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The best baby skincare products

Mum putting cream on a baby in a nappy
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When it comes to our little ones, we want to make sure they’re getting the best of everything.

If you’re worried about what to put on their skin to keep them protected and healthy, read on. We’ve put together a guide to the best baby skincare products.

Skincare for newborns

New babies have thin and easily damaged skin, and it takes a few weeks for them to build up a natural, protective barrier. It’s normally advised that you don’t use any skincare products on your baby in the first four weeks.

When they’re first born, your baby will be coated in vernix, a sticky, white substance that acts as a natural moisturiser and protects against infection. You should leave this on the skin to absorb naturally.

For the first month, wash your baby with water and use a baby comb to clean their hair and scalp. If needed, you can use some mild, unscented soap when you’re bathing them, but avoid lotions and cleansers.

It’s also a good idea to avoid using baby wipes until your baby is at least two weeks old. When you do start using them, choose a mild, unscented and alcohol-free wipe like WaterWipes or Huggies Pure Baby Wipes.

If your baby experiences nappy rash, use a nappy rash cream like Sudocrem or Bepanthen to treat it. A small amount of unscented moisturiser can be applied to their bottom to soothe the rash and prevent more rashes in the future.

Premature and overdue babies

Premature babies have really delicate skin, so if your little one comes early you’ll need to get some specific skincare advice from hospital staff.

If your baby arrives late their skin might be dry and cracked. This might look sore and itchy, but don’t apply creams or lotions. Instead, wait a few days for the dry skin to peel away. The skin underneath will be soft and healthy.

Skincare for babies older than one month

Once your baby is a few weeks old you can begin to use skincare products during their bathing routine. If you start using products before this time, there’s the risk that your baby will have an allergic reaction or develop eczema.

Skincare products for babies older than one month include:

When choosing products for your baby, look out for anything that’s mild and specifically made for young children.

Your baby has slightly acidic skin, and products that are alkaline (e.g. conventional bar soap) can disrupt the pH of the skin and cause irritation. It’s normally best to look for a pH-balanced product, as this will be slightly more acidic and closer to the natural pH of your baby’s skin.

It’s also best to look out for products that are alcohol-free and fragrance-free. Alcohol can dry out the skin, and perfumes can cause irritation. A mild fragrance is normally fine to use.

Skincare brands that make baby skincare products

There are plenty of brands that create products for babies, including Oilatum, Aveeno, Childs Farm and Johnsons. Which brand you choose will depend on what kind of product you’re looking for – as well as your personal preferences and budget.

Whichever product you choose, just make sure you read the description first to make sure it doesn’t contain irritants like alcohol or strong fragrances. And remember, even if a product says it’s suitable for newborns, the NHS advice is still to stick to water in your baby’s first month.

Products for babies with eczema 

Eczema is a condition that affects the skin, making it dry, itchy, red and cracked. It’s common in babies, and often develops in the first year.

Babies with eczema will have patches of red, irritated skin on and around their elbows, knees and cheeks. You might notice that flare-ups are triggered by certain things e.g. hot or cold weather, or using a new detergent or skincare product.

Normally, eczema in babies goes away as they get older. In the meantime, you can treat their symptoms using emollients and medicated creams. Find out more by reading this article: Eczema in babies and children.