help reduce the redness / rash after shaving ?

Thank you.

Hi Dhine,

Sorry for such a delay in response.
My attempts with apple cider vinegar never really gave me the results I was after. Plus it was a fairly stinky treatment for everyday usage for me.
Additionally, through out my time with this website most people who have had any success with this method still looked for something easier to use.

There is a post that talks about my experience with ACV and you can find it here: Treating Seborrheic Dermatitis With Apple Cider Vinegar

Since the summer of 2015, I’ve been using the following method with great results: My Seborrheic Dermatitis Skin Regimen 2.0. Some others on the website report good results with Nystatin and you can find lot’s of discussion here: Nystatin A Potential Seborrheic Dermatitis Treatment.

Hope that helps and you can finally something that works for you. Best of luck!
If you find the time, would be great to hear how things unfold.

Hi Martin,

Thank you for the positive feedback.
Yeah the Cetaphil products are actually marked as Cetaphil Restoraderm Eczema Calming Body Wash and Cetaphil Restoraderm Eczema Calming Body Moisturizer.
Here in Canada they are labelled a little different, but those are the names that appear on US Amazon. Also, you can probably find them in Wal-Mart (that is where I used to buy them).
And even though they are labelled for body usage, I strictly use them for my face (regular vegetable soap for rest of body).

Personally, they seemed to stop working after about a year of usage.
You can find my updated approach here: My Seborrheic Dermatitis Skin Regimen 2.0.

Hope that helps and all the best.

I started having skin problems for a while when I found out that I have seborrheic dermatitis. It helps to know what I should be looking for in lotions that can treat it. Looking for lotions that have ingredients like aloe and calendula is good to know. I’ll check for those ingredients while I’m shopping for a new lotion.


Question regarding what you’ve read about raw honey. I read the abstract of the study you’ve referenced, but was wondering if you have a copy of the entire article from the medical journal. I’m curious when it was said of those that continued (shows success with initial treatment) with the longer term treatment that all had no recurrence, was that only during the treatment or did no recurrence happen post the 6 month of longer term treatment.

I’ve also read of others that have had success using oil of oregano (topically) and was curious if you came across any information regarding it as a possible treatment.


What brand of l glutamine are you using? Been using practically anything to get rid of my sd for almost 20 yrs now… For the past 2 days been using antidandruff shampoo and it helps but i think need to use moisturizer… I will try cetaphil for the past 3 months been using argan and rosehip oils it works for sometime but i think it really worsen my condition as it feeds the yeast…

Do you need to shampoo after the honey and water solution?

Hi there, just wondering if the Cetaphil restoaderm is safe to be used on the face? Or is it only for the body?

Thanks! Xx

I have SD really bad, hair, eyebrows, face, ears, and a little on the arm and neck. What’s causing this is an overgrowth of yeast I guess, and it’s important to consider changing your diet. After eliminating certain foods and drinking lots of water within 3-5 days you will see a change. You can buy as many creams and try as many remedies but you must first treat what’s on the inside (the root). When I eat healthy, the flakes subside and the redness goes away, but it’s about being consistent. No juices…no sodas! You will feel depleted from time to time but it’s so worth it. While maintaing a healthy diet products with aloe can help. I use Ultimate Gold Bond with aloe.

That’s helpful and I think you are totally correct. If I eat too much sugar (yeast LOVES sugar) and or use nicotine it flares up guaranteed. I’ve been fighting SD for about 3 years. I’ve used ACV, Vicks vapor rub, tea tree oil, frankinsense oil, oregano oil, witch hazel and MANY others. What I’ve learned is that a lot of this stuff will work FOR A WHILE then you need to switch it up. I’m quite sure it fights off the yeast for an undetermined amount of time and then the yeast overcomes the treatment and comes back. I don’t know how many times I’ve said to my husband “I finally stopped the skin dandruff” only to have it flare back up again. Currently I’m using a product from Amazon called Honey Skin and though I didn’t think it was worth a hoot at first I’ve been using it for a couple months, I’m only 1/2 way through the jar and so far so good! Now currently my skin freaked out, turned all red and is crunchy dry so I don’t know if this Honey Skin cream is getting ready to fail on my or what. Lately I’ve added like not even half a drop of Oregano oil when I apply it. WARNING: oregano oil burns like hell! You seriously need to use like 1/5 of a drop starting out or your face will burn worse than anything you’ve ever tried. It does seem to help but like I said it all works for a while then the yeasts overcomes.

I like the idea of using diet to control or eliminate SD. Anyone tried replacing sugar with honey in their diet?
Michael, I noticed you never mentioned any Neutrogena products, such as T-Sal. Feedback, anyone?
Lastly, thanks for all the info you provided, Michael!

0%fat kefir ,especially strained for use of the whey only which contains the lactoferrin. Dissolves the chitin layer of the fuI ngus by binding iron, I think. Highest levels of lactoferrin is found in human breastmilk , tears, and saliva.

I cured my grand daughter’s cradle cap in 24hours with a yogurt scalp mask. Her mother could have cured it with her own breastmilk.! The baby’s doctor had her mother using Selsun Blue for months. I had been doing my routine of yogurt and kefir for two years , at this point, so I knew EXACTLY what to do. I have never been helped by a dermatologist. They are clueless.

