Best Body Washes for Kids

Updated September 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

28 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
316 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best body washes for kids

Last Updated September 2020

Regular bath times are key in creating healthy routines for your child, whether it’s part of the nighttime wind-down or morning wake-up. An enjoyable bath routine — and a quality body wash — can help to set the tone for bedtime or the mood for the day.

Body wash has replaced bar soap as the cleanser of choice in many shower stalls and bathtubs. And this trend isn’t just for adults. Many body washes are formulated with kids in mind. Some feature popular movie characters, others delight the senses with kid-friendly scents. A number even include moisturizing lotions or shampoo to help you save time and money. 

Are you looking for an all-in-one product to help you streamline your evening after a long day? Does your child have eczema or other skin challenges that require a little extra TLC? Or are natural ingredients a priority in your household? There are options for all, and more. Keep reading to learn about your choices. When you’re ready to buy, check our recommendations for the top body washes for kids on the market.

Giving kids a cloth or sponge of their own to use can make them more receptive to washing.

Key considerations

Body wash vs. combos

Some formulas simply wash skin and do it well. If you have a separate shampoo you love or a child who has minimal hair, a dedicated body wash may be the right choice for you.

Combination shampoo/body washes include ingredients that individually target skin and hair. These formulas are gentle enough to wash skin effectively without overdrying fine hair, a major concern in combination products.

Other combos, sold as body wash/lotions, pair cleansing ingredients with moisturizing oils that nourish dry skin. These formulas should not be used to wash hair because they’re likely to leave it looking greasy.

Skin conditions

Children’s skin can be highly sensitive, even without additional challenges. But many kids suffer from eczema or allergies, too. If you notice patches of eczema, talk to your pediatrician, and look for a body wash that works with, not against, your child’s skin. Likewise, if specific products seem to trigger skin reactions, look for body washes that omit these ingredients. Some formulas specifically state whether they are free of common allergens.

Tear-free

This one almost goes without saying. Preventing little eyes from stinging was one of the main reasons bath products for kids were first developed. When looking for the perfect formula, make absolutely sure it delivers on its tear-free promise.

EXPERT TIP

The thicker, moisture-rich texture of body wash makes it a good choice for use when temperatures are cool and skin is more prone to dryness.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Ingredients

When it comes to skin care, ingredients can make or break the product. Ingredients also are a primary factor in price, so make sure you’re paying for what you want and nothing you don’t. Additionally, like all other skin products for children, the best body washes for kids should be free of parabens, phthalates, dyes, and strong or artificial fragrances.

Natural: Manufacturers may use natural ingredients such as lavender, chamomile, aloe, or oatmeal, among others, to make their kids’ body wash formulas. These naturally occurring products create a mixture that cleans at least as well as mixes loaded with synthetic substances, and they get the job done more gently, too.

Organic: Body washes made with organic ingredients up the ante even more. They’re made from natural products that are grown without the use of pesticides. Using these products ensures even fewer chemicals come into contact with your child’s skin.

Soap: It sounds counterintuitive, but body wash that’s soap-free can help kids with sensitive skin avoid itching, rashes, and hives. Soap is often made using chemicals that can irritate sensitive skin. Soap also removes a significant amount of moisture, leaving sensitive skin exposed to additional skin triggers. But note that soap-free washes replace the soap with synthetic ingredients, so they’re not for customers who want an all-natural product.

EXPERT TIP

Kids may be coordinated enough to start washing some body parts around age two, but they should not be left alone in the bath or shower until around age eight.


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Accessories

Bath toy organizer: Ubbi Freestanding Bath Toy Organizer
When it’s hard to find your child among all the bath toys, it’s time for an organizer. Ubbi’s unique design maximizes drainage and lets you scoop the toys right out of the water. Ubbi skips the suction cups, resting in a separate base that sits flat on the floor. And when the components get too grubby, just toss them in the dishwasher — they’re designed to take the heat.

