7 Tips to Finding Moisturizer That Works for Seborrheic Dermatitis

Hi Nikki,

Thank you for the update.
Glad to hear that the Restoraderm has worked for you as well.

Has your skin kept improving since?
Also are you just using the wash or the moisturiser as well?

All the best.

I have had SD for about a year now. I tried ACV for a few months and it didn’t help. My rash was pretty bad. For the past month, I have only been using Restoraderm wash and moisturizer and taking oral coconut oil supplements and the SD is going away. Now, the rash is 1/3 of what it used to be.

Hi Nikki,
Glad to hear the Restoraderm helped as well.
Are you following a similar regimen described at the bottom here (ie. small amount used, letting face air dry, and such)?
In terms of the oral coconut supplements, are you taking caprylic acid or something else?

If you find the time, leave details on your approach on my most complete write up on that treatment here as well (will help readers of strictly that one).
All the best.

I tried the honey masks, but the time and mess make it just too impractical. After half a dozen real three-hour sessions, I’ve switched to just wearing it during a shower 3-4 times a week. I really think it’s still helping, even if maybe not as much. Also, I think the biggest thing that’s worked for me is switching to Olay’s “moisturizing lotion for sensitive skin.” I liked most of the ones suggested here, but they didn’t work well under makeup. I also like Dr Lin’s daily hydrating gel at night. In six weeks, I’ve finally gotten the dermatitis back to a normal state where it’s not horribly peeling all the time. I think the flare up was started last summer when I went crazy for coconut oil and put it on my face daily. Lesson learned the hard way! Thanks again for your immense help with the research side of my quest to walk outside without a bag over my head. :slight_smile:

Hi Gamoses,

Glad to hear your making progress.
Thanks the update and for pointing out the make up thing, it was not an issue for me (male so no make up).

Yeah completely agree with the honey masks. They are quite impractical for the modern lifestyle.

In terms of the trigger, yeah I think it differers for people.
For me I trace it back to when I started washing my face daily with commercial soaps (Ivory, Dove, etc). I think this could have messed the skin regular balance.

Not sure if you saw my post complete post here (it is an attempt to sum up all my experiences).
It contains basically everything I tried and towards the end it outlines my current approach (which has worked out extremely well for me).

Hope it works out in the end and you find something that works day-in and day-out.
Take care and let me know if you have any updates/questions.

My doctor had suggested Cetaphil about a year ago. It seemed to work wonderfully until this past winter when I started to break out in hives. As with Michael, I have tried so many different lotions I was getting very down and very frustrated. I do believe my hormonal changes have contributed to my SD. As well, I notice that when I have dairy, I seem to have flare-ups. I, too, tried the coconut oil and the first couple of days my skin felt amazing yet it was still dry. I am still trying to find something that works for more than a couple of days -right now it’s Vaseline and hydrocortisone cream.
Thank you so much for posting your experiences with different remedies…it’s actually soothing to know I’m not alone with this battle!

Hey Christine,
Thanks for checking in. From what I saw while researching Vaseline can have a negative effect for people (based on forums). However, technical the bacteria that is believed to be the cause can not feed off the specific lipids found in Vaseline. The most I’ve ever sued hydrocortisone was for about 7 days at the very beginning when it all started (from what I understand it can have negative long term effects on the skin).

Hopefully you find something to finally get it under control again.

In regards to the cetaphil, was it the same one? I have tried the regular one previously as well with good result, but this one seems to take it to a new level.

All the best.

I haven’t been that diligent with the air-dry etc. method, and have just been putting it on like normal lotion: Wash with Restoraderm using cool water, pad dry with face cloth, pea size amount Restoraderm lotion all over my face, go to school :slight_smile: And I have a scrubby shower cloth for the flacks that I use to lather Restoraderm wash and scrub my nose area with.

For the coconut oil, I found in Shoppers, a huge bottle of organic coconut oil in gel capsules. When I first started, I got “die-off symptoms”, some bloating etc. but that does away.

My SD is still about 1/3 of the size from when it was worst. Some friends say it’s not that noticeable, some say it just looks like mild acne or I have cold. However, it’s not really improving anymore.

What I did notice is that after drinking a lot of alcohol, it gets a lot worse. So I do feel that what we put IN our bodies matters more than what we put ON.

Hi Nikki,

This reply was a long time coming. Sorry for the delay.
The effect it (Restoraderm) has for you seems different then for me. This whole time I’ve never had to actually scrub any flakes off. Except inside the ears for some reason, but it never gets irritated or red there. However, my face has been clear this whole time I’ve been using it since last summer.

