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10 best baby eczema creams, oils and lotions

With expert advice and recommendations from parents who've had first-hand experience in treating eczema in babies, here are the most highly-rated and effective products

Best eczema creams for babies
Published: April 1, 2022 at 9:45 am

Eczema can affect anyone of any age, and those who have the skin condition know just how sore and uncomfortable it can be to manage. Bring babies into the mix, and you have a tough job on your hands.

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The NHS defines eczema as, "the name for a group of skin conditions that cause dry, irritated skin". Eczema causes skin to become dry, itchy, red and cracked and is also known as atopic dermatitis. Eczema can start from birth, but usually flares up between 2-3 months. Around 1 in 5 children suffer from the skin condition.

While there's sadly no quick or permanent fix for eczema at the moment, there are ways of managing it.

According to the National Eczema Association, "Keeping your skin’s moisture intact is one of the most important things you can do to help control your eczema."

Lots of product claim to help with that, so knowing where to start can be tricky. If your baby is suffering from eczema, it may be worth trying a moisturiser that other parents have found has helped their child. Below, we have rounded up 10 of the best eczema creams, oils and lotions, all of which have made a difference according to parents of children with eczema.

We've also put together a short guide explaining some of the facts and myths about eczema.

If your baby is suffering from nappy rash, take a look at our best nappy creams. The best baby toiletries and best baby skincare products may be useful if you're after other products that can be used to clean your baby but are gentle on their skin.

Best eczema creams for babies at a glance

  • Best for sustainability: Childs Farm Oat Derma Baby Moisturiser, £4.33
  • Best for a preservative-free option: Lush Dream Cream, from £5.50
  • Best for a cooling sensation: Epaderm Cream, £12.50 for 500g
  • Best for severe eczema: Diprobase Cream, £15 for 500g
  • Best for severe eczema patches: Balmonds Skin Salvation, £7.99
  • Best for daily use: Aveeno Baby Dermexa Daily Emollient Cream, £9.99 for 200ml
  • Best for a rich texture: Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Fragrance Free Body lotion, £6.68 for 400ml
  • Best for an organic option: Kokoso Baby Organic Coconut Oil, £8 for 168g
  • Best for a light texture: Childs Farm Baby Moisturiser, from £2.50
  • Best for a bath treatment: Oilatum Junior Bath Additive, £3.96

What should I consider when buying an eczema cream?

Ingredients – There's a debate as to whether you should go for eczema creams that are made from natural ingredients or not. We asked Dr Anita Amin, Lead Consultant Dermatologist her opinion on this matter, and she said, "it's good to avoid plant or food-based creams as they put your baby more at risk of developing serious plant or food allergies, bland creams with parabens tend to be better". She also advised going for "moisturisers with no scent or colour additives".

Age – It's important to look at whether the cream is suitable for your baby's age. Some creams are suitable to use from birth, whereas others may not be appropriate until a certain age.

Type – There are many different ways to treat eczema, you can go for a cream/moisturiser that you apply to them up to 4 times a day, or there are oils and bath treatments. For really severe eczema, there are ointments and lotions. You can choose what's right for you based on the severity of their eczema and your lifestyle.

How much you need – Always consider the capacity. You don't want to be constantly running out or not have enough right when your baby is in the heights of a flare up.

Ease of application – Much like there are many different types of eczema treatments, there're also contained in different ways. An easy pump action bottle does make application of the cream easier and can be more hygienic. However, you may be able to get a thicker cream or balm in a tub.

Best baby eczema treatments recommended by parents

1. Childs Farm Oat Derma Baby Moisturiser, £4.33

– Best for sustainability

Childs Farm Oat Derma before and after for Leo aged 8 months

Suitable from: Birth| Type: lotion| Capacity: 250ml| Bottle type: Pump bottle

Childs Farm's new Oat Derma range uses a new formula featuring sustainable sourced colloidal oatmeal and oat oil to help soothe sensitive dry and eczema-prone skin. Their bottles are also made of 100% recycled ocean-bound plastic, meaning each purchase saves 7.5 million bottles a year from going into the ocean. The pump on the bottle is made of a single polymer plastic with a plastic spring to help it be recycled too.

