Baby’s skin is much more sensitive and delicate than yours, and seeing your little one suffer through skin irritations can be disheartening. Here at The Bump, we have created a quick guide to the best baby lotions as well as our top picks for different skin ailments. This guide will help you choose which lotion is best for baby’s skin.
So what is baby lotion for? Many new moms wonder, When can you put lotion on a baby? Can you put lotion on a newborn? Newborn babies generally do not need to be moisturized by store-bought products—their delicate skin is prone to irritations. Baby skin, however, does require some protection and needs to be moisturized to retain hydration, especially after baths. Dermatologists and pediatricians agree; the best baby lotion depends on your personal preference as well as the type of skin baby has.
You can choose from creams, which do a great job of deep moisturizing without the greasiness of ointments, or you can choose lotions, which absorb very quickly into baby’s skin for overall repair and protection. Be aware of any allergies baby may have to certain ingredients in baby lotions, which can cause rashes and skin irritations when used. Plant-based oils and extracts are common irritants that can inflame baby’s skin. Here are some things to look for on the label when shopping for the best baby lotion for your family:
- Free of Dye and Synthetic Fragrances. Especially for newborns, a natural unscented baby lotion should be used.
- Free of Paraben. This is a well-known endocrine disruptor.
- Free of Phenoxyethanol. This is well known as a suspected carcinogen.
- Free of preservatives. These are the number-one cause of skin irritations and allergic reactions.
- Plant-based oils that are organically extracted.
Best Baby Lotion – Overall
If baby has normal skin that’s not too sensitive or eczema prone, you can count your blessings and take advantage of some low-cost baby lotions that are still great for his or her skin. You can usually find these at any drugstore or supermarket without having to do prolonged research and trial and error on baby’s delicate skin. Just keep in mind to stay away from baby lotions that have a lot of chemicals that can be toxic to your little one.
Johnson's Head-To-Toe Baby Lotion, $6, Johnson & Johnson, Walmart.com
For a no-frills, all-day baby lotion that is safe even for a newborn, this Johnson’s baby lotion is a top pick that is clinically proven for its mildness. With a light feel that spreads almost like a gel, this lotion is best suited for normal skin types that do not require extra moisturizing.
- Light, floral scents absorb quickly into skin with no sticky feeling
- Feels cool and smooth when dried
- Ineffective for skin that requires deeper moisturizing
- The smell does not linger
Burt's Bees Baby Bee Nourishing Lotion-Fragrance Free, $10, Burtsbees.com
Keeping baby’s skin moisturized daily requires a reliable baby lotion that has simple ingredients unless s/he has very dry skin or eczema. The fragrance-free and hypoallergenic baby lotion from Burt’s Bees includes enriched aloe and shea butter to hydrate baby’s skin to be as soft as satin.
- Reduces blemishes on baby’s skin with a few uses.
- Noticeably soothes skin within first or second use.
- Fragrance-free and glides onto skin easily
- The smell isn’t the best; it smells very clinical, almost like plastic
Vaseline Intensive Care Deep Moisture Jelly Cream, $9, Walgreens.com
Long-lasting moisture is what the best lotion for baby dry skin is all about. Vaseline is a trusted brand that’s been in households for decades, so it’s no surprise that this intensive care unscented baby lotion is a great pick that is versatile for overall usage.
- Hypoallergenic baby lotion that is rich and creamy but will not clog pores
- Contains vitamin E to lock in moisture for all skin types
- Smells like petroleum jelly
Best Baby Lotion – Organic
Your precious baby deserves the best organic baby lotions made with the most delicate and naturally extracted ingredients. The best organic baby lotions on the market do not have to equal the cost of gold. Our search revealed that the best natural baby lotion is made with simple ingredients from local name brands. The most popular ingredient found in these organic moisturizers is calendula and coconut-derived ingredients.
Honest Company Organic Healing Balm, $13, Honest.com
The Honest Company’s organic healing balm is the best organic baby lotion. Designed for everyday use for the entire family, this organic baby lotion is specially formulated to be ultra-gentle so that it is the safest baby lotion even for newborns. The versatile baby lotion uses certified organic oils, extracts and beeswax to produce the best natural baby lotion on the market.
- Only certified organic and vegetarian ingredients are used. Free of petroleum, mineral oils, fragrances, dyes, and parabens.
- Great for rashes, cuts, sensitive skin, chapped lips—just about anything
- Thicker than Vaseline so it’s harder to spread
- A little gritty to the touch at first
Earth Mama Organics Baby Lotion, $18, Earthmamaangelbaby.com
Certified to uphold the standards in organic personal care, the Earth Mama Organics line has the best organic baby lotion formulated to combat sensitive, dry and eczema-prone skin. Gentle enough as the safest baby lotion for all ages, you can actually read what’s on the label with ingredients such as organic aloe leaf juice, rooibos extract and calendula flower extracts.
