The Best Baby Lotions Of 2021

Caring for your baby’s delicate skin requires you to purchase their products thoughtfully. Littlei ones th can respond negatively to harsh chemicals, dyes, and fragrances that can be present in soap, detergent, and, of course, lotion. A high quality baby lotion with natural ingredients can do wonders in resolving some common skin concerns, but knowing what to look for — and what to avoid at all costs — is essential. If you’re eager to shop smart, check out our guide to choosing the right lotion for your little one, plus reviews of our top 10 picks.

Editor's Choice

Puracy Organic Baby Lotion

A hypoallergenic, naturally-sourced lotion for your baby with a pleasant scent you can both appreciate

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Buyer's Guide

What are some factors to consider when choosing a lotion for my baby?

  • Allergies:Since your baby’s skin is very sensitive and at risk of being damaged, they’re more prone to experience an allergic reaction when coming into contact with harsh, chemical-based ingredients, fragrances and dyes. It’s important to choose mild, hypoallergenic lotions, soaps, and other skincare products for your baby, which are likely to minimize irritation.
  • Natural ingredients vs. problem ingredients: Chemical ingredients like BHA and parabens often show up in commercially made lotions acting as preservatives, but deliver some nasty side effects that are bad for everyone, especially your baby. BHA is used to stabilize food and beauty products, but may also be a human carcinogen. Parabens extend the shelf life of lotion, but they may also disrupt hormones. It’s better to choose smaller bottles of products which do not use these additives — they’re less likely to spoil before the container is empty, and you and your baby will avoid those bad chemicals.

What does “hypoallergenic” mean?

A word that’s close to the mind of parents who may themselves have sensitive skin, the word “hypoallergenic” indicates that a product is made with ingredients that are not known allergens, and may be less likely to trigger a reaction than their counterparts.

Parents should be aware, however, that use of the term in packaging is not regulated by the US FDA. This means that while the presence of the word hypoallergenic is still a good indication that efforts have been made to avoid causing allergies, it’s still wise to rely on trusted brands and check labels, especially if you know your little one is prone to allergic reactions.

Does my baby’s lotion have an expiration date?

Although they’re not listed on the package with the same veracity as food expiration date, all cosmetics and beauty products do have an expiration date, including your baby’s lotion. That said, if you’re buying lotion in small amounts and using it on a regular basis, it’s not very likely that their lotion will go bad before it’s time to replenish the supply.

Even when opting out of baby lotions that use harmful BHA and parabens to extend their shelf life, products that use natural preservatives like Vitamin E won’t spoil overnight, or even in a few months. Generally speaking, a bottle of lotion can be kept after opening for about two years without risk of it spoiling. Storing lotion in a cool, dry place is best for its shelf life, and a bottle can usually be safely stored unopened for about three years.

If you’re being vigilant about the potential of spoiled lotion, the two major indicators that the lotion has gone bad are a change in smell (especially if it’s sour) and a change in texture. Using spoiled lotion isn’t seriously risky, but nor is it a good idea — it’s less effective than it was in its prime, and any bacteria living in the lotion is being delivered to your baby transdermally. This means if you have a bottle hanging out from when your older kids were small, it’s probably best to get a new bottle for the new baby.

What are essential oils?

A common component in cosmetic and aromatherapeutic products, essential oils are potent plant extracts derived through distillation via steam and water or via a cold press delivery method. These potent extracts can have a strong scent, hence their role in aromatherapy, and it’s suggested that certain essential oils, when used properly, can play a role in healthy skin care and the resolution of some skin conditions.

It’s important to note that essential oils should never be applied directly to the skin in their undiluted form, as they may irritate or burn the skin. Instead, essential oils are typically included in small amounts in natural lotions, soaps, and cosmetics, or are diluted carefully by hand in a carrier oil like sweet almond, grapeseed, coconut, or jojoba.

What are some signs that my baby needs lotion?

Both dry air in your home and bathing can sap your baby’s skin of moisture, leaving it a bit dry. Though the naturally flaky appearance of baby’s body in their first weeks of life generally gives way to healthy, emollient skin, it’s not at all uncommon for dry skin issues to occasionally pop up. Some signs that your baby could benefit from the use of a natural, hypoallergenic baby lotion include:

  • Itchy, irritated skin
  • Rashes
  • Cracking and flaking
  • Patches of ashy grey skin

What kinds of baby lotions do I have to choose from, and how do they compare?

Not all skin care products are made equal. There are three product types you’ll commonly come across when shopping for skin care products for your little one. Ointments, creams, and lotions can all play a role in baby’s healthy skin care, but they’re not the same, and some are better for resolving specific conditions than others.

