3 Big Reasons not to use Soap on a Baby With Dry Skin

Soaps make the baby skin dryer

I have always believed with all the advertising I have seen that soap will moisturize a baby’s skin. Most of us might have heard slogans like, “Mild & soft, moisturizes, kills germs…” I believed it but I was wrong. The truth is most soaps do not help dry skin but actually make the skin dryer.

If you decide to use medicated soaps, consult with your doctor or physician. Most children simply do not need medicated soaps.

Evidence that soap can dry a baby’s skin

1. Soaps may contain chemicals that are harmless for adults but can cause damage to infants.

A newborn's skin is soft and sensitive, more so than an adult’s skin. Poor ingredients can cause dry and bumpy skin. Many times just water alone is better than any added soap or detergent.

soap contains chemicals
2. Large use of antibacterial products can prevent building of immunity of the body.

Soap can be used for washing a baby but should be used in a small quantity. Washing with clean, soft lukewarm water alone or even with natural herbal products like turmeric is also good enough.

3. Chemicals present in soap can enhance dryness of the skin and make it itchy in those who are prone to it.


Most soaps are made through a chemical process that combined two raw ingredients, fat and alkali. Most soaps use fat that has been processed into fatty acids. The process produces water as a bi-product rather than glycerides. And finally, many soaps contain fragrances to give a specific scent but can be harmful depending on how processed. In short, just as you would know what you are putting into your body before you eat it, know your soap before using in a baby.


Avoid soap use on a baby with dry skin

In general, baby products contain less additives than adult soaps and shampoos. If your baby is prone to eczema or dry skin, use as little soap as possible. There is no need to use powders and oils on babies. Your baby’s skin is naturally rich in body oil. Also, powders if inhaled can irritate the nasal passages.

Should a soap be used, keep the below in mind:

  • If using a soap, use soaps that contain natural ingredients.
  • Do not overuse the soap. Use only in areas which are visibly dirty and not easily cleaned with plain water. Do not over scrub or over soap any area of the body. 
  • Test on an area first. If the skin becomes red or irritated over the next few hours, stop using it and try another. 
  • Use mild soaps with natural ingredients. Les is more when it comes to fragrances and other additives.

The bottom line: The natural and less processed materials seem to be the safest and most effective way to treat a baby’s skin.