However, it's sustainability is not its only selling point, thanks to its oat formula it has shown great results for our parent tester Sarah, who used this cream with her 8 month old son, Leo (see before and after pictured above). "To my surprise it got my son's eczema mainly cleared, especially on his back. Before, he was uncomfortable, trying to arch his back and rub it against stuff. After I could see his discomfort disappear".

Pros: Sustainable and easy to use pump
Cons: May not be suitable for sever eczema flare ups

Available from: Boots and Amazon

2. Lush Dream cream, from £5.50

– Best for a preservative-free option

Lush Dream Cream

Suitable from: 6 months | Type: Cream | Capacity: 45g, 240g, 450g | Bottle type: Tub

Lush Dream Cream is not specially designed to deal with baby eczema, but many of our MFM home testers said they use it and recommend it. Dream Cream has a distinctive oat and lavender scent, and can be purchased in three sizes. Lush uses fair trade ingredients and does not do any animal testing on its products.

There are 2 options here: the standard dream cream includes some synthetic preservatives, or there's a self-preserving Dream Cream which keeps itself clean without the use of synthetic preservatives. We've chosen to recommend the self-preserving one as many people prefer this for their children. However, Lush does warn that the self-preserving version is slightly richer and creamier due to the increased levels of glycerine, extra virgin olive oil and Fair Trade cocoa butter, so do bear this in mind if a lighter texture is important to you.

Our MFM home testers had a lot to say about Dream Cream. Hannah, mum of 2, said "the smell is pleasant" and "the cream is also buttery smooth, which makes application extremely easy as it glides onto the skin with minimal effort...we purchased the cream on a bit of whim as a last resort and we were amazed by the results. Within a week my son's eczema had completely vanished as if we hadn't spent months battling it".

MFM home tester Lucy, mum of 2 girls says "it's very light and easy to apply on my little one's face, unlike other creams that you really have to rub in, so a little goes a long way and the tub lasts ages". "It also smells divine," continued Lucy. She was eager to mention, however, "if my daughter's having a severe flair up then it doesn't help heal the skin, but keeps it well moisturised and helps as a preventative and for milder flair ups".

Pros: Lovely relaxing scent, self-preserving option, no animal testing
Cons: Quite expensive, not great for very severe eczema flare-ups

Available from: LUSH

3. Epaderm Cream, £12.50 for 500g

– Best for a cooling sensation

Epaderm Cream

Suitable from: Birth | Type: Emollient cream | Capacity: 500g | Bottle type: Pump bottle

Epaderm cream is an emollient cream formulated with clinically proven ingredients that moisturise and soften the skin. Many parents we spoke to use this as a remedy for eczema. It has no fragrances or colourings, and prides itself on being recommended by doctors.

MFM home tester Brogan uses Epaderm cream on her son and said, "it's quite cooling when applied which he seems to like...it's also a pump action container which is much more convenient and cleaner". Brogan went on to mention that it's fragrance-free with no discernible scent, and "it applies really smooth and it's not sticky".

Hannah, another MFM home tester, mum to a little boy said, Epaderm is "really easy to apply and absorbs really quickly. It's non-greasy and doesn't leave a residue on clothes".

Pros: Easy to use pump, applies smoothly, not sticky
Cons: Lack of scent may not suit everyone

Available from: Boots and Amazon

4. Diprobase Cream, £15 for 500g

– Best for severe eczema

Diprobase Cream

Suitable from: Birth | Type: Emollient cream | Capacity: 500g | Bottle type: Pump bottle

Much like Epaderm, Diprobase is a classic emollient cream. It aims to relieve and soothe red, inflamed, damaged, dry or chapped skin.

