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The Best Skincare for Black Babies and Toddlers
Updated on
March 15, 2024

The Best Skincare for Black Babies and Toddlers

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The Best Skincare for Black Babies and Toddlers.
The Best Skincare for Black Babies and Toddlers

When your baby is a fresh newborn, their skin is especially delicate, which means everything from the laundry detergent to their bath soap and baby lotion has to be made to cater to sensitive skin. For Black babies and toddlers with melanated skin, however, pediatrician and American Academy of Pediatrics [AAP] spokesperson Dr. Mahvash Majeed says that darker skin tones are more prone to “have more hyperpigmentation and is also more sensitive, and more easily irritated.” In fact, eczema, a skin condition that causes inflamed, itchy and dry skin patches, is more likely to occur in Black children at a rate of 20 percent (when compared to children of other races).

So what does this mean for your child’s melanated skin? As a Black woman and a mom to two Black children, I know firsthand that it means that the products we choose to care for our children’s skin need to be very hydrating, sensitive-skin friendly, and that lotion is a non-negotiable step in day-to-day skincare routines.

Dr. Geeta Yadav, board-certified dermatologist and founder of FACET Dermatology, echoes this, noting, “Black babies are more likely to be prone to very dry skin and may require more frequent application of lotion and the use of richer formulas, like very rich creams or balms” is recommended.

And for younger babies, scalp care is lumped into skincare with most baby wash doubling as shampoo. With that in mind, Dr. Yadav says that parents should keep an eye out for flaky scalps and cradle cap, opt for a moisturizing baby wash and shampoo, and follow it up with a scalp hydrating moisturizer.

From the top of their scalps to the bottom of their feet, these are the best skincare products for Black babies and toddlers.

Babylist’s Picks for the Best Skincare for Black Babies and Toddlers

Baby Oil

The Honest Company 
Organic Body Oil

Buy Now

Baby Oil

Buy Now

Eczema Cream

Diaper Rash Cream

How We Chose Our Best Skincare Products for Black Babies and Toddlers

  • We utilized insight from the Babylist editorial team, including Latifah Miles, commerce editor and mom of two, who has more than five years of experience researching, reviewing and writing about baby products.
  • We consulted experts, including a pediatric dermatologist, pediatrician and American Academy of Pediatrics spokesperson, and a board-certified dermatologist.
  • We reviewed customer reviews from hundreds of real Babylist parents.

Do Black Babies and Toddlers Need Sunscreen?

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, everyone, regardless of skin tone, needs to wear some form of sunscreen (these are our picks for the best sunscreen for babies). While melanated skin tends to tan instead of burn, the AAP says that melanated skin is not immune to sunburns or sun damage.

And I know that the notorious white cast that sunscreen can leave behind can be a deterrent, making it difficult to incorporate it into your kids’ routine. Thankfully, many modern formulas rub into the skin, residue-free, and brands like Black Girl Sunscreen are designed for melanated skin and apply more like a lightweight lotion versus a traditional sunscreen.

Keep in mind that the AAP recommends that babies under 6 months old avoid spending a ton of time outdoors, and if they are hanging out outside, keep their arms and legs covered and a brimmed hat on their head to protect them from direct sunlight exposure.

For babies over 6 months old and toddlers, an SPF of at least 30 is recommended.

What Ingredients Should Parents Look for in Skincare for Black Babies?

Babies with darker skin tones are more prone to having dry and sensitive skin, says Dr. Majeed. The best way to combat that is with natural, intensely hydrating ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil and almond oil (talk to your doctor about possible allergen exposure before using nut-based oils).

What to Look for in Skincare for Black Babies and Toddlers

  • Moisturizing: Babies with darker skin tones are more likely to run into excessive dryness and irritation. So, from their body wash to their body lotion, hydration and locking in moisture should be a top priority.
  • Sensitive Formula: After spending nineish months in the womb, all babies enter the world with delicate skin that is sensitive to fragrance, dyes and additives. And for Black babies, their skin is more prone to “irritation and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation as a reaction to irritation like diaper rash,” explains Dr. Yadav. So whenever possible during their babyhood, opt for a gentle formula designed for sensitive skin.

Latifah Miles

Latifah Miles is the Senior Commerce Editor at Babylist.

This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content and review products, as well as the Babylist Health Advisory Board.