I use kefir to “shampoo” and to wash my face and body by letting it sit as a mask for as long as possible. An hour or more over my entire body. And also put the kefir or whey on my face during the day and leave it on for hours at a time.

The whey does not leave a white film and is not noticeable at all. You might could wear it under makeup, but I actually would not recommend the wearing of makeup with SD.

I also avoid oils of any kind as I am sensitive /allergic to all forms of coconut oil, so I cannot use the mct oil that would otherwise be an option.

I have familial sensitivity/allergy to fowl , especially eggs, and I believe to carob and to chocolate. Histamines are a trigger for many other symptoms in my life. Seeking out what you might be sensitive/allergic to is the most important thing , to avoid chasing your tail as you trouble shoot this problem . The trigger from the inflammation of the immune response. Papules. Ugly oosing red sights that then coelesce with the SD.

-Avoid bad stress. Actively engage in good stress or challenge. Don’t worry. Be happy.

-Avoid the oil cleansing method.

-Do not give blood . Leave that to the healthy citizens because you cannot afford the stress to your obviously compromised immune system !

-Drink plenty of water.

-“Dry Body Brushing” to bring blood flow and nutrients to the skin . Be gentle. Different brushes for different parts of your body. Wash them often. The kefir also has lactic acid which is a genle exfoliant. No need to moisturise or add another layer of gunk on my skin.

-Raw Manuka Honey mask . At least a 17 rating on the scale of activity.

-Witch hazel has amazing ability to break up a bacterial biofilm. The older you are, the more likely you are to have biofilms. Seek one not processed with alcohol. Or collect leaves and young twigs to make your own “sun tea” for your face and scalp. As a mouthwash etc. . Tannins(histamine) is less concentrated in the leaves than in the bark for those with an issue with that.

-Do not disturb the acid mantle of the skin. No soap or shampoo of any kind. Not castile either. Even the conditioners have silicone that blocks the skin from breathing and gives the fungus a place to proliferate. This is a very important point. You don’t want anything between the actives in the kefir and the fungus. Silicone does help to detangle and repel dust and dirt on the hair, so that your hair stays “cleaner” longer , however.

-Bathe EVERY night. If at all possible, do the kefir body mask every night. Ears and everywhere. I soak my feet also. The kefir will deal with any foot fungus and or roughness that you have and leave your feet very soft.! I sit in the warm bathroom and listen to a podcast for at least an hour. You could put a towel on your head and a house coat on to go about your evening too. It is not worth the cost of the kefir if you are not willing to let it have time to do its’ work.
When you start to rub and rinse off the kefir , that is now bound up with your body debris , keep at it and you will reach a point where you feel the debris sloughing off. I just use my hands and fingers because it is the gentlest. I can monitor the pressure and feel the old skin sloughing off. You need to stay in the shower or keep the wet conditions, long enough for this to take place. I don’t have a bathtub.

Sometimes I don’t have time for a kefir treatment , so I rinse and rub with water only to wash as much of the sebum and then the dead skin layer away as possible . Be gentle, but effective. It takes just as long ,for all of this rinsing and rubbing , as it does for a shampoo and condition. It takes warm water to do an effective job of it , but you will not get to a “squeaky clean” . That would be over cleansing. You will get past any greasy feeling, however, as the waxy sebum is washed away along with the dead skin.

A final rinse of a tiny bit of acv in quart of cool water. I soak my 36" locks in it for maybe three minutes, and then pour the rest over my body. No conditioner is ever necessary.! The acidity smoothes the cuticle making the brushing out a breeze. If you have dry or curly hair, I would use mct oil if you can get away with it. I can’t though.

-I will put a layer of kefir or kefir whey on my face even after my bath, and then wipe it off before bedtime. That application of the kefir is THE most effective application of the day . I believe it is so effective because I have washed off all the excess sebum and oil, then the actives in the kefir can get up close to the fungus , and my skin might be softer from the bath and more receptive.

My skin is greatly improved.
After 20 years of alopecia , that was not SD related but made worse by the dandruff shampoos , my hair is not falling out anymore and has filled back in .!
I do have a bit of a crusty scalp but not ever itchy or dandruf .
If I used the kefir scalp mask every night, I believe that would do it for me.

Is this a cure? No. I believe that SD is a gut problem and an immune problem triggered by an extremely stressful event or illness or a genetic weakness, and made worse by modern habits and ideas about what it means to have a “clean” body.

I once heard a famous gastroenterologist describe himself as a dermatologist. The audience laughed and he in reply said " I am . I am a dermatologist.!" . Soooooo true. Inside skin and outside skin , but it is a continuous system of skin .

That is my story and i’m sticking to it.!

Hi Susan, I am very interested in your process of using the Kiefer. We have been making Kiefer with whole milk with the understanding that the grains thrive better in whole fat milk. We have had some beneficial results using the kefir as food, but would like to understand better how you use it on your skin. You also mentioned using Apple cider vinegar In a rinse but for dry hair you mentioned a different abbreviation that I’m not familiar with. Could you tell me what that is and how you use it.
Thank you for sharing.

I have had seborrhea dermatitis for most of my life only at the top of my nose down the side and on my chin. It comes with a burning itch which I have been using a fragrance free baby cream which does take the pain away but leaves me withmy skin peeling and looking very dry.I very interested in trying the honey and if that doesn’t work looking at the suggested

How did the honey work?