  • Ointments: The thickest of these three products, ointments typically have a ratio of 80% emollient to 20% water. They’re often used to treat rashes, eczema and other skin conditions, as their thickness allows the creation of a barrier that stays in place.
  • Creams: A bit thinner than ointments but more moisturizing than lotions, creams have a half and half balance of oil/emollient and water. They’re great for problem areas where especially dry skin exists, and may also be effective for use with mild eczema, especially with the inclusion of soothing natural ingredients like colloidal oatmeal.
  • Lotions: Perfect for daily use, lotions are a bit thinner than creams, and they apply and absorb easily without leaving a residue on the skin. They’re best for regular maintenance of healthy, moisturized skin, but may not be dense enough to impact some skin conditions.

What are some childhood skin conditions that can benefit from the use of baby lotion?

  • Dry skin: If your baby seems to be experiencing itching, irritation, or cracking and flaking skin, dry skin is a common culprit. Regular use of a hypoallergenic baby lotion after bath time can help to soothe these patches and restore comfort to your little one. Also bathing every other day can reduce dry skin.
  • Eczema: Itchy, rough, crusty patches appearing on your baby’s cheeks or near their joints don’t look quite like traditional dry skin, but they’re triggered by a related condition, eczema. It’s not a comfortable sensation for baby, who may be quite irritated by the patches; it’s also inheritable from parents with eczema, so you may well sympathize with your baby’s experience and have a good sense of what they need. Fragrance-free creams and ointments are the best treatments here, used several times a day to help their skin soothe and rehydrate. Colloidal oatmeal is an all natural ingredient which has proven effective in treating eczema.

Our Top Picks

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#1 Puracy Organic Baby Lotion

Best Organic Baby Lotion

Scent: Lavender and grapefruit
Key Ingredients: Sunflower oil, aloe vera, shea butter, jojoba seed oil, glycerin
Hypoallergenic: Yes
Size: 12 fl. oz
Packaging type: Pump

If you’re in search of a hypoallergenic, naturally-sourced lotion for your baby with a pleasant scent, Puracy’s Soothing Organic Baby Lotion (check price on Amazon) is here to deliver. The mild softening lotion uses pink grapefruit and lavender essential oils to create a fragrance that is at once bright and calming.

The lotion is enriched with shea butter, aloe, jojoba seed oil and sunflower oil, all natural plant-derived emollients that will leave your baby’s skin smooth, supple, and comforted. Another bonus? It’s safe for use on all skin types, even if baby has cradle cap, eczema, or exceptionally sensitive skin.

What We Love:

  • Everything present in this lotion is plant-derived, including the essential oil-based lavender and grapefruit fragrance
  • It’s mild enough to be safe for use with cradle cap, eczema, and general sensitive skin concerns

Watch out for:

  • People who aren’t used to essential oils may find the fragrance to be a bit intense

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#2 Babyganics Daily Lotion

Best Budget Buy

Scent: Fragrance free
Key Ingredients: Shea butter and cocoa butter
Hypoallergenic: Yes
Size: 17 fl. oz
Packaging type: Pump

When you’re running a household with multiple young children, a great lotion at a budget cost in a family-sized bottle is a helpful find. It’s what fragrance free, hypoallergenic, pediatrician and dermatologist-tested Babyganics Daily Lotion (check price on Amazon) offers, making it the perfect pick for parents with a squad that’s too big to mess with small products. The lotion uses shea butter, olive oil and avocado oil to offer lasting moisture, all of which are included in Babyganics’ exclusive, all-natural NeoNourish oil blend.

The formula supports and nurtures delicate skin, going on smooth without leaving a sticky residue. The mild formula is even gentle enough for very sensitive skin, and won’t irritate conditions like eczema and cradle cap.

What We Love:

  • It’s cost-effective and comes in a family-sized bottle, so it’s great for homes with more than one young child
  • The formula uses an all-natural patented NeoNourish oil blend to offer soothing moisture that won’t exacerbate skin conditions

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#3 CeraVe Baby Lotion

Best Fragrance Free Baby Lotion

Scent: Fragrance free
Key Ingredients: Dimethicone
Hypoallergenic: Yes
Size: 8 fl. oz
Packaging type: Pump

Often, conditions like sensitive skin and eczema are inherited, which means that parents of sensitive-skinned kids are often familiar with choosing mild, fragrance-free products that minimize flare-ups. CeraVe (check price on Amazon) is a brand that’s trusted to effectively treat dry skin; so much so, in fact, that it’s the number one skincare brand recommended by dermatologists.

