The 25 Best Skin Care Products for Kids Right Now
Starting with parent picks and best-sellers, we chose more than 100 skin products for kids (extra points to those that are easy to find at a good price!) and sent them to families for testing over the course of a month. From the best baby wipes to sunscreens, moisturizer to insect repellent, behold the winning products—all dermatologist approved!
Best Body Moisturizer
Ideal for kids of any age and even adults with chafed or dry skin, the fragrance-free, hypoallergenic Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Moisturizing Cream softens without causing irritation. (Oatmeal is a star ingredient.) Says one mom, “It’s the bomb. I started using it on my daughter when she was a baby, and I still use it four years later because it always works and never bothers her.”
Best Baby Face Cream
Mustela Hydra Bébé Facial Cream is a rich formula with plant-based glycerin that lives up to its promise to keep baby skin hydrated for a solid 24 hours. One mom’s routine: “I use a pea-size drop after the bath, and it absorbs right in.”
Best Eczema Care
A dollop of Baby Dove Eczema Care Soothing Cream can help with eczema-related rashes. “We’ve tried everything to treat eczema on my son’s hands, arms, and legs,” one Parents editor says. “This stops the itch immediately.”
Best Nighttime Lotion
The “lavender lullaby” scent is subtle and the feel is light, helping Baby Magic Calming Lotion signal to kids it’s time to wind down. “Both my 5-year-old and my 8-year-old like this one,” a tester told us.”It’s got a soothing effect.” It’s also a bargain.
Families rely on Aquaphor Healing Ointment to calm rashes, moisturize skin and lips, and soothe cuts and burns. “Moms and dads at day care joke that anything can be treated with ‘ice and Aquaphor,’ ” says one Parents editor. “But seriously, I wouldn’t parent without it.” It’s got petrolatum for healing and protection as well as glycerin for hydration.
Best Conditioning Shampoo
Mild enough to use every day, sparing hair from the effect of harsh chemicals, Gryph & Ivyrose Daily Embrace Shampoo & Conditioner is made without parabens, sulfates, or phthalates, but does work in plant ingredients like tremella mushroom, goji berry, and gingerroot. Trust the small bottle size—you only need a quarter-size drop.
Best Hair Detangler
Argan oil, shea butter, and other softening ingredients in The Honest Co. Conditioning Detangler smooth strands, making it easier to separate them and work out knots and snarls. Spray it onto damp heads after a wash or right onto dry locks, then comb or brush.
Best Baby Shampoo
Two years ago, Johnson’s took all the dyes and sulfates out of its beloved paraben- and phthalate-free Johnson’s Baby Shampoo but managed to keep that nostalgic scent. It still looks golden because the bottle is that color—the shampoo is now clear and still nonirritating.
Parent review: “My tweens still love Johnson’s Baby Shampoo. It leaves their hair shiny with a beautiful smell.”
Best Big-Kid Cleanser
New from Suave Kids, the Nickelodeon Slime 3-in-1 Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash is a blast when used in the bath or shower. It’s much more fun for kids to cover themselves in slime than in soap. Both silly scents, “Squishy Purple Coconut” and “Gooey Green Apple,” were a hit with testers. (Just note that kids with sensitive skin may need to take a pass.)
Parent review: “My kids like the Nickelodeon Slime because it’s fun, and because they use it, they’re coming out of the shower cleaner than ever.”
Best For First Washes
When you’ve got an infant, you want a cleanser that’s super-mild. Cetaphil Baby Gentle Wash is made for the newest skin—a third of the formula is a moisturizer—and there’s organic calendula in the combo for soothing. Your baby comes out of the tub clean, soft, and smelling sweet.
Best Shampoo-Wash Combo
The plant-derived Pipette Baby Shampoo + Wash has zero added fragrance and no sulfates, so it’s hypoallergenic. Smart for toddlers who might dunk their whole head into the bathwater, which does count as washing their hair.
Best Face Care For Babies
Infants have some specific issues: drool rashes, chapped cheeks, runny-nose marks (sorry, but true). Earth Mama Organic Baby Face Nose & Cheek Balm helps ease all of it with a calendula and coconut-oil balm—and without artificial fragrance, so it’s not irritating.
Parent review: “I switched to Earth Mama once I realized it moisturizes faster than anything else I’ve tried and doesn’t leave my son with a greasy-looking face.”
Best For Diaper Rash
Like most diaper-rash creams, Boudreaux’s Butt Paste With Natural Aloe is powered by zinc oxide. Soothing aloe helps it give a fussy baby immediate relief.
Best No-Water Cleanser
What kid doesn’t need to be cleaned up a dozen times a day before the bath? Next time, use a soft cloth or a cotton round and dab on the fragrance-free Babyganics Infant No-Rinse Micellar Cleanser, then gently wipe away. “It’s perfect for messy peanut-butter moments and doesn’t irritate my son’s eczema,” one mom reports. “It’s smooth and water-like, not sticky at all.” Keep it in your bag for trips outside.
Best Bath Treatment
Best Baby Wipes: Gentle
Wipes handle multiple messes, from cleaning tiny bums to scrubbing sticky hands. We couldn’t pick just one—these three all have serious fan bases.
First up: As the name suggests, WaterWipes are 99.9 percent water and just a bit of fruit extract—a plus for parents who favor minimal add-ins.
Best Baby Wipes: Green Choice
The unbleached fabric of Burt’s Bees Baby ChlorineFree Wipes can help soothe, thanks to ingredients like aloe and vitamin E.
Best Baby Wipes: Convenient
The flip-top dispenser ensures that the fragrance-free Seventh Generation Free & Clear Wipes come out one at a time.
Best Baby Sunscreen
These four kid-specific sunscreens are all SPF 50, use the mineral zinc oxide as the active ingredient, and are water-resistant for 80 minutes.
First on the list testers raved about? Thinkbaby SPF 50+ Sunscreen, which is nonirritating and biodegradable. “We’ve never had a sunburn with this stuff,” says one loyal fan. “And I don’t worry about putting it on their face—it doesn’t run into their eyes.”
Best Big-Kid Sunscreen
A new formulation, Banana Boat Kids Mineral Lotion is now without parabens or oxybenzone and is tear-free, so it won’t bother eyes when kids are swimming or outside sweating in the heat.
Best Sensitive-Skin Sunscreen
The fragrance-free Australian Gold Botanical SPF 50 Kids Mineral Lotion gets a seal from the National Eczema Association and contains antioxidant-rich ingredients such as lemon myrtle and eucalyptus.
Best New Sunscreen
Coppertone Pure & Simple Baby Sunscreen Lotion is 24 percent zinc oxide, the highest mineral concentration we’ve seen for forming a thin physical barrier of sun protection. It doesn’t go on pasty but does leave a nice sheen that makes it easy to be sure you didn’t miss a spot.
Best Sunscreen Spray
If you have to practically chase your kids down for a second coat, we like this spray and stick for easy sunscreen reapplication. Babo Botanicals Baby Skin Mineral Sunscreen Spray is a nonaerosol mist, so your child won’t breathe it in. Spray it straight onto her skin, then wipe to spread the SPF 30 protectant.
Best Sunscreen Stick
To quickly cover little noses and ears, keep a Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen stick in your bag. It swipes on as easily as lip balm and has an SPF of 60+.
Best Insect Repellent
Plants and essential oils, including citronella, peppermint, rosemary, and geranium, are active ingredients in the DEET-free Babyganics Natural Insect Repellent Continuous Spray, and they scent it too.