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A baby’s soft new skin is so sensitive and delicate so it’s important to carefully consider exactly what you put on it. Trying to find the best baby lotion can be difficult enough if you’re searching for ones that only contain organic and natural ingredients, but if you also add cruelty-free and vegan to the list of criteria the job becomes even harder.
In our roundup of the best baby lotion products for vegans we’ll guide you in finding the right product for your baby’s needs; so no matter if you want the best baby lotion for newborns or the best baby lotion for dry skin, we’ve got you covered.
In addition to exploring the best vegan baby moisturizers available, in this article we’ll also guide you through everything you need to know about vegan-friendly baby lotions – from the types of ingredients used in conventional baby products (and what you want to avoid) right through to the best way to use it – so you’ll know exactly what to look for before you make a purchase.
It’s important that whichever lotion you go for that you can have complete confidence it’s a product that can be trusted to protect, nourish and heal your little one’s skin. We’ve done the hard work to find out all the pros and cons for each product so you can make the best choice for you and your baby.
So, before we go to the reviews, let’s find out a little bit more about what goes into baby lotion and how to use it effectively…
- What is baby lotion used for?
- Is baby lotion toxic if ingested?
- What ingredients are in baby lotion?
- Can baby lotion help with eczema and other common baby skin issues?
- Can baby lotion be used on a newborn?
- When to apply baby lotion
- The Reviews: Best Vegan Baby Moisturizers
- Our top pick for best baby lotion
What is baby lotion used for?
Baby lotion is a topical emollient (something that softens the skin) that can be used to treat and prevent a wide range of common baby skin complaints. Depending on the formulation of the lotion these complaints could include; diaper rash, rash from drooling, dry skin on any part of the body, cradle cap and/or baby eczema. (1)
Many parents use a baby lotion daily to help keep their baby’s skin soft and supple, especially after having a bath. It can also be used as a massage lotion, which many newborns enjoy (see the link to the video below).
Is baby lotion toxic if ingested?
If you’ve had a baby you’ll know that almost everything ends up in their mouths. So, if you’re rubbing lotion on to their hands or feet, you’ll want to be reassured that they aren’t sucking a toxic product off their skin.
The only way to be sure that a baby lotion isn’t toxic is to check the ingredients. If the ingredient list is very long and it contains a number of ingredients that you don’t recognize or which aren’t from natural, organic sources, be wary!
Labelling rules vary from country to country. Many products are advertised as “dermatologically-tested”, “natural”, “organic” and “safe” but they still contain hazardous and even carcinogenic ingredients.
And aside from being worried about the baby ingesting the lotion, it’s also important to remember that our skin is our body’s largest organ – a portion of what you put ON your baby goes INTO your baby. So basically, if it’s not safe to eat, don’t use it on yours or your baby’s skin.
Our reviews will help you select the best baby lotion that only contains safe, natural and certified organic ingredients.
What ingredients are in baby lotion?
If you take a look at the ingredients listed on any popular baby lotion product you can buy in the supermarket, water will probably be the only ingredient you recognize.
So what are the other commonly-used ingredients in baby lotion? And do you want to put them on your baby’s skin? Here’s some of the main ones to avoid:
Propylene Glycol/Myristyl Myristate
This ingredient absorbs water and is a “penetration enhancer”, it may also be carcinogenic. It’s also known as 1,2-propanediol and conditions and moisturizes the skin but it’s also used in wiper fluid and to de-ice airplanes.
Ever wondered what baby oil was? It’s a cheap byproduct of petroleum processing mixed with fragrance to mask the nasty chemical smell. Doesn’t really sound like something you’d want to put on your baby, does it?
These are basically preservatives and increase the shelf-life of the product. They are neurotoxins that have been linked to skin irritation, hormone disruption and reproductive toxicity. You’ll also want to avoid benzoic acid and propyl ester.
1,4-Dioxane and Ethylated Surfactants
You won’t find this ingredient’s exact name on the back of any products because it’s usually a contaminant or by-product from when manufacturers add ethylene oxide to other chemicals to make them less harsh. Too bad ethylene oxide is a known breast carcinogen!
So, if it’s not on the list of ingredients, how can you avoid it? If you see polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, sodium laureth sulfate, ceteareth, oleth, oxynol, -xynol, or PEG then you can safely assume 1,4-Dioxane has been used.
Can baby lotion help with eczema and other common baby skin issues?
The right baby lotion with natural, organic ingredients can definitely help to soothe, and in some cases heal, common baby skin complaints.
Natural ingredients also tend to be gentler on irritated skin and don’t sting like some formulas containing synthetic ingredients can. Look for natural, organic products using botanical ingredients commonly used for their skin soothing and healing properties such as lavender and calendula.
