The Best Baby Eczema Creams, Shampoos and Washes
Whoever coined the term “baby-smooth” probably never had a little one with eczema. The skin condition is common in babies, often first appearing between 2 and 4 months of age. “Baby eczema usually shows up as dry, pink, itchy patches on the skin,” says Brittany Craiglow, MD, an assistant professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine. “It can affect any area of the body, but the diaper area is usually spared.”
Eczema can’t be cured, but moisturizing the skin liberally is the gold standard for baby eczema treatment. “Moisturizers help restore the barrier function of the skin, thereby reducing dryness and irritation. They can also help to prevent eczema flares,” Craiglow says. The key is using baby eczema cream strategically: Slather on a thick layer right after bathing and at least a few more times each day. (Moisturizing during diaper changes is an easy way to remember.)
So what’s the best eczema cream for babies? The most effective baby eczema lotions are thick, almost greasy-feeling ointments or creams, since heavier products do a better job of locking in moisture. Look for an eczema baby wash and shampoo that’s soap-free, as well as free of irritating ingredients like preservatives or fragrances, Craiglow says. In general, any products bearing the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance are a good bet, since they’re vetted to make sure they don’t contain any irritating ingredients.
Still not sure what fits the bill? Take a look at these best products for baby eczema, all designed to offer sweet relief.
Whether you’re looking for a basic everyday moisturizer or a heavy-duty ointment for those supersensitive hot spots, these are the best eczema creams for babies.
Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream
This dermatologist-developed baby eczema cream boasts hydrating colloidal oatmeal along with dimethicone to form a barrier on baby’s skin and lock in moisture. It’s thick and rich without being greasy or tacky, making it a good all-purpose option.
Buy it: $9, Amazon.com
Triple Cream Eczema Care
Beeswax and oat kernel extract are just two of the ultra-hydrating ingredients in this baby eczema lotion. It’s extra-thick and long lasting, so it’s a good one to use right before bedtime.
Buy it: $11, Amazon.com
Mustela Stelatopia Emollient Cream
Another best lotion for baby eczema is this pick from Mustela. It’s packed with naturally derived moisturizers like sunflower oil and avocado, and the light, fast-absorbing texture makes it great for quick daytime applications (especially when you’re out and about). It’s also an ideal baby eczema cream for baby’s face, since the non-occlusive formula won’t sting if it accidentally gets in their eyes.
Buy it: $26, Amazon.com
CeraVe Baby Moisturizing Cream
The magic ingredient in this top-rated baby eczema cream? Ceramides—aka lipids that help form the skin’s barrier and boost the skin’s ability to retain moisture. Plus, it’s designed to deliver up to 24 hours of soothing relief, earning it a place among the best eczema creams for babies.
Buy it: $10, Amazon.com
Vaseline Baby 100% Pure Petroleum Jelly
One of the thickest ointments out there, plain old petroleum jelly is a dermatologist favorite for deep hydration and among the best products for baby eczema. The only downside? It’ll pretty much turn your babe into a slippery, greased-up watermelon. Instead of applying it all over every day, save it for hot spots or intense flare-ups.
Buy it: $17, Amazon.com
Boosting skin hydration doesn’t just fall to your baby eczema lotion—it can start even during bathtime. These soap-free options make for great body washes and baby shampoo for eczema, since they won’t make your little one’s skin feel dry or tight.
Baby Pibu Bathtime Tear-Free Hair and Body Wash
This 2-in-1 eczema baby wash and shampoo will help your sweet pea’s skin and scalp stay hydrated. Plus, it contains soothing ingredients that also happen smell great, like lavender oil and cucumber fruit extract.
Buy it: $15, Amazon.com
Cetaphil Baby Soothing Wash
Reach for this eczema baby wash on days when your babe seems especially uncomfortable: The hypoallergenic wash soothes inflamed skin with ingredients like shea butter and sunflower seed oil. It’s also formulated with Filaggrin technology to help repair dryness and irritation.
Buy it: $8, Amazon.com
Triple Wash Gentle Baby Body Wash/Shampoo
The optimal pH formulation of this head-to-toe eczema shampoo for babies is designed to protect your little one’s skin barrier. It can soothe all kinds of irritations, from eczema flare-ups to diaper rashes.
Buy it: $12, Amazon.com
Live Clean Baby Eczema Body Wash & Shampoo
The formula of this eczema shampoo and body wash is ultra-hydrating, thanks to a multi-oat complex of colloidal oatmeal, oat kernel extract and oat oil. As an added bonus? It’s certified organic, cruelty-free, biodegradable and recyclable.
Buy it: $24, Amazon.com
The Honest Company Eczema Soothing Therapy Body Wash
Harnessing the power of prebiotics and natural ingredients like colloidal oatmeal and coconut oil, this gentle eczema baby wash cleans and soothes your little one’s sensitive skin. It’s hypoallergenic and free of steroids, getting dermatologists’ stamp of approval.
Buy it: $13, Amazon.com
Aside from baby eczema creams, body washes and shampoos, there are several other smart products out there designed to relieve baby eczema. Here, a few favorites to help make baby’s condition more manageable.
Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Soothing Bath Treatment
Pour a packet of this gentle baby eczema treatment into your little one’s bath when their skin needs some extra love. The finely milled colloidal oatmeal soothes and cleanses while offering a megadose of moisture.
Buy it: $40, Amazon.com
Mustela Stelatopia Skin Soothing Pajamas
Dress baby in these special skin-soothing jammies on nights when they’re particularly uncomfortable. The 100 percent cotton duds boast microcapsule technology to deliver moisturizers like ceramides and avocado oil while they sleep, making it one of the best products for baby eczema.
Buy it: $33, Amazon.com
CeraVe Baby Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 45
Made with essential ceramides, this lotion does double-duty as a moisturizer and broad-spectrum, mineral-based sunscreen. It’s hypoallergenic, fragrance-free and non-irritating, and boasts the National Eczema Association’s seal of acceptance. (As with all sunscreens, save this for babies 6 months and older.)
Buy it: $12, Amazon.com
Tide Free and Gentle Liquid Laundry Detergent
Hypoallergenic and free of dyes and perfumes, this detergent is powerful enough to tackle stains from spit up and diaper blowouts but gentle enough that it won’t irritate baby’s sensitive skin. In other words, it’s a lifesaver.
Buy it: $15, Amazon.com
Published October 2019 Plus, more from The Bump: