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Best Lotion for Kids: TOP Reviews & Buying Guide!

best lotion for kids

When your child’s skin is dry, don’t reach for your lotion. Kids’ skin is sensitive and requires a gentle lotion to moisturize their dry or irritated skin. But walking into your local store or surfing online stores for the right lotion can seem like a daunting task.

The choices seem endless and ingredient lists for most lotions might as well be considered another language.

Luckily, we’ve sifted through the vast sea of lotions for babies and kids and found the best lotion for kids. There’s lotion for every skin type and every age, including newborns.

(And for most of them, you may even find yourself using it too!)

But before we jump to the list, there are a few things to watch out for when choosing lotion for your child.

There are some nasty ingredients lurking in common skin care for both adults and kids that you should stay away from, and we also have a few tips for preventing as well as treating kids with extra dry skin.



Lotion Ingredients to Avoid

When selecting a lotion for either you or your child, the first thing you should check is the ingredient list. If you find yourself a little confused though, we get it. Some of the names might sound like something out of chemistry class.

The first thing to know is even though some of the ingredients might sound scary, many are not.

However, there are some ingredients out there that you should avoid if possible. Some studies show that the following ingredients can lead to negative health risks or allergic reactions.

So here’s a list of ingredients to avoid, what they do, and why you and your family should avoid them.

Parabens – A type of preservative. Some studies have linked parabens to reproductive issues and breast cancer.

Phthalates – A commonly used chemical that is used in making a variety of products, including fragrances in skin care products. Phthalates have been linked to reproductive issues as well as asthma and allergies.

Fragrance Fragrance is one of the top allergens added to skin care products. It can cause skin irritations and has been linked to disrupting hormones.

Formaldehyde– A preservative. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogenic and allergen.

Check Ingredients At the EWG Site

EWG stands for the Environmental Working Group. The EWG rates health and beauty products as well as food and determines which products are safe to use and which ones contain harmful substances that could potentially negatively affect your body.

Products are rated on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the safest and 10 being the most harmful. When choosing a lotion, choose one that is ranked as low as possible, ideally a 1 or 2. EWG will also tell you why it is ranked that number, and what harmful ingredients, if any, are in it.

If you want to find out the rating of a particular lotion, you can visit their website here and type in the name to find out the rating.

How To Prevent Dry Skin

As with most things, prevention is key. If your child has a tendency to get dry skin, here are some steps to prevent it from happening in the first place.

  • Shorten bath time. Keep baths or showers quick. If your child wants to sit in the bathtub, let them play first and then have them wash right before getting out of the tub. Also, opt for a gentle cleanser.
  • Moisturize right after the bath. After your child towel dries (gently! No rough scrubbing the water off!) go ahead and immediately apply lotion.
  • Protect your child’s skin. If it’s cold outside, make sure their skin is covered by the appropriate clothing and outerwear to protect them from the cold and wind. The same goes for the sun. Make sure your child is covered with sunblock.
  • Drink up. No matter the season, be sure your child stays hydrated, as this will contribute to moisturized skin. Dry skin means thirsty skin, so make sure your child is drinking plenty of water.
  • Get that chlorine and salt off their skin as soon as they’re done swimming. In the summer, pool and beach time is inevitable, but chlorine and salt are drying.

Just make sure that your child rinses off with fresh, clean water after going into the pool or ocean. Rinsing the salt or chlorine away will go a long way toward protecting the skin. Be sure to reapply lotion or sunblock as needed.

How To Treat Kids’ Dry Skin

Treating dry skin is very similar to preventing it, but requires a few tweaks.

  • If your child bathes every day, use body wash every other day or switch to a soap-free body wash.
  • Apply lotion twice a day.
  • Consider using a heavy-duty lotion such as a cream, healing ointment, or petroleum jelly.
  • Make sure the bath or shower water is warm, not hot.

Best Lotions for Kids

So now that we’ve covered how to prevent and treat dry skin and which ingredients to avoid, check our top picks for the best lotions for kids! These lotions are gentle enough for daily use on your little one’s sensitive skin.

1. Burt’s Bees Nourishing Calming Lotion

Burt’s Bees Nourishing Lotion is perfect for a baby’s delicate skin and is approved by pediatricians. This lotion contains nearly 99% natural ingredients and has a soothing lavender and vanilla scent.

Burt’s Bees Baby Nourishing Lotion, Calming Baby Lotion – 6…
  • BABY LOTION: Moisturize your baby’s…
  • BABY SKIN CARE: Infused with naturally…
  • NATURAL BABY PRODUCT: Made with 98.9%…
  • PEDIATRICIAN TESTED: This nourishing…

The key moisturizing ingredients in this lotion are aloe and shea butter. The lotion is thick and creamy and can moisturize even the driest skin.

We love this one because the hypoallergenic formula is not only gentle on bodies but children’s faces too.

What We Like:

  • Calming vanilla and lavender scent
  • The thick lotion moisturizes dry skin
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Made almost entirely of natural ingredients

What We Don’t Like

  • Takes longer to absorb into the skin – leaving a greasy feel which one of our kids doesn’t like

2. Aveeno Daily Moisture Baby Lotion

Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Moisturizing Lotion for Delicate...
  • 18-fluid ounces of Aveeno Baby Daily...
  • From a pediatrician- and...
  • Formulated with natural colloidal...
  • Hypoallergenic baby lotion is non-greasy...
  • This daily baby lotion is naturally...

This fragrance-free, hypoallergenic lotion is gentle enough to be used on babies’ sensitive skin every day. Approved by pediatricians, Aveeno Baby Lotion does not contain parabens, phthalates, or dyes and is even suitable for children with nut and dairy allergies.

The oat kernel flour in this lotion soothes irritated skin and locks in moisture to keep skin moisturized all day.

In our testing, it wasn’t as effective for extra dry skin, but it works really well on all other skin types without leaving the skin feeling greasy.

What We Like:

  • Affordable price
  • Great for sensitive skin and everyday use
  • No parabens, phthalates, dyes, or fragrances
  • Good for preventing dry skin
  • Dairy-free and nut-free for kids with nut and dairy allergies
  • Soothes irritated skin

What We Don’t Like”

  • Not as effective on extra dry skin

3. Puracy Organic Baby Lotion

Developed by doctors, Puracy Organic is a lightweight lotion, gentle enough for children with the most sensitive skin, including babies. Their plant-based formula contains no toxic chemicals and is not tested on animals.

This lotion contains both lavender and grapefruit oils for a nice scent that we liked, though some of our friends found it slightly overpowering.

Other natural ingredients in this lotion include Jojoba seed oil, shea butter, and sunflower oil.

This lotion is great for all skin types and for kids that suffer from eczema and extra dry skin, this will moisturize their skin without feeling heavy or oily.

What We Like:

  • Non-toxic plant-derived ingredients moisturize all skin types without feeling greasy
  • Great for extra dry and extra sensitive skin
  • Light lavender and grapefruit scent
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

What We Don’t Like:

  • Some of our friends found the scent a bit too strong – which made us opt for a different lotion before we went on play dates

4. Weleda Baby Calendula Body Lotion

The star ingredient in this lotion, Calendula extract, is organic and reduces skin inflammation. It is gentle on super-sensitive skin and is even safe for newborns.

The Calendula extract even comes from Weleda’s own biodynamic garden in Germany.

This lotion also contains sweet almond oil, sesame seed oil, and beeswax to moisturize extra-dry skin. Nearly all of the ingredients in this lotion are organic and it’s even gentle enough to use on the face.

Oddly enough, one of our kids had a skin allergy to the Calendula in this lotion, so it didn’t work at all for her. For the others it was fine, but we recommend doing a skin patch test when using botanicals.

What We Like:

  • Soothes skin inflammation
  • Gentle enough to use on newborns, suitable for adults too
  • Sweet almond oil and beeswax moisturize very dry skin
  • Light pleasant scent

What We Don’t Like:

  • This lotion is quite runny, so it’s messier to apply

5. CeraVe Baby Lotion

CeraVe Baby Lotion | Gentle Baby Skin Care with Ceramides,...
  • [ ALL DAY HYDRATION ] Formulated with 3...
  • [ National Eczema Association Seal of...
  • [ 3 ESSENTIAL CERAMIDES ] Ceramides are...

Like other CeraVe products, this lotion contains ceramides that form a protective barrier on the skin to hydrate dry skin all day. It also contains Hyaluronic Acid to help the skin retain its own moisture.

This lotion has the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance, meaning it is suitable for kids with eczema and sensitive skin. It is also fragrance-free and does not contain any parabens or sulfates.

This is our go-to cream during the wintertime to keep dry skin away, so it’s also one of our favorites for kids. It works great.

What We Like

  • Suitable for kids with eczema and dry skin
  • Ceramide and Hyaluronic Acid formula protects and hydrates skin
  • Affordable price
  • No parabens or sulfates and fragrance-free

What We Don’t Like

  • This thinner formula may not be enough for kids with very dry skin

6. TotLogic Lavender Bliss Body Lotion

This dreamy-smelling lotion comes from a blend of essential oils including lavender, chamomile, sweet orange, and bergamot. It is made of plant-based non-toxic ingredients and contains no harsh chemicals.

The animal-friendly formula is vegan, cruelty-free, and free of sulfates, dyes, phthalates, parabens, and soy.

We found the texture to be a bit greasy, which didn’t go over big with some kids. Again, one child had a skin reaction to the botanicals, so do a skin patch test before spreading it all over.

What We Like

  • The calming, pleasant smell from the blend of essential oils
  • Natural ingredients and free from harsh chemicals
  • Soy-free
  • Suitable for infants and children (and adults too!)

What We Don’t Like

  • Felt a little greasy when applying it – didn’t absorb as fast as the kids prefer

7. Aquaphor Baby Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment

Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment Advanced Therapy Skin...
  • One Essential Solution: Aquaphor Baby...
  • Safe for Tender Skin: Provide extra...
  • Diaper Rash Prevention: Use Aquaphor...
  • Great for Parents Too: Parents can also...
  • Includes one (1) 7 ounce tube of...

For some serious repair on extra dry skin, Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment is gentle but heavy-duty, to heal skin in need of some extra TLC. We used a ton of this when the kids were in diapers.

This ointment can be used for diaper rash, chapped skin and cheeks, dry hands, and more. It’s fragrance-free and preservative-free.

Unlike petroleum jelly, the petrolatum ingredient in this ointment allows air and water to get in while keeping moisture locked in.

However, if you’re really trying to avoid all petroleum products, this one won’t be your first pick.

What We Like:

  • Perfect for extra dry skin and diaper rash
  • Gentle on babies’ skin
  • Fragrance- and preservative-free
  • Locks in moisture

What We Don’t Like

  • Won’t absorb like lotion. It’s better for spot treatments.

8. Earth Mama Calming Lavender Body Lotion

Earth Mama Calming Lavender Baby Lotion for Dry Skin,...
  • NO WORRISOME CHEMICALS: This Earth Mama...
  • HOW TO USE: Slather all over after bath...

Here’s another lotion that will soothe skin and calm babies and children with its lovely lavender vanilla scent. This is one of our favorite bedtime lotions because it’s so calming.

Tested by dermatologists, this lotion won’t irritate kids’ sensitive skin, but will absorb quickly, providing all-day moisture.

Many of the ingredients in this natural lotion are organic. Some of the ingredients are aloe juice, rooibos extract, calendula extract, shea butter, lavender oil, and vanilla extract.

This lotion worked well at calming eczema and itchy, dry skin, as long as there aren’t skin allergies to the ingredients.

What We Like:

  • Suitable for babies
  • Soothes eczema and extra dry skin
  • Natural ingredients are effective
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Lightweight lotion is not greasy and absorbs quickly
  • Pleasant lavender vanilla scent

What We Don’t Like:

  • The lavender scent is really strong – not a favorite with everyone

9. California Baby Calendula Everyday Lotion

Clary sage oil and French lavender oil give this baby lotion a light, soothing scent that you and your child will enjoy. We think the blend of clary sage and lavender is dreamy.

