Last Updated: Oct 18, 2021 @ 10:33 am.

What's the best soap for baby? We tested 11 popular options and consulted with pediatricians to find the best soap for baby. We judged soaps based on which were most mild, tear-free and free of controversial ingredients like parabens and phthalates. In talking with doctors, we realize that some "all natural" soaps for babies can actually contain highly allergenic ingredients. So here are our top picks.

FYI: We are Baby Bargains, the #1 online resource for honest and independent reviews of baby gear and baby care products. Since we are 100% reader-supported, we sincerely appreciate you reading this article!


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Best Budget-Friendly Baby Soap

Affordable, no more tears
We loved this soap, which has a light scent and is free of parabens, suflates and dyes. Critics say the pump is hard to open and use. And it does contain alcohol. Great price.
$7.68 ($0.28 / Fl Oz)

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Best Budget-Friendly Baby Soap: Johnson’s Baby  Head-To-Toe Gentle Baby Wash & Shampoo

Let’s talk baby soap—we consulted top pediatricians and dermatologists to find the best soap recommendations for baby. And then we tested a dozen options by lathering up various newborns with different skin types.

Before we get to our picks, let’s talk about allergic reactions. Just about every soap for baby can cause a rash in some child—it’s just a fact of life. Even the mildest soaps can cause a reaction or rash. So if your child has sensitive skin, consider testing the soap on a small area before doing a full bath. And don’t worry if you see pics online with babies who broke in a rash when they used X soap—it won’t necessarily happen to your child.

Our top pick here is an excellent soap that did the best in our tests:  Johnson’s Baby  Head-To-Toe Gentle Baby Wash & Shampoo. Here’s why:

What We Liked

• No more tears actually means no tears. Yes, lots of baby soap says it is tear-free, but this soap actually works.

• No parabens, phthalates; sulfates, dyes or heavy fragrances. Yes, we know Johnson’s Baby has been criticized in the past for the use of controversial ingredients and dyes. But they clearly got the message, as this soap hits all the right notes.

• Cleans well.

What Needs Work

• Pump can be hard to open and use. 

• Contains small amount of alcohol. This bothers some parents, so just a heads up.

• Scent has fans and critics. The scent is very mild, but we know some folks are sensitive.

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Best Baby Soap With No Scent

Super mild, no dyes
This soap is fantastic, said our testers who preferred an option with no scent. Great for dry skin, but not a lot of suds. Tear-free and no dyes. Quite affordable.
$8.00 ($0.40 / Fl Oz)

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Best Baby Soap With No Scent: Baby Dove Tip to Toe Baby Wash Sensitive Moisture

Many of our readers are sensitive to perfumes and scents, so we looked at several scent-free options for baby soap. After testing with parents and babies, we thought Baby Dove did the best job. Here’s an overview:

What We Liked

• Fragrance free yet still does a great job cleaning. Some of the scent-free soaps we tested just didn’t clean well.

• Works well for babies with sensitive skin, such as those with eczema.

• No dyes, parabens, phthalates or sulfates.

• Tear-free formula did a good job. Yep, lots of soap claim they are tear-free, but this one actually worked.

What’s Needs Work

• Not much in the way of suds. 

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Best Smelling Baby Soap

Lavender and vanilla scent is a winner
We loved this mild soap that cleaned well. While fans love the scent, critics point out the oat extract can cause a rash in some babies. And the jury is out on the tear-free claim.
$6.99 ($0.39 / Fl Oz)

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Best Smelling Baby Soap: Aveeno Baby Calming Comfort Bath

Scented with lavender and vanilla, this soap won the race for best scent in a baby soap in our testing. Folks just loved it. Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Soothes skin with oat extract. However, this can also cause allergic reactions (see below for more).

•Paraben and phthalate free.

• That amazing scent!

What’s Needs Work

• Oat extract prompts a warning on the package: “Do not use without consulting a doctor if child has asthma or allergies or if there is a family history of either. Serious breathing problems could occur.” So, yes, this soap can cause a skin or breathing issues in some babies. Be sure to test it on a small area before going to full bath. And consult with your pediatrician if you have any questions.

• Tear-free claim could use work. We think other baby soap (like Johnson’s) are better at being tear-free.

• Not a lot of bubbles. 

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Best Baby Soap for Dry Skin

Sensitive skin? This is the best bet
Excellent soap made with organic calendula, a flower often used in medicine including to treat inflammation, dry skin and diaper rash. Cleans well. Nice fragrance. But pricey.
$2.49

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Best Baby Soap for Dry Skin: Cetaphil Baby Wash & Shampoo

We know a thing or two about dry skin here at our Colorado testing lab. And a baby with itchy skin is no fun, for you or baby! So in our tests, we looked for the soap that was best for dry skin. The winner: Cetaphil’s Baby Wash. Here’s more:

What We Liked

 Made from an organic flower called calendula, which is used to treat inflammation.

• Aloe vera, vitamins E and B5 help with the moisturizing and soothing of itchy skin.

• Cleans well.

• Some folks love the fragrance.

What Needs Work

• Some folks hate the fragrance. If you prefer a scent-free soap, see our pick above.

• Could be better at the “tear-free” thing. While this soap claims to be tear-free, we think the Johnson’s Baby pick above does a better job at that.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do extensive research, evaluating products with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability. When we purchase a product for hands-on testing, we do so with our own money. 

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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