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Dry skin in babies: your questions answered

Have you ever put your baby to bed with soft, smooth skin, but found it felt dry the next day? Although this may have left you puzzled, dryness is common in delicate baby skin. 

Because it loses moisture more quickly than an adult’s, baby skin can dry out easily. Paediatric dermatologist and mum-of-two Dr Zilda sees many baby dry skin conditions. “Baby eczema and baby dermatitis are frequent problems and occur more often in babies, because their skin is thinner and more sensitive,” she explains.

Whatever the condition, dryness isn’t unbeatable. Using mild and caring products can help to soothe and hydrate dry baby skin. Here are answers to some common questions: 

  • 1

    “How can my baby already have dry skin?” 

    “Baby skin loses water faster, is thinner and more sensitive than an adult’s, and has an immature temperature control, while also being more susceptible to germs,” says paediatric dermatologist Dr Kerstin. It’s easy to see why it needs extra-special care. Luckily Baby Dove’s hypoallergenic and pH-neutral baby lotions deliver moisturising care for all baby skin, including a newborn’s


  • 2

    “What should I do when my baby’s skin is dry?” 

    You might find that dry skin in baby needs a little more care. “If your baby’s skin is dry, a moisturiser should be used daily,” recommends Dr Zilda. Using the Baby Dove Rich Moisture Nourishing Baby Lotion, for example, keeps dry skin hydrated for up to 24 hours.  

  • 3

    “How long should my baby spend in the bath?” 

    Bathtime can be one of the best parts of the day – so do it the way that suits you and your baby. But if your little one has dry skin, you might want to keep it short and sweet. “Try shorter baths – up to five minutes,” says Dr Kerstin, “and use warm rather than hot water” 

  • 4

    “How to make sure the bath water’s not too hot?”

    Many parents use their elbow to test the temperature of their baby’s bath. If you like to be precise, you could try a bath thermometer – they will generally suggest a temperature of 37 to 38 degrees Celsius

  • 5

    “Do all mild cleansers stop baby skin from drying out?” 

    To get the best care for your baby, you will want to go for a cleanser that helps maintain moisture, too, such as the Baby Dove Rich Moisture Hair to Toe baby wash, which contains our ¼ moisturising cream

  • 6

    “How long after the bath should I put on moisturiser?” 

    That all depends on your personal bath routine. If you ask Dr Kerstin, as soon as possible is best: “If their skin is dry, apply a moisturiser right after the bath.” A gentle product, such as our Rich Moisture Nourishing Baby Lotion, will help seal in moisture even on eczema-prone skin