This lotion is perfect for babies and children who have some extra allergy concerns as it is nut-, dairy-, soy- and gluten-free.

The organic calendula extract calms irritated, red, and dry skin, but is gentle enough for use on the face and those with extra sensitive skin too.

We really love this lotion, but it’s pricey. If you’re using it on a bunch of kids it gets too expensive really fast.

What We Like:

  • Suitable for those with nut-, dairy, soy- and gluten allergies
  • Great for extra dry and sensitive skin
  • Absorbs quickly
  • Nice lavender and sage scent
  • Calms irritated skin

What We Don’t Like

  • The high price tag

10. Johnson’s Head-to-Toe Lotion

Johnson's Head-to-Toe Baby Lotion, 9 Fl. Oz
  • 9-fluid ounce bottle of after-bath baby...
  • Gently moisturizes baby's delicate skin...
  • Suitable for newborns
  • pH balanced to baby skin
  • No parabens, phthalates, or dyes

It would be hard to have a list without including Johnson & Johnson and that’s because they have a baby’s delicate skin down to a science.

The Head-to-Toe Lotion is a lightweight lotion that is gentle on newborns’ skin, and a classic formula that moms have relied on for generations.

This lotion is recommended by both dermatologists and pediatricians.

It contains no sulfates, parabens, or dyes that could hurt the baby’s skin. This lotion does have a scent that some found a little stronger than they would’ve liked.

To us, the scent, feel, and effectiveness is nostalgic and reassuring. We love to use this lightweight lotion for our newborns.

What We Like:

  • Very affordable and available everywhere
  • Free from parabens, sulfates, and dyes
  • Recommended by pediatricians and dermatologists
  • The lightweight formula is suitable for newborns
  • Works on all skin types

What We Don’t Like

  • The strong scent is fine with us, but not everyone likes it

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: At what age can I start putting lotion on my child?

A: While some lotions are safe for newborns, most newborn babies do not need lotion. However, if their skin looks cracked or dry, talk to their pediatrician first. Your child’s doctor may suggest a mild, fragrance-free lotion or even petroleum jelly.

In general, skip the lotion until your child is at least a few months old.

Q: What exactly is “fragrance” on the ingredients list?

A: It varies from company to company. Fragrance can be any blend of chemicals that give the product a scent. Under current regulations, companies do not need to specify what is in the fragrance blend they use.

To be safe, choose lotions that are fragrance-free or actually break down what the “fragrance” is made of.

Q: How can kids get glowing skin?

A: Worried that your kid’s skin looks dull and pale? Here are the keys to glowing skin.

  • Hydrate – make sure your kids are drinking enough pure water. This will flush impurities away from the skin and out of the body.
  • Get enough (safe) sun – Don’t head out unprotected when the sun is at full strength, but getting 10 minutes of sun a day produces natural vitamin D in the skin – which is non-negotiable for good health, immune system, and glowing skin!
  • Protect the skin – On the flip side, protect your child’s skin from excess sun exposure by using sunscreen, a sunhat, and protective clothing to keep the UV damage away. More than 10-15 minutes in the sun can cause more damage than good, so enjoy a little then protect the skin.
  • Don’t use hot water for baths or showers – keep the water warm, not hot, to keep eczema at bay and help the skin to retain the oil it needs for a natural, healthy glow.
  • Use lotion – get a good lotion or cream that hydrates the skin. If your child’s skin doesn’t respond well to one brand, try another. Some lotions may have ingredients that cause sensitivity and dry skin in some kids.
  • Eat fruit – fruit has natural sugars and fiber that perk up the digestive system and hydrate cells for healthy, glowing skin!

The Takeaway

If your little one’s skin needs a little extra moisture, there’s a lotion for every skin type on this list. For kids with seriously dry skin, we suggest the Burt’s Bees Nourishing Lotion. The smell is really nice and while it doesn’t absorb as fast as others on this list, it will provide moisture all day and night.

For moderately dry skin or everyday use, Aveeno Daily Moisture Baby Lotion absorbs into the skin quickly and provides the perfect amount of moisture for both babies and children.

No matter what you choose from this list you can be sure you’re choosing the best lotion for kids.