Ah, babies. They have the softest, most delicate skin; and choosing the right skincare products for them can be difficult. There so many brands and products making all sorts of promises. But what is really safe? Which one really helps prevent rashes and dry skin? And what ingredients can you really trust? I’ve done the research and conducted plenty of trial and error tests on my own two babes under 4, and I have some winners that you can feel good about using on your own little ones.
From moisturizer to diaper cream to baby oil, here's a roundup of baby skincare essentials you'll need to keep your little one's skin soft and healthy.
BABY SHAMPOO & BODY WASH
1. Weleda Calendula Cream Bath doesn’t lather, which I think is so important for newborns. Unlike many of its sudsy lathering competitors, this formula gently cleanses while keeping their delicate skin moisturized and free from irritation. Calendula knocks out inflammation and sensitivity like no other ingredient. It is so calming and soothing to baby’s skin – I used this product exclusively on both my children at bathtime for at least six months. Also, the scent is totally natural and totally beautiful. $12.11, buy here.
2. Pleni Natural Apple + Broccoli Hair & Body Wash is my favorite for children who are a little older. Keep in mind that it is not technically tear-free - no truly nontoxic baby shampoos are, but I’ve never gotten a complaint from my 3.5 year-old, and she is pretty vocal. What I love about this product is that a little goes a long way; all you need is a dime-sized amount for lots of lather (from an apple-based cleansing agent, not a harsh industrial grade surfactant), and it rinses clean while still leaving hair and skin moisturized. Oh, and it smells like creamsicles! $16.17, buy here.
BABY CREAM & LOTION
3. Erbaviva Baby Lotion is lightweight and easily absorbed, and it is completely free from the artificial fragrances, dyes and chemical additives in many conventional baby lotions. In fact, it is so gentle that many adults with sensitive skin reach for it. The fragrance is barely-there, just some chamomile and mandarin essential oils, which both promote relaxation. $15.10, buy here.
4. Zoe Organics Cream is a richer cream that it contains no water - so a little goes a long way. I love that this product can be used by the whole family. It’s especially great for those who are extremely sensitive to essential oils; it is completely fragrance-free. $18, buy here.
5. UMA Oils Perfectly Pure Soothing Baby Oil saved me recently while my 8-month-old son was teething like crazy and nothing would help. Finally, I thought to give him an infant massage with this oil, and he literally calmed right down. An Ayurvedic formula originally created for Princess Padmini centuries ago, this recipe has been handed down for generations. This oil soothes baby’s sensitive skin and calms their nerves. Don’t worry; the therapeutic essential oils in this formula have been kept deliberately low so that it is safe for babies and toddlers, though you should still do a patch test for allergies. $75, buy here.
6. Badger Zinc Oxide Diaper Cream is my all-time favorite diaper cream; we have gone through tubes and tubes of it. The sunflower seed oil and beeswax in this formula create a barrier between the skin and any moisture, and the zinc oxide is a miracle for sensitive bottoms, eradicating diaper rash overnight. $13.29, buy here.
7. Baby time by Especial Mighty Shield Bug Repellant Lotion is my favorite for when children are too young for sprays (I worry about inhalation risk, even with the nontoxic variety). This light, gentle, moisturizing lotion gets in every nook and cranny and between all of baby’s rolls. $12.50, buy here.
OTHER LOTIONS, POTIONS, WIPES AND STICKS
9. Zoe Organics Everything Balm Stick should be kept in every mama’s purse. It really does work on anything and everything in a pinch. Dry lips? Check. Forgot diaper cream? Check. Imaginary boo-boos? Check. $11.95, buy here.
10. Clean Well Hand Sanitizer is the only hand sanitizer you’ll ever need. It smells great, it is completely nontoxic, and it’s safe if children immediately put their hands in their mouths after applying. $12.41, buy here.
11. Acure Organics Unscented Argan Oil Towelettes make great face wipes, diaper wipes, sticky-finger wipes, and clean-up wipes. And I like to use them after the gym or to remove makeup. It’s always nice when we can all benefit from one product. $6.99, buy here.