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It’s no surprise if you find yourself browsing ingredient lists and combing through endless reviews to settle on the perfect products for your baby. This may be especially true when it comes to products that you use on your baby’s skin daily, such as baby soap.

Baby skin is more sensitive and prone to rashes than adults, mainly because their tiny immune systems are still maturing, explains Leslie Solomonian, ND, associate professor at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. “As a result, baby soaps tend to be marketed as gentler and less irritating,” she says.

When it comes to shopping for baby soaps, you may be overwhelmed by all the brands out there offering all sorts of soaps using different ingredients and scents.

Parents should pay close attention to what ingredients baby soaps don’t contain, according to Rina Allawh, MD, a dermatologist at Montgomery Dermatology in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

Ideally, a baby soap shouldn’t contain fragrances, a known allergen that can worsen dry and eczema-prone skin, according to research from 2019. Sulfates are another no-no, specifically sodium lauryl sulfate.

Sulfates may cause skin irritation and strip the natural essential oils from the top layer of the skin, causing peeling and dry skin,” says Allawh.

“Preservatives, including parabens, methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI), methylisothiazolinone (MI), salicylic acid, formaldehyde, and methyl dibromo glutaronitrile, should not be used, especially for babies, as they may cause skin irritation, itching, skin allergic rashes, and worsen eczema.”

Alcohol is especially worth steering clear of, as it can be harsh and irritating on delicate baby skin. Not all alcohols on a label are created equal. You’ll want to steer clear of alcohols that tend to be drying, including ethanol, denatured alcohol, methanol, or isopropyl alcohol, says Marisa Garshick, a dermatologist in New York.

However, certain alcohols, such as cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol, aren’t considered harsh on the skin. Rather, these can have emulsifying or emollient properties.

Other ingredients you may wish to avoid in baby soap are niacinamide, glycerin, and ceramides.

When creating this list, we relied heavily on the advice of board-certified dermatologists to ensure that we selected baby soaps containing the most beneficial and nonharmful ingredients. We also considered Environmental Working Group (EWG) ratings and customer reviews.

You’ll be slathering quite a lot of soap on your baby’s skin, especially during bath time, and the last thing you want to worry about is whether or not a certain brand might cause irritation.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $10
  • $$ = $10–$20
  • $$$ = over $20

Best baby soap overall

Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Wash & Shampoo

  • Price: $
  • Noteworthy ingredients: oat kernel extract, glycerin

Aveeno is a well-respected skin care brand, so it’s no surprise they make a baby wash and shampoo that’s recommended by dermatologists.

“Aveeno baby wash and shampoo contains ultra-gentle cleansing ingredients along with colloidal oatmeal,” says Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

Zeichner notes, “Colloidal oatmeal is a skin protectant, which hydrates, soothes, and calms the skin.”

Pros

  • It’s formulated with natural oat ingredients.
  • It’s hypoallergenic and formulated with clean ingredients.
  • It hydrates baby’s skin, too.

Cons

  • It isn’t tear-free, so it can sting the eyes.
  • Some parents report difficulty using the pump dispenser.
  • Some parents may want to avoid glycerin in their baby’s soap.

Best baby soap for dry skin

Eucerin Baby Wash & Shampoo

  • Price: $
  • Noteworthy ingredients: shea butter, provitamin B5

This two-in-one formula washes both the skin and the hair, providing nourishing ingredients that clean and moisturize all areas of your baby’s body.

“The formula contains panthenol, or ProVitamin B5, which has soothing benefits, along with shea butter, which hydrates and softens the outer skin layer,” adds Zeichner.

Pros

  • It’s fragrance- and dye-free.
  • It’s hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive skin.
  • It’s tear-free, so it’s less likely to make your baby’s eyes sting.

Cons

  • Some parents don’t like the fragrance-free scent.
  • Some parents report issues with the pump dispenser.

Best organic baby soap

Nature’s Baby Organics Shampoo & Body Wash

  • Price: $$$
  • Noteworthy ingredients: aloe vera, calendula, chamomile

Although on the pricey side, this gentle baby shampoo also triples as a body and face wash. It’s formulated with mostly organic ingredients, including a blend of aloe, calendula, and chamomile. It’s vegan and is free of 1,400 chemicals that the European Union has found to be harmful.

Pros

  • It’s formulated with all-organic ingredients.
  • It’s hypoallergenic and free of sulfates, parabens, and glutens.
  • Parents love the vanilla tangerine scent.

Cons

  • It’s a bit pricey, but it features all-organic ingredients.
  • Some parents report that it doesn’t condition their child’s hair well.

