Best baby shampoo is not a myth. There really exist soap and body washes that can be used every day without concerns. However, you have to be very selective because your child’s skin is much thinner and more sensitive, it needs extra pampering. We selected 8 top baby shampoos: tearless, organic, for sensitive skin, with lots of suds, having sweet ‘baby smell’ and fragrance-free. Choose one according to your and your baby’s preferences!
Best Baby Shampoos and 2-in-1 Body Washes
The wide range of baby soaps, shampoos, body washes and bubble bath products in supermarkets and drugstores is impressing. How to choose what to buy for your precious kid? See the chart below and consider these 8 tearless, mild and gentle cleansers that are most reputed on Amazon and moms’ forums.
|Aveeno Baby - Editor’s Choice||Yes||Light, fresh scent||Thick, creamy|
|Johnson's Baby||No||Fresh 'baby' scent||Creamy lather thinner than in a regular shampoo|
|Burt's Bees||Yes||Strong, sweet, honey-like smell||A bit watery|
|Aquaphor||Yes||Neutral, fragrance-free||Medium-thick consistency|
|Weleda||Yes||Clean, earthy smell||Creamy|
|The Honest Company||Yes||Sweet orange vanilla||Thinner|
|Live Clean||Yes||Light lavender||Not very thick|
|CeraVe||Yes||Fragrance-free, neutra||Not very runny|
#1: Aveeno Baby Wash & Shampoo – The Right Hairstyles’ Choice
Aveeno Baby Shampoo is the #1 bestseller among Amazon`s baby bathing products and #1 pediatrician-recommended product in the market. Free of any harsh chemicals and full of suds, it has every chance of becoming not only The Right Hairstyles’ Choice but your baby`s too.
Formula and Benefits:
Aveeno baby shampoo was created specifically for kids with sensitive skin. It’s a no-tear, soap-, phthalate- and paraben-free product. it gently nourishes delicate skin and is believed to provide a soothing effect and cleanse without drying. The main active component of Aveeno baby shampoo is the oat kernel extract, which has moisturizing and soothing effects. It eases eczema. The oat kernel powder, in its turn, is a good protectant that aims to lock in moisture and relieve dry skin itchiness.
Glycerin is a moisturizer (vegetable-derived) that keeps kids’ skin hydrated and helps to maintain its natural moisture barrier. Mineral oil is a conditioner that also protects skin from loss of moisture. Sodium benzoate plays a role as the shampoo’s preservative. The manufacturer clarifies that it is a must to keep the product fresh and, thus, safe to use. It’s found in the majority of baby washes, in some toothpastes, and even jams. Acrylates are thickening and stabilizing. They make products easier to apply but are safe ’n’ hypoallergenic. The coco-glucoside, which helps glycerin to deposit on the skin, is derived from coconut and is hypoallergenic. Polyquaternium-7 conditions and hydrates the skin and hair. Guar gum derivative is a natural thickener, providing moisture to skin. Dimethicone is a silicone. It forms a natural seal and locks in hydrating ingredients. An alcohol compound in this shampoo is derived from palm oil; it thickens the product, increases foam and prevents other ingredients from separation. Isopropyl palmitate, often used in body creams, is derived from coconut oil and keeps the skin feeling soft and smooth.
Has to be poured onto a wet washcloth or hand, applied to hair or body, lathered and rinsed. The alternative variant is to pour it directly into bath water. Can be used on a daily basis. Product`s shelf life is 2-3 years.
It may be used every day by all family members as a body wash or even as a facial cleanser. Is reported as a great product for oily locks and volumizing. Now we understand why the shampoo is “baby tested & mother approved.” BTW, Aveeno Baby brand has great gift sets, you may like to buy one if you are going to a baby shower or christening.
#2: ‘Head-To-Toe’ Johnson’s Baby Body Wash – Gentlest Cleanser
Johnson’s is believed to be the #1 baby skin care brand. It has best in class safety processes and the ability to use naturally-derived components of the highest quality and carry out all possible researches. The ‘head-to-toe’ shampoo is the #1 choice of hospitals and simply a fave product of many moms.
Formula and Benefits:
Kiddo’s skin is approximately x10 more sensitive than adults’. That is why our children need milder cleansers with gentler components. Johnson’s ‘Head-To-Toe’ wash is an ultra-mild cleanser, which aims to keep the newborn’s delicate skin soft and may be used from the first days of life.
