The Best Over-the-Counter Products for People With Facial Psoriasis

Dermatologists weigh in with their product recommendations.

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The red and scaly skin patches of psoriasis are most commonly associated with the knees, elbows, and the lower back, but yes, it is possible to have psoriasis on your face too. We asked three dermatology experts to recommend their favorite moisturizers, cleansers, shampoos, and sunscreens that are safe and effective for people with facial psoriasis.

All of these products are over-the-counter and available at many stores. Better yet, when your doctor writes a prescription for their use, they may be covered by your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Health Savings Account (HSA).

Vanicream Sunscreen
Dermstore.com
01 of 11

Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser

Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser
Dermstore.com

Cetaphil is one of the brands dermatologists trust most often. In fact, all three doctors we spoke to recommended this wash. They also like that the company is serious about monitoring production quality. Its formulations are tailored for people with dry and sensitive skin.

02 of 11

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser
Dermstore.com

"People with psoriasis on their face should look for a non-soap cleanser," Dr. Dray says. CeraVe, another favorite brand among dermatologists, makes a fragrance-free and ultra-gentle version that's safe for sensitive skin.

03 of 11

Eucerin Sensitive Skin Gentle Hydrating Cleanser

Eucerin Sensitive Skin Gentle Hydrating Cleanser
Target.com

Dr. Menter says "dermatologists often recommend people with psoriasis try Eucerin products since they are also fragrance- and soap-free." This cleanser is moisturizing too, so it won't dry out your skin.

04 of 11

Vanicream Facial Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin

moisturizer

"When it comes to face moisturizers, people with psoriasis should again stick to fragrance-free products," Dr. Dray says, "and also look for oil-free picks." She recommends this Vanicream to patients regularly.

05 of 11

Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture Ultra-Gentle Facial Moisturizer

Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture Ultra-Gentle Facial Moisturizer
Walgreens.com

Another moisturizer that makes the grade, according to Dr. Dray, is this Neutrogena pick, which is specially formulated for sensitive skin and free of oils and fragrances. "Oils on the face can contribute to persistence or flares of seborrheic dermatitis," she says.

06 of 11

Aveeno Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream

Aveeno Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream
Walgreens.com

Your doctor might recommend one of several eczema treatments that may also help with psoriasis symptoms. "Aveeno products are at the top of the list in that category," Dr. Yamauchi says. "Look for one made with ceramides, which are lipids that help hydrate the skin better," he says.

07 of 11

Head and Shoulders Classic Clean Dandruff Shampoo

Head & Shoulders Classic Clean Dandruff Shampoo
Target.com

Your doctor might recommend an anti-dandruff shampoo to tackle psoriasis on the scalp or hairline before trying something with more potent ingredients. "Look for shampoos with the active ingredient zinc pyrithione," Dr. Dray says, "which can help fight psoriasis plaques and seborrheic dermatitis."

Believe it or not, you can use the product elsewhere on your body, too. "It's a shampoo, but it can also be used as a face wash," Dr. Dray says. "I tell people to leave it on their skin for a few minutes before rinsing it off." It's thought that the zinc helps fights inflammation, she explains.

08 of 11

Selsun Blue Moisturizing Dandruff Shampoo

Selsun Blue Moisturizing Dandruff Shampoo
Target.com

"Other soothing anti-dandruff shampoos carry the active ingredient selenium sulfide, which is also thought to be anti-inflammatory," Dr. Dray says. "It's the main ingredient in Selsun Blue brands. This shampoo can also be used as a face wash, too," she says.

09 of 11

Jason Dandruff Relief Treatment Shampoo

Jason Dandruff Relief Treatment Shampoo
Target.com

"This shampoo relies on salicylic acid, which is traditionally considered an acne treatment, but also fights dandruff, and the scaling and flaking of psoriasis on the scalp and face," Dr. Dray says. "Jason is a safe brand and popular for being cruelty-free," she says. "Just keep in mind that salicylic acid can be drying," Dr. Menter adds, "so if you use this shampoo as a face wash, make sure to follow it up with a good facial moisturizer."

10 of 11

100% Aloe Vera Gel

100% Aloe Vera Gel
Walgreens.com

"Aloe is an all-natural inflammation fighter than can soothe psoriasis discomfort," Dr. Dray says. "Just make sure to look for 100% aloe vera gel, without added alcohol or fragrances."

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Vanicream Sunscreen

Vanicream Sunscreen
Dermstore.com

Everyone should be wearing sunscreen daily anyway, but sunburns can make psoriasis worse. "Cover up with a version that offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays with an SPF of at least 30," Dr. Yamauchi says. "Some people with psoriasis on their face worry that if they wear sunscreen every day they'll break out, but Vanicream's version is safe for even acne-prone skin," Dr. Dray says.

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