- Used for eczema, diaper rashes, and rough patches on baby’s skin; soothes and smooths their delicate skin with no harsh chemicals and ingredients
- The light, orange popsicle scent makes this the best smelling baby lotion
- Sizes only go up to 8 oz. bottles, so you will run out quickly
Puracy Organic Baby Lotion, $14, Puracy.com
This organic baby lotion isn't just something you can feel good about putting on baby’s delicate skin, but also feel good about buying. From its aloe vera to its sunflower oil, all of the ingredients are environmentally friendly, as well as vegan, gluten-free, non-toxic and biodegradable.
- While its naturally-derived ingredient list definitely implies this baby lotion is gentle, the added vitamin E, lavender and pink grapefruit essential oils seal the deal
- Each ingredient is food-grade and plant-based
- While the formulation has been changed, some parents think it feels too thick
- Not the strongest baby lotion for extra dry skin
California Baby Calendula Everyday Lotion, $13, Californiababy.com
From the organic calendula fields in Santa Barbara County, California, pure ingredients are extracted to create the best natural baby lotion on the market. Within the solar-powered, state-of-the-art, eco-friendly organic certified facilities, California baby lotion is formulated in a completely nut-free, allergy tested, vegan environment. This everyday lotion is the best baby lotion for sensitive skin without the greasy feeling and overpowering scents, leaving skin with a long-lasting satin finish.
- Essentials oils used are tested for purity to ensure safety for sensitive skin
- No gluten, soy, or dairy in their certified organic and sustainably grown ingredients
- More costly than other lotions on the market for the size
- The baby lotion is rather thick and harder to pump out if the cream dries out at the spout
- Lavender smell was rather strong for some users
Best Baby Lotion – Eczema
Eczema can range from mild to severe and it can be heartbreaking to see baby deal with this skin ailment. Rough patches can flare up during weather changes and in response to food allergies. Trial and error is the best way to find the best lotion for baby eczema because not every brand works the same for every baby. Look for a clinically proven, hypoallergenic baby lotion as your best lotion for baby eczema.
Eucerin Baby Eczema Relief Body Crème, $7, Target.com
Eczema-prone skin requires a good baby moisturizer with ceramides, such as the dermatologist-recommended Eucerin baby eczema crème. The skin’s moisture barrier is protected with the dye-free, fragrance-free and steroid-free ceramide formula, making it the best lotion for baby eczema. Clinically proven, Eucerin baby lotion will relieve very dry, red, itchy skin while improving hydration.
- Baby lotion reviews all point to this Eucerin baby lotion as the top eczema care product
- Natural oatmeal relieves itchy and irritated skin that is very dry
- Very thick but not very absorbent
- Does not work for every case of eczema flare-ups
CeraVe Baby Moisturizing Lotion/Cream, $8, Walmart.com
Developed by dermatologists and recommended by pediatricians, CeraVe is one of the best baby lotions for eczema-prone skin. The unscented baby lotion is a paraben-free baby moisturizer with ceramides and essential vitamins to maintain baby’s delicate skin.
- Scientific development with patented delivery technology that slowly releases moisture back into the skin throughout the day
- When prescription medications are your last option, you can give CeraVe a try to repair skin with heavy eczema
- It can sting broken and very chapped skin
Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Nighttime Balm, $17, Target.com
You can rest assured that choosing Aveeno eczema balm is the safest baby lotion for baby’s eczema-prone skin. The hypoallergenic baby lotion has been awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Approval with its steroid- and fragrance-free formula that hydrates skin immediately as well as prevents future breakouts from the extra-dry skin.
- Contains colloidal oatmeal, an active ingredient to provide protective benefits to sensitive and irritated skin
- Very easy to apply; the cream is very emollient and moisturizing
- Leaves skin very shiny which can bother some parents when used on baby’s face
Best Baby Lotion – Sensitive Skin
Baby’s skin is so delicate and sensitive because of his or her immature immune system. The best baby lotions won’t have harsh fragrances, chemicals and colorants as they can cause dryness, swelling, chafing and general irritation and rashes. With sensitive baby skin, less is more, so a very light moisturizer would be the best baby lotion for sensitive skin.
Mustela Hydra Bebe Body Lotion, $16, Mustelausa.com
Babies, especially newborns, have incredibly sensitive skin. With its mixture of vitamins E, F, almond oil, jojoba oil, and shea butter, Mustela baby lotion has been pediatrician recommended as the best lotion for sensitive baby skin.
- Provides lasting and immediate hydration to newborn and baby skin
- Reinforces skin barrier with a natural patented ingredient, Avocado Perseose, to preserve baby’s skin at the cellular level
- Strong smell
- Not for use if baby has an avocado allergy
Babyganics Moisturizing Daily Baby Lotion, $12, Amazon.com
The best after-bath routine is to give your precious little one a massage with the best baby lotion for sensitive skin. Reviews show that users love the Babyganics daily lotion for their natural plant-based ingredients. Gluten-free and pediatrician tested, the baby lotion is delicate enough as the best lotion for newborn skin.
- A special blend of seed oils helps nurture dry baby skin
- Lightweight and not greasy so it easily absorbs into skin
- There are many complaints about the pumps being cheaply made and ineffective
Weleda Calendula Body Lotion, $17, Weleda.com
With three key ingredients, Weleda body lotion is organically formulated to be the best baby lotion for sensitive skin. Other natural ingredients such as beeswax and cocoa butter are used to soothe baby’s dry skin. A calming fragrance is added from chamomile and the baby lotion’s key ingredient, calendula.
