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Best Baby Skin Care Products: Soaps, Shampoos, Lotions and Detergents

Collection of cosmetic products for skincare with a charming wicker basket and towel on a bamboo mat. White and pink colorsYou only want the best for you and your family! As you are searching for the best baby skin care products, Dr. Amy and the Baby Pibu team hope to provide you with tips on what to look for in those daily skin care products for your baby.

When looking for the best soaps, shampoos, lotions and detergents for you baby, here is what to look for on the label of those best baby skin care products:

  • Hypoallergenic and irritant-free
    • Look for products that say that they are “clinically-tested” and are hypoallergenic and irritant-free. Here is what that means. Skin care products are commonly clinically tested to show that they are non-irritating, hypoallergenic and non-phototoxic. Hypoallergenic suggests a product causes fewer allergic reactions by patch testing analysis that is done on the product. Irritant-free means what it says. Irritating products cause inflammation of the skin and resulting erythema of the skin. Testing is done to see if products cause irritation and inflammation when placed on the skin. Irritation can actually lead to skin damage and breakdown of collagen- things to avoid! Finally, when certain ingredients interact with ultraviolet rays, they can morph into an ingredient that can cause a phototoxic, inflammatory reaction. Choose non-phototoxic skin care products.
  • Fragrance-free
    • There are more than 2500 fragrance ingredients and more than 100 are known allergens. It should be appreciated that it may take hundreds of different chemicals to produce one fragrance. Repeated exposure of your baby’s skin to fragrance can increase the risk of your baby developing a contact allergy to fragrance. Remember, fragrance is there for us adult’s pleasure and not our baby’s pleasure.
  • Free of Parabens, phthalates, sulfates, formaldehyde-releasers, sodium lauryl sulfate, and fragrance is a short list of what the best baby skin care products should be free of.
  • Not necessarily natural
    • Even though one product may be more natural than another, does it really matter? Is natural really better? There is a current misconception and myth that natural products are good and products with synthetic ingredients are bad. What needs to be appreciated is that there are both good and bad natural ingredients and there are both good and bad synthetic ingredients. For example, there are a variety of plant extracts that can be irritating and allergenic to the skin. Think about poison ivy. It is natural but a leading cause in contact dermatitis. Furthermore, natural plant ingredients and oils can even cause damage to the skin’s collagen by irritating the skin and clog up pores to worsen acne-prone skin. There is no peer-reviewed, research-based study showing that all natural ingredients are better on your skin than synthetic. Here is something you should also keep in mind when looking at ingredients on a label. Long sounding ingredients can still be naturally-derived. As examples, sodium cocoyl isethionate is a mild surfactant/cleanser that is derived from coconut oil, and zemea propanediol is an emollient/humectant that is naturally derived from corn sugar. So, just because the ingredient doesn’t say coconut oil, the ingredient may be derived from a natural source.
  • Seal of Acceptance by the National Eczema Association
    • The National Eczema Association (NEA) is an informational and patient advocacy association composed of patients, patient advocates, doctors and dermatologists specializing in eczema. The NEA has a Seal of Acceptance (SOA) on skin care products that have gone through the rigors of meeting its criteria. In general, products carrying the SOA by the NEA are for individuals with eczema or sensitive skin and thus any skin type. The SOA panel considers testing data for irritancy, allergy risk and phototoxicity. It also considers the product’s ingredients, content and formulation data to determine safety. Look out for the SOA by the NEA as one way to search for the best baby skin care products.

Best Baby Skin Care Products: Soaps and Shampoos

Baby Pibu’s Bathtime Wash – a 2 in 1 Hair and Body Cleanser with the Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association.

A baby’s daily routine includes a routine of daily skin care. The typical baby daily skin care routine involves a bath-moisturizing-diaper care routine. When choosing the best soap and shampoo to use for your baby, consider using a 2-in-1 wash that can be used for both baby’s body and hair. Having a 2-in-1 product simplifies that bathtime routine. A calming bathtime wash that is good for all skin types, including sensitive skin, is recommended. Look for products that are fragrance-free and “tear-free”. If you want a scent, choose a soap and shampoo with a light lavender scent. Lavender can be calming and its essential oil is one that has a lower incidence of causing a contact allergy. Some of the best baby cleansers acting as a soap and shampoo include these carrying the Seal of Acceptance by the NEA: Baby Pibu’s Bathtime Wash, Aveeno’s Baby Cleansing Therapy Moisturizing Wash, and Skinfix Gentle Hair and Body Wash.


Best Baby Skin Products: Lotions

photo of baby butter and hydrating ointment
Baby Pibu’s Baby Butter and Hydrating Ointment carry the Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association.

After the bath, moisturizing with a lotion or cream or ointment is key to lock in that needed moisture. Baby’s skin is more delicate and sensitive. A recent study was published that showed how using a product as simple as petrolatum ointment in the first six to eight weeks of life can prevent eczema developing.  Again, pick fragrance-free products carrying the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance. Why are creams or ointments recommended rather than lotions? Ointments are the best moisturizers, followed by creams, and then lotions. Ointments and creams are typically composed of 80% oil with 20% water while lotions are the opposite at 80% water and 20% oil. Water actually dehydrates our skin so less water in products is better. The best moisturizing lotions or creams and ointments with the Seal of Acceptance by the NEA seal include Baby Pibu’s Baby Butter, Baby Pibu’s Hydrating Ointment, Aveeno’s Baby Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream, and Cereve Baby Moisturizing Cream.


Best Baby Skin Care Products: Detergents

If your baby does not show signs of having sensitive skin or eczema, then your baby is likely fine using whatever detergent the rest of the family is using. You can also consider doing an extra rinse cycle. However, if you notice that your baby’s skin gets easily irritated, consider looking for a detergent with these features:

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Free of dye and fragrance
  • Liquid (washes out more easily than powder)

Examples of the best detergents for babies with sensitive skin include All Free and Clear, Cheer Free and Gentle, Tide Free and Gentle, Purex Ultra Concentrate for Baby, and Dreft.


The Baby Pibu teams hope these tips on what to look for on the label of a product as well as the important features to soaps, shampoos, lotions and detergents can help you choose the best baby skin care products for your precious little one.