Diprobase can be used to treat dry skin stemming from various skin irritations such as; dry skin, atopic dermatitis and of course, eczema.

Application is made easier with its pump nozzle, and the product comes in a huge bottle for frequent and generous application.

Emma, a MFM home tester said, her "daughter was prescribed Diprobase whilst still in NICU". She went on to say, "it's a very thick cream which is great, and it seems to spread nicely and go a long way too". However one downside Emma mentioned was, "the smell is very clinical like and not her favourite smell at all".

Pros: Easy to use pump, thick cream
Cons: Does not have a nice smell

Available from: Boots, Amazon and Ocado

5. Balmonds Skin Salvation, from £7.99

– Best for severe eczema patches

Balmonds Skin Salvation

Suitable from: 6+ weeks | Type: Cream | Capacity: 30ml, 60ml, 120ml | Bottle type: Tub

Balmonds award-winning Skin Salvation is a 100% natural intensive moisturising balm, free from synthetics, fragrance and paraffin. It's also dermatologist-approved for sensitive skin. Made with a protective beeswax to lock in moisture, it aim to support the healthy functioning of the skin barrier.

MFM home tester Hannah, mum of an 18-month-year-old boy said, "it had amazing reviews and it didn't disappoint. It's a bit pricier than other off the shelf creams. I find Balmonds to be thicker in consistency which is great at forming a barrier". One thing Hannah didn't like was that it "can stain clothes, but so far any little stains that have occurred have come out with Vanish".

MFM home tester Bina, mum of 2 said, "Balmonds Skin Salvation is fantastic for spot treating severe patches of eczema that are bleeding, weeping, or red raw. We use it in place of our steroid creams that were prescribed". She went on to say, "the texture is quite thick but we like that as it allows us to spread onto affected area and there's a nice thick layer covering it, so when our daughter tries to scratch the eczemitis area it's much more difficult for her to get her nails in". However, Bina did also say, "initially the kids weren't so keen on the smell, it's not offensive per se but you can smell most of the natural products so that took some getting used to".

Pros: 100% natural, thick cream, dermatologist-approved
Cons: Not the nicest smell

Available from: Look Fantastic, Feel Unique and Holland and Barrett

6. Aveeno Baby Dermexa Daily Emollient Cream, £9.99 for 200ml

– Best for daily use

Aveeno Baby Dermexa Daily Emollient Cream

Suitable from: Birth| Type: Emollient cream| Capacity: 200ml | Bottle type: Tube

Aveeno Baby Dermexa was another product lots of our MFM home testers recommended for treating eczema for babies. Its triple Oat Complex and Ceramides – which are in many Aveeno products but exist in their highest concentration in this one – moisturise your baby's skin but also aim to strengthen the skin's natural barrier.

The product is free from parabens, dyes, alcohol and scent that may be a concern to parents of newborns. It's also clinically proven to soothe the baby's skin with immediate effect.

MFM home tester Jayne, mum of 2 said, "it smells pretty mild and is quick drying". She discussed the effectiveness of the cream on eczema, saying "it clears it up super quick".

Loira, another MFM home tester said, "I was recommended Dermexa and we all love it, it doesn't smell medicine-y like some of the other cream we've tried, it has a lovely texture and goes on well".

Pros: High concentration of key ingredients
Cons: Quite expensive for a small tube

Available from: Look Fantastic, Boots and Amazon

7. Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Fragrance Free Body Lotion, £6.68 for 400ml

– Best for a rich texture

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Fragrance Free Body Lotion

Suitable from: Birth| Type: C0coa butter formula lotion| Capacity: 400ml | Bottle type: Pump bottle

This fragrance free lotion is created with a Cocoa butter formula, which should provide deep hydration to dry skin and lock in moisture for up to 24 hours. The velvety soft formula claims to absorb quickly, creating a protective barrier to lock in moisture.