- A little goes a long way! This baby lotion leaves skin hydrated for a very long time.
- Reviewed as the best smelling lotion, this has a light herbal scent that leaves you feeling relaxed
- A rich cream that is the best baby lotion for wintertime, the greasy texture takes a while to dry so it’s not ideal as an all-season moisturizer
- Requires you to shake before use
Best Baby Lotion – For Winter
Winter months mean dehydrated and chapped skin that needs extra nourishment with the best baby lotion for dry skin. With baby’s skin being extra delicate and sensitive to excessive drooling, rubbing and general irritations, the best baby lotion for winter skin requires extra richness and protection against the cold elements. Stick with creams that have emollient qualities to gently soothe chapped and irritated skin.
Cetaphil Baby Daily Lotion, $10, Walgreens.com
Cetaphil baby lotion is noted for its dedication to formulating the best natural baby lotion for dry skin. One of the very few baby lotions without alcohol as an ingredient, this daily baby lotion contains colorant-free, paraben-free and mineral oil-free calendula extract. Cetaphil’s short ingredient list is dermatologist tested to ensure minimal risk of allergic reactions, making it the best baby lotion for winter dry skin.
- Formulated with freshly scented calendula and marigold flower for its calming effects, making it the best-smelling baby lotion
- Sweet almond oils are added to sunflower seed oils, enhancing the softening effects
- Has a strong smell
Aquaphor Healing Ointment Tube for Baby, $9, Amazon.com
Strong enough to relieve a painful diaper rash, yet gentle enough to protect and help heal chapped or cracked dry skin from wind, cold, and dry air. Aquaphor baby lotion can help with a host of skin ailments, including wintry red and irritated noses and cheeks.
- Great for the entire family during wintertime. Heals all cracked and chapped skin with its richness and long-lasting results.
- Can heal a diaper rash in as little as 6 hours
- Seals skin with protection from minor cuts and burns
- Contains some ingredients that are not the best for a newborn (like mineral oil and lanolin alcohol)
Babybearshop'Cheeky Baby Butter' Organic Baby Balm, $34, Nordstrom.com
At the top of our price point, this baby butter is the best baby lotion for dry skin because of its USDA-certified organic, nutrient-rich ingredients. Parched and cracked skin can be healed immediately while you enjoy giving baby an aromatherapy massage with lavender, chamomile and red mandarin extracts.
- Melts like butter when warmed in your hands, allowing fast and easy absorption
- The best baby lotion for winter months because of its ability to relieve diaper rashes and cracked skin
Best Baby Lotion – Face
The skin around the eyes, nose, and mouth is thin, delicate and sensitive to many products on the market. The best baby face lotion is formulated to be ultra-gentle with non-clogging properties which helps with baby acne and other irritations. An unscented baby lotion is also your best choice because the best smelling baby lotions can contain alcohol and other irritants that will burn your little one's eyes when the lotion is applied too close to their eyes. Overall, remember to look for an all-natural product as your best lotion for baby’s face.
Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Lotion, $7, Amazon.com
Aveeno baby face lotion is our top choice as the safest baby lotion for their gentle formula. Dermatologists agree that oats are one of the best natural resources to maintaining skin’s moisture barrier while restoring its pH. This Aveeno baby lotion is specially designed for delicate baby skin but is sensitive enough to be the best lotion for newborn skin.
- All reviews agree that this Aveeno baby face lotion is truly made for babies with sensitive skin because of their special blend of natural oats and rich emollients
- 24-hour moisturization for long-lasting results
- There were numerous complaints about the pump design
- A bit on the sticky side when applied
Mustela Hydra Bebe Facial Cream, $12, Mustelausa.com
Infants’ faces tend to get chapped and irritated throughout the day due to wind chills, excessive drooling or irritation from rubbing their face against clothing or blankets. The travel-friendly Mustela baby lotion is the best baby face lotion with its plant-based ingredients that deliver immediate and long-lasting results. You can feel secure putting the best natural baby lotion on your little one’s face with ingredients like jojoba oil and sweet almond oil.
- Proven significant increase in facial hydration in clinical trials
- Travel-friendly with the small 1.35-oz. size-squeeze tube
- For babies with very sensitive skin, the fragrance is overpowering and can end up causing more irritation
Kiehl's Mom and Baby Moisturizing Cream, $19, Kiehls.com
Finding the best baby face lotion means finding the best baby moisturizer that is gentle enough for newborn skin. Kiehl’s moisturizing cream is a thick, unscented baby lotion with ingredients such as shea butter, olive fruit oil and apricot kernel oil. Baby’s face will be left feeling hydrated and supple with the first use—it’ll even help with smoothing out dry patches on their skin.
- A little goes a long way; a pea-sized amount will cover baby’s entire face
- Tested to help minimize allergy risk and sensitivity-tested for daily use
- High-end product is costly
Updated April 2018