Thanks to the special ‘no-more-tears’ formulation, Johnson`s shampoo is advertised as being as gentle for kids’ eyes as water. BTW, do you know why you can’t use just water for bathing children? It can’t remove all fat-soluble impurities, and if it is of poor quality, hard or chlorinated, it can lead to skin dryness.
Components of Johnson’s body wash are all hypoallergenic. You may feel unsure about the cleansing and foaming agent sodium trideceth sulfate but it is classified as not potentially toxic or harmful, so you can buy the shampoo without any concerns. The fragrance used here is also hypoallergenic.
Johnson’s brand promotes the 2-step evening routine that includes a warm bath and a gentle massage. First, wet baby’s hair and body with water. Then squeeze the wash onto your hand. Lather and rinse. After this warm bath massage your kid with Johnson’s or any other lotion.You may use Johnson’s body wash every time you wash your child, only on evenings or for in between wash-ups.
Reviewers also discovered several fun ways to use Johnson’s body wash. Some women use it for cleaning makeup brushes (not for waterproof makeup though). Others take this product with them when they are traveling and use it not only as a shampoo and body wash but also as a makeup remover and a face cleanser.
#3: Burt’s Bees Shampoo and Body Wash for Kids – 99.9% Natural Product
Burt’s Bees body wash is pediatrician-tested and clinically proved to be gentle enough for everyday baby care. This organic baby shampoo is most often described by reviewers as “nurturing,” “safe,” and “effective.” It includes the finest ingredients mother nature can offer.
Formula and Benefits:
Burt’s Bees shampoo for babies is tear-free. It is created without phthalates, petrolatum, parabens and preservatives that may release formaldehyde. Its cleansing formula is not based on sulfates or any other chemicals that are aggressive for baby’s skin. Here soy protein is used. It is a film former, hair and skin conditioning agent and surfactant, often used in cosmetic products.
One of the main ingredients of Burt’s Bees shampoo is buttermilk. It keeps baby’s skin moisturized. The beeswax component locks in this moisture and aloe vera soothes irritations, if any. Let’s have a closer look at the oily components of the shampoo. Сoconut oil is aimed to nurture very sensitive skin. Shea butter is a perfect softening solution for dry skin.
You will notice that this baby wash contains a fragrance. Burt’s Bees shampoo really smells heavenly. And the fragrance is 100% natural, which is rare nowadays. The consistency is thinner, creamy; the color clear, yellowish.
This Burt’s Bees product is not marked as “vegan” or “vegetarian”. The representatives of the brand explain it is because their products contain some animal-sourced ingredients (milk, honey, etc.). Moreover, many of their shampoos and body washes are produced on shared lines. The same goes for gluten.
Nothing special. A few capfuls of the shampoo have to be poured into a hand or onto a washcloth. Wet baby’s skin, wash your baby with the Burt’s Bees shampoo, and rinse it off. The product may be poured directly into a bath.
#4: Aquaphor Baby Shampoo – For Healing Diaper Rash and Eczema
Aquaphor shampoo is a mild 2-in-1 product, designed specially for very sensitive skin. It is a pediatrician-recommended and clinically proven natural cleanser that heals irritations and acts as a moisturizer.
Formula and Benefits:
Aquaphor’s baby wash and shampoo product was created first of all for dry and cracked skin. It contains a minimal number of ingredients, which is preferred for sensitive skin types as the more components the higher the chances of getting an allergy. It includes chamomile essence and provitamin B5, which are both helpful in managing eczema and protecting hair from harsh environmental conditions.
Chamomile extract is often used for treating nervous anxiety and insomnia. It helps to calm your baby before bed for a perfect night’s sleep. Apart from this chamomile treats many skin conditions, comforting irritations. It has antibacterial and antiinflammatory properties, thanks to which tissue regeneration is promoted. Chamomile is effective for treating cradle cap and promoting hair growth.
Provitamin B5, or Panthenol, makes hair soft, has moisturizing properties, prevents dehydration and provides great conditioning. You will notice sea salt among the components. This ingredient is used for better clarifying; it prevents infection and fungi without stripping necessary oils from baby’s skin.
Can be poured into water or lathered with a hand or a wet washcloth onto baby’s skin. Then rinse with slightly warm water. The manufacturer advises it’s best to limit bathing time.
