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The 2024 Parents’ Choice Awards: Top Skincare Products for Babies, Kids, and Teens

Skin care isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal, especially for our little ones. Babies, kids, and teens all have unique needs and sensitivities, so finding the right products can feel daunting. Fear not, because we’ve scoured the market and enlisted the help of expert judges to bring you the crème de la crème of skin care products for every stage of childhood, including a special nod to expectant parents. So, we’ve got you covered whether you’re dealing with diaper rash, teen breakouts, or simply aiming to keep your child’s skin healthy and glowing.

Best Skincare for Babies: Nurturing Delicate Skin

PARENTS / JOY KIM

Babies are bundles of joy with extra-sensitive skin, making it crucial to choose gentle products free from harsh chemicals. Our panel of expert judges, including pediatricians and registered nurses, handpicked the following winners:

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B.Box Nappy Barrier Cream 

AMAZON

This travel-friendly diaper rash cream boasts a convenient push dispenser design and a vegan-friendly formula, ensuring your baby’s bum stays soft and protected on the go.

Frida Baby the FlakeFixer 

AMAZON

Say goodbye to cradle cap woes with this intuitive three-step set. It features a sponge, brush, and comb to gently remove flakes and keep your baby’s scalp clean and healthy.

Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment 

AMAZON

A tried-and-true solution for dry skin, diaper rash, and minor scrapes, this hypoallergenic ointment is a staple in many households, thanks to its fragrance-free and paraben-free formula.

Badger Baby Night-Night Foaming Shampoo & Wash 

AMAZON

This calming lavender foaming shampoo infused with nourishing coconut and sunflower oils, will make bath time a breeze. It will moisturize and clean your baby’s skin.

CeraVe Baby Moisturizing Cream 

AMAZON

Endorsed by dermatologists and free from fragrance, parabens, and dyes, this moisturizing cream is a must-have for soothing dry, itchy skin and reinforcing your baby’s protective barrier.

Mommy’s Bliss Baby Eczema Ease Daily Moisturizer

AMAZON

 Combat eczema flare-ups with this steroid-free moisturizer, crafted with colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, and olive oil to soothe and protect your baby’s delicate skin.

Mini Bloom Sunny Stick

MAISONETTE

 Protect your little one from the sun’s harmful rays with this mess-free sunscreen stick, featuring 30 SPF protection and a reef-safe, non-nano zinc oxide formula.

    Best Skincare for Kids: Keeping Up with Curious Explorers

    PARENTS / JOY KIM

    As kids grow more independent, their skincare needs evolve, requiring products that can handle big messes while remaining gentle on the skin. Here are our top picks for kids:

    The Wonderverse Labs Paw Puff Gentle Foaming Face & Body Wash

    AMAZON

    Encourage independent bath time with this playful foaming wash, designed with an oversized pump and infused with moisturizing coconut oil for soft, clean skin.

    Afro Unicorn Magical Tresses Never a Knot Detangling Shampoo

    AMAZON

    Tame stubborn knots and coils with this detangling shampoo, free from parabens, alcohol, sulfates, and silicone, ensuring a gentle cleanse for textured hair.

    Hello Bello Kids Shampoo & Body Wash

    AMAZON

     Make bath time a delight with this vegan and cruelty-free body wash, available in nine refreshing scents and formulated with moisturizing ingredients like jojoba oil and aloe vera juice.

    Proudly Defining Detangler and Refresher

    AMAZON

     Say goodbye to tangled locks with this vegan detangler, featuring a spray bottle design for targeted application and a delightful scent that kids love.

    Aveeno Kids Sensitive Skin Bubble Bath

    AMAZON

     Let sensitive skin join in on the bubble fun with this hypoallergenic bubble bath, enriched with natural oat extract to soothe and moisturize irritated skin.

    Bee & You Skincare Mineral Natural Sunscreen for Kids

    AMAZON

     Provide superior sun protection with this water-resistant sunscreen, boasting SPF 50 protection and a non-greasy formula suitable for sensitive skin.

    Yipes! Face and Hand Wipes

    AMAZON

     Stay prepared for messes on-the-go with these plant-derived wipes, individually wrapped for convenience and gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin.

      Best Skincare for Teens and Tweens: Tackling Hormonal Changes

      PARENTS / JOY KIM

      As hormones wreak havoc on teen skin, it’s essential to choose products that hydrate without clogging pores or exacerbating breakouts. Our expert judges have curated a selection of skincare essentials for teens and tweens:

      Holifrog Superior Omega Gel Wash 

      HOLIFROG

      Combat breakouts with this gentle face wash, infused with organic ingredients and probiotics to cleanse and control acne without stripping the skin.

      Good Time Hydrating Shampoo Bar

      Hydrating Shampoo

      Treat dry, stressed hair to this hydrating shampoo bar, crafted with glycerin and nourishing oils to cleanse and moisturize without weighing hair down.

      Wen Kids Watermelon Cleansing Conditioner

      QVC

       Simplify hair care with this multitasking cleansing conditioner, designed to detangle and cleanse hair while locking in moisture and nutrients.

      Tower 28 SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray

      AMAZON

       Keep skin balanced and refreshed with this toning facial spray, featuring a minimalist formula that soothes irritation and reduces redness.

