As a new parent, you can expect to run into all types of situations that you weren’t previously prepared for but are actually a completely normal part of raising a baby. Baby acne and other skin conditions are a perfect example. Newborn babies are born with very sensitive skin and often break out in acne or small rashes. Below, we’ve listed our top recommendations for soaps and creams for baby acne.
The Best Soaps & Creams for Baby Acne
1. Cataphil Baby Gentle Wash
(Best body wash — $)
Why it’s great: The Cetaphil gentle baby wash is an everyday wash that you can use to wash your baby’s body and face in the bath. This wash is made with lotion blended in to help keep your baby’s skin soft and moisturized. As an option that is safe and natural, this baby wash is also paraben free, mineral oil free, and hypoallergenic so you won’t have to worry about exposing your baby’s delicate skin to any harsh chemicals.
Keep in mind: The soap may dispense from the bottle quickly so be careful when using it so as to not pour out too much at one time.
Good for: Washing baby’s body, hair and face.
2. Mustela Baby Cleansing Water
(Best no-rinse option — $$$)
Why it’s great: This micellar cleansing water is made from 98% natural ingredients and is an effective solution to baby acne. To use this cleansing water, simply apply it to your baby’s skin using a cotton ball and that’s it. This cleansing water is ideal for quick clean-ups and washing off in between baths. Often, keeping baby’s skin clean is a great way to help with baby acne so having something like this on hand to quickly wash off your baby’s skin in between baths is a great idea.
Keep in mind: This cleansing water is not intended to be used as a bath soap.
Good for: Use between baths as a quick cleanser.
3. Aveeno Baby Gentle Wash & Shampoo
(Best for washing hair — $)
Why it’s great: This Aveeno Baby shampoo and body wash is a gentle option for babies with skin sensitivity on their bodies and scalps. This soap also contains lotion so you don’t even need to apply lotion after your baby’s bath. With oat kernel extract, it offers a gentle and soothing option for babies who suffer from baby acne and other skin conditions.
Keep in mind: This baby soap contains fragrance.
Good for: Babies with sensitive skin on their scalps.
4. Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap Bar
(Best bar soap — $$)
Why it’s great: Dr. Bronner’s offers a very natural castile soap bar that is organic and safe to use on babies. This castile soap bar is made entirely from organic oils including coconut oil, hemp oil, and jojoba oil – all oils that are great for sensitive skin and acne. This soap is also free from any fragrance, preservatives, and synthetic ingredients. Bar soaps are a great option for families who are looking to reduce their waste by purchasing less products that come in plastic bottles.
Keep in mind: Castile soap isn’t always the best soap to use to wash your baby’s hair because it may leave it feeling greasy.
Good for: Washing baby’s body.
5. Era Organics Healing Ointment
(Best organic lotion — $$$)
Why it’s great: The Era Organics Healing Ointment is an organic and gentle lotion that can be used on any baby’s sensitive skin. This ointment is made free from harmful ingredients and harsh chemicals. The hypoallergenic formula contains chamomile, beeswax, cocoa butter, coconut oil, and a variety of herbal extracts. This lotion is fragrance free and ethically made.
Keep in mind: This lotion may have a slightly grainy texture that should go away when you rub it in.
Good for: Applying to dry and sensitive baby skin.
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6. Mustela Baby Soothing Moisturizing Cream
(Best daily moisturizer — $$)
Why it’s great: The Mustela baby moisturizing cream is a gentle moisturizer that is great for everyday use and is safe for sensitive skin. This fragrance-free baby lotion includes an avocado derivative that soothes the skin and can help with healing. This lotion is safe to be applied to your baby’s face and can be used as soon as your baby is born.
Keep in mind: This lotion comes in a small bottle so you will want to use it sparingly to make it last.
Good for: Moisturizing baby’s skin on the face and body.
7. Pipette Baby Lotion
(Best naturally scented — $$)
Why it’s great: Pipette makes a baby lotion that is soothing, natural, and features a plant-derived scent that is mild. This hypoallergenic baby lotion is made with rose, geranium, and patchouli, to give it an earthy and grounding aroma that is free from the synthetic fragrances that many other lotions contain. This lotion is great for everyday use and is perfect to apply after bath time.
Keep in mind: This lotion has a scent but it entirely plant-based.
Good for: Moisturizing your baby’s skin with a fresh and natural scent.
FAQs about Best Soaps & Creams for Baby Acne
1. Is baby acne normal?
Baby acne is actually entirely normal and fairly common. Many new parents feel unprepared to see little bumps and rashes on their newborns skin but the reality is that skin issues are entirely normal in babies. Babies have incredibly sensitive skin so acne, rashes, and small blemished are to be expected. In fact, about 20% of babies are born with baby acne.
2. What soaps and lotions can be used on baby acne?
There are plenty of safe lotions and soaps that can be used on baby acne. Ultimately, you’ll want to look for the most pure, simple, and gentle cleansers and lotions available. Be sure to check the ingredient lists before you buy, but typically, the less ingredients the better. You may want to try out a few different soaps and lotions for your baby’s acne because their skin may react differently to each product; trial and error can help you find the products that work best for your baby.
3. Is it okay to put lotion on baby acne?
Baby acne can occur for a few different reasons, so you’ll want to pay attention to what works best for your baby. For example, if your baby’s skin seems to be very dry, adding lotion may help clear up their acne, but if their skin seems to be oily, this may be causing the acne and additional lotion might not help. It’s all about testing out different products to find what works best for your family. Most of the time it is okay to put lotion on baby acne, however you’ll want to make sure that you choose a safe and gentle option.
4. What causes baby acne?
The cause of baby acne is not entirely known. Some scientists believe that it is caused by hormones. Baby acne can develop after your baby is born or anytime in the first few months of life, but many babies are actually born with acne and other skin blemishes. Milia is another example of a common skin condition in newborns and are small white bumps that can occur on your baby’s face and body.
5. Can you naturally treat baby acne?
Baby acne usually does not require treatment as it often goes away on its own. However, you can try to improve your baby’s acne by bathing them and avoiding putting lotion on their face. It is not recommended to use any over the counter acne treatments on a baby, given that their skin is very sensitive and these products typically contain harsh chemicals. Some moms have even treated baby acne by applying breastmilk to their baby’s skin since it acts as a natural anti-microbial.
6. What’s the difference between baby acne and eczema?
Eczema is different from baby acne but may appear similar to the naked eye. Eczema often presents itself as red bumps on your baby’s face. Pediatricians can tell the difference between baby acne and eczema, so if you have concerns about your baby’s skin you may want to have their doctor take a look. Eczema is sometimes treated by removing certain food allergens from the home and with mild medications.
If your new baby is starting to have some baby acne, understand that this is not a major cause for concern. Luckily, there are many safe and non-toxic soap and lotion options for babies who have sensitive skin and acne. We always recommend trying the most natural option you can find with minimal ingredients however it may take some trial and error to figure out what exactly works best for your baby’s skin type. Applying lotion can sometimes help with baby acne but if your child has oily skin, lotion may not be the best option. Most baby acne goes away on its own, so worrying about treating it isn’t always entirely necessary. You can even try applying some breastmilk to your baby’s skin to naturally help with their acne!