This formula is intended to be baby-friendly, offering a mild lotion that absorbs quickly but protects and maintains baby’s naturally delicate skin barrier. CeraVe Baby also offers up to 24 hours of moisture, so you won’t have to frequently reapply product to pesky dry skin spots.

What We Love:

  • CeraVe is the number one dermatologist-recommended skincare brand, so you know it’s a name you can trust
  • This lotion will hydrate their skin for 24 hours, so there’s no need to reapply frequently and product lasts for longer

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#4 Mustela Hydra Bébé Body Lotion

Best Baby Moisturizing Lotion

Scent: Lightly scented with “iconic fragrance”
Key Ingredients: Jojoba oil, sunflower oil, vitamin E, vitamin F, sweet almond oil, shea butter, glycerin
Hypoallergenic: Yes
Size: 10.14 fl. oz
Packaging type: Pump

Lotions that leave a greasy finish aren’t necessarily better at moisturizing; in fact, it’s possible for a product to deliver great moisture without leaving any residue at all. Mustela’s Hydra Bébé Body Lotion (check price on Amazon) delivers plant-based moisture through nourishing jojoba, sunflower, and sweet almond oils as well as vitamins E and F, shea butter, and plant-sourced glycerin. A signature ingredient featured in Hydra Bébé is avocado perseose, sourced from molecules which protect the avocado plant during growth and act to preserve and protect your baby’s delicate skin after application.

Once it’s applied, it soaks right in, offering immediate comfort and smoothness with nothing left behind. The product also features the brand’s iconic fresh, natural fragrance, so there’s no medicinal smell left behind.

What We Love: It’s of 97% plant-based ingredients, including the company’s patented avocado perseose, sourced from enzymes which protect both growing plants and your baby’s skin cells.

Watch Out For: If you or your baby is sensitive to fragrance, you may find the scent to be unappealing (though it’s a favorite of many).

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#5 Eucerin Baby Body Lotion

Best Baby Lotion for Sensitive Skin

Scent: Fragrance free
Key Ingredients: Pro-vitamin B5 and shea butter
Hypoallergenic: Yes
Size: 13.5 fl. oz
Packaging type: Pump

Shea butter delivers rich natural moisture that helps to smooth and repair dry, cracked skin, and it’s one of the star ingredients in Eucerin Baby (check price on Amazon). This pick comes from a brand that’s trusted and recommended by dermatologists and pediatricians, and one with which sensitive-skinned parents may already be familiar.

The fragrance-free, hypoallergenic formula delivers intense moisture, adding extra nourishment through the addition of pro-vitamin B5. It’s an affordable pick that’s ideal for little ones with sensitive skin who respond unfavorably to scented products, and it’s an excellent lotion for helping to soothe flare-ups of eczema in babies and toddlers.

What We Love:

  • It’s hypoallergenic and fragrance-free, so it’s perfect for babies and toddlers who have very sensitive skin and is ideal for use with eczema.
  • Eucerin is a brand that’s recommended by both dermatologists and pediatricians

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#6 Earth Mama Simply Non-Scents Baby Lotion

Best Natural Baby Lotion

Scent: Fragrance free
Key Ingredients: Aloe, olive oil, rooibos extract, calendula extract, shea butter
Hypoallergenic: Yes
Size: 8 fl. oz
Packaging type: Pump

Love the thought of a plant-based lotion, but eager to skip over the essential oil scents present in many offerings? Earth Mama’s Simply Non-Scents Baby Lotion (check price on Amazon) lives up to its name, delivering a soothing and moisturizing lotion that skips synthetic and dangerous ingredients. Instead, soothing herbs and oils including oil of calendula, an anti-inflammatory herb that’s closely related to chamomile are used to deliver smooth, soothed skin.

Since the all-natural organic product doesn’t contain preservatives like parabens and BHA, Earth Mama lotions are conveniently marked with a Best By date so that you can be sure the lotion is at peak quality before it’s used; a good rule of thumb is that storing it in a cool, dry place will extend its shelf life.

What We Love: It’s all-natural and uses powerful anti-inflammatory calendula, but it remains unscented

Watch Out For: Since it’s organic, it may have a shorter shelf life than other commercial products — a best by date is printed on the packaging

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#7 Mustela Soothing Baby Face Cream

Best Baby Face Lotion

Scent: Fragrance free
Key Ingredients: Avocado perseose, schizandra
Hypoallergenic: Yes
Size: 1.35 fl. oz
Packaging type: Tub

Mustela’s baby body lotion is one many parents trust to soothe their little ones, and that quality extends to their Soothing Baby Face Cream (check price on Amazon), which is a perfect pick for sensitive faces and is so gentle that it can be safely used on a newborn. The cream’s formula contains patented avocado perseose, sourced from a protective enzyme in avocado plants, and schizandra, a berry extract which soothes and tones skin and improves overall appearance. The comforting cream delivers all-day moisture without unpleasant greasy residue on the face; despite its name, this product is thinner than the average cream, but it still packs a moisture punch and does wonders for a rashy little face.