Baby body wash: California Baby’s Super Sensitive Shampoo and Body Wash
If you’ve read this far and decided your child isn’t ready for a kids’ formula, check out this body wash. Dermatologists recommend this certified organic, fragrance-free body wash for babies with uber-sensitive skin, eczema, or allergies. What’s more, it’s vegan and tear-free, too.

Kids’ body wash prices

The good news is that kids’ body wash is one of the least expensive parts of parenting. You can find combination, natural, or other washes to fit any budget. Formulas that include natural ingredients generally cost more per ounce than those made from synthetics. Products with organic certifications are usually the priciest.

Inexpensive: You can find body wash for kids — even kids with sensitive skin — for less than $0.50 per ounce. At this price, you can count on formulas to be tear-free, but they probably won’t contain many ingredients you can pronounce.

Mid-range: The next tier of kids’ body wash costs between $0.60 and $0.75 per ounce. Body wash in this price range should contain some natural ingredients, and a handful may use organically grown botanicals. Products in this tier should include fewer synthetics, so they’re better for kids with sensitive skin. Some may even handle eczema or work for those with allergies.

Expensive: The highest-priced body washes cost about $1 per ounce. If you’re paying this much, you should be getting body wash made from mostly organic ingredients. They should be hypoallergenic and safe for kids with allergies, eczema, and just about any other skin concern. These luxurious formulas should leave skin calm, clean, and moisturized.

EXPERT TIP

Luxurious natural ingredients like lavender and avocado oil are skin-soothing lifesavers for some kids, but they can trigger allergic reactions in others.


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Tips

  • Try a pump bottle. Children who wash themselves may waste less product using a bottle with a pump than a pour bottle.
  • Watch out for artificial fragrances. If your child has sensitive skin, body washes with artificial fragrances may be an issue, too.
  • Try lavender before bed. Body washes that include lavender can help calm both your child’s skin and nerves before bedtime.
Daily baths can dry the skin of young babies and toddlers, but older children can wash every day.

FAQ

Q. When do I switch my child from baby wash to a body wash designed for kids?
A.
 There’s no exact science, but many say that around one year of age is the time to make the switch. That’s the age when most babies take their first steps, with walking, running, and sweating sure to follow. Up to that point, mild baby wash can handle most infant messes. But the toddler years require something stronger but still tear-free, which is where body wash for kids comes into play. You’ll probably want to use a body wash designed for kids until at least age eight, when kids have developed the coordination to wash without getting soap in their eyes, and when they require more from their body wash thanks to changing hormones.
 

Q. Is body wash better than bar soap?
A.
For starters, body wash formulas hydrate the skin far better than bar soap. Skin loses a significant amount of its natural moisture while bathing. Many bar soaps have a relatively high pH, which causes additional drying and makes the problem worse. Body washes are thicker and chock-full of moisturizing ingredients, so you won’t have to slather additional lotion on a squirmy kid. And body washes are easier for kids to use as they’re learning to bathe themselves. It’s hard for a kid to know if they’ve got enough bar soap on their washcloth. Bar soap can harbor bacteria — or disintegrate — if left in a sloppy puddle. Body wash simplifies bathtime with kids, and simple is good.
 

Q. At what age does my child need to start using conditioner?
A.
Most children can safely use formulas that combine a body wash and shampoo until age two. Some may have hair that’s thick enough, or so fine that it’s prone to tangling, that they need some help around the two-year point. Others may make it all the way to preschool before needing a separate conditioner. At this point, you can use a shampoo formula that includes a conditioner some of the time, but make sure you use a real conditioner about once a week.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn Llewellyn
    Bronwyn Llewellyn
    Editor
  • Ciera Pasturel
    Ciera Pasturel
    Digital Content Producer
  • Kristin Yarbrough
    Kristin Yarbrough
    Writer
  • Melinda Snowden
    Melinda Snowden
    Web Producer

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