When you're filling out a baby shower gift or finding the right fit for a sprinkle, baby lotion is a great way to go. And even if you're buying baby lotion for your own baby, you probably have questions and concerns. Which one is right for a new baby? Which lotions are safe? What do dermatologists say about baby lotion? Don't worry, I've got you covered. I contacted a pediatric dermatologist and got all the info you need to determine which lotion is the best choice.
What to Consider
"A good place to start in looking for a baby lotion, is to seek out ones that make the following three claims: fragrance free, hypoallergenic, dermatologist tested and/or recommended," Sheilagh Maguiness, MD, President Elect, Society for Pediatric Dermatology tells Best Products. Surprisingly, there aren't as many options for these parameters as you'd think. She also says that she prefers "food grade preservatives rather than potentially irritating preservatives" to be included in baby lotions, and that she recommends "staying away from parabens and phenoxyethanol in baby lotions and other products not meant for use on newborn skin." That takes the options down even further.
Phenoxyethanol is a cosmetic stabilizer and preservative linked with skin irritation and eczema, and infant oral exposure to the ingredient can be potentially life-threatening, according to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. As for parabens, there is concern that prolonged interaction with some of the popular preservatives can lead to endocrine disruption — essentially messing with hormones — and because safety cannot be established, many of them are banned in the European Union and elsewhere abroad.
The wild part? According to Maguiness, baby lotion? Doesn't even need to be designed specifically for babies. Products such as Vanicream are just fine for babies because they hit all the right notes. Maguiness says that a lot of the difference in the creams? It's all marketing.
How We Chose
After consulting the dermatologist, I reached out to other parents and found out what lotions were everyone's favorite, I spoke with them about the feel of the products, and how well they worked. I broke them down into lotions that fit the dermatologist's recommendations, and those that did not. Once I had that, I read tons of reviews across a variety of retail platforms, searched for their use by parents on social media and YouTube, and tried the products on my own skin and that of my daughter, whose skin is even more sensitive than my own. From about 60 lotions I originally surveyed, I chose the nine very best of the bunch. Check them out below.