The Best Baby Eczema Creams and Washes
Baby soft skin is not a given—and if your little one has dry, irritated skin it may be a sign of 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 baby’s bath and a few more times throughout the 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 and free from irritants, like preservatives or fragrances, Craiglow says. In general, any products bearing the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance are safe bets, 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. And, like all our picks for the best eczema creams for babies, this lotion was awarded a seal of approval from the National Eczema Association.
Buy it: $9, Amazon.com
CeraVe Baby Cream
The magic ingredient in this top-rated baby eczema cream? Ceramides—aka lipids that help maintain the skin’s natural barrier. Developed with pediatric dermatologists, CeraVe’s baby cream is fragrance-free, paraben-free and gentle on sensitive skin. Plus, it’s formulated to deliver up to 24 hours of soothing relief, earning it a place among the best eczema creams for babies.
Buy it: $13, Amazon.com
Mustela Baby Stelatopia Emollient Face Cream
When it comes to extra-sensitive areas, like the face, a regular lotion may not do the trick. But this baby eczema face cream by Mustela, is up to the task thanks to a non-occlusive formula that won’t sting if it accidentally gets in their eyes. It’s also 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). Gently massage it into baby’s cheeks, chin and nose for gentle, soothing relief you can rely on.
Buy it: $14, iHerb.com
Vaseline Petroleum Jelly Baby Skincare Protective & Pure 13 oz
One of the thickest ointments out there? Plain old petroleum jelly! It’s a dermatologist favorite for deep hydration, marking it out as one of the best eczema cream for babies. It’s triple-purified to remove irritants—plus, a thin layer moisturizes the skin and forms a protective barrier to prevent chafing. Bonus: It’s super-affordable too! 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: $5, Walmart.com
Boosting skin hydration doesn’t start and end with the application of a baby eczema lotion—it begins at bathtime. All products that come in contact with your child’s skin should be free from irritants to prevent flare-ups. Ready to find the best baby wash for eczema? Browse our picks of soap-free body washes and shampoos for eczema that won’t make your little one’s skin feel dry or tight, below.
Honest Soothing Therapy Eczema Body Wash
Harnessing the power of prebiotics and natural ingredients—like colloidal oatmeal and coconut oil—this eczema baby wash cleans and soothes your little one’s sensitive skin. Plus, it’s gentle enough for daily use. It’s hypoallergenic and free of steroids, earning it a stamp of approval from dermatologists and the National Eczema Association.
Buy it: $13, Honest.com
Cetaphil Baby 2-in-1 Hair Shampoo And Body Wash
Cetaphil is a go-to brand for people with skin complaints—and with good reason. All of the products in the dermatologist-recommended baby line are free from parabens, colorants and mineral oils. We love Cetaphil’s baby eczema hair and body wash, which soothes inflamed skin with ingredients like aloe vera and calendula extract, derived from the marigold flower. The tear-free formula blends into a rich, foamy lather to gently cleanse baby’s hair and skin at bathtime.
Buy it: $8, Target.com
Live Clean Baby Eczema Shampoo & Wash
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. Approved by the National Eczema Association, this tear-free two-in-one wash gently cleanses your baby’s skin as it relieves itchiness and inflammation. As an added bonus? It’s certified organic, cruelty-free, biodegradable and recyclable.
Buy it: $9, Walmart.com
Ivory Baby Foaming Baby Wash & Shampoo
Clean your sweet pea from top to toe with this foaming baby wash for eczema-prone skin. It’s free from fragrance, sulfates and parabens and only contains nine ingredients to limit irritation. Better yet, the ergonomically designed pump bottle can be used with one hand and won’t tip over, which is ideal for parents grappling with a squirming baby at bathtime.
Buy it: $6, Walmart.com
In addition to baby eczema creams, body washes and shampoos, there are several other smart products out there designed to soothe this common skin condition. Here, a few of our favorite products to help make baby eczema 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. Bonus: It can also be used to treat rashes caused by poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac or insect bites.
Buy it: $13, Walmart.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 pajamas 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
Coterie The Water Wipe
Wipes are an everyday essential for new parents—unfortunately, some wet wipes contain chemicals that can irritate eczema-prone skin. So imagine our delight when we discovered that Coterie’s new-and-improved wipes are made from 99 percent water. They are the first product of its kind to be awarded certifications from all four of the following organizations: The National Eczema Association, Environmental Working Group, FSC and OK Compost Home. Not to mention the fact that this product was awarded a Best of Baby award in 2021.
Buy it: 4 packs for $26, Coterie.com
CeraVe Mineral Baby 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: $23, Amazon.com
EllaOlla 100% Organic Baby Massage Oil
Just because your little one has eczema, it doesn’t mean they should miss out on the bonding benefits of baby massage. Developed with pediatric dermatologists, this baby massage oil is certified by the National Eczema Association. The blend of six USDA certified organic oils is super-lightweight, and promises to leave baby’s skin feeling soft and nourished.
Buy it: $26, EllaOlla.com
Dreft Pure Gentleness Fragrance Free Liquid Baby Laundry Detergent
Hypoallergenic and fragrance-free, this plant-based 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: $16, Target.com
Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.