MFM home tester Elizabeth-Rose, who has one little boy said, "I love the texture of cocoa butter, it makes your skin feel so smooth after application and I often find sporadic eczema clears up within a few days". However, "it can be a bit tacky on occasion so I always have to wait 5 to 10 minutes before I get my little one dressed."

Palmer's Cocoa Butter lotion has vitamin E and is Paraben and Phthalate free, making it ideal for sensitive skin.

Pros: easy to use pump, contains nourishing vitamin E
Cons: Can be a bit sticky

Available from: Look Fantastic, Feel Unique and Boots

8. Kokoso Baby Organic Coconut Oil, £8 for 168g

– Best for an organic option

Kokoso Baby Organic Coconut Oil

Suitable from: Birth| Type: C0conut oil| Capacity: 168g | Bottle type: Tub

Kokoso's Baby Organic Coconut Oil is made from only pure, raw coconuts, and was created by a mum who was searching for a natural remedy for her baby's dry skin. It's made using a unique process developed by a University Professor, which has led to it being more lightweight than some other coconut oil products, meaning it absorbs easier into you baby's skin.

MFM home tester Stephanie, mum of 2 said, "we liked the Kokoso because it goes on easily and it's not too strong a smell". "A tub lasts ages too so really good value for money", she continued. Stephanie explained, "my youngest had CMPA and the horrific rash that goes with it. We started using Kokoso and within 4 days it was so much better".

Pros: Made using natural ingredients, lightweight, absorbs well
Cons: Quite expensive but said to last a long time, have to scoop out of tub

Available from: JoJo Maman Bebe, Boots and Ocado

9. Childs Farm Baby Moisturiser, from £2.50

– Best for a light texture

Childs Farm Baby Moisturiser

Suitable from: Birth | Type: Lotion | Capacity: 50ml, 250ml, 500ml | Bottle type: Pump bottle

A large proportion of our MFM home testers recommended the original Childs Farm Baby Moisturiser for treating eczema. It's an award-winning lightly fragranced baby moisturiser which aims to help soothe and hydrate all skin types, in particular, dry, sensitive and eczema prone skin.

It's made with ethically sourced and naturally derived ingredients, with a light fragrance. Its pump-action top makes it great for one-handed application on a wriggling baby.

MFM home tester Laura has been using Childs Farm since her daughter (now 6) was around 3 months old". Laura explained, "she had really sensitive skin as a baby, and it seemed like the big brands and supermarket toiletries all brought her out in a rash". Childs Farm "seemed to be the only thing that helped to soothe her dry skin," Laura said. She loves the scent of the moisturiser, and also the easy to use pump. "The thickness of the cream is also just right for everyday application, and it doesn't leave my hands or my little one greasy afterwards".

However, Laura did find one downside to the moisturiser, adding "sometimes I feel it isn't quite thick enough, for example if it's a particularly stubborn dry patch of skin."

MFM home tester Chloe, mum of 2, also used Childs Farm moisturiser for eczema and said "it absorbs really well into their skin which is good with wriggly kids who don't want to stand still forever being moisturised...it really made a difference for my son after a couple of days and we've never looked back really," continued Chloe.

Pros: Natural ingredients, easy to use pump, pleasant smell, not greasy
Cons: Not thick enough for severe eczema patches

Available from: Boots (50ml), Boots (250ml), Boots (500ml), Amazon (250ml) and Amazon (500ml)

10. Oilatum Junior Bath Additive, £3.96

– Best for a bath treatment

Oilatum Junior Bath Additive

Suitable from: Birth | Type: Bath treatment | Capacity: 150ml | Bottle type: Bottle

This bath treatment from Oilatum has been specially developed to produce a soothing milky bath to treat your little one's eczema. It claims to form an emollient film on the skin surface to reduce moisture loss, and to soothe, soften and rehydrate your baby's skin. No soaps are needed alongside this product as it also cleanses the skin too.

The best thing about this treatment is you don't need to spend ages putting lotion or cream on an unwilling baby. You simply add a treatment to their bathwater.

