Babies have sensitive skin that is prone to dryness and irritation. Which is why they need special care and constant hydration. But with so many options in the market, how do you choose the best moisturizing cream? Well, look no further.
Our curation of 2021’s best baby moisturizing cream will ensure that you find the one that will keep your little one hydrated and healthy.
Do Babies Need Moisturizing Cream?
Differences between baby skin and adult skin
Your baby’s skin is extremely fragile as compared to adult skin. Proper care is therefore, essential as there are key differences between adult and baby skin.
- Thinner and less resilient skin: The skin of your precious one is more fragile as compared to your skin. In fact, it is 20 – 30 percent thinner and therefore, much less resilient to foreign substances and touch.
- Different rate of moisture absorbency and loss: According to a study released in the journal of Pediatric Dermatology, baby’s skin can retain more water than an adult. It not only absorbs more water, it also loses water at a higher rate.
- More prone to external irritants: Your little star’s skin barrier is still not fully developed, and as such, is more sensitive to external irritants that can either dry the skin or cause other medical conditions such as diaper rash. In fact, experts suggest that a baby’s skin should be moisturised daily as part of a proper skincare routine.
Causes For Dry Skin In Babies
There are many contributing factors that lead to dry skin in babies:
- Excessive bathing: According to Bruce Brod, MD, a dermatologist in Philadelphia, excessively bathing your precious one with hot water can dry out his/her skin. This is because natural oils on your baby’s skin get removed during the bathing process. This leaves the skin exposed to irritants in the air and water that dries out your bub’s skin.
- Harsh soaps: Choose a gentle baby cleanser instead, as soaps are not baby-friendly and can strip the natural oils off your baby’s skin.
- Dry and cold environments: Changing weather, especially dry and cold environments can cause your baby’s skin to dry out rapidly. For parents who let their little one sleep in an air-conditioned room–owing to the humid Singaporean weather–moisturization is more important than you think.
Almost every baby (as well as every adult) will experience short bouts of dry skin from time to time. This is often not a an overly concerning situation. But dry skin can also trigger eczema flare ups if left unattended for too long without proper skin care.
Eczema In Babies: What You Must Know
According to the Boston Children’s Hospital Atopic Dermatitis Center, eczema in children is often because of external irritants that enter a baby’s skin. This happens due to the dysfunction of the skin barrier. And one of the top triggers of eczema in babies is: dry skin.
Eczema vs Dry skin
Eczema in babies is usually not a persistent condition and appears as a red rash that makes the skin dry, itchy, and flaky. You can understand the main differences between dry skin and eczema if you spot the following:
- Inflamed skin: Compared to dry skin that looks rough or scaly, in eczema the skin looks inflamed and develops reddish patches. Skin with eczema may also develop pimples, so do look out for those.
- Different areas of the body: Dry skin and eczema usually show up on your little one’s hands, feet and face. But eczema will develop in areas not typical to dry skin. Look out for inflamed skin behind your baby’s ears, scalp, elbow creases or behind the knees, as these might be indicators of eczema.
- Flare ups not just due to weather: Look out for common triggers of eczema such as moisture from milk, saliva or sweat, dust, soap or detergents. However, take note that every child reacts very differently to different potential irritants.
How To Choose The Best Moisturizing Cream For Babies
As the baby’s skin is extra sensitive and delicate, it is important to choose the best product for your precious bundle of joy!
Megha Tollefson, MD, a pediatric dermatologist at the Mayo Clinic recommends that when choosing moisturizing creams for your baby ‘less is more’. This means the lesser the chemicals and ingredients in the product the better. Here are a few things to consider when choosing the right product.
- Product ingredients and fragrance: Study product labels and choose products with the fewest ingredients, no colour and no common irritants, as these can be unsafe for the baby. Plus, avoid fragranced products as these are the most common causes of skin irritation to baby’s sensitive skin.
- Long lasting moisturization: Look for creams or ointments as these provide a longer-lasting moisturization compared to lotions. Pediatric dermatologists agree that creams and ointments are a better choice especially against skin problems like eczema. This is because creams and ointments have a thicker consistency as compared to lotions. Thus, they are able to provide a barrier that keeps skin hydrated for longer-lasting protection.