The worst it has ever gotten was actually a few weeks ago. For the first time since last summer a few of the previously affected areas became slightly inflamed (luckily not flaking though). I attributed this to a really stressful time at work, unrealistic deadlines (work + school) and just general unrest (poor sleep, dehydration, lots of crappy food). However, I stepped back from everything and managed to calm things down and everything went back to normal almost immediately.

Interesting to see you reporting die off symptoms from the coconut oil. Even when consuming large amounts (4-5 tablespoons) I didn’t notice anything except a little nausea from trying to digest a big chunk of fat :). Too be honest some of things people report as die off stuff on forums, just seems like the actual side effect to whatever they’ve taken. For example drinking too much alcohol can make someone puke their guts out, one could make the case that these are die off symptoms from the alcohol killing all the bad stuff :). Whenever I tried to find actual medical documentation regarding the “die-off” effect, there was little actual academic literature on the subject.

Yeah your spot on with the last point. The Restoraderm helps me keeps things to a minimum and allows me to gently wash the face. However, being calm inside, being mindful of diet choices, and getting rid of toxic thought processes can have dramatic effects on many aspects of your health.

The biggest issue with S/D is that it can create a horrible feedback loop. Especially with all the scary/misleading content out there. Thinking I had a crazy fungal infection in my system caused lots of stress. Accepting the thought that everything is alight inside, brought a huge amount of relief and calmness.

Hope some of this can be of benefit.
All the best. Stay in touch and let me know if you have any improvements.

Hi, thanks for this site it’s amazing.

My problem is solely on the folds of my nose so I was wondering if you recommend using two different moisturizers - one for the affected area and the other for my face.

I’m thinking of buying the one that you recommend along with another one since I have very oily skin and the cetaphil one says it’s mostly for dry skin. If you have any recommendations on a good moisturizer for oily skin that would be great because I’ve read that certain moisturizers can also influence the problem.

Thanks a lot.

Hi Friend,

Honestly, it’s super hard to recommend anything. It seems that seborrheic dermatitis is super elusive. For me personally the Restoraderm line of products have been really good, but it seems like some people had issues.

Overall tough, I personally believe it’s really dependent on how you approach your current treatment. If you think it might fail, you kind of set your self up for it. Seems kind of un-scientific in a way, but after researching this thing for so long all my thoughts are in this directions. Like honestly, what the heck is this thing: Neurodermatitis ?

I’m currently using the Cetaphil Restoraderm products for my whole facial area. Super small amounts though. For example, for this past year I typically have only wash and moisturised once a day. When I do wash, I do it super quick and with cold water. And when applying the moisturiser I use the smallest amount possible (when the face is still moist, typically a tiny bit is more than enough to cover the whole face).

Hope that helps. Check out the community if you want it discuss things further.
All the best and thanks for checking in.

I had it in my nasal labial folds too for 6 months.
It’s gone now.
I used daktarin twice a day for 1 month and followed an anti fungal diet/anti candida. A took a lot of supplements like garlic, fish oil etc.
Now I use La Roche Posey kerium d s cream

Hi Tracy,
Thanks for checking in!
Glad to hear things worked. If you have the opportunity, think about joining the community.
My approach doesn’t seem to work for everyone, but with the input of others I feel like a more comprehensive approach can be designed.

Thanks again and great to hear from you after all this time.

PS. In terms of diet. The things that have helped me the most have been returning back to basics. I find that the more simple the food I eat, the better my skin feels.

Hi there, First of all thank you so much for the article. It was a great article I must say. I’m the one suffering from SD for 5/6 years almost. I wanted to know a thing from you as you gave so many useful information here. I recently wanted to ordered a facial wash from the Shea terra Organic. The ingredients of the face wash contains some oils like- Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Rosa Mosqueta (Virgin Rose Hip) Oil, Palm Kernel Oil and some ash like - Yoruba Black Soap, Cocoa Pod Ash, Plantain Peel Ash, Camwood Bark, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter and some other ingredients. So what do you think of using those oils as a face wash? Does it can make the yeast to overgrow too?

Thanks in advance!

Hi Tasnova,
It’s actually hard to say. From all the medical literature it would seem that yes oils do make the yeast grow.
However, the Restoraderm I’ve been using actually has shea butter and sunflower seed oil.
Overall though, I think the more mild the formula is, the better.

From all the natural face washes this one actually worked quite well for me. I actually thought that it would be my long term solution. I purchased 3 bottles, but only used one of them.
In the end, I kind of gave up on it. It helped around 95%, but my face would still get irritation sometimes.

