We took a deep dive into the world of baby lotion and put together a list of the 10 best baby lotions available online. One of our favorites is Eucerin's Baby Lotion for its simple ingredient list. It's been clinically tested for irritation and contains natural ingredients to hydrate and soothe. See the rest of our picks below and check out our buying guide, which has been reviewed by a licensed pediatrician!
Our skin is the largest organ we have and it’s going to grow and stay with your baby for the rest of his or her life. So it goes without saying we need to find a good lotion. We want to choose something that works, and more importantly, something that’s safe to use. Here are a few pointers on how to choose what’s right for your baby.
Every baby is different: some sweat a lot, some have eczema, and some have baby acne. It's normal for babies to get rashes, spots, and bumps. When choosing a baby lotion, take into account any skin issues your baby currently has.
Very dry skin calls for a thick lotion or ointment. Usually, they contain high concentrations of moisturizing ingredients and have better staying power than a lotion with a thin consistency. Therefore, they are more effective in replenishing dry skin.
The dry and cold weather of winter can also rob your baby's skin of moisture and make it become dry and flaky. A rich and nourishing ointment and lotion are also great to keep the skin soft and protected in the harsh winter climate.
Ammonium lactate containing lotions are helpful for dry rough skin. Hyaluronic acid is great for hydration and youthful appearing skin and I love recommending this for moms as well, dealing with skin issues in the postpartum period.
If your baby has sensitive skin or eczema, look for a formula with soothing ingredients such as colloidal oatmeal, vitamin B5, and aloe vera. Colloidal oatmeal has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to relieve itching. This ingredient can also create a protective barrier on your baby's skin to prevent irritation.
Vitamin B5 is another great choice. It can promote the healing process of damaged skin tissue, reinforce the skin's barrier, and alleviate inflammation. Aloe vera has also been hailed for its soothing, anti-inflammatory, and moisturizing properties. It can help ease many skin conditions, including eczema and sunburn.
Keep in mind that sensitive skin is different for everyone. And a seemingly safe formula might actually cause a flare-up of eczema. So, always consult with a pediatrician to know what treatment works for your baby!
Babies have sensitive skin, so it's important to be aware of exactly what you're putting on them. Familiarize yourself with common baby lotion ingredients and check the label to ensure you're choosing a lotion that will benefit your baby's skin without harming or irritating it.
Humectants are a type of ingredient found in lotion that hydrate the skin by drawing water from the lower layers to the top. They can be synthetic or naturally-derived. Glycerin is a synthetic humectant that's often found in baby lotion and is generally considered to be safe.
Natural humectants may have other benefits in addition to hydration. For example, hyaluronic acid is a natural humectant produced by the body that also promotes skin repair. Aloe vera is a plant-derived humectant that also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Humectants can be very helpful. They are hydroscopic substances that lock in hydration and moisture. You may see these commonly as glycerin and hyaluronic acid. These substances work by attracting water and providing the moisture that skin needs. I'm a big fan of humectants in lotions and think they can be very helpful!
Some people prefer natural humectants like honey, but I don't advise this. Honey isn't safe for newborns and can even worsen rashes, so I typically tell families to instead use safer options like glycerin.
While humectants help draw moisture to the skin, lotions also need ingredients to prevent that moisture from dissipating. These types of ingredients are referred to as emollients (softeners) and occlusives (protectors).
Emollients and occlusives are typically found in the form of butters, oils, or fatty alcohols, and work by filling in cracks in dry skin to create a water-repellent barrier. These ingredients can be especially helpful for conditions like eczema and dermatitis.
Common ingredients include petrolatum and cetyl, stearyl, and cetearyl alcohol, which are considered to be safe for use in skincare by the FDA. Alternately, you can find plant-derived ingredients like shea butter, cocoa butter, beeswax, and a multitude of nourishing oils such as jojoba, sunflower, olive, and coconut.
For various forms of dry skin, I recommend ceramide containing creams and lotions. Ceramides are a type of fat. Oils can help as well in some situations. However, oil on skin can intensify UV rays. Also, oil on the skin, especially on the face, can worsen neonatal acne and even infantile acne.
The great part about fats like ceramides is that they're part of the skin barrier and by moisturizing with a ceramide containing lotion, we are able to help repair the skin barrier (for example, in patients with eczema) and seal in the moisture that humectants bring in.
Babies have sensitive skin, so it's important to pay attention to potentially irritating ingredients. As a general rule, the simpler the better. Some ingredients are added for aesthetic purposes and really aren't necessary to keep skin soft and moisturized.