Best baby soap for eczema

CeraVe Baby Wash & Shampoo

  • Price: $
  • Noteworthy ingredients: ceramides, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid

Thanks to the fact that it consists of one-third lotion ingredients, this two-in-one wash and shampoo provides that extra boost of hydration that babies, especially those prone to eczema, can benefit from, explains Allawh. She also appreciates the fact that it’s fragrance-free and formulated without harsh chemicals, including parabens, dyes, phthalates, and sulfates.

Pros

  • It’s fragrance-free and formulated without harsh chemical additives.
  • It contains both baby wash and shampoo in one.
  • It has received the Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association.

Cons

  • Some parents report the bottle isn’t full upon arrival.
  • The wash may not provide enough lather for some parents’ liking.
  • Some parents may wish to avoid ceramides in their baby’s soap .

Best baby soap bubbles

Babyganics Shampoo + Body Wash

  • Price: $$
  • Noteworthy ingredients: apple extract, cocoa butter, avocado oil

This brand of baby products is proud of their plant-derived formulas that are made without harsh ingredients like parabens, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oil, petrolatum, artificial fragrances, or dyes.

Their baby shampoo and wash is extra foaming so it creates lots of bubbles for a fun bath time.

Pros

  • It’s formulated without the use of harsh ingredients.
  • It’s dermatologist tested and non-allergenic.
  • The bottle is relatively large, so you get a lot of bang for your buck.

Cons

  • It’s not tear-free, so it may cause stinging in the eye area.
  • Some parents report that it’s more of a foam than a typical soap.

Best baby soap for shampoo and body wash combined

Burt’s Bees Baby Shampoo & Wash

  • Price: $$
  • Noteworthy ingredients: vitamin B, glycerin

Most parents know and trust Burt’s Bees Baby for their clean and natural ingredients. The brand’s baby shampoo, which also doubles as a full baby wash, contains a natural, plant-based cleansing complex with soy proteins that can help alleviate dry skin.

This shampoo and body wash combo is tear-free, and formulated without harsh ingredients like phthalates, parabens, or petrolatum.

Pros

  • It’s tear-free, so it’s less likely to cause stinging or other eye irritation during baths.
  • The soap is made without harsh ingredients like phthalates, parabens, or petrolatum.
  • Parents love the refreshing scent.

Cons

  • Some people have difficulty using the pump dispenser.
  • Some reviewers find the formula too watery.
  • It contains glycerin, an ingredient some parents may wish to avoid.

Best baby soap fragrance

Johnson’s Head-to-Toe Wash & Shampoo

  • Price: $
  • Noteworthy ingredients: glycerin, sodium methyl cocoyl taurate (which is derived from coconut or palm oil)

If you’re going to go for a scented baby wash, you might as well choose the ultimate classic: Johnson’s Head-To-Toe Wash & Shampoo. Their latest version is hypoallergenic and made without harsh ingredients like parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and dyes, yet it smells just like the classic your parents used when you were an infant.

Pros

  • Johnson’s is a family brand that parents know and trust.
  • It’s tear-free, so it won’t be as likely to irritate baby’s eyes.
  • The bottle is recyclable.

Cons

  • It’s made with a combination of natural and synthetic ingredients.
  • Some parents don’t like the strong scent.
  • It contains glycerin, an ingredient some parents may want to avoid.

Best baby soap for newborns

Baby Dove Derma Care Soothing Wash

  • Price: $$
  • Noteworthy ingredients: colloidal oatmeal, oat extract

This tear-free baby wash is formulated for a newborn’s extra-sensitive skin and contains 100 percent natural nutrients and ingredients — no parabens, phthalates, sulfates, dyes, or fragrance. Even the packaging is eco-friendly.

What’s more, the colloidal oatmeal helps protect against dry skin and eczema without causing dryness or irritation, notes Zeichner.

Pros

  • The ingredients, including colloidal oatmeal, are natural.
  • It’s tear-free, so it won’t cause irritation in the eye area.
  • It’s formulated without the use of harsh ingredients like parabens.

Cons

  • The size of the bottle is fairly small for the price.
  • Despite being fragrance-free, some parents say they didn’t like the scent.

Best baby soap available in subscription or bundle

The Honest Company Baby Shampoo + Body Wash

  • Price: $
  • Noteworthy ingredients: chamomile extract, aloe vera

This subscription-based company co-founded by entrepreneur and actress Jessica Alba has become a favorite among parents. The tear-free formula contains naturally derived botanicals and essential oils and is made without harsh chemicals like parabens, phthalates, dyes, synthetic fragrances and sulfates.

Pros

  • It’s dermatologist tested and hypoallergenic.
  • It’s tear-free, so it won’t be as likely to aggravate your baby’s eyes.
  • The formula can be used by the whole family.