      CeraVe Ultra Light Moisturizing Gel

      AMAZON

       Hydrate oily skin without the greasy feel with this lightweight moisturizing gel, enriched with hyaluronic acid and ceramides to mattify and nourish.

      Keys Soulcare Deeply Replenishing Squalane Facial Oil

      AMAZON

      Lock in moisture with this replenishing facial oil, formulated with squalane and nourishing oils to hydrate and improve skin elasticity.

      Elf Skin Suntouchable Invisible Sunscreen 35 SPF

      AMAZON

      Protect skin from harmful UV rays with this invisible sunscreen, offering broad-spectrum protection and a lightweight finish perfect for everyday wear.

        Best Prenatal Skincare: Nurturing Expectant Moms

        PARENTS / JOY KIM

        Pregnancy brings its own set of skincare challenges, from hormonal fluctuations to heightened sensitivity. Our judges have handpicked the following products to help expecting parents care for their changing skin:

        Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

        AMAZON

         Cleanse gently with this non-foaming cleanser, enriched with moisturizing ingredients like glycerin and vitamins to soothe and hydrate sensitive skin.

        La Roche-Posay Lipikar Daily Repair Moisturizing Cream

        AMAZON

         Keep dry skin at bay with this nourishing cream, featuring shea butter and niacinamide to hydrate and improve skin texture.

        EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen

        AMAZON

         Shield skin from the sun with this mineral sunscreen, offering SPF 46 protection and niacinamide to reduce dark spots and blemishes.

        Frida Mom Stretch Prep Balm

        AMAZON

         Prepare and soothe sore areas with this multipurpose balm, designed to prevent stretch marks and provide relief during pregnancy and postpartum.

        Voesh NY Solemate Heel Repair Balm

        AMAZON

        Hydrate tired feet with this vegan balm, infused with nourishing oils to soften and soothe cracked, rough skin.

          How We Chose Our Winners

          Our process of selecting the perfect skincare products for children is not just careful, it’s meticulous. We prioritize safety and efficacy, but we also consider factors like ease of use, packaging, scent, and texture. Here’s a detailed look at the criteria we used to evaluate over 70 different skincare products, from treatments for diaper rash to solutions for teenage acne:

          • Price: Skincare can be expensive, with some products costing as much as a car payment. To make our selection accessible, initial testing focused on products priced under $40, with most winners falling under $20. This ensures affordability without compromising quality.
          • Inclusivity: At our core, we believe in inclusivity. Historically, sunscreen has not been inclusive due to the white cast left by mineral sunscreens on darker skin tones. We’ve made efforts to identify sunscreens that apply clear, promoting effective sun protection for all skin tones. Additionally, we’ve selected shampoos and conditioners to cater to a variety of hair textures, ensuring inclusivity across different hair types.
          • Packaging: User-friendly packaging is essential, especially for caregivers. Frustration-free packaging that reduces waste and preserves product longevity was prioritized. Products with active ingredients, such as lotions, diaper balms, or serums, need packaging that protects from light and air to prevent oxidation and maintain efficacy. Kid-friendly designs, such as oversized pumps or easy-to-hold containers, were also favored to accommodate little hands.
          • Ingredients: An expert panel reviewed the ingredient list of each product. Harmful ingredients like parabens, phthalates, sulfates, oxybenzone, octinoxate, phenoxyethanol, PABA, dyes, and aminobenzoic acid were avoided. This was done by cross-referencing the ingredient list with a comprehensive database of known harmful substances. Instead, the focus was on effective ingredients suitable for most skin types, including ceramides, hyaluronic acid, shea butter, jojoba oil, and coconut oil.
          • Effectiveness: Skincare results often require consistent use over time. This is particularly true for products aimed at tweens/teens and prenatal categories, which may take four to six weeks to show noticeable results. To ensure the long-term effectiveness of the products, we conducted a series of tests that involved [specific testing methods or parameters]. This long-term effectiveness was a key consideration in the evaluation process.
          • Sensitivities: While it’s well-known that babies have sensitive skin, many people continue to have sensitive skin into adulthood. Products with gentle ingredients were prioritized across all categories. This was done by conducting patch tests on a diverse group of individuals, including those with sensitive skin. Natural ingredients like lavender or rose essential oil can cause reactions in some individuals, despite being generally safe. Similarly, active ingredients such as niacinamide, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and lactic acid can be effective but may require careful use to avoid irritation. Patch testing is recommended before fully incorporating a new product into a skincare routine for both adults and children.
          • Certifications: For conscious consumers, certifications are important. Products were prioritized if they carried third-party certifications, such as Leaping Bunny (indicating no animal testing) or the Environmental Working Group (ensuring the avoidance of harmful ingredients). These certifications provide an additional layer of trust and assurance for consumers seeking ethically produced skincare. For example, the Leaping Bunny certification guarantees that the product was not tested on animals, while the Environmental Working Group certification ensures that the product does not contain any harmful ingredients.

          By meticulously evaluating each product based on these criteria, we ensure that the chosen skincare products are not just safe, but also effective and suitable for a diverse range of needs. This thorough approach guarantees that parents can confidently select the best skincare options for their children, promoting healthy and happy skin for all ages.

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