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What is Aqueous Cream?

By K T Solis
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Aqueous cream is a moisturizer that is used to treat skin conditions. It is a non-greasy cream that places a layer of oil on the skin's surface and keeps water from evaporating from the skin. The cream is made from a mixture of water and emulsifying cream, with phenoxyethanol used as a preservative. This product can be used for all types of dry skin problems, whether a person is plagued with dermatitis or eczema. The cream can make the skin more moist, smoother, softer, and more flexible.

It can even be an alternative to using soap. Some people consider using aqueous creams in place of shaving cream, lip balm, or shower gel. It is most often used in the United Kingdom to treat eczema, atopic dermatitis, or aquagenic pruritus. Patients who receive radiation therapy are encouraged to use it to combat against skin redness that results from the treatment.

When the outer skin cells do not have enough water, it often results in dry skin. The skin loses its flexibility and becomes itchy and cracked. As people get older, their skin retains less water, as it evaporates from the surface of the skin. Using soap and hot water to wash the skin strips the body of natural oils and moisture as well. Using an aqueous cream can alleviate dry skin problems and contribute to healthier, smoother skin.

This type of cream is typically used once a day, and it is massaged into the skin. It is also available as a mixture with vitamin E, and these products are usually lighter than others. This topical cream is relatively inexpensive as well. People with sensitive skin should be careful if deciding to use the cream as it has been known to cause skin reactions in some patients.

Aqueous creams are safe for people of all ages and are easily absorbed into the skin. The cream does not contain alkali ingredients, so it is beneficial for those who are allergic to regular soaps and detergents. It can be used by pregnant and lactating women as well. Before using the cream, a person should consult with a medical professional if she is allergic to ingredients that might be included. If the product is accidentally ingested, an emergency medical professional should be contacted immediately.

To prevent and treat skin dryness, applying a product like an aqueous cream can help. It can be applied at any time, although many experts recommend putting it on after a bath or shower. After bathing, the user should pat the skin dry gently with a towel before using the cream.

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Discussion Comments

By anon1001424 — On Apr 10, 2019

Is aqueous creme cancer-causing?

By anon989772 — On Mar 22, 2015

I am going to try aqueous cream on my six yea old daughter. She has been suffering from skin conditions ever so long and is always itchy. I have tried many treatments. Hope this works. Wish me luck.

By anon965824 — On Aug 14, 2014

Aqueous and other glycerin creams do not work for me even though they were prescribed to me. If you like me have extremely dry flaky skin, try the Citrus Clear Skin Repair Moisturizer. It moisturizes so well and it's very rich and has a nice citrus scent. I don't suffer from eczema, but my skin is just so dry that I couldn't wear foundation. I could in the past, but not anymore.

By anon284258 — On Aug 09, 2012

Is this aqueous cream good to use for women in menopause who want to moisturize their skin?

By anon246933 — On Feb 12, 2012

My husband has eczema basically from head to foot and has been using this cream for some time alongside Elocon. He only uses the emollient sparingly.

However recently, someone at his surgery decided to refuse his supply of Elocon and told him to use emollient all over himself. After three weeks (it took that long to get an appointment with his own doctor), he was so red and swollen all over, alongside itching like he never had before, he never slept in all this time.

His doctor has now given him Cetraben emollient alongside an emergency dose of steroid tablets. The new cream is so much better and his skin is rapidly clearing. I think one has to bear in mind that there will always be someone who is allergic to these treatments, so proceed with caution.

By anon129676 — On Nov 24, 2010

The Doctor has recommended me this cream to use as a soap and now my question is: Do I have to wash with water after using cream or just massage into the skin?

By anon104292 — On Aug 16, 2010

Apart from an article in The Daily Mail, I can't find any reference on the product to use it as a soap, i.e. wash it off, as the paraffin base actually dries the skin if you leave it on.

By OceanSwimmer — On Jul 20, 2010

@purplespark: I agree with you. Another problem with the aqueous cream is that it doesn’t allow your skin to breathe. When your pores are clogged, the skin is not getting any oxygen from outside the body and oxygen is vital to maintain healthy skin.

It does make your skin feel soft and smooth but it’s just not a good idea to use it all the time.

By PurpleSpark — On Jul 20, 2010

I would be leery of using too much aqueous cream on the facial area. The main ingredient of the cream (other than water) is mineral oil. Many of the better moisturizers use oils made of vegetables. Aqueous cream uses the mineral oil because it is a cost effective substitute for vegetable oil.

The molecules in mineral oil are larger than those of vegetable oils. They are really too large to penetrate your pores and be absorbed by your skin. It actually can clog your pores, leading to the pimples and blackheads.

I’m not saying not to use it at all, but I wouldn’t make it the primary moisturizer for your face. It would be fine for occasional use.

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