The 5 Best Baby Lotions That Won't Irritate Your Child's Skin
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Babies tend to have delicate, sensitive skin, which is why the best baby lotions are formulated to provide gentle hydration while minimizing potential skin irritation. When searching for a baby lotion, there are a few key ingredients to look out for. Glycerin, shea butter, colloidal oatmeal, and petrolatum can help to moisturize the skin. On the other hand, you might want to avoid products with parabens, phthalates, and sulfates, which may cause irritation. While fragrances can leave your baby smelling nice, they can cause a rash, so many choose to avoid them, too. If your child has eczema or extra-sensitive skin, look for a lotion with the National Eczema Association's Seal of Acceptance, which indicates that it’s suitable for their skin.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably looking for lotion, but depending on your baby's needs, it’s possible that creams or ointments might be a better choice. Lotions, creams, and ointments are all meant to nourish your baby’s skin, but there are some slight differences between them. Lotions usually contain the highest amount of water, and they’re super lightweight, so they absorb into the skin quite quickly. These products typically come in a pump dispenser, making them relatively mess-free to use. If your baby's skin is dry, though, creams have more oil in them than lotions, so they can feel richer and heavier, though still easy to spread. For super dry skin, however, ointments are probably your best bet, since they're thicker and contain more oil for maximum moisturizing — just note that this means they're often messier to apply. Using a tube of cream or ointment can help minimize mess, but jars make it easier to scoop a lot of product out at once.
With so many products out there, it can still be tough to know exactly which lotion will work best for your baby. To help you out, I scoured Amazon and narrowed it down to these five picks, which are all safe for babies and highly rated by parents.
1. A Highly Rated Baby Lotion
With a knockout 4.8-star rating overall on Amazon after more than 17,000 reviews, this baby lotion from Baby Dove is a favorite pick for parents since it’s gentle but hydrating. The hypoallergenic lotion combines ingredients like glycerin and petrolatum to nourish the skin — it promises to moisturize for up to a whopping 24 hours — and it leaves out potentially irritating fragrances, parabens, dyes, phthalates, and sulfates. If your baby has eczema or super sensitive skin, this lotion may be a good option since it boasts the National Eczema Association’s Seal of Acceptance. This pick comes in a mess-free pump bottle, and the formula is lightweight for easy spreading. If you want to pick up some gentle Dove baby washes while you're grabbing this lotion, those are also available.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "My newborn’s skin is so sensitive and the baby lotion we were using was causing her to break out a bit so we switched to this. It works so well! It makes her skin amazingly soft and I even used it on a few dry patches I had that would not go away and it cleared them right up!"
2. A Wildly Popular Ointment That’s Ultra-Hydrating
Many parents (myself included!) will tell you that having a jar of Aquaphor on hand at all times is essential since it can be used as a spot treatment for a wide range of issues including irritated skin, dry patches, minor cuts, diaper rashes, chapped lips, and more. The thick ointment is made from 41% petrolatum to protect the skin, and it also contains glycerin for plenty of moisture. And since it's preservative-, fragrance-, sulfate-, dye-, paraben-, and phthalate-free, it’s gentle enough for babies of all ages.
While this pick can be a bit messy to apply since it comes in a jar, that hasn’t deterred Amazon reviewers; they give the ointment a stellar 4.9-star rating overall on the site, after 23,500 and growing reviews. However, if you're not excited to be able to scoop a lot of ointment from the jar and would prefer a less-messy option, Aquaphor is available in a tube, too.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "I bought this Aquaphor ointment when my daughter started getting dry skin patches all over her body [...] Within 1 day of using this ointment at every diaper change throughout the day, her skin was back to the smooth baby soft feel it should have! I am very pleased with this product and even use it on myself sometimes (I get very dry hands from working with them a lot). It works awesome!"
3. A Budget-Friendly Baby Lotion With Colloidal Oatmeal
This baby lotion from Solimo is a total steal when it comes to price — you get a whopping 18 ounces of product for around $5 — and yet, it doesn't sacrifice quality. The lotion is packed with skin-moisturizing ingredients that are safe for your tot, including colloidal oatmeal, petrolatum, and glycerin. Free of sulfates, parabens, fragrance, and phthalates, this pick shouldn't irritate your baby’s skin, and the lotion comes in a pump bottle for easy application.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "This lotion has a very light scent. No extra added Fragrance. No bad ingredients. This is pretty close to a top brand. This is a very soothing lotion. Nothing in it to irritate. This absorbs very fast without a greasy feeling. You can't beat the price. This is a very great product!!"
4. A Rich Cream For Babies
Smooth and ultra-rich, this cream from CeraVe is like a dream for your baby’s skin. An abundance of hydrating ingredients, including glycerin, petrolatum, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides, combine to leave your sweet babe’s skin feeling wonderful. As an added bonus, this pick also contains dimethicone to help relieve chafed, chapped, or cracked skin. The lotion is paraben-, fragrance-, dye-, and phthalate-free. And it comes in a tube, so it’s relatively mess-free to apply.
This baby cream has the National Eczema Association’s Seal of Acceptance, so it is a good choice if your baby has eczema or super sensitive skin.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "This is my favorite baby lotion for my little one. It’s super moisturizing and free of fragrance. Our baby had severe baby acne during the first few months and now has a little bit of eczema and her pediatrician recommended this product. Now this is the only lotion I use on her and it’s become a part of our bath time routine for her face and body! Definitely will continue to buy it."
5. A Baby Lotion With Shea Butter
Vitamin B5, shea butter, and glycerin work together in this lotion from Eucerin to provide amazing hydration and moisture for your baby’s skin. But don’t just take my word for it; Amazon reviewers are all about this pick, too, hence the 4.7-star overall rating they give it on the site after more than 2,500 reviews.
While this pick has a bounty of beneficial ingredients, it also leaves out irritating ones like fragrances, parabens, dyes, phthalates, and sulfates. The hypoallergenic lotion comes in a pump bottle that easily dispenses product.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "This was recommended by our pediatrician and we were not disappointed. It moisturizes well our new born's flaky skin. Has no fragrance (something we were looking for in). The quantity for the price is very reasonable and at the rate we are using it will last us for a while."