Our product reviews let you know which are the best baby lotions for dry skin and eczema.
Can baby lotion be used on a newborn?
A newborn’s skin needs an extra special amount of T.L.C. and surprisingly, that can mean doing very little to it in the way of lotions and potions. However, if you notice that your baby has problem areas due to things like cradle cap or eczema, choosing a natural, organic product will be your best bet.
Most newborns also really love baby massage; it’s a great way to connect and bond with your baby, can help relieve colic in some cases, and it can be built into an ongoing bedtime routine following a bath. Lotion can be used in place of oil. (2, 3)
Here’s a great instructional video that shows you how to give your newborn a massage:
When to apply baby lotion
You can apply baby lotion whenever you notice the need for it, but most parents apply it daily after a bath. If you’ve used a baby body wash during their bath time, it’s a good idea to give back some of the moisture that soap may have taken from their skin.
If you leave a little bit of water on their body before you add the lotion you’ll notice it will go on a lot easier and absorb into the skin better.
And if you’re wondering where to use baby lotion, you may be able to use it all over, it just depends on the product. Some of the products in our reviews are multi-use due to the consistency of the formula – these are products such as body balms, which work well as moisturizers and as barrier creams.
The Reviews: Best Vegan Baby Moisturizers
Now that you know a little more about what to look for in a baby lotion and what to avoid, let’s check out the products themselves.
First up on our list is this calming and soothing, hypoallergenic face and body cream from Elysium.
Elysium Organic Baby Lotion Baby Moisturizer with Aloe Vera & Green Tea
The Elysium moisturizer has a safe and non-toxic formula that’s free from harmful ingredients such as parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, artificial fragrances, silicones, mineral oil and colorants.
And if you’re looking for the best smelling baby lotion, its unique blend of natural, organic ingredients makes this moisturizer smell so heavenly, you’ll want to use it as well.
Combining ingredients – such as aloe vera, prickly pear, green tea, olive oil, jojoba, calendula and sweet almond oil – which are all renowned for their soothing and protective qualities, your baby’s skin will stay soft for days!
- Lovely scent
- Keeps skins moisturized for days
- All organic ingredients
- Full refund given if you aren’t 100% satisfied
- Can be a little thick, so only use a small amount for baby
Happy Body Butter – For Mama & Baby
Next up is a body butter formula from Bali Secrets which is perfect if you’re looking for the best lotion for baby eczema.
Irritated skin needs a product that nourishes and protects without the use of any harmful ingredients. This body butter is free from GMOs, petroleum, parabens, phthalates, triclosan, synthetic preservatives and fragrance.
It contains only six pure plant-based ingredients (meaning it’s 100% vegan) that are perfect for challenging skin problems that both mom and baby may experience. For moms and moms-to-be it works well to help soothe stretch marks and scars, and it’s wonderful to have a product that both you and your baby can use happily.
We recommend applying this body butter straight after a shower or bath. You’ll love how it keeps yours and your little one’s skin soft and hydrated for so long.
- Fragrance free
- All natural ingredients
- A little goes a long way
- Works well on skin irritations such as eczema
- Comes packaged in a lot of plastic
Pleni Naturals Berry + Olive Baby Balm
Pleni Naturals is another great option if you’re looking for a soothing product for eczema prone skin that won’t sting when it’s applied.
This vegan baby balm contains organic olive oil and mango seed butter and is gently fragranced with vanilla fruit extract.
It’s a truly versatile product that has multiple uses; it works great for the diaper area, dry lips (yours and baby’s), cheeks and chins (caused by drooling), and hands plus eczema and irritated spots that need a thick moisture barrier.
Kids will really love the cute little fruit and veggie characters on the front of the packaging (they’re reminiscent of the Munch Bunch cartoons) and if you love the balm they also have other products available in the series such as hair and body wash and massage oil.
- Dermatologically tested
- Little fruit characters on packaging will be appreciated by kids
- Lovely natural vanilla fragrance
- Works great on eczema without stinging the skin
- Formula can be a little grainy
- Balm is really thick and difficult to squeeze out of the tube
California Baby Everyday Calendula Lotion
Calendula is well known for its skin soothing and healing properties and if you’re looking for the best natural baby lotion, you’ll be pleased to know that this one is full of lovely, nourishing ingredients.
The lotion goes on easily and rubs in well, but the best part is that it works on common baby skin complaints fast; it lowers inflammation of rashes almost overnight, quickly gets rid of cradle cap, and it even helps psoriasis.
