If you’re in a hurry to figure out what is the best baby lotion, we recommend the Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream as the best one.
If you’re a first-time parent, you’ve probably already been bombarded with a lot of claims and anecdotes about your little one’s skin. Or perhaps you can’t make up your mind about the best baby lotion to dole out on.
Well, I’m about to set the record straight. A baby’s skin is extremely sensitive, and the right lotion can keep it moisturized and silky soft. Come along, as I reveal the best baby lotions for your little human’s specific needs.
Here is our top picklist for the best baby lotion of this year:
Benefits of Baby Lotion
When people used to roam around in nature, our skin produced enough oil to keep us moisturized—but of course, we didn’t wash it off in a shower. Today, a variety of factors can cause us to lose moisture, including soap, warm water, heaters, air conditioners, and medications.
It’s especially important to ensure a baby’s skin stays moisturized. Without it, it can cause irritation, discomfort, and exposes their skin to pollution.
Here’s what a lotion will do for your baby’s skin:
In simple terms, baby lotion restores lost moisture in your baby’s skin.
Warm water can dry out their skin—therefore, it’s essential to replenish moisture after bathing them. A good lotion will help lock in hydration and keep their skin soft and protected.
When it comes to newborns, they shouldn’t be bathed often—every few days at the most. And a newborn’s skin will moisturize itself, so there’s no need to apply lotion—except to parts that are prone to dryness, such as the ankles or hands.
Infants and toddlers need to be bathed more often, however. They also start growing at a faster rate—these growth spurts cause their skin to stretch more than usual. Without continuous moisture and hydration, maturing skin can develop microtears—which is one of the causes of dryness and irritation.
Colder seasons, genetic skin conditions, and allergic reactions to food or medicine can also cause dryness. If your baby is experiencing dry patches or flaky skin despite applying lotion, it could be a result of an underlying condition. That might be your cue to take them to a pediatrician.
Other factors that might be causing your baby to have dry skin include:
- Long baths: Keep bath time as short as possible.
- Soaps with fragrance: Use a gentle, fragrance-free, hypoallergenic cleanser.
- Rubbing the skin dry with a towel: Pat instead.
- Warm or cold air: Set your thermostat to around 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Harsh laundry detergents: Choose one specially made for baby clothes.
- Dehydration: Ensure your baby stays hydrated.
When you apply lotion onto your baby’s skin, the active ingredients will absorb through their pores, and a portion of it will sit on top of the skin—forming a protective layer. This barrier keeps out harmful toxins and protects the skin from environmental debris.
What to Look for When Choosing the Best Baby Lotion
Now that we’ve established the importance of keeping your little one’s skin moisturized, let me give you an outline of things to look for when buying a baby lotion:
You don’t want to dish out on a pricey lotion only to find that your baby’s skin isn’t reaping all of the benefits. Look for lotions with a thicker consistency—the skin tends to absorb them more effectively.
It will also depend on the type of skin your baby has. Dry skin is thirsty for moisture, so opt for a thicker, cream-like consistency. Sensitive skin needs a lotion that is fragrance-free and hypoallergenic.
Unfortunately, you can’t eyeball what skin type your baby has—it will take some experimenting to see what their skin responds to the best. But to be on the safe side, when buying their first baby lotion, make sure that it’s suitable for sensitive and dry skin. Also, check that the lotion has a safety assessment for its age group.
The pH scale measures how acidic or alkaline a substance is:
- pH1 to pH6: Acidic.
- pH8 to pH14: Alkaline.
- pH7: Neutral.
Within a few weeks, a newborn’s skin surface changes from neutral to slightly acidic—pH level 5.5. This acidic mantle that sits on the surface of your baby’s skin protects it from the environment.
It’s important to choose a lotion that is close to your baby’s skin pH level so that it won’t disrupt the protective layer. A product that says it’s pH neutral should be fine as long as your baby doesn’t have overly dry skin or any genetic skin conditions that require special care.
Look out for terms such as “mild,” “ultra-sensitive,” or “pH balanced/neutral”—this means that the product’s pH level is close to the acidity of healthy baby skin.
A baby’s skin expands rapidly as they grow—this causes them to absorb whatever is put on their skin into their bloodstream rather quickly.