Hope that helps. Let me know how the Shea Terra works out.
All the best!

Thank you so much for your response. One thing I figured out about SD is you need to try something out to know what actually works for you! From my little research I could see that there is not any single solution but you have to find your own. This is quite depressing, cause you have to go thorough a lot of trail and error to figure it out which works for you! Moreover having SD means there is something going wrong inside your body!

Anyway I ordered Shea terra already which may take a while to come in my hand (a month! Sigh!). I’ll let you know after I use it for a while. Actually I ordered it because most of the reviewer says it helps them in cleaning dead skin cell. and people prone to SD need to remove their dead skin cells for their own good. But may be I won’t use it regularly. Let me see it’s effect on my skin first! I also ordered dead sea salt for my scalp and face treatment purpose. And I’m actually excited to try this out as so many people claimed that it helped them to tame their SD. Wish Me luck! And Thank you so much, you have been very helpful.

Hi Tasnova,
Yeah, the uniqueness of each person makes it really difficult.
Another really annoying issue, is the amount of incorrect information about it online.
The Restoraderm I’ve been using has had a fairly good % of positive feedback. However, even with this there are a few people who didn’t seem to have success with it.
For me I believe it was definitely part of my recovery. It helped keep my skin normal enough and allowed me to better understand my own internal causes/triggers (without having to deal with the day-to-day issues).

One thing to keep in mind that with seborrheic dermatitis your skin cell turnover is greatly increased (https://goo.gl/qQpBT4). In many cases it is even shorter than that of a kid.
For this reason I believe excessive scrubbing, washing, and any other method which acts to remove dead skin makes things worse. Personally I think reducing the skin cell turnover rate is what people should focus on.

Here is related piece of a conversation I was having with another community member earlier this week:

As for the histamine, it’s definitely a part of it. However, I think from everything I've learned so far the problem is much, much more complex. So far it’s looking like a mix of hormonal factors (cortisone and histamine seem to be the most examined), internal anti-oxidant production (particularly bilirubin and glutathione), and a large diversity of other factors. However, everything in the body is interconnected and as a whole the system is basically malfunctioning.

The seborrheic dermatitis is just a result that shows up on the skin. What happens locally on the skin, is skin cell production is over-stimulated. The turnover rate of the effected skin cells becomes even greater than infant skin. My hypothesis is that with such a rapid turn-over skin cells are simply not given enough time to properly mature and develop. Thus, foreign bacteria are more easily able to penetrate the outer most layer of the skin. Personally it’s my opinion that the recommended use of anti-fungals and antibiotics conceals the issue by removing foreign bacteria, but can push things further into progression. My belief is based on fairly new medical studies which have demonstrated that almost 90% of the skin cells are actually dormant. Only ~10% are actually metabolically active. Most antibiotic and anti-fungals work by inhibiting the reproduction of bacteria. However, the ~90% of dormant skin cells aren’t actually doing anything, so they remain unaffected. This might give the exact circumstances needed for foreign bacteria to invade more territory.

However it’s still so hard to understand how all of these factors at play all together. Taking internal anti-fungals seems to produce fairly stable results. Perhaps this is because it is more effective at killing the dormant bacteria as it stays in the system for longer periods of time?

Another strange aspect is how does it all start? Is it internal factors -> skin infection -> leading to more internal factors and basically closing the loop on itself.

With all that said. My own recovery was actually fairly simple. I just went back to basics.
Stopped reading crap online, stopped using everything except a gentle cleanser and moisturiser, added l-glutamine (to hopefully stimulate normal skin cell production and glutathione levels), and went back to eating food I love.

Hope that helps and let me know how the Shea Terra works out.

Hi Michael,

This is to give you a big thank you. I’ve been suffering from SD for 15 years on and off and recently I was frustrated that nothing works on my skin anymore. Being hopeless, I thought this time I’m going to search what other SD patients do and then I found your post and Cetaphil Restoraderm. This is like magic. I’ve been using both body wash and moisturizer for two weeks and haven’t seen my skin like this for a long time. So thank you for sharing your experience and suggestions. Hope one day there will be a permanent cure for SD.

Hi Mehdi,

Sorry for the delay in reply.
Glad to to hear the Restoraderm worked out, it’s crazy how well it works for some one us.

In terms of long term treatment, I may have found something a little more conclusive.
Still a working hypothesis, but will update if my testing shows results.

All the best.

How much honey to water?
Also do you know if there is any connection between seborrheic dermatitis and being on immunosuppression? (I’m immunosuppressed due to kidney transplant.)