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The Best Baby Lotion for All Skin Types

mother putting lotion on baby's face

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Baby’s skin is much more sensitive and delicate than yours, meaning it’s extra important to keep it hydrated and nourished. But with all the baby skin care products out there, it can be difficult to know which lotion is best for your child’s skin type. To make your search easier, we’ve picked the best baby lotions, creams and ointments to suit your little one’s needs. Read on to discover top-rated products and find expert-backed tips to help you find the perfect formula to soothe your little love.

Our top picks:


Tubby Todd Dream Cream at Tubby Todd, $20Jump to Review


CeraVe Baby Moisturizing Cream at Amazon, $8.97Jump to Review


Aquaphor Healing Ointment for Baby at Amazon, $15.97Jump to Review


Earth Mama Organics Baby Lotion at Target, $17.09Jump to Review


Ever Eden Nourishing Baby Face Cream at Ever Eden, $29Jump to Review


The Honest Company Organic All-Purpose Balm at The Honest Company, $12.99Jump to Review


Mustela Hydra Bebe Body Lotion at Target, $17.50Jump to Review


Eucerin Baby Eczema Relief Body Crème at Walmart, $7.99Jump to Review


Proudly Hydrating Baby Lotion at Proudly, $8.99Jump to Review


Baby Dove Sensitive Skin Care Body Lotion at Amazon, $8.69Jump to Review

In this article:

Why use a baby lotion

When to use a baby lotion

What to look for in a baby lotion

Best baby skin care products

Why Use a Baby Lotion

“Baby skin is so sensitive because it’s adjusting to life outside the womb,” explains Alexis Phillips-Walker, DO, a pediatrician at Memorial Hermann Medical Group Pediatrics in Atascocita, Texas. What’s more, baby’s skin barrier continues to develop during the first year of life, says Dina DiMaggio Walters, MD, a board-certified pediatrician and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). In the meantime, the top layer of baby’s skin is thin, compared to that of older children and adults, which makes it more susceptible to water loss and dryness. This is where baby lotion can help restore hydration and keep your little love feeling soft.

When to Use a Baby Lotion

Baby doesn’t need lotion within those first four weeks after birth, says Phillips-Walker. However, if you plan on cleansing or moisturizing your newborn’s skin during that time, choose a formula that has a pH level between 4.0 and 6.0, contains ceramides and has no soap, advises Lauren Hoffman, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City. Once they’ve passed the four-week mark, go ahead and find a baby lotion that’s sensitive—meaning it’s unscented and free of alcohol or other allergens. Then, apply it immediately after baths to help lock in moisture. Simply pat your child until they’re almost dry, then massage your lotion of choice into baby’s skin from head to toe, says Hoffman. If more frequent dryness, flaking or cracks occur, use more as needed.

It’s also important to remember that not all infant lotions are created equal—a baby cream or ointment may work better for your little one, depending on their skin type. The difference between the three boils down to the percentage of water and oil in the formula. Whereas lotions are often more than 70 percent water, creams contain at least 50 percent cream, making them thicker and better at protecting skin from irritation and dryness, explains Phillips-Walker. During winter weather, Phillips-Walker recommends that parents apply creams to cheeks, elbows, noses or any other area in need of added hydration. On the other hand, lotions are more readily absorbed, making them perfect for daily use and the summer months. If baby’s skin is dry and cracked in places, an ointment will be the best treatment method, says Phillips-Walker. Baby ointments are thick and greasy, but they’re ideal for children who suffer from extremely dry skin or conditions such as eczema.

What to Look for in a Baby Lotion

When it comes to baby lotions and their ingredients, simpler is often better. Here are some things to look for on the label when shopping for the best baby lotion for your family:

  • Fragrance and dye-free. Dimaggio recommends unscented and dye-free baby lotions, as added fragrances and chemicals can cause rashes.
  • Ceramides. Ceramides are a type of lipid that helps retain moisture, making them an important ingredient in skin care products for people of all ages. Formulas containing ceramides have also been proven to reduce eczema flare-ups, adds Hoffman.
  • Hyaluronic acid. Found naturally in the skin, this ingredient promotes hydration.
  • Paraben-free. Avoid baby lotions that contain parabens, a chemical preservative that can irritate delicate skin.

As you shop for baby skin care products, there are also ingredients that you should avoid. Hoffman advises against any formulas that contain isopropanol, benzocaine, pyrethrin, hexachlorophene or salicylic acid, as these can be harmful to infants. Moreover, she suggests parents steer clear of olive oil and sunflower oil, as they’ve been found to adversely affect skin barrier function.

Best Baby Skin Care Products

Now that you know how to keep baby’s skin healthy, you’re ready to create a standout skin care routine for your little one. From lightweight baby face lotions to nourishing creams, shop our favorite products to protect and nourish the most delicate of skin.

Overall best baby lotion

Tubby Todd Dream Cream

Tubby Todd Dream Cream

Image: Tubby Todd

Buying Options

Tubby Todd|$20

This standout baby lotion isn’t called a dream cream for no reason. You can depend on this product’s rich, intensive formula to keep your little love’s skin hydrated throughout the day. It’s thoughtfully made with natural extracts and plant-based ingredients, resulting in a non-irritating, nourishing blend. Best of all? The super-gentle baby lotion can be applied to even the newest of newborns. It’s no surprise that this top-notch cream won a Best of Baby award!

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