One common culprit is fragrance - a catch-all term that can contain both synthetic and natural ingredients. This ingredient may trigger allergic contact dermatitis, so try to avoid it! Also, look out for synthetic dyes. While these may turn the lotion a pretty shade, they're not necessary and may cause irritation.
Sulfates such as sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate can have a dehydrating effect on the skin and might cause allergic reactions like itching and redness. Short-chain alcohols like ethanol and denatured alcohol can also dry out the skin and might aggravate your baby's pre-existing skin condition.
Note that even natural ingredients can be irritating for babies with sensitive skin or allergies. For example, essential oils like lemon might cause redness to babies with highly sensitive skin. So, keep track of your baby's allergies and when in doubt, do a spot test on a small patch of skin.
You can also look for a lotion that has the National Eczema Association's Seal of Acceptance. Only products that are suitable for sensitive or eczema-prone skin are awarded this seal.
Fragrances can cause contact dermatitis. I typically recommend fragrance-free lotions and creams. Fragrances can be irritating and actually cause more symptoms of itch and discomfort. "Unscented" doesn't typically mean fragrance-free, but just that the scent or fragrance is masked. Therefore, I always tell families to go for fragrance-free if possible for their little ones.
Common fragrances include lavender, vanilla, tea tree oil, eucalyptus, and coconut. Many of these scents seem alluring especially lavender or vanilla when it comes to our young babies, as we associate these scents with helping them sleep longer.
Some children have no issues with scented lotions or fragrances, but in general, I find that items that are fragrance-free do a better job of actually moisturizing with an excellent ingredient profile.
Make sure the lotion will suit your baby before going all-in on a Costco pack. You may face some issues: the lotion’s not thick enough for dry skin (or is too thick for sweaty skin), or the fragrance is too strong or too irritating.
If the lotion doesn’t suit the baby, then the second bottle will be a waste, so purchasing one in the smallest available size is the smartest way to go. If you're having trouble choosing between multiple lotions, buy the smallest size of each to try them out and see which one works best.
I recommend trying out small amounts of a new moisturizer initially, in the event that you have any allergic or irritating response to the lotion or its ingredients.
Usually, if you try out a new product, I recommend using it on a broader region of the body like the leg or thigh rather than the face. That way, if there is a reaction, you don't have to worry about trying to cover or hide your face. Usually, reactions we see are dry or irritated skin, with occasional itchiness as well.
Cosmetics are regulated by the FDA, which currently has no standard definition of the terms "hypoallergenic" and "natural." This means that a manufacturer can use these words to promote their product without meeting a specific set of regulations, so your understanding of the word may be different than theirs.
The term "organic" is a bit different since it's regulated by the USDA. If a lotion is USDA-certified organic, it means the manufacturer has met specific government regulations. However, note that the USDA certification applies only to the agricultural ingredients in the lotion.
In general, you don't need to discount these words completely, but they shouldn't be the sole factor in choosing a baby lotion. It's much more important to look at the actual ingredient list - even ingredients that are natural or organic can cause irritation or allergic reactions.
A lot of people think natural, chemical-free, or organic must be better. I have to advise-be wary of "organic" or "all natural" as they still contain chemicals and botanical extracts at high concentrations that can be irritating to the skin. I tell families that poison ivy is natural and organic, but we don't rub that on our skin!
Noodle & Boo
Organic Baby Lotion
Calendula Body Lotion
Simply Non-Scents Baby Lotion
Super Soft Lotion
Daily Moisture Lotion
Eczema Soothing Lotion
Best for Fortifying the Skin's Barrier Function
Best for the Natural and Calming Scent
Best Calming Lotion for Skin Irritation and Eczema
Best Fragrance-Free Baby Lotion
Best Non-Greasy and Hypoallergenic Formula
Best for Protecting the Skin and Preventing Moisture Loss
Best for Preventing Skin Irritation
Best Cruelty-Free Formula Suitable for Eczema-Prone Skin
Best for Keeping Your Baby's Skin Moisturized
Best Small-Sized Option for Eczema-Prone Skin
|Best for||Soothe, soften, and hydrate the skin||Calm, moisturize, and soften the skin||Soothe skin irritation and calm inflammation; soften the skin||Moisturize and soothe the skin||Smoothen and soften the skin||Soothe, protect, and moisturize the skin||Soothe and hydrate the skin; prevent irritation||Soothing sensitive skin; lightly hydrate the skin||Hydrate and moisturize the skin||Soothe and soften the skin; treat eczema|