Cons

  • Some reviewers report that it left their baby’s hair greasy.
  • Some parents found the pump is difficult to reseal.

Best baby soap for baby acne

Mustela Baby 2 in 1 Cleansing Gel

  • Price: $$
  • Noteworthy ingredients: avocado perseose

While not marketed to tackle baby acne, parents of infants with breakouts swear by it. And this formula has actually been around since the 1950s! Infant acne usually subsides after the first month or two, but in the interim, this cleansing gel can make all the difference.

Mustela’s soap — designed for hair and body — is nice and delicate on sensitive baby skin, hypoallergenic, and formulated with plant-based biodegradable ingredients.

Pros

  • This company is B Corp certified and has been a trusted brand since the 1950s.
  • The soap is hypoallergenic and biodegradable.
  • It’s 92% plant-based and free of harsh ingredients.

Cons

  • Some parents report that the gel consistency is too watery.
  • Some parents don’t like the neutral, fragrance-free scent.

Best bar soap

Vanicream Cleansing Bar

  • Price: $$
  • Noteworthy ingredients: petrolatum

Even though this bar soap is marketed for adult use, Allawh says it’s an ideal product to use for babies, especially those with sensitive, dry, and eczema-prone skin. “This product is fragrance-free, lanolin-free, gluten-free, formaldehyde-free, and paraben-free,” she adds.

Pros

  • The bar is dye-free and formulated without parabens.
  • It can be used by the whole family.
  • It’s safe for sensitive skin.

Cons

  • The wash isn’t specifically designed for babies.
  • It doesn’t have a tear-free formula.

ProductPriceNoteworthy ingredientsProsCons
Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Wash & Shampoo$oat kernel extract, glycerin– formulated with natural oat ingredients
– hypoallergenic
– hydrates baby’s skin
– not tear-free
– some parents report difficulty using pump dispenser
Eucerin Baby Wash & Shampoo$shea butter, ProVitamin B5– fragrance- and dye-free
– hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive skin
– tear-free formula
– some parents don’t like fragrance-free scent
– some parents report issues with pump dispenser
Nature’s Baby Organics Shampoo & Body Wash$$$aloe vera, calendula, chamomile– formulated with organic ingredients
– hypoallergenic and free of sulfates and parabens
– parents love vanilla tangerine scent
– pricey
– some parents say it doesn’t condition their child’s hair well
CeraVe Baby Wash & Shampoo$ceramides, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid– fragrance-free and formulated without harsh chemical additives
– serves as baby wash and shampoo
– has Seal of Acceptance from National Eczema Association
– some parents report the bottle is not full when new
– may not provide sufficient lather for some parents’ liking
Babyganics Shampoo + Body Wash$$apple extract, cocoa butter, avocado oil– formulated without harsh ingredients
– dermatologist tested
– not tear-free
– some parents report that it’s more of a foam
Burt’s Bees Baby Shampoo & Wash$$vitamin B, glycerin– made with mostly natural ingredients
– no harsh ingredients like phthalates, parabens, or petrolatum
– refreshing scent
– some have difficulty using the pump dispenser
– the formula’s watery
Johnson’s Head-to-Toe Wash & Shampoo$glycerin, coconut or palm oil– Johnson’s is a family brand that parents know and a trust
– tear-free formula
– made with synthetic and natural ingredients
– some don’t like the strong scent

When selecting the right baby shampoo and wash for your child, it’s important to try out several options to find the one that works best for your baby’s skin.

If your baby experiences a rash or irritation and you think the soap is to blame, reach out to your pediatrician. Consider taking the soap with you to your next appointment, or at least a picture of the ingredients list, to discuss with them.

Should I avoid fragrance in baby soaps?

Avoid products that contain added fragrances and harsh chemicals. These ingredients can be irritating to sensitive skin, especially for people with inflammatory skin conditions, says Dendy Engelman, MD, cosmetic dermatologist and Mohs surgeon at the Shafer Clinic in New York City.

How often should I bathe my baby?

The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends bathing your baby anywhere between two and three times a week, so long as you’re making sure to properly clean the diaper area after each change.

How can I tell if the soap is irritating my baby’s skin?

Baby rashes are common and can crop up anywhere on your baby’s skin, from their face and neck to their trunk, arms, and legs. Look out for redness, scaly red patches, excessive fussiness, and raw or broken skin and call your pediatrician if you’re concerned.

There are so many baby soaps on the market today and many provide parents with plant-based and chemical-free ingredients they can trust. It’s a good idea to try a few different soaps to determine the best fit for your baby’s skin.