MFM home tester Sophie uses this and "likes that you don't add too much to the bath (1/2 capful to 2 capfuls depending on age) and it's non-fragranced, doesn't leave the children's skin oily". She also liked how you "don't have to do anything different to your normal bath routine".

Pros: Easy and quick to use, creates an emollient film
Cons: Have to have a bath to be able to use it

Available from: Boots, Feel Unique and Amazon

How did we choose our 10 of the Best?

Our 10 of the Best lists are compiled by qualified and experienced parenting journalists. They rely on a number of sources, including our independent reviews, testing undertaken during the MadeForMums Awards, and feedback from our home testing panel and Top Testers Club. Each year thousands of products are put through their paces by hundreds of parents across the country on behalf of MadeForMums, to ensure we’re bringing you honest and true reviews and recommendations. 

To collate this list of best eczema creams and lotions for babies, we spoke to the Made For Mums community and asked them to tell us a bit about their first-hand experience with their babies eczema and the treatments they have used.

When testing eczema creams and lotions for babies we look at efficacy, texture, smell, ease of application and value for money.

Our list is not an ordered ranking from 1-10, instead it is a carefully selected group of tried-and-tested products, each of which we believe is best for a different situation or requirement. We don’t just tell you what is best, we help you discover what is best for your family.

Why has my baby got eczema?

There's no definitive answer as to what causes eczema. It's believed it's a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Infants are much more likely to develop eczema if there's a history of eczema, hay fever or asthma in their family.

Eczema flare ups can be triggered by skin contact with soap, shampoo, pollen or any other irritating substances. It can also stem from food allergies, about 30% of babies with severe eczema also have food allergies. One of the most common allergies is cow's milk.

Eczema is not contagious and over 10% of children suffer from it.

How long can eczema last in babies?

Eczema can start to go away by 4 years old, although some children suffer from eczema all the way through adulthood too.

It's impossible to predict which children will outgrow the condition and which ones will have it forever.

When it comes to how long flare ups last, that can range to anything from 1 to 3 weeks with proper treatment.

How do you treat eczema in babies?

While your child is suffering from eczema, there are a variety of oils, creams and lotions that can help soothe your baby’s irritable skin. However, it's important to remember that what works for one child may not work for another, so there may be a process of trial and error to find what works for you.

Your family GP may also be able to prescribe other treatments, but these should only be used as medically directed, as they are usually much stronger than the baby creams you would find in the shops.

To help your child at home, try some of the balms and creams recommended by other parents in our list and make sure you continue moisturising regularly, particularity following bath time.

As skin dries after being into contact with water, it can make the skin even more irritable. That's why the National Eczema Association advises moisturising within three minutes of bathing to "lock in moisture and protect the skin barrier."

When applying creams and lotions to eczema-prone skin, the association also says you need to, "soften moisturiser by rubbing it between your hands and then apply it using the palm, in downward strokes. Avoid rubbing in the moisturiser by stroking up and down, or in circles."

Dr Anita Amin, Lead Consultant Dermatologist, agrees that eczema cream should be applied in downward strokes and also recommends that you apply the cream ideally 4 times a day, 2 times minimum.

When we asked Dr Amin her top tips for treating eczema in babies she said: "choose a moisturiser your baby will accept, for example absorbs quickly. Avoid soaps and shower gels, you can use the creams instead and have enough cream in the house, depending on the severity and size of your baby".

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About our expert

Dr Anita Amins's experience includes Lead Consultant Dermatologist in her National Health Service practice and Cancer Lead for Brighton and Hove. She has a wealth of expertise in skin cancer, rashes and paediatric dermatology. For more advice or a consultation vist her website.

About the author

Chloe is a Digital Reviews Writer and Coordinator for Immediate Media's Parenting team. She researches and writes articles, recommending the best products for parents, ranging from best sleep aids to best playpens. She has a First-Class Honours Psychology degree where she developed a strong interest in child development.

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