#5: Weleda Kids 2-in-1 Shower and Shampoo – A Delicate Body Wash for Skin and Hair
Weleda is Europe’s #1 natural baby shampoo brand. Its body wash has won multiple awards, is gentle enough to be used daily and NATRU-certified as safe for children. Reviewers are impressed by its effectiveness. We could not ignore this product either.
Formula and Benefits:
Weleda`s shampoo with organic calendula is 100% free of sulfates, mineral oils, phthalates, parabens, raw materials, dyes, synthetic fragrances and preservatives. It smells great not because of chemically created parfums but thanks to a mix of pure essential oils. It is tear-free, gentle on delicate baby`s skin and mildly cleansing for the scalp.
One of the advantages of this 2-in-1 cleansing product is that the surfactant in it is made from sugar and coconut. That`s why Weleda shampoo lathers well and effectively clarifies without drying skin and scalp.
The organic calendula extract is hand-harvested. It is a very strong anti-inflammatory component that soothes and heals irritations and acne. The product includes oils from almond nuts and sesame seeds; the first saturates skin with regenerative linoleic acid, the second clears up pimples. Such a mild formula is softening and nourishing. Kids’ skin and hair get a powerful pack of vitamins and fatty acids.
The last ingredient we want to mention is a carrageenan extract. It is a natural skin-conditioning agent and a viscosity controlling component. This Irish moss extract provides proper thickness for a shampoo with oh-so-natural formula.
Apply in the bath. Lather gently and rinse thoroughly. Weleda’s shampoo is also suitable for adults who have sensitive skin. To keep moisture locked in it is a good idea to use a body lotion or baby oil after bath time. If you want to get the maximum effect, leave suds in hair for a few minutes before rinsing.
Weleda is perfect for the whole family regardless of age. It works on sensitive skin and scalps with cradle cap. Is packed with carotenoids, flavonoids, and miscellaneous essential oils.
#6: The Honest Company Body Wash – For Kids with Sensitive Skin
The Honest Company was created by a famous Hollywood actress — Jessica Alba. Its products are certified by Green America organization and may be used by all members of your family. Consider it if you are in search of one multipurpose product.
Formula and Benefits:
The Honest Company`s product is a 2-in-1 shampoo and body wash infused with botanicals, which together leave skin feeling extremely fresh and soft. It contains such marvelous ingredients as vanilla, orange and tangerine peel extracts, calendula, chamomile, and aloe vera juice. Other interesting and useful ingredients are jojoba protein, quinoa seed extract and, of course, organic coconut oil. A perfect cleansing, moisturizing and nourishing blend for tender baby skin.
Jojoba and quinoa strengthen hair with amino acids. The aloe, calendula and chamomile trio soothes skin with redness. Organic coconut oil moisturizes and creates a protective barrier on the skin. “pH balanced” on the packaging means that the product removes dirt but doesn`t dry skin by stripping off natural oils.
This product has a classic smell, a mix of sweet orange and vanilla. The shampoo is also available in lavender and apricot scents and completely fragrance-free. As for the color, the manufacturer mentions one interesting detail: the shampoo, being natural, may change its color with time. So don’t worry if your baby’s new body wash slightly changes its shade with use. It’s normal.
Wet skin and hair. Gently massage the product into skin surface. Rinse thoroughly.
#7: Live Clean Moisturizing Shampoo – For Babies with Normal Skin
Live Clean baby shampoo is clinically tested and reported by reviewers to be a perfect cleanser and body wash for kids from their first days right through till adulthood. Let`s check!
Formula and Benefits:
Live Clean products for babies are 97% plant-based, made of renewable and sustainable ingredients. They are all free of sulfates and SLS, phthalates, phosphates, dyes, DEAs, parabens, and silicons. Only clean and simple ingredients are used. Purified water and certified organic extracts of lavender, aloe and chamomile create a perfect product with soothing properties and a good scent. The shampoo has a nice texture and makes a lot of foam. And all this without chemicals.
Lavender extract will calm down your restless infant before a night’s sleep. Aloe vera soothes skin and softens it. Chamomile extract heals red patches and pimples. They are hypoallergenic ingredients, which are always a good choice for cosmetics.
You may notice sodium lauryl sulfoacetate on the list of ingredients. It is also a surfactant, but not SLS, it is milder. Live Clean products are 100% cruelty-free and eco-friendly — the brand makes all packaging recyclable. It spreads well and doesn’t leave an oily residue on the skin. Reviewers also say it is good for natural hair too. Coily curls become softer and easier to manage.
