How to Wash a Baby's Face

Considering a baby's skin is five times thinner than an adult’s, it's important to be extra careful when doing the washing and cleaning routine and remember not to overdo it. 

In the earliest months of their lives babies don't get very dirty and bathing them 2-3 times a week, and washing top and tail in between is just enough to keep them clean. Giving them full baths every day is counter-productive and is very likely to dry the already sensitive baby's skin. 

However, certain parts of the baby's body need to be cleaned daily - areas such as the face, neck, and hands as the most important ones - and this is where the top and tail method comes in as pretty handy.

The baby's face is especially important because it's always exposed and can easily get irritated and inflamed for one reason or another. That's why it requires special care and attention every day of the baby's life until the skin becomes more resistant and thicker.

Now we'll cover the essentials on what you’ll need to know when setting off to the daily routine of washing your baby's face. We’ll try to answer some of the basic questions that you might be grappling with when it comes to your baby’s hygiene.  

What Should You Use for Your Baby's Face?

In the earliest months of your baby’s life, their immune system is still in development, so it’s best to use the mildest cleansers possible, as well as small bits of lotion. Search for skin care products that are dye-free and fragrance-free, as well as phthalate- and paraben-free, because they’re considered to be harmful to infants. Products that are made from natural ingredients are always a better option, but you have to be careful because some of them contain ingredients that might cause an allergic reaction or allergic sensitivity in your baby (this is more common if you or your partner have allergies or asthma). 

If you’re struggling to find a good baby lotion, check out our guide on the best baby lotions for 2019.

Can I Wash Baby’s Face with Soap?

Using soