Most newborn babies don’t need baby lotion. But with the weather, bath time, skin sensitivities, and allergens, babies’ sensitive skin can be more prone to dryness and irritation. Since delicate baby skin is vulnerable to several irritants, it is important to choose a gentle solution to combat this challenge. Here is our take on the best lotion for babies.
What to Look For In The Best Baby Lotions?
Free From Harsh Chemicals
Nobody wants to put harsh chemicals on their baby’s sensitive skin. But if you, like many parents and caregivers, find yourself staring at a host of unintelligible words on the ingredients list, the Environmental Working Group is here to help. Their Skin Deep Database is a great resource for learning what the label really means. The EWG rating system works on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 meaning high hazard. Their researchers comb through the ingredient lists of products and measure each one based on the possible health concerns to be able to guide in making an informed decision. This is where you can find medically reviewed moisturizing products.
Simple is always best. According to pediatric dermatologists, it is best to avoid harsh and robust ingredients that may harm the baby’s skin. Babies have a thinner epidermis – the outer layer of the skin – than adults do, so products that contain strong ingredients may cause irritation to babies despite being fine for adults.
Fit For Purpose
For those parents and caregivers who are not yet sure what to buy, it is best to check the baby’s skin first before making a purchase. Knowing the purpose of the lotion may not only help find the perfect solution for the baby’s skin, but it will also guarantee more bonding time when the baby is less irritated.
If the baby has sensitive skin or baby eczema, choose fragrance-free products. Fragrances are an unnecessary ingredient to the baby’s lotion although it makes the baby small good, and some even contain allergens. If the baby has skin allergies, it is important to keep a log of food intake, lotions, and other triggers that may cause the irritation. Immediately stop using the product if a reaction starts or gets worse with a new lotion.
If the baby’s skin is coarse and dry due to the environmental condition, then choosing a baby lotion with an effective moisturizing or hydrating factor may help to alleviate the present situation of the child’s skin.
Alternatives To Baby Lotions
When shopping for baby lotions, parents and caregivers may come across ointments and creams. Lotions are the thinnest, lightest type of moisturizer because they contain the highest percentage of water, so it is quickly absorbed by the baby’s skin. Creams are richer in consistency than lotion and may contain more oil than lotions and as a result, feel heavier, but are still easy to spread on the skin. Ointments on the other hand, contain the most oil by concentration and are the thickest most heavy-duty. Ointments are suitable if targeting areas of extremely dry skin as they form a protective barrier that promotes skin healing and keeps baby’s skin soft.
The best lotion may be found in organic products coming from all-natural or plant-based ingredients like coconut oil which is free of harsh chemicals and other common baby lotion additives. It offers a gentler hydrating effect in preventing water loss in the skin. Some even use petroleum jelly as it is plain, fragrance-free, petroleum-based, and has no preservatives: all the essentials in finding the right baby lotion for your little one.
Top Picks: Best Baby Lotion for 2021
CeraVe Baby Moisturizing Lotion
For babies who have normal skin, CeraVe baby lotion was developed together with pediatric dermatologists to help prevent dry skin. The baby lotion is not only free of fragrance and parabens, but it also includes ceramides, which make up about half of the lipids in the skin’s natural protective barrier. Ceramides are oils naturally found in the skin. They keep the moisture barrier strong and prevent itchiness. It also has hyaluronic acid and niacinamide to add moisture and soothe dryness.
Unlike some other baby lotions, the CeraVe formula is super lightweight and non-greasy. It is also accessible and widely available in retail stores. This lotion is even accepted by the National Eczema Association, making it a good choice for eczema-prone or sensitive skin without hurting your budget.
Eucerin Baby Eczema Relief
If your little one is prone to eczema, this miracle cream improves and clears up itchy, red, dry skin fast. Eucerin Baby is a thick formula ideal for restoring moisture and protecting the skin after baths. It is enriched with Pro-Vitamin B5, and skin-soothing shea butter. This lotion moisturizes and nourishes the baby’s delicate skin, leaving it soft, smooth, and protected. It is also fragrance-free, dye-free, steroid-free, hypoallergenic, and contains no drying alcohols. Eucerin, however, should not be used with babies under three months old. This product remains a popular product among medical professionals as it is a dermatologist and pediatrician recommended brand.
Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment
When it comes to treating very dry infant skin, the best bet is a petroleum-based ointment, and a leading option is the Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment. It is the baby-focused variety of the company’s fragrance- and preservative-free ointment.
Aquaphor baby healing ointment is an all-in-one baby lotion that can moisturize the skin and create a moisture barrier in the diaper that helps prevent diaper rash. This clear ointment is the perfect multipurpose “spot treatment” for irritated skin, dry patches, chapped lips, and rosy cheeks from too many runny-nose wipes. Some even say they do not want to leave home without it, especially in the winter as it delivers gentle skin protection wherever your baby needs it.