Must be applied to baby’s hair and body, massaged, lathered and rinsed. May be used in a duet with Live Clean`s moisturizing or calming bedtime lotion.
#8: CeraVe Baby Wash – Gentle Vitaminized Product
This baby wash is a must-try if your kid`s skin is prone to eczema or any other irritations. It is enriched with vitamins and formulated with ceramides. Read below what this means for a product used in baby’s everyday body care routine.
Formula and Benefits:
The brand’s`s patented formula with three essential ceramides restores and maintains the skin’s protective barrier. Ceramides are lipid molecules (oils) found within cell membranes, which hold skin cells together. You might not know this, but they are essential to our skin’s functions and health: skin becomes dry and irritated without ceramides.
Used in a cosmetic product, they form a protective top layer on the skin that helps to retain moisture. Ceramides reduce water loss, increase hydration, and restore the skin’s natural barrier. Ceramides are super-effective for kids and adults with eczema.
The product is paraben-, sulfate- and fragrance-free, i.e. theoretically safe for your little one. In practice reviewers also agree that the shampoo is marvelous for baby care. They are satisfied with the light, neutral scent, mild consistency and moisturizing effect.
The manufacturer states that the product is for normal-to-oily and normal-to-dry skin types. This means: practically for all. Great for moisturizing dry skin, healing chapped hands, and itchy patches.
As with the majority of baby washes, you may apply it onto wet baby`s skin with your hand or a washcloth. One important detail to mention: this product cannot be left on the skin, it has to be rinsed. The manufacturer admits that its prolonged use may cause irritations.
Exceptive Buyer’s Guide to Best Baby Shampoos
Now, when you know which best baby bath products on the market deserve your attention, you may still have some questions regarding brands, ingredients, use and effects. Read the FAQs with honest answers below.
Is It Normal to Use Adult Hair and Body Care Products for Babies?
No, as they contain synthetic fragrances, preservatives, sulfates and many other components potentially harmful for baby`s sensitive skin. So buy products specifically made for babies, for infants and toddlers, and adult products for all grown-up members of the family, starting from teenagers.
Is It Better to Use a Baby Soap, a Shampoo or a Body Wash for Your Baby`S Skin?
The majority of soaps are not PH balanced, and they don’t distribute evenly. Soaps may contain ingredients that are too harsh and can strip your kid’s skin of moisture. So it’s better to choose a body wash and shampoo 2-in-1 product. They are mild and gently cleanse baby’s sensitive skin. Basically, all shampoos for small kids are 2-in-1 products. You may buy a shampoo and use it as a body wash too.
What Ingredients Should You Avoid in Baby Shampoos?
There exist several red flags among ingredients in baby shampoos and body washes that should make you think twice before purchase. Such as:
- Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate (shortened SLS). They are detergents, surfactants and emulsifiers, cheaper than organic ones, but with more harmful impact on the skin. Without them shampoos don’t lather so well and have less suds but they can cause serious irritations on baby’s skin.
- Synthetic fragrances. Scent is a very important feature when you choose new toiletries products. It`s a pity but not all good smelling shampoos are equally safe for sensitive skin and respiratory systems.
- Chemical preservatives – parabens. They prevent bacterial growth in open products and extend shelf life. At the same time they are potentially causing cancer. If you see butylparaben, propylparaben or methylparaben on packaging, avoid such baby shampoo or body wash.
- Benzyl Alcohol. It is a preservative associated with contact allergies and other unpleasant skin conditions.
- Synthetic colors. Make the product more attractive but are not always safe for kids as they may be derived from petroleum.
What Ingredients Are Best for Baby’s Skin?
Natural oils, organic certified extracts, and plant-derived components. All you need is gentle care, nourishing, smoothing and healing diaper rash or other irritations. To achieve this chemicals are not often needed. Choose products containing lavender, calendula, and aloe essential oils.
Does ‘Tearless’ Means the Product Is Completely Non-Irritating?
Eyes may be irritated even by pure water so it’s no surprise that a liquid full of ingredients may cause some irritations. Tearless shampoos are simply less likely to cause irritations. So slight discomfort is a norm, especially with prolonged contact. Rinse baby`s eyes with warm water or use eye drops if he or she gets soapy water in their eyes.
What Are the Signs of Allergy Caused by a New Baby Shampoo?