This is another great smelling baby lotion, naturally fragranced with French lavender and clary sage essential oils, which not only smell lovely but also add their own skin healing properties as well.
- Allergy tested
- Organic calendula grown on the company’s own farm
- Doesn’t contain gluten, soy, oats, dairy, or nuts (except coconut)
- Formula smells great and is naturally fragranced
- Isn’t too greasy and rubs in well
- Works well on common baby skin complaints
- Nothing at all!
Finally Pure – Daily Moisturizing Baby Lotion
This vegan baby moisturizer from Finally Pure contains a special formulation created specifically for babies’ sensitive skin.
The product itself is very thick and super moisturizing but it sinks into the skin well, without feeling overly burdensome on the face and body – parents will love to use it too!
It doesn’t contain any chemical nasties – only 100% natural, organic and botanical ingredients – which is perfect if you’re looking for the best organic baby lotion.
The rich base of organic mango butter is mixed with organic avocado oil and soothing organic calendula flower oil – all great skin nurturing ingredients as they contain the minerals potassium and magnesium, vitamins A, B, D and E and essential fatty acids.
The packaging is plastic but the recycling number on the bottom of the jar is number 1, which means that it’s very easily recycled. So you can feel better about buying a product that’s in plastic.
- No parabens, sulfates, chemical preservatives, petrochemicals, artificial fragrances or colors
- Made with 100% organic, natural botanical ingredients
- Plastic container is easy to recycle
- Nothing at all!
Puracy Organic Baby Lotion
Last on our list is this organic baby lotion from Puracy. This is a really well known brand in the baby cosmetics industry but there are a few things about this product in particular that make this lotion my least favorite on our roundup list.
The first issue is the smell. While scent can definitely be down to personal preference, the odor of this lotion is just way too overpowering to be suitable for babies. Some parents even find the fragrance to be disgusting.
Secondly, this lotion maybe okay for moisturizing non-irritated skin but if your baby has eczema or a rash, then this product will sting on application.
Finally, although it’s great that this is an organic product that’s been formulated by doctors, personally, I’d just feel a little more comfortable about using a product on my baby that had a shorter list of clearly recognisable ingredients.
- Made in the US
- Certified Cruelty-Free and not tested on animals
- Gluten-free and hypoallergenic
- Developed by doctors
- The smell of this lotion is very strong and not to everyone’s liking
- The lotion has a kind of minty freshness to it that wouldn’t feel nice on a baby’s irritated skin
- The ingredient list is very long
- Difficult to get the product out of the bottle using the pump
Our top pick for best baby lotion
My favorite product on our roundup of best vegan baby lotions is the California Baby Everyday Calendula Lotion.
If you’re searching for a product that is gentle and kind to your baby’s skin – no matter if you’re just looking for a great moisturizer or if your baby needs something to help soothe extra dry or irritated skin – you can’t go wrong with calendula as a key ingredient.
It’s reassuring to know that this product was formulated by a mom for her own babies and that the company grows their own calendula to have complete confidence in the ingredients they’re using.
I also love that there aren’t any harsh ingredients that will sting if your baby’s got a rash or eczema, and it’s nice to have the delicate and calming fragrances of the lavender and clary sage essential oils as well as the calendula itself.
A close runner up to the California Baby Lotion is the Happy Body Butter for Mama & Baby. I really like that it’s made from only six easily recognisable ingredients and it’s a versatile product that works well for both babies and parents as well.
Purchase this as you’re going into your second trimester and you can use it on baby when they arrive as well! As it’s a rich, body butter formula, a little bit goes a long way and it’s sure to last.
Hopefully Bali Secrets address the excessive plastic packaging soon as this is a great product.
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About The Author:
Emma is a blogger, life-coach and qualified PR professional and journalist, who also happens to be a passionate vegan, animal and nature lover.
She lives in a small village in France with her husband, daughter and their rescue animals at the Barefoot Vegan Farm and Animal Sanctuary. As a writer, Emma’s work has been featured in other popular well-being and spiritual websites such as Elephant Journal, IVORY magazine, and she’s part of the Huffington Post’s team of regular bloggers. Her writing was also included in the Tiny Buddha book 365 Love Challenges from Tiny Buddha, released in 2015 by HarperCollins.
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- Cerner Multum | Baby Lotion | https://www.drugs.com/mtm/baby-lotion.html
- Anisha Nair | Is Using Baby Lotion on Newborns Safe? | https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/is-using-baby-lotion-on-newborns-safe/
- Colleen de Bellefonds | 7 Tips for Baby Skin Care | https://www.webmd.com/parenting/treat-diaper-rash-16/baby-skin-care