When I first became a mother, I underwent a staggering transformation. No longer did I adopt a laissez faire attitude towards skincare — when it came to my beloved Esmé I wanted only the best for her. Having access to a wide range of brands for adults as a beauty editor didn't always translate to the same access for baby skincare brands. That said, through trial and error, reading recommendations on parent sites and word of mouth praise from other mums, we've narrowed down the list to these skin saviours for our little ones. Whether you're choosing a shower gel that doubles up as a shampoo, a cream for the precious one's skin or a sunscreen to protect baby's delicate complexion, here are our picks. While we know there are parents who have extremely high standards, here's what we would use on our own kid.
1. Kiehl's Baby
We love Kiehl's products for ourselves so we were pretty much delighted to know that Kiehl's Baby existed. The edited collection currently has a cream, body oil, lip balm and baby wash, but is pretty much all you need for a simple bath and skincare routine. Lots of mums (and dads) and have also reported that the Moisturizing Cream is great for treating mild eczema — we tried it on Esmé and it worked. The cream is great for dry patches of skin and packing for a a winter holiday, as baby's skin is subject to the elements just like adults. Tip: sometimes kids need lip balm too.
Free from: Paraben, silicone, fragrance and mineral oils
Star buy: Nurturing Baby Cream for Face & Body, a multitasker that keeps baby's skin protected and hydrated.
2. Burt's Bees Baby Bee
Yes the popular brand offers rich and moisturising treats for your little ones that are made from the same natural ingredients found in the adult range — think shea butter, sweet almond oil, beeswax, aloe vera and coconut oil. Products include a tear-free bubble bath, diaper ointment and even chlorine-free baby wipe to give your infant's bottom the royal treatment you think she deserves. We like that the website also lists, in percentage form, just how natural each product is — it ranges from 98.9 to 100 per cent natural, great for particular mums and dads.
Free from: Depending on the product, they are free from phthalates, parabens, petrolatum, and SLS. Check each product to make sure.
Star buy: Baby Bee Dusting Powder, a talc-free powder that is safe for baby.
Babyganics has a wide variety of products on offer beyond skincare and haircare for your tot. We personally use household products like the brand's dishwashing foam and highchair and toy cleaner ourselves, and the brand also has cute and clever swim diapers that change colour when your little one has had too much UV exposure. On the skincare front, expect the usual selection of diaper creams, body washes and shampoos, there is also mineral-based sunscreen and natural insect repellant on offer. Generally affordable, you can get these at your local Kiddy Palace as well as on websites like iHerb.com.
Free from: Parabens, phthalates and synthetic fragrances. To see in detail what is in each product, visit their website.
Star buy: Eczema Care Skin Protectant Cream, enriched with colloidal oatmeal to prevent itching.
Buro interviewed the founders of this Dutch brand earlier this year when they were in town to launch their brand at Gallery & Co. Fathers themselves, Sjoerd Trompetter and Jochem Hes created NAÏF — pronounced naive — as they noticed a lot of big brands were not using quality ingredients in their baby skincare. NAÏF not ony looks cool in pictures, the brand has a simple but comprehensive edit of 10 products including a Nurturing Cream and Softening Body Lotion as well as a handy travel kit. Ingredients that are used include cottonseed oil, bisabolol, avocado oil, sweet almond oil and macademia nut oil.
Free from: Mineral oil, parabens, phenoxyethanol, SLS/SLES, essential oils, allergenic perfumes and harsh chemicals.
Star buy: Milky Bath Oil with Natural Cottonseed Oil, which can be enjoyed by adults as well.
5. California Baby
Often touted as the gold standard when it comes to baby care products, California Baby is manufactured in the US and free from common allergens like peanuts, soy, dairy or gluten. Certified organic, everything from the water to the raw ingredients used in each bottle is vigorously tested. In fact the brand even grows some of its own crops, like calendula in its organic farm. Besides having body washes for eczema-prone skin and a calming diaper wash, the brand also has a range of handy and calming Everywhere Spritzes — including one for Overtired & Cranky tots — sign us up. For easy shipping, buy it online at Pupsik Studio.
Free from: Parabens, sulfates, DEA, colourants and dyes. DEET is not used in its insect repellants. (Do note that pure essential oils are used to scent some products, though there are fragrance-free and super sensitive options as well.)
Star buy: Super Senstive Shampoo & Bodywash, that can also be used on adults with sensitive skin or on coloured hair as well.
6. Neal's Yard Remedies Baby Care
Another proponent of organic and natural skincare, this time from England, Neal's Yard Remedies is known for its signature dark blue bottles. The Baby Care range includes a Baby Barrier cream that is preservative-free and ideal for protecting skin from a nappy rash, and the fragrance-free, vegan baby soap that is enriched with calendula and sunflower oil.
Free from: The brand does not list what is excluded from this range, but checking the products will reveal how organic each product is on a percentage scale, as well as the ingredients used.
Star buy: Baby Oil, that is 100 per cent organic and made from starflower oil. It can be used for both baby massage and skin conditions like cradle cap.
7. Innisfree Pure Green Baby
The bad news? Innisfree's Singapore outlets have stopped retailing its baby range. The good news? You can pick up these goodies just a hop, skip and jump away in Seoul. The parent brand was inspired by the goodness of natural, Jeju-sourced ingredients like green tea and lava seawater. The certified organic baby line — it's compliant with ECOCERT – includes bubble wash, lotion, cream and sun cream.
Free from: 1,4-doixane, animal ingredients, mineral oil, colourants, parabens, artificial fragrance, formaldehyde, acrylamide, benzophenone and silicon. The products are made from 85.9 to 100 per cent natural ingredients.
Star buy: Mom's Touch Milk Oil, that can be used to massage and gently nourish dry skin.
8. Bonpoint Skincare
Bonpoint, the luxury French children's clothing company has a skincare line that is a bit of a cult favourite among in-the-know beauty types. Currently retailing at Kids21 and Bonpoint oulets, the minimalist, cream bottles will appeal to the fashion set. The range includes the crème fluide Visage, the lotion douceur, the mousse nettoyante Visage, and the crème mains. Though not retailing in Singapore, the Gentle Oil is another favourite among industry insiders, that you can get on your next trip to Paris.
Free from: The range is hypoallergenic and designed to respect the delicate skin of babies and children, though exact specifications and ingredients are not listed.
Star buy: The signature Bonpoint scent that was created by the late Annick Goutal in 1986 — she was Bonpoint founder Marie-France Cohen's sister. With notes of neroli, bitter orange, lemon and tangerine, though we don't advocate perfumes for infants, this is a great starter scent for tweens or something you can spray on their clothes. Or heck, use it on yourself.