|Consistency||Thin, watery||Light, fast-absorbing||Thick, greasy||Thick||Creamy, fast-absorbing||Thick, slightly greasy||Lightweight, fast-absorbing||Lightweight||Lightweight, fast-absorbing||Thin|
|Moisturizing ingredients||Pro-vitamin B5, glycerin, mineral oil, shea butter, dimethicone, pentylene glycol, and more||Glycerin, vitamin E, aloe vera, shea butter, jojoba seed oil, sunflower seed oil||Sesame seed oil, glycerin, matricaria flower extract, sweet almond oil, cocoa seed butter, calendula flower extract||Aloe leaf juice, olive fruit oil, calendula flower extract, shea butter, glycerin||Vitamin E, glycerin, sweet almond oil, vitamin C||Dimethicone, glycerin, oat kernel flour||Ceramides, niacinamide, dimethicone, hyaluronic acid, vitamin E||Glycerin, dimethicone, isopropyl isostearate, caprylyl glycol||Glycerin, coconut oil, dimethicone||1% colloidal oatmeal, glycerin, sunflower seed oil, niacinamide, panthenol, shea butter|
|Scent||Fragrance-free||Lavender and grapefruit||Calendula||Fragrance-free||Lavender||Fragrance-free||Fragrance-free||Fragrance-free||Strong||Fragrance-free|
|Amount||13.5 oz.||12 oz.||6.8 oz.||8 oz.||16 oz.||18 oz.||8 oz.||20 oz.||27.1 oz.||5 oz.|
Our list includes a variety of baby lotions with different moisturizing ingredients, both scented and unscented. We made our choices based on the points listed in the buying guide below, as well as reviewer comments when available.
※Please note that these products were not picked by Dr. S. Amna Husain, but chosen through extensive research and by combing through customer reviews by our staff at mybest.
|Best for||Soothe, soften, and hydrate the skin|
|Moisturizing ingredients||Pro-vitamin B5, glycerin, mineral oil, shea butter, dimethicone, pentylene glycol, and more|
|Best for||Calm, moisturize, and soften the skin|
|Moisturizing ingredients||Glycerin, vitamin E, aloe vera, shea butter, jojoba seed oil, sunflower seed oil|
|Scent||Lavender and grapefruit|
|Best for||Soothe skin irritation and calm inflammation; soften the skin|
|Moisturizing ingredients||Sesame seed oil, glycerin, matricaria flower extract, sweet almond oil, cocoa seed butter, calendula flower extract|
|Best for||Moisturize and soothe the skin|
|Moisturizing ingredients||Aloe leaf juice, olive fruit oil, calendula flower extract, shea butter, glycerin|
|Best for||Smoothen and soften the skin|
|Moisturizing ingredients||Vitamin E, glycerin, sweet almond oil, vitamin C|
|Best for||Soothe, protect, and moisturize the skin|
|Consistency||Thick, slightly greasy|
|Moisturizing ingredients||Dimethicone, glycerin, oat kernel flour|
|Best for||Soothe and hydrate the skin; prevent irritation|
|Moisturizing ingredients||Ceramides, niacinamide, dimethicone, hyaluronic acid, vitamin E|
|Best for||Soothing sensitive skin; lightly hydrate the skin|
|Moisturizing ingredients||Glycerin, dimethicone, isopropyl isostearate, caprylyl glycol|
|Best for||Hydrate and moisturize the skin|
|Moisturizing ingredients||Glycerin, coconut oil, dimethicone|
|Best for||Soothe and soften the skin; treat eczema|
|Moisturizing ingredients||1% colloidal oatmeal, glycerin, sunflower seed oil, niacinamide, panthenol, shea butter|
There is no single lotion that can suit every baby's need. Hopefully, our buying guide has provided you with useful tips to help you choose the best lotion for your baby. However, you might still have some questions about baby lotions. We've tried to answer some of the most common questions here.
Most baby lotions are safe to use even on newborns! But we suggest consulting with your pediatrician beforehand to make sure the lotion isn't irritating to your baby's sensitive skin.
Scents derived from essential oils such as lemongrass, rosemary, lavender, and mint can drive mosquitoes away. So, baby lotions formulated with those ingredients can help ward off mosquitoes.
But again, essential oils might cause allergic reactions to those with very sensitive skin. So, make sure the formula is safe for your baby before applying it to their skin.
Baby oils and lotions have varying benefits and drawbacks, so we can't really say that one type is better than the other. Baby oils contain a high amount of oils such as mineral oil and can help lock in moisture and smoothen your baby's skin. They are usually applied after a bath or shower.
Baby lotions can be applied as needed. They absorb into the skin more quickly than baby oils and are easier and less messy to apply, too!
The number of baby products out there can be overwhelming for both newbies and experienced parents. Check out some of our other curated lists and find your next favorite thing.
Not satisfied with our choices? See what's selling on Amazon! You may even recognize a few options on there from our list.
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