- Accolades and recommendations: To separate the best products on the market from run-of-the-mill products, look for products that are recommended by pediatricians and dermatologists.
Fret not, as experienced parents ourselves, we know how confusing this can be. For your convenience, we’ve curated our reviews of the top 5 baby moisturizing creams of 2021.
Best Baby Moisturizing Cream Of 2021
- QV Baby Moisturizing Cream: Best Moisturizing Cream for Dry, Sensitive or Eczema-Prone Skin
Mama’s Choice Daily Nourishing Face Cream: – Best Paraben-Free Moisturizing Cream for Dry Skin
Johnson & Johnson Baby Lotion: Best Budget Moisturizing Cream for Normal Skin
Mustela Hydra Bébé Body Lotion: Best Lightweight Moisturizing Cream for Normal Skin
Suu Balm Kids Dual Rapid Itch Relieving & Restoring Ceramide Moisturizer: Best Moisturizing Cream for Itchy Skin
Gaia Skin Soothing Cream: Best Organic Moisturizing Cream for Normal Skin
QV Baby Moisturizing Cream Review:
Best Moisturizing Cream for Dry, Sensitive or Eczema-Prone Skin
Why QV Baby Moisturizing Cream is our top choice
First on our list is QV Baby Moisturizing Cream. QV Baby is one of Australia’s favourite skincare brands and according to the IQVIA National Pharmacy Sales study conducted in 2020, is the No.1 brand in Australian Pharmacies. It is specially developed for babies with dry, delicate, or sensitive skin.
All of their products are free from soap, colour, fragrance and other common irritants. You can rest easy knowing that QV Baby Moisturizing Cream is perfectly safe. This cream is also suitable for babies with eczema-prone skin and diaper rash.
QV Baby Moisturizing Cream has 24-hour moisturizing properties – with five types of moisturizing ingredients in its formulation. These provide complete moisturization to your little one’s skin. On top of that, it contains Squalane, a natural component found in the skin’s natural oil that helps to lock in moisture into your baby skin.
The environmentally conscious parents will also be pleased to know that QV Baby Moisturizing Cream is 100% Vegan-friendly and contains no animal-derived ingredients.
As parents, we tend to place our trust in experts. Well, you can rest assured as QV is a brand used by the experts. The QV brand is the No.1 best selling brand in Singapore Hospitals (source: IQVIA National Sales Audit for Emollient & Protection Market, Hospital Channel, March 2020).
This is why, QV baby is also one of the most recommended baby brands by pediatricians and dermatologists. To cap off its accolades, in a recent study conducted in 2019 by Try & Review, 9 out of 10 local moms recommend QV Baby Moisturizing Cream (sample size of 83 Singaporean mums) with many parents reporting great results after being recommended to QV baby by their pediatrician.
Read a couple theAsianParent mom’s experiences below:
“I haven’t shared this but my baby started showing rashes on his skin. I was quite worried that this could be eczema. Went to the doc and he recommended QV Baby cream. This cream is so gentle yet effective. My baby’s skin turned normal after 5 days. He could be eczema-prone, we don’t know yet. But I’m just going to continue applying the QV cream and hope his skin stays healthy always." – Joanne, theAsianParent reader
“I took my baby to the park yesterday and it was HOT. My baby’s sensitive skin flared up after the outing. I was so shocked to see the red patch on the skin. I used the QV Baby cream prescribed by our family doctor to soothe the redness and flare ups and thank goodness, his skin recovered very quickly. From now on, whether rain, or shine, I’m diligently going to apply QV on my baby. Prevention is better than cure! " – Fazna, theAsianParent App user
Features we love
- Ingredients safe for sensitive skin: Free from soap, colour, fragrance, and other common irritants.
- Long lasting moisturization: Has five moisturizing ingredients to seal in the moisture and prevent the development of itchiness from dry skin. Works for up to 24 hours!
- Recommended by moms and experts: It is an established brand. QV baby is the No.1 brand in Australian pharmacies and the QV brand is the No.1 best selling brand in Singapore hospitals. Recommended by 9 out of 10 Singaporean moms. Recommended by pediatricians and dermatologists.
- Newborn appropriate: Gentle on the babies skin and is appropriate for babies from the first day.
Mama’s Choice Daily Nourishing Face Cream:
Best Paraben-Free Moisturizing Cream for Dry Skin
Why Mama’s Choice Daily Nourishing Face Cream is our choice
Mama’s Choice is a brand synonymous with safe and natural, so their Daily Nourishing Face Cream is a shoo-in to be one of the best options for mamas. If your little one has flaky, dry, and rough skin, this cream will help to nourish and moisturise the skin effectively.
This face cream contains an impressive combination of natural ingredients such as Sunflower to protect the skin, organic aloe vera to soothe and moisturise the skin, ceramide to prevent moisture loss, and sweet almond to treat dry skin. Together, they work to keep your baby’s skin soft and smooth.
Mamas have nothing to worry about because this moisturizing cream is suitable for newborns until three years of age. Best of all, it’s certified Halal, dermatologically tested, hypoallergenic, and lab-tested right here in Singapore!
Features We Love:
- Contains organic aloe vera: The soothing aloe vera in their formula is Ecocert Organic Certified.
- No paraben, alcohol, and toxins: This face cream is 100% baby-safe as it is free of chemicals and ingredients that could be harmful to a baby’s delicate skin.
- Enriched with natural active ingredients: Mama’s Choice used carefully selected ingredients that are proven effective.
Johnson & Johnson Baby Lotion Review:
Best Budget Moisturizing Cream for Normal Skin
Why Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Lotion is our choice
Established 125 years ago, Johnson & Johnson is probably a household name that most mother’s in Singapore would recognize. If you are looking for a generic household brand that is cost-effective and yet locks in moisture in your baby’s skin, then look no further.
Although it is one of the cheapest options on the market, we find that Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Lotion has a more watery consistency as compared to other moisturizers on this list. Despite its 24 hour protection claim, we find that we had to continuously reapply the lotion.
Another downside of Johnson & Johnson is, artificial fragrance. Although it claims to contain no known fragrance allergens, we find that its baby lotion has a distinctive floral yet artificial powder(y) smell.
Features we love
Contains coconut oil: Johnson & Johnson’s baby lotion main ingredient is coconut oil, which keeps your baby’s delicate skin soft, smooth and healthy.
Gentle on skin: Johnson & Johnson’s baby is dermatologist-tested, hypoallergenic, and formulated to be gentle on the skin.
Mustela Hydra Bébé Body Lotion Review:
Best Lightweight Moisturizing Cream for Normal Skin
Why Mustela Hydra Bébé Body Lotion is our choice
Mustela Hydra Bébé is the next contender on the list. You can also use Mustela Hydra Bébé as part of your own skincare routine! In a study conducted on 17 women, 50% found an increase in their skin’s hydration after five hours and 25% after 8 hours.
On top of that, the Avacado Perseose in Mustela Hydra is scientifically proven to preserve the moisture in the skin of newborns. This is true for newborns that are just out of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
If you are looking for a one-size-fits-all moisturizer, Mustela Hydra Bébé Body Lotion is suitable for both you and your precious one.
Some parents who have used Mustela Hydra think that the scent reminds them of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Lotion (a mix of flowers and baby powder). However, the smell lasts longer as compared to Johnson & Johnson and can be a little strong for mothers who dislike fragrance.
Features we love
97% Natural ingredients: This moisturizer’s main ingredient is Avocado Perseose, which helps to preserve the skin barrier, moisturizes, and preserves the cellular richness of the skin.
Light texture: Light consistency that does not leave a greasy feeling after application.
Suu Balm Kids Dual Rapid Itch Relieving & Restoring Ceramide Moisturizer Review:
Best Moisturizing Cream for Itchy Skin
Why Suu Balm Kids Lotion is our choice
Suu Balm is able to serve the dual purpose of moisturizing and applying a fast relief for itchiness. It helps to relieve itch temporarily through the inclusion of menthol, and this provides a fast cooling itch relief. This moisturizer is a non-sticky and steroid-free cream that is suitable for kids of all ages.
One thing to note, babies are very sensitive to new sensations. If you find that your baby is crying during the initial application, this is likely because your little one is unfamiliar with the menthol feeling. Your precious one is probably interpreting the cooling sensation as an unfamiliar stinging sensation.
As different babies react differently, we recommend a patch test. Apply a small amount first as a test before committing to a full application on your baby.
Features we love
- Gentle baby safe ingredients: Suu Balm Kids contains no steroids and Parabens.
- Temporary itch relief: For babies who are able to tolerate the cooling menthol effect, we find that Suu Balm is effective in treating the symptom of itchiness on the skin of your baby. Monitor if the itchiness persists.
Gaia Skin Soothing Cream Review:
Best Organic Moisturizing Cream for Normal Skin
Why Gaia Skin Soothing Cream is our choice
If you are looking for a moisturizing cream that is not only good for the environment, but also good for your baby, Gaia Skin Soothing Cream is the one for you. It is made with organic ingredients such as marshmallow, calendula and chamomile to help soothe and calm skin as well as evening primrose oil to help retain moisture and hydration. Gaia has recently improved its formulation to make its cream lighter and easier to apply.
Features we love
- Baby safe ingredients: Formulated without parabens, phthalates, artificial fragrance, and petrochemicals
- Organic ingredients: Made with organic ingredients so that you know you can protect your baby with the best natural ingredients.
Here’s a comparison of the prices for the best baby moisturizing cream on the market:
Price per ml
QV Baby Moisturizing Cream
Mama’s Choice Daily Nourishing Face Cream
Johnson & Johnson Baby Lotion
Mustela Hydra Bébé Body Lotion
Suu Balm Kids Dual Rapid Itch Relieving & Restoring Ceramide Moisturiser
Gaia Skin Soothing Cream
* Prices are from Shopee Official Store and is accurate as of 8 April, 2021
Tips On Proper Baby Skincare Routine
Baby Skincare Routine
We recommend a 3-step skincare routine that is guaranteed to keep your little one’s skin smooth and hydrated:
- Gentle Cleanser or Bath Oil: Your baby’s skin is very sensitive to harsh chemicals. Soaps and chemicals can strip the natural oils or introduce irritants to it. So use a soap-free gentle cleanser or bath oil such as QV Baby Gentle Wash or QV Baby Bath Oil to cleanse and moisturize your little one.
- Moisturize: After a bath with a gentle cleanser or bath oil, remember to moisturize with one of our recommendations above!
- Protect: Follow up with a diaper rash cream, to provide some much-needed protection to your baby’s bum. The diaper area often needs extra protection as it is in contact with skin irritants like pee and poo. If you are using QV Baby Gentle Wash, QV Baby Bath Oil or QV Moisturizing Cream, remember to check out their QV Baby Barrier Cream as well!
Additional Skincare Points
Aside from using skincare products, here are our top tips on how you can care for your baby’s sensitive skin:
- Avoid frequent and/or long hot baths. According to dermatologists, your baby only needs a bath three-times a week. This depends on the level of humidity, and your babies activity, among other factors. So always use lukewarm water instead of hot water. This will help retain the natural moisture on your baby’s skin.
- Use a delicate washcloth. Gently clean your baby with a washcloth on days you don’t give him/her a bath. Only use a delicate washcloth and avoid excessive and rigorous scrubbing.
- Dress your baby in comfortable and breathable clothes. Always dress your baby in soft cotton comfortable clothing.
- Trim your baby’s fingernails. Keep your baby’s fingernails short and trimmed to prevent damage and irritation due to scratching.
- Control the temperature in your nursery. Maintain a cool and comfortable atmosphere in the house to avoid excessive sweating.
When To See A Pediatrician
If you follow the tips above and consistently moisturize your baby’s skin, he/she should have smooth and supple skin. But if dry patches begin to spread, crack or seem painful or itchy, consult your pediatrician immediately! They would be able to recommend treatments that can help your precious one.