Mustela Hydra Bebe Body Lotion
Mustela’s formula is 97% natural, safe for newborns, and very hydrating. This baby lotion is the best natural option with a rich cream made with plant-based ingredients. It hydrates with avocados, jojoba oil, vitamins E and F, sweet almond oil, shea butter, glycerin, and sunflower seed oil, and is hypoallergenic.
Because the formula is very rich, free of potential skin irritants like parabens, phthalates, and phenoxyethanol, this baby lotion makes an excellent choice for newborns with very dry skin or eczema. It also leaves skin hydrated and smooth without risking redness or rash.
Avene’s XeraCalm is a rich moisturizer that absorbs quickly, without leaving the skin greasy, and has a rich and velvety feel. It is accepted by the National Eczema Association as a viable eczema remedy for both adults and infants. Free of soy and gluten, preservatives, parabens, dyes, and other irritants, it promises to protect the skin’s natural bacteria balance while thoroughly moisturizing skin.
This cream is not actually marketed for babies, but is a great choice, albeit at the upper end of the price range. It helps relieve itchiness and alleviate redness and inflammation if the baby has very sensitive skin. Avene’s XeraCalm as a soothing thermal water-packed lotion is continued to be recommended baby lotion for eczema to calm sensitive skin, or irritated skin due to atopic dermatitis.
Cetaphil Baby Daily Lotion
Cetaphil Baby uses natural almond and sunflower oils with vitamin E to moisturize the skin. This best natural baby lotion is also hypoallergenic, has a light fragrance made of sweet almond and sunflower oils, and is dye-, paraben-, and mineral oil-free.
Cetaphil is trusted for being gentle on all skin types, so parents and caregivers can feel confident using it daily on the baby’s delicate skin. With calendula extract —a natural anti-inflammatory and calming agent—this baby lotion is perfect for calming little ones with eczema or especially rough, dry skin.
Baby Dove Moisture Lotion
This baby care line from Dove is gentle, so it is suitable for sensitive infant skin. This lotion contains natural nutrients that help delicate baby skin absorb and retain moisture throughout the day and night and is even suitable on eczema-prone skin. It is checked by medical professionals and is free of harsh ingredients.
This hypoallergenic baby lotion from Dove which has been safety-tested by ophthalmologists, dermatologists, and pediatricians is a great everyday baby product that will keep baby skin soft, with its super-rich and moisturizing effect. Baby Dove has some fragrance, however, so might not be the best choice for babies with allergies. But because it is free of parabens, phthalates, and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), it is gentle enough for newborn skin.
Tips For Applying Lotion to Babies
- Paraben – chemicals that occur naturally in foods and are also used in preservatives in many products including baby products like baby lotions. As young babies are more likely to absorb these chemicals, it is best avoided to prevent skin conditions and other effects on their growth and development.
- Sulfates – usually in the form of Sodium Lauryl Sulphate or SLS, this chemical is an effective cleansing and foaming agent used in several personal care merchandises and may even be present in some baby products. SLS is found to cause skin irritation and can eventually lead to eczema, dry, coarse, or reddened skin particularly in high concentrations or when used often.
- Fragrances – one of the leading causes of allergy and irritation. Commonly included as ‘parfum’ or disguised in less common terms like ‘amyl cinnamal’ in the ingredient list, as many as 95% of fragrance additives are listed under their synthetic chemical names. Scents made with natural ingredients can also cause skin irritation; however, are less likely to suffer allergic reactions if used as a blend of a few oils, than if you use synthetic fragrances.
- Advocate No-tear formula – choosing ‘no-tear formula’ baby lotion to ensure safety when baby or parent accidentally touches the eyes. Massage the baby lotion into the entirety of the baby’s skin so that it does not transfer to their mouth or eyes.
- Apply right after bath time – using baby lotion on the infant within two minutes will lock in moisture and support the skin barrier. Look out for cracked and bleeding skin as this must be dodged while putting the lotion on the baby.
- Enforce consistency – putting baby lotion at the same time each day helps create a nice soothing element to the baby’s bedtime routine. Adding sunscreen after applying lotion to the baby’s daily routine may also help especially if they will be exposed to the sun. Sunburn is dangerous to all people no matter the age.
- Promote more than bonding – massaging the baby lotion into the baby’s skin can assist in decreasing the symptoms of atopic dermatitis or infant eczema. Baby lotion, nevertheless, is not a substitute treatment for already-present eczema and other skin conditions. If the baby’s skin does not get better or seems painful, seek help from a pediatric dermatologist.
Final Thoughts On The Best Lotion
While it might seem like the list of things needed to buy for the newest addition to the family is miles long already, there are really only a handful of necessities that will be used just about every day — and one of those is baby lotion. Just like adults lathering up their skin in a body baby lotion to fight dryness, the baby experiences dry skin as well.
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to finding the best baby lotion. Begin the search by figuring out what the baby needs, and what is and is not working with their current baby lotion. If the baby has serious skin conditions that do not get better with lotion, ask a doctor for a referral to a pediatric dermatologist.