Are Lotions Safe for Babies?
“Smooth as a baby’s bottom.” We’ve all heard it, and if you’re a parent you know that one of the most delightful things about your newborn is their soft, smooth skin. Thanks to the organic component vernix caseosa, the milky white substance that covers infants when they’re first born, newborns have a protective layer that adults don’t. This substance acts as a protective barrier and helps the baby’s skin to retain optimal levels of hydration.
However, vernix caseosa diminishes over time and babies can become prone to dry skin or conditions like the eczema rash (also called dermatitis), diaper rash, and even neonatal acne. If you’ve noticed any of these issues on your little one — or you just want to take preventative measures to keep your baby’s skin hydrated — you might be going down the Google rabbit hole to see which types of moisturizers are safe for your baby. Fear not: today we’re breaking it down for you.
Which Lotions Are Safe for Babies?
So you’re getting your little one started on their skin care early — good for you! In all seriousness, dry skin on babies is super common and it’s important that you try to treat it before it gets cracked and irritated, or becomes painful. Typically, a few days to weeks of using a high-quality baby lotion for dry skin will do the trick and that silky smoothness will come right back.
First and foremost, never use a product formulated for adult skin. Often, these lotions contain fragrances, dyes, and additional anti-aging ingredients (we don’t want to get rid of baby’s adorable leg rolls, after all!) So when you’re shopping for a baby lotion for dry skin, look for a product specifically formulated for little ones. It should be gentle, fragrance-free, and free of preservative ingredients like parabens and sulfates.
Steer clear of Vitamin C, though we know that giving kids extra nutrients always seems tempting. This ingredient can make your baby super sensitive to sunlight, potentially leading to burning, hyperpigmentation, and other types of sun damage. Also, look for the word “non-comedogenic.” This term simply means that the lotion won’t clog your baby’s pores and lead to acne and irritation.
You might opt for an organic product, but you don’t necessarily have to. There are plenty of pediatrician and dermatologist recommended baby lotions out there. If you purchase an all-natural or organic lotion and find that the oil separates, just know that that’s normal and actually due to the lack of chemicals in the product. Shake well before you slather on, and your baby will be good to go!
When Should I Use Baby Lotion?
It’s generally safe to use baby lotions on infants, though you should certainly double check with your pediatrician if your baby has any existing skin conditions. As long as you’re using a gentle, baby-safe formula, your little one should be just fine. Of course, it’s a good idea to test out a new lotion by applying the product to a small area of your baby’s skin to ensure they don’t have any adverse reactions. If not, go ahead and use the lotion on the baby’s whole body!
The best time to apply baby lotion is after a bath, to help seal in the moisture. Be sure that your baby’s skin is dry, however. Leaving skin damp while applying extra hydration can lead to irritation. Pat your kiddo dry with a soft towel, and then apply the moisturizer. Baby lotion can be used between baths, as needed — some babies need it after each diaper change. Avoid over-moisturizing, however, especially around the face. It might take some trial and error to find a rhythm, but we know you got this!
Additional Preventative Measures
So while we’re on the topic, there are a few things you can do to prevent dry skin on your baby, or at least not exacerbate it. Go easy on the baths. Parents sometimes go overboard on the baths with the best intentions of keeping their babies clean, but baths remove healthy, necessary oils as well as dirt. And remember that baby is ideally getting squeaky clean during diaper changes.
So we recommend bathing your little one every couple of days — some parents even find once or twice a week is sufficient. Also, use bath water that’s only slightly warmer than lukewarm. If your baby’s skin is getting pink or red during a bath, the water is too hot. This is not only potentially uncomfortable for them, but could be further drying out their skin.
If your baby’s skin is chronically dry, consider throwing a humidifier into the mix. These hydration machines can make all the difference in keeping your baby moisturized. We love putting a humidifier in our kiddo’s room and running it through the night — not only does it help their skin stay soft and smooth, but it aids in their breathing more clearly during sleep.
If your baby has moderate to severe rashes like eczema and is not responding to baby lotions, it’s time to make an appointment with your pediatrician who can give you a prescription or OTC dermatitis treatment.
Parasol’s Own Baby Lotion for Dry Skin
If you’re on the hunt for a gentle, effective moisturizer for your baby, check out our Soft+Natural™ Baby Lotion! The plant-based formula is ideal for your baby’s sensitive skin and has a calming lavender scent. We only use 100% pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils and soothing, hydrating active ingredients like aloe leaf juice and organic coconut oil.
And of course we go without any parabens, synthetic fragrances, perfumes, petroleum, sulfates or artificial colors. We’re super proud of our product’s 5-star certification awarded by Dermatest® Research Institute. Plus, our baby lotion is cruelty-free, wheat- and nut-free, and made in the USA! We’d love to hear what you think about it.