Bath time for babies is adorable, but it can also be pretty stressful for new parents. One of those reasons is that finding the best soap for kids is no easy task. You have to consider dyes, parabens, sulfates and other harmful toxins, while also finding products that won’t cause temper tantrums come bathtime.
So how can parents make sure they’re buying soap that’s actually good for your kids’ skin?
“The skin of babies and kids is unique to that of adults and have special needs of their own,” Dr. Latanya Benjamin, M.D. Board-certified Pediatric Dermatologist and founder of Young Skin, tells Spy. “Because pediatric skin is still developing and loses water more easily, the best baby cleansers and shampoos help to maintain hydration levels, strengthen the developing skin barrier and reinforce the proper pH to retain the baby skin’s natural moisture level. Remember, a baby’s scalp can also lose essential moisture, especially during bath time. The ideal baby care product will leave both healthy and soft hair and skin.”
When sudsing up your little one, you want to ensure that kids come out nice and clean, and free of tears. “When selecting the ideal cleanser or shampoo, be sure it is free of unnecessary additives and unwanted chemicals such as parabens, phthalates, sulfates, dyes and harsh fragrances,” Dr. Benjamin says. “Parents should always look for ingredients that are gentle, non-sensitizing and safe for use on baby skin. Bath time products should also be tear-free, which protects the delicate eyes of little ones.”
Fortunately, more bath and body companies are waking up to parents’ concerns, and there are a lot of products parents can use with peace of mind. Make bath time lots of fun with the best soaps for kids.
1. Baby Dove Sensitive Skin Care Baby Wash
“My favorite Baby Dove soap is the Fragrance-Free Moisture Hypoallergenic Wash,” says Dr. Benjamin, who works with the brand. “What I most love about it is that in addition to being hypoallergenic it is formulated with Dove’s 1/4 moisturizing cream that we have grown to love and trust over the years to replenish moisture into our skin. Even more, it is accepted by the National Eczema Association and suitable to use on the face, body and hair of newborns, making it super convenient for new moms!” The formula is tear-free and works into a rich, creamy lather.
2. Johnson’s Clean & Fresh Tear-Free Children’s Shampoo & Body Wash
An OG formula gets a makeover with Johnson’s No More Tears updated with this new option. Tested by pediatricians and ophthalmologists, it’s as gentle on eyes as water. The two-in-one shampoo and body wash features FreshBoost fragrance to giving the scent staying power. The hypoallergenic soap is paraben-, phthalate-, sulfate- and dye-free.
3. The Honest Company Ultra Dreamy Calming Lavender Shampoo + Body Wash
The Honest Company founder Jessica Alba knows what parents want, and that’s soap for kids that’s 100% free of tears and hassle. That’s why the celebrity mom set out to make the best kids’ soaps for parents who want skin-nourishing ingredients. This two-in-one baby shampoo and body wash works into a rich lather to cleanse, nourish and soothe children’s sensitive skin. Gentle enough for everyday use, it leaves skin hydrated and happy. The spotlight is on naturally derived ingredients, sans sulfates or parabens. Infused with lavender essential oil, it’ll calm your little one right before bedtime for a sweet slumber.
4. Aveeno Baby Gentle Wash & Shampoo
Oat is known for its soothing, healing powers and this soap for kids is loaded with the stuff. Natural oat extract takes center stage on the ingredients list, which is designed for daily use. The wash and kids’ shampoo rinses completely clean, leaving behind only a light scent. Tear-free, soap-free, hypoallergenic, paraben-free and phthalate-free, it checks off every box for parents. Aveeno makes some of the best moisturizing soaps for adults, but the brand also makes one of the best soap for kids we’ve found yet.
5. Cetaphil Baby Wash & Shampoo with Organic Calendula
Organic calendula extract is a key ingredient in this delicate formula that calms your little one’s skin, leaving it moisturized and healthy. The tear-free formula works into a rich lather for easy cleansing without over-drying. Dermatologist tested, the hypoallergenic soap for kids is free of parabens, colorants and mineral oil.
6. Fresh Monster Kids Shampoo & Body Wash
The cute little monster on the bottle might be just enough to coax your kids into a bath, not to mention its yummy watermelon scent. Even better, the fruity scent is all natural, just like the rest of the cruelty-free formula that’s free of all the nasties, including toxins, sulfates, parabens, phthalates, dyes, synthetic fragrances, BPA, gluten and soy. The no-more-tears gentle formula is just what their skin needs.
7. My Little North Star Baby Shampoo & Body Wash
When mom and dad are shopping for soap for kids, “organic” is a good word to see on the label. Made in the USA with natural and organic ingredients, My Little North Star’s hypoallergenic formula is non-toxic, vegan, biodegradable and cruelty-free. Designed just for babies, the tear-free formula keeps little ones happy throughout bath time, and it’s even safe for kids with extra sensitive skin, eczema or allergies.
8. Dial Kids Body + Hair Wash
No matter how old you are, “Bubble Berry” sounds like a pretty fantastic flavor! If you’re looking for soap for kids in the toddler range and older, this is the pick for you, since it’s designed for ages two and up. The formula is still tear-free, extra gentle, hypoallergenic and pH balanced, as well as safe for sensitive skin, making it a great find for tub time.
9. Suave Kids 3 in 1 Shampoo Conditioner Body Wash
A true triple threat, this fun green bottle is a shampoo, conditioner and body wash in one in a fun watermelon scent that will have kids wanting another squeeze. Parents will love that it’s just one bottle and one step, while kids will adore the gentle tear-free formula that goes easy on their eyes and skin.
10. Everyone 3-in-1 Kids Soap: Shampoo, Body Wash, and Bubble Bath
Orange you glad this multitasking soap for kids has such a delightful scent? In addition to Orange Squeeze, it’s also available in Lavender Lullaby and Tropical Coconut Twist. No matter which you choose, the clean formulas can be used as shampoo, body wash and bubble bath. Safe from all the ickies, the soap is free from parabens, synthetic fragrances, and triclosans, as well as GMO-free, cruelty-free and naturally gluten-free. Another bonus is the EWG verified brand has been on a zero-waste mission since 2019, diverting 90% of their waste from landfills and using recycled materials for their packaging.
11. Splatz Naturally Fun Hand Soap
The best soap for kids will actually make them excited to wash their hands, which is why we love this unique product. Made of eco-friendly bubbles with all-natural ingredients, they actually burst when kids squeeze them, which is where the Splatz name comes from. Created by a designer mom and two Harvard/MIT scientist dads, the soap teaches kids healthy habits from a young age. We found popping Splatz incredibly satisfying, and we’re sure your kids will, too!