It’s vital to ensure that what you put on your baby’s skin is free from harmful ingredients. Here are some things to look out for:
Parabens are preservatives used in products that contain water—it extends the shelf life by preventing mold and bacteria growth. This is a good thing. However, parabens have been shown to mimic the effects of estrogen, which is not something you want in your baby’s bloodstream, even in low amounts.
No matter how dirty their bottom gets, don’t let that prompt you to use an antibacterial lotion.
Antibacterial ingredients are very potent and can cause irritation, rashes, and even eczema on the thin skin of a baby. An alcohol-free baby wipe followed by a mild lotion is good enough to keep them clean and comfortable.
Fragrances are known allergens and can cause severe irritation on sensitive skin. It’s essential to use a fragrance-free lotion on your newborn or if your baby has sensitive skin.
Their medical term is phthalates, but it is almost always disguised as “fragrance” or “perfume” on the label. Phthalates have estrogenic properties as well, which can disrupt hormone balances once absorbed through the bloodstream.
How to Apply Baby Lotions Correctly
For the first few weeks after being born, babies have a protective covering all over their skin called the vernix. You might be tempted to treat it with cream because it can give the appearance of dry, flaky skin, but that’s just the vernix peeling off naturally.
A newborn’s skin is typically quite moist below the protective layer, but you can apply lotion to areas that are more prone to dryness, such as the ankles and hands.
Bathe them a maximum of three times a week, even twice is plenty. Don’t rub them dry with a towel, use patting motions instead—make sure to use a very soft towel, preferably one made specifically for baby’s skin.
While the skin is still a little damp, apply lotion to the dry parts of their body, such as the hands and feet. Once they’re a bit older, you can start bringing the lotion to all the parts of the body, including the face. Apply several times throughout the day as well to ensure day-long protection and hydration.
For more details about applying baby lotion correctly, refer to below video:
Best Baby Lotion Reviews
Now that we’ve established the importance of keeping your baby’s skin moisturized, let’s look at the best baby lotions 2020 has to offer:
1. Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream – Best Baby Lotion for Dry Skin
If your little one is suffering from dryness, itchiness, and irritation, there’s nothing else like the Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream.
This baby lotion is free from fragrances, dyes, parabens, and phthalates, and is specially formulated to treat eczema. It contains natural Colloidal Oatmeal and dimethicone that will relieve irritation and itching.
It’s available in a smaller 5 fluid ounce container, which is perfect for a carry-on when you’re traveling.
Unfortunately, it’s one of the pricier eczema baby lotions on the market. Some parents have also claimed that it takes several applications before noticing an improvement in their baby’s skin.
However, this lotion has earned itself a lot of positive reviews and is highly recommended by pediatricians and dermatologists. In my opinion, it’s worth the price if it means my baby will be relieved of the symptoms of eczema.
- Free from fragrances, dyes, parabens, and phthalates.
- Treats eczema.
- Moisturizes extremely dry skin.
- Safe for sensitive skin.
- Takes a while to be effective.
2. Eucerin Baby Body Lotion – Best Baby Lotion for Sensitive Skin
With its hypoallergenic and fragrance-free formulation, the Eucerin Baby Body Lotion is the best baby lotion for sensitive skin. It’s free from parabens, dyes, and alcohols, and is extremely gentle on the skin. Therefore, it’s safe for multiple uses every day.
The Eucerin Baby Body Lotion contains Pro-Vitamin B5 and natural shea butter, which will nourish, hydrate, soften, and smooth the skin. It absorbs at a fast rate, and doesn’t leave a greasy film—so you know your baby’s skin is soaking up all of the moisturizing ingredients.
Many parents regard this lotion to be their go-to for babies and toddlers. It’s also highly recommended by dermatologists and pediatricians.
Some claim that it doesn’t relieve dryness and itchiness as much as they’d hoped. This could be because the Eucerin Baby Body Lotion isn’t specifically formulated to treat eczema. So if your little one is struggling with symptoms of a skin condition, this lotion might not be your best bet.
If your baby has a normal or combination skin type, they will only benefit from this lotion. And it comes at a very affordable price—a win-win, in my opinion.
- Free from parabens, dyes, and alcohol.
- Very gentle.
- No grease.
- Pump bottle means less mess.
- Doesn’t relieve dryness for everyone.