What We Love:

  • It’s safe to use on baby’s face, a place that’s especially prone to irritation from excessive moisture
  • The cream’s formula is so gentle that it can be used on a newborn

Watch Out For:

  • Despite being called a cream, this is not as thick or rich as a typical cream (but it’s still very moisturizing)

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#8 Cetaphil Baby Daily Lotion

Best Hypoallergenic Scented Lotion

Scent: Light natural floral scent
Key Ingredients: Calendula, sweet almond oil, sunflower seed oil
Hypoallergenic: Yes
Size: 13.5 fl. oz
Packaging type: Pump

For sensitive-skinned parents, relying on a brand you have personal experience with can make you feel better about your choice. Cetaphil (check price on Amazon) is one of the world’s most popular lines of sensitive skin products, and they come highly recommended by both dermatologists and pediatricians. Their Baby Daily Lotion is mild and gentle, with a thin, non-greasy texture that’s very similar in texture to their adult line of lotions. The lotion absorbs into the skin quickly to soothe and moisturize dry patches, and the sweet, all-natural fragrances of moisturizing and soothing calendula, sweet almond oil, and sunflower oil. It’s safe to apply this lotion to your baby’s face, so you won’t need a second lotion to soothe their chapped cheeks, and it’s available in a flip-top, which some parents prefer for travel.

What We Love:

  • The formula offers powerful moisture in a hypoallergenic formula that applies easily and absorbs quickly thanks to a texture that’s a bit thinner than the average lotion — it’s similar to other lotions in the Cetaphil line
  • Soothing calendula and sweet almond oil make this lotion smell great without artificial fragrance

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#9 Burt’s Bees Baby Nourishing Lotion

Best Lotion for Babies With Dry Skin

Scent: Original (honey)
Key Ingredients: Sunflower seed oil and shea butter
Hypoallergenic: Yes
Size: 12 fl. oz
Packaging type: Pump

Natural and effective beeswax-based Burt’s Bees (check price on Amazon) products have become beloved not just by moms, but by fans of beauty and comfort around the world. Their all-natural nourishing product line extends to babies, a perfect audience for products intended to minimize the use of harsh chemicals, dyes, and fragrances in favor of plant and nature-based solutions.

Their nourishing baby lotion contains sunflower seed oil and shea butter, as well as olive, coconut, and grapeseed oils. Soothing calendula and chamomile relieve rashes and irritation, and even buttermilk plays a role here, imparting skin-improving hydroxy acid. It’s a bit more rich and emollient-feeling than some baby lotions, so it’s especially good for dry, cracked patches, but it may not feel like it absorbs into the skin as quickly.

What We Love:

  • The richness of this formula makes it great for dry, cracked patches
  • Redness and irritation are soothed thanks to the presence of calendula, chamomile, and aloe leaf juice

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#10 Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Lotion

Best for Newborns

Scent: Fragrance free
Key Ingredients: Colloidal oatmeal and dimethicone
Hypoallergenic: Yes
Size: 18 fl. oz
Packaging type: Pump

No brand is more recommended by pediatricians than Aveeno (check price on Amazon), a company that have proven themselves expert at caring for sensitive-skinned folks for years through a range of hypoallergenic, colloidal oatmeal-based soaps, lotions, and other cosmetics. They even have their very own line of baby products that are perfect for sensitive little ones, including this fragrance free daily moisture lotion which is so gentle that it’s newborn-safe.

The naturally soothing colloidal oatmeal the formula relies on is sourced from oat kernel flour, and naturally derived dimethicone and glycerin round out the product to offer moisturization, hydration, and protection for baby’s fragile skin. The formula is highly absorbent and non-greasy but still delivers great moisture, keeping skin hydrated for up to 24 hours.

What We Love:

  • Aveeno is a trustworthy brand that takes high-quality hypoallergenic cosmetics seriously
  • This lotion is so gentle that it can be used on a newborn

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And The Winner Is…

A lotion that’s hypoallergenic but still has a pleasantly bright and calming fragrance. Puracy Organic Baby Lotion (check price on Amazon) is effective at delivering lasting moisturization to soothe and heal dry skin. It’s perfect for use on all skin types, and can be helpful in treating eczema and cradle cap. An affordable price and a convenient pump distribution system decorated with a sweet giraffe also put this lotion at the top of our list.

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