What Is The Difference Between A Baby Lotion And A Baby Cream? When To Use What?

4 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

baby lotin

When it’s a matter of baby’s skincare, we all become overprotective and look for safe and natural products. We are all aware that baby skin is very sensitive and easily prone to allergic reactions. Ergo, we start looking for ideal baby creams and baby lotions. But often we are stuck with the question “What is the difference between a baby cream and baby lotion?

The difference between them is just a percentage of water and oil mixture present in each. Oil and water don’t mix well, so an emulsifier is used to mix the solution. Lotions are made up of 70% or more water and the rest is cream whereas cream has 50% or more cream and the rest is water. Needless to say, it is thicker than lotion. Let’s find out more about baby cream, and baby lotions, and whether are they safe for the baby’s delicate skin or not.

In This Article

What is a Baby Cream?

Baby cream is an emulsion of water and oil, which is used to protect a baby’s tender and sensitive skin from irritation, and dryness, and to keep the skin moisturized. The ideal baby cream is thick, but not too greasy. The baby cream is mainly used in the areas like cheeks, knees, elbows, and nose.

Which is the Best Cream for Baby?

As an ideal baby cream, the product should have a set of important characteristics:

  • It helps to preserve the natural moisture of baby skin
  • Non-greasy and easily absorbable
  • Deleted repeating point
  • Restores the pH balanced
  • It is hypoallergenic
  • Supports the natural lipid balance
  • Builds a protective layer against aridity
  • It is clinically proven and dermatologically tested
  • Free from harmful ingredients like Silicon oil/Paraffin/ Paraben and Propylene glycol

Are all Baby Creams Safe?

All the popular baby creams on the market today may not be safe for babies, as they contain several harmful ingredients which may cause allergy, acne, and irritation in babies.

One harmful additive is fragrance, which is one of the foremost reasons for allergy in babies, according to research done by the American Academy of Dermatology. Another ingredient is Ceteareth which causes damage to the nervous system, kidneys, and liver. Benzalkonium Chloride causes skin allergy. Meanwhile, mineral oil, cetyl alcohol, and tetrasodium EDTA are injurious to the baby’s skin.

Is Baby Cream Safe for Newborn?

mother applying cream to baby (1)
The skin of a newborn baby is flaky, peeling, and dry. But applying a baby cream on the skin brings your baby’s skin in contact with the chemicals, some of which may be harmful to the skin. Therefore, it is best to avoid the use of common baby creams immediately after the baby’s birth. If you really want to use a cream in the initial days, consult with your pediatrician for the same cream.

What is Baby Lotion?

Baby lotion is often used for nourishing and softening a baby’s skin. It is applied to prevent skin dryness, maintain the moisture level, and provide soothing from minor skin irritations. It is an amalgamation of oil and water, in a fixed and ideal proportion.

Best Baby Lotions for Newborns

A gentle baby lotion is one that has been formulated keeping your baby’s delicate skin in mind. A really good baby lotion aims to protect a baby’s skin from drying and provide relief from hypersensitivity.

A few important elements for an ideal baby lotion are:

  • Adequate amount of oil to soften and moisten the skin
  • Presence of organic ingredients
  • Paraben free
  • Colorant free
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Mineral Oil free
  • Clinically tested

What are the Common Ingredients in a Baby Lotion?

An excellent baby lotion must contain ingredients such as:

  • Almond Oil acts as a skin softener.
  • Olive Oil contains Vitamin E that aids in nourishing the skin from chafing and makes the skin soft and healthy.
  • Licorice
  • Calendula extract
  • Fragrance-free
  • Ceramides help to maintain the natural moisture of the skin.

When Can You Start Applying Lotion To Your Baby?

When Can You Start Applying Lotion To Your Baby_

A newborn baby does not need any lotion to moisturize their skin at least for the first month of birth, but if you really feel that the skin is too dry or flaky, then consult your baby’s doctor for using a specially formulated lotion for newborns. Olive oil is best for your baby at least for the first few months after birth.

Here are a few points to keep in mind if you are a first-time parent:

  • Before using any product, consult with the doctor.
  • Newborn babies need to bathe three days a week.
  • Clean the crease areas of the baby’s body like the armpits, toes, genitals, neck, and behind the ears.
  • Always check the ingredients and the expiry date of baby creams, lotions, and other products.
  • Dress your little one in soft cotton fabric that is breathable.
  • Apply a gentle cream or lotion after the bath.
  • Change diapers often and keep the area clean to avoid the chances of rashes.

Now that you know the difference between baby cream and lotion, choose what suits your baby the best. Enjoy a nice, moisturizing baby massage with your little one and keep their skin moisturized.


1. Which is Better For my Baby- Lotion or Cream?

Depends on where you live. If you live in a sultry place, a cream will suffice. If you live in a very dry area, you might need lotion.

2. Can I Use Baby Lotion on my Infant Every Day?

Yes, you can, consult your pediatrician for a reliable brand. If your baby shows reactions, discontinue usage.

3. Is it Necessary to Use a Cream on my NewBorn Baby?

Doctors advise using a baby lotion on newborn babies, the skin peels after birth. The lotion can help keep it nourished and prevent excessive dryness.

4. Can I Use Baby Lotion Regularly?

Yes, you can. It can soothe dry skin. Ensure you are using a well-reputed brand and baby version only.

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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