3. Johnson’s Moisturizing Pink Baby Lotion With Coconut Oil – Best Smelling Baby Lotion
Johnson’s has been a trusted brand with parents for decades—and this lotion lives up to its reputation. The Johnson’s Moisturizing Pink Baby Lotion is free of dyes, parabens, phthalates, and harsh fragrances—and is also hypoallergenic and pediatrician-tested.
It’s formulated with coconut oil, which has been proven to lock in moisture very effectively. This lotion is very gentle and will keep the skin soft and healthy.
One of my favorite aspects of this product is that you can use it on your own skin as well—it works wonders on any skin type of any age.
Some reviewers claim that the scent in the new formula is quite off-putting—that they preferred the old, softer-scented version. This could potentially be irritating to both your baby’s skin and sinuses. But if they don’t have an adverse reaction, it might be the best smelling baby lotion in my opinion.
It’s available in a one or two-pack and comes in 10.1, 16.9, and 27.1 fluid ounces. We love this diversity—an appropriate size for the nursery and another for the baby bag when you’re out and about.
- Free of dyes, parabens, phthalates, and harsh fragrances.
- Smells good.
- Available in different sizes.
- Scent is too strong for some—potentially irritating to the skin.
4. Mustela Hydra Bebe Body Lotion – Best Natural Baby Lotion
This best-seller contains 97 percent natural ingredients, making it the best natural baby lotion if that’s what you’re looking for.
Mustela Hydra Bebe Body Lotion has superior hydrating abilities because it absorbs very quickly. It’s formulated to have a lasting moisturizing effect, keeping the skin supple and smooth. It also does a good job of protecting the skin from environmental factors.
Its active ingredient is Avocado Perseose—a biomimetic patented agent that acts in perfect affinity with a baby’s skin. This ensures that your little one’s skin will stay healthy, while its natural barrier won’t be disrupted.
Avocado Perseose also ups the production of proteins and lipids in the skin, preserving the wealth of cells. This means it will be beneficial with long-term use by keeping their skin strong and healthy.
While this lotion is hypoallergenic and free of parabens and phenoxyethanol, it is lightly fragranced. This might not be the best option for newborns or babies with sensitive skin.
It’s available in three different sizes at an affordable price.
- Natural ingredients.
- Protects skin barrier.
- Keeps skin healthy.
- Contains fragrance.
5. Cetaphil Baby Daily Lotion – Best Baby Lotion for Sensitive Dry Skin
Cetaphil Baby Daily Lotion is formulated with organic calendula extract, derived from the marigold flower. It’s been used for centuries to treat dryness and soothe sensitive skin.
It’s free from parabens, colorants, and minerals, and is hypoallergenic and dermatologically tested—always a win in our books. This lotion will keep skin healthy by feeding it sweet almond oil and sunflower oil.
Some users have voiced some complaints about its fragrance. We know by now that fragrance-free is always a better option, especially for newborns. But if your baby doesn’t show any reactions or if you have a child that’s a little bit older, this is a good option for keeping their skin hydrated.
This lotion is available in one size, 13.5 fluid ounces, and has an affordable price point. I personally love that it comes with a pump—other types of dispensers can be annoying and messy to deal with.
- Free from parabens, colorants, and minerals.
- Improves dry skin.
- Easy application with pump.
- Contains fragrance.
6. CeraVe Baby Lotion – Best Unscented Baby Lotion
If you’re looking for the best unscented baby lotion, CeraVe Baby Lotion will be your new best friend. This lotion is free from any fragrance, parabens and phthalates.
It contains essential ceramides and vitamins, which restore and maintain a baby’s delicate skin. The hydration it provides lasts 24 hours while protecting the skin barrier at the same time.
To me, one of its most eye-catching ingredients is hyaluronic acid. Don’t be frightened by the word acid—when it comes to skin, acidic ingredients are good for retaining moisture and maintaining the pH balance. Hyaluronic acid, in particular, is a very powerful humectant—meaning it draws moisture into the skin.
A few have claimed that as a result of this lotion being fragrance-free, the smell it gives off can be rather pungent. In my opinion, however, if it doesn’t bother you or baby, then it shouldn’t be a big deal.
It comes in an easy-to-use pump dispenser, at a very affordable price for the amount of lotion you’re getting.
- Doesn’t contain any fragrance.
- Free from parabens and phthalates.
