Your newborn baby’s skin is delicate and sensitive, and it’s best not to use any lotions or creams on your baby for the first few weeks.
But once your baby is a little older, introducing a gentle moisturiser into your baby’s bathtime routine can not only protect and soothe their skin but can also be a relaxing part of the day for you both. You could even try to massage your baby while you’re using the lotion.
A baby’s skin is much thinner and more sensitive than adults, losing moisture more quickly, which can result in itching, rashes, cracking and flaking. A good, sensitive moisturiser specifically designed for use on baby skin will help soothe any skin irritation. Always remember to read the label and choose products designed for your baby’s age range.
If you’re looking to use a baby face cream or moisturiser, here are some of the best on the market available to buy today.
Choosing skincare products for your baby
When it comes to our baby's skin, choosing the simplest and mildest formulas is key, given that their precious skin is sensitive to all sorts of irritation and dryness. To make things a lot simpler, we've made a checklist of things to look for when buying skincare products for your little one.
Choose products specifically designed for babies: These tend to be milder and pH balanced to suit your little one's skin. Baby products are also typically safety-regulated for that particular age group.
Choose products that are paraben, phthalate, dye and alcohol-free: Dyes and other chemicals can irritate your baby's skin and even cause trouble breathing. Likewise, parabens are known for their harmful side effects in terms of hormone reproduction, so it's best to keep them away from your baby. Alcohol, listed as ethanol, is common in most adult skincare products, but is worth avoiding when it comes to little ones due to its drying effect.
Patch test beforehand: If you're planning on using a cream all over your baby's body, we recommend doing a patch test on their arm or leg first and waiting 24 hours to monitor any reactions. If any reaction is detected, make sure to stop using the product immediately.
Use hypoallergenic products: If you have any concerns whatsoever about allergic reactions, hypoallergenic products are your best bet. These are designed for sensitive skin, are fragrance-free and are least likely to lead to any adverse reactions.
Is it safe to use face cream on my baby?
As stated earlier, it's best to avoid using lotions during the newborn stage. When they get a little older, you can use mild lotions that are baby-approved and free of any fragrances or dyes.
You can also try using olive oil or vaseline to treat super dry skin.
The best baby face creams and moisturisers 2021:
Aveeno Daily Moisture Lotion applies to baby’s skin without feeling sticky and relieves any symptoms of dehydration. This lotion is also fragrance-free and has minimal ingredients, mainly containing natural colloidal oatmeal blended with rich emollients.
Review: "Very pleased with this moisturiser. Bought it for my one year old baby as his skin was a bit dry. After using this only for a few days, I saw a great difference. I have been applying this every night and once the winter started, also during the day on the face and hands before going out for a walk. Size of the bottle is ideal, not too big and heavy, but also big enough to last for a while. This lotion lasted us just little over two months, we have been using it daily for the whole body. Smells lovely and it’s very easy to apply, absorb smoothly and moisturises well. Will definitely recommend and will be buying another one!"
Read our review of the Aveeno Baby Daily Care Range which was shortlisted for the 2018 Mother&Baby Awards.
Best barrier cream
The calendula extract in this baby face cream wraps its protective mantle around tender facial skin, while skin-friendly lanolin and organic almond oil moisturise. It's been found to be great for many baby skin issues, including spots, cradle cap and more.
Review: "Highly recommended! 100 per cent natural. This cream made my baby’s face lovely and soft. I’ve got a nappy change cream from the same series and I’m very happy with it too, so knew this face cream would be great also."
Find out more about the Weleda Baby Calendula Facial Cream.
Best for eczema
Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment works wonders as a daily moisturizer after bathing your little one. This product is hospital approved, pediatrician recommended, and fragrance/preservatives free. Its formula comes with 41 per cent petrolatum to allow oxygen to flow and help heal the skin.
Review: "I have been using the normal aquaphor on my son for several months now, and it was the best ointment I had found so far. However the price of it recently sky rocketed on Amazon and so I reverted to using Diprobase for about a month. During this time my little ones eczema which was previously well controlled, slowly got worse and worse. His hands became very dry and scaly and cracks and sores starting appearing in his creases again. After buying this baby version his skin has significantly improved in just a few days - his hands are almost back to normal now and all the cracks have healed up and are reverting back to normal skin. I think the baby version might be even better than the normal one. I highly reccomend you give this a try if your littles ones have eczema."
Best eco-friendly cream
Eucerin Baby Eczema Relief Instant Therapy Creme is a product that instantly calms your baby’s skin. It comes with natural oatmeal which relieves dry, itchy, irritated skin. The formula also has ceramide to strengthen the skin's barrier and condition and licochalcone to soothe and improve the appearance of irritated skin.
Review: "My daughter hasn't had any instances of Eczema in years, but suddenly got patches on her limbs of very painful and 'angry' Eczema during lockdown. Within two days of receiving this cream and applying it, the patches were less angry and after four days they were definitely improving. This may be expensive for the volume, but is worth it."
Best face and body cream
Kiehl's Baby Nurturing Cream for face and body will nurture your baby’s skin resulting in smooth and soft texture. It’s formulated with shea butter, apricot kernel oil, and purified honey.
Review: "This is fantastic! Tried a few things prescribed by my doctor (none of which worked). The Double Base cream made the eczema even worse and made my little ones skin look almost burnt! I refused to use a steroid cream on such young skin and having read other reviews for this on various websites thought I'd give it a go - so glad I did! Have used it ever since and the eczema hasn't returned. AN ABSOLUTE MUST!"
This much-loved baby face cream moisturises and strengthens your little ones skin and is suitable from birth. Absorbing quickly, it provides an immediate and long lasting hydration.
Review: "This cream has been great for my babies rashy face. After using it for only a few days we noticed a huge difference, and he now has perfect skin! It smells great too."
This best selling, mildly fragranced, mosituriser contains deeply moisturising ingredients that soothe and hydrate all skin types, even the most sensitive and eczema prone skin.
Review: "I would definitely recommend this product to fellow mums. It is paediatrician and dermatologist approved which gives you such confidence as a mum when choosing a product. It's also paraben and SLS free which is important to mums. The pump design is so quick and easy to use and the moisturiser is packed full of natural ingredients that moisturise and nourish the skin beautifully."
This product won Bronze for Best Product for a Newborn - 0-4 months in the Mother&Baby Awards 2021. Read our full review.
Best natural face cream
Burt's Bees Baby Bee Lotion is a natural emollient for baby's sensitive skin enriched with aloe vera, buttermilk, and vitamin E. You can also find other products in the same line, such as a baby bubble bath and a nourishing baby oil.
Review: "I love this lotion! I use it for myself and my littles! We all have varying degrees of sensitive skin and this doesn't irritate it at all! The smell is not overly strong and is pleasant. It goes on easy and is easy to rub in."
Best for hyper-sensitive skin
Another popular buy from Weleda, this face cream combines calming organic mallow and gentle pansy extracts with nourishing organic oils of coconut and sweet almond. The organic golden beeswax creates a mildly resistant layer, protecting your child's skin. Itchy and dry skin is soothed and protected, naturally.
Review: "I did a bit of research online and found this stuff and it is amazing! I still have to continue to apply it but it doesnt irritate my son's skin and his skin feels lovely and soft again after just one week. I have since bought the body lotion as well and its just as great as he has also developed small patches of dry skin on his arms and legs. Love that this product is totally natural and is so gentle on his delicate skin. Would love if they done a shampoo and bath cream in the white mallow range. Hopefully it works as well for others as it has for us. I really do think it's a miracle cream!"