Even the safest natural baby shampoo may cause an allergy. The main symptoms are:
- sudden skin irritations (not connected with food);
- red scaling patches on the scalp;
- hives and tiny bumps;
- diaper rash;
- cradle cap.
Allergy and irritations may appear around the mouth and chin (similar to food allergy), on the neck, hands and legs or under diapers, especially after your baby is bathed. Cradle cap looks like scaly, greasy, yellowish patches. It may be also caused by baby cosmetics. Discontinue the use of the newly-bought shampoo if one or several signs from this list occur.
Should You Do a Patch Test Before Using a New Shampoo or Body Wash?
Definitely yes. Most baby products are mildly fragranced or include natural fragrances that may in rare cases also cause allergic reactions. So, do a patch test on your wrist, and if everything is OK, do a patch test on baby`s leg or arm. If you see any irritations, throw it into the trash bin.
Which Products Are Best for Babies with Eczema?
Emollient-based, fragrance-free, desirably all-natural.
Do the Words ‘Organic’ and ‘Natural’ on Shampoos’ Labels Mean the Same?
This may come as a surprise, but the term ‘natural’ is unregulated by the US Food and Drug Administration. Theoretically, any brand can label its products as “natural”. Even harmful petroleum is technically natural. So study the list of ingredients carefully. The ones on top are most important; the ones at the bottom are included in small doses. Logically, all synthetic ingredients, if any, have to be at the bottom of the list. On the contrary, the term “organic” is officially regulated and means that the product contains 70-95% organic ingredients. One more term is “synthetic-free”. It means that the shampoo or body wash doesn`t include man-made components.
Does the Product Need to Be pH Balanced?
pH balanced means the baby product has a pH level (how acidic is the solution) close to that of healthy skin. Water has a pH of 7. pH-neutral means the level is around 7 too. A pH balanced product may be slightly acidic, with pH 4.5-5.5. Alkaline products have pH>8.
What Else Should You Consider When Choosing a Baby Shampoo?
Scrutinize the list of ingredients and all labels. It is very good if the shampoo is organic, tearless, and fragrance-free; it’s perfect if it contains natural oils and extracts and great if a baby shampoo or body wash is certified or has multiple awards. Moreover, it has to be clinically approved. A good brand will send its products for clinical assessment. Also keep in mind your baby`s skin and hair type.
Does the Baby Body Wash Have to Be Antibacterial?
One more surprising thing: antibacterial agents may be harmful when used daily. So buy soaps for hands and body washes or shampoos that are not labeled as antibacterial.
How Often Do You Have to Wash Your Baby’s Hair?
If we’re talking about newborns, you may wash the baby’s head once per week with a shampoo and every day with pure water without any products. Many say that babies under 1 month old don`t need shampoo at all.
For older children the rule is the same as for adults. You know that washing hair every day is not good and many women choose the no-poo method or co-washing. The optimal variant is to wash longer hair once or twice per week and shorter hair up to 3–4 times per week.
Do Baby Shampoos Have to Be Well-Lathering and Full of Suds?
You need to understand that bubble bath and shampoo are two completely different products with different functions. A shampoo with organic ingredients cannot have the same amount of suds as an adult one as it doesn`t contain sulfates.
What Ingredients May Release Dangerous Formaldehyde?
They may even be ingredients that make the shampoo tear-free! So you may have some concerns if you see quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl or diazolidinyl urea among other components. PEG-100 stearate, polyethylene, ceteareth-20 and sulfates may also be harmful, try to avoid them.
Is Baby Shampoo Good for Adults?
Not all. Several shampoos from this selection are good both for kids and adults, some are for babies only, as for mature women`s and men`s hair they will do nothing. In any case, using baby shampoo or body wash will be a good idea if you have sensitive skin or if you are a woman expecting a baby.
What Type of Bottle Is Most Comfortable?
You think it is not important? Think twice! A lot of mothers complain they cannot cope with bottles that are too heavy or those that put out more shampoo than is actually needed. So, according to multiple reviews, moms like bottles with pumps most of all. Some shampoos come out in a foam, which may be also good for better lathering. Flip-tips and pouring caps are not bad either. The bottle has to be lightweight and easy-handling.
The long search for the best baby shampoo is time-consuming and exhausting, but every mom has to go through this. Our guide to top-rated products is recommended for all who have kids at home. Some products are best for newborns; others work great for toddlers; teens have their own preferences. You will need to switch to different products from time to time. Be ready for this by saving our guide in your browser’s bookmarks, and happy bath time!