- Protects skin barrier.
- Off-putting smell.
7. Noodle & Boo Super Soft Moisturizing Lotion – Best Lotion for Baby Face
A lightweight and silky lotion that has vitamins E and C to help nourish the skin. It also contains almond oil, which will keep the skin soft and supple. Noodle & Boo Super Soft Moisturizing Lotion is delicate enough for use all over the body, making it safe for use even on your baby’s face.
It contains natural antioxidants that form a protective layer over the skin to protect it from the harsh environment. Being hypoallergenic and dermatologist-tested, that gives us the green light for use on sensitive skin.
One of the biggest complaints is that it’s too pricey. If it falls within your budget, this could be an excellent option for your baby. But don’t feel the need to splurge if there are cheaper options that perform just as well.
It’s available in a variety of sizes—from a big 25 fluid ounce pump bottle, excellent for the nightstand, to an adorable little 2 ounce squeezy bottle that you can fit in a carry-on.
- Safe for use on the face.
- Keeps skin healthy and protected.
- Different sizes available.
- On the pricier side.
8. Puracy Organic Baby Lotion – Best Organic Baby Lotion
If you believe in the power of organic ingredients, the Puracy Organic Baby Lotion might be a good option for you. This lotion has received a BUMP award—” Best Baby Skincare Products.”
It has a lightweight consistency and is formulated with organic sunflower oil, aloe vera, shea butter, jojoba seed oil, and vegetable glycerin. All of these ingredients are powerful moisturizers, providing superior hydration.
This lotion was developed by doctors and has been classified as a clinical-grade moisturizer. It’s suitable for every skin type, including those struggling with eczema. Wow—so far, so perfect!
Some customers have described the scent as “too strong”. It’s not necessarily a bad smell, just over-powering. It will entirely depend on whether your baby likes it or not.
One of my favorite features is that it’s vegan and cruelty-free—so if that’s important to you, this is a great option.
It comes in a one or two-pack at an unexpectedly affordable price.
- Organic ingredients.
- Very hydrating.
- Suitable for sensitive skin.
- Strong scent.
9. Earth Mama Calming Lavender Baby Lotion – Best Herb Baby Lotion
Earth Mama Calming Lavender Baby Lotion contains lavender that will soothe and moisturize the skin. It’s formulated with vanilla and organic herbs and oils.
This lotion contains no petroleum, mineral oil, parabens, or artificial fragrances—you can rest assured knowing it’s free of toxic chemicals. It’s rated number one on the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database for having the lowest hazard rating a lotion can achieve.
Although free from artificial fragrances, natural herbs and essential oils are very potent and can still cause irritation to the skin—it might not be the best option for newborns or babies with sensitive skin.
It smells really good, however—I might continue using it on myself!
It has a reasonable price-point and is available in one or two-packs, with a very cute design.
- Contains no petroleum, mineral oil, parabens, or artificial fragrances.
- Organic ingredients.
- Smells nice.
- Essential oils can cause irritation.
10. Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Nighttime Balm – Best Nighttime Baby Lotion
Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Nighttime Balm is a classic care product that will give you results when all else fails. It’s can soothe dry, itchy skin, without leaving an oily film.
Combining dimethicone and natural colloidal oatmeal will strengthen your baby’s moisture barrier and protect the skin against environmental debris that can cause irritation and dryness.
Free from steroids, fragrances, and parabens, this nighttime balm was awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Approval. It is also highly recommended by pediatricians.
Some reviewers have claimed that this lotion has worsened either their or their babies’ symptoms of eczema. Perhaps the balm is just a little too rich. I would use it with caution or consult with your pediatrician first.
With its alarming reviews and high price-point, this baby lotion is a bit of a hit-and-miss. If it falls within your budget and gives you the results you want, however, I see no problem with trying this product.
It comes in a rather large, 11-ounce tub.
- Soothes dry skin.
- No oily residue.
- Free from steroids, fragrances, and parabens.
- Claims that it worsens eczema.
Best Baby Lotion of 2019 Summary
The clear winner is the Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream.
It absorbs quickly, allowing your baby’s skin to soak up all of the active ingredients that will keep it healthy and protected. And it doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients, making it safe to use on even the most sensitive skin.
Whether your little one is suffering from eczema or has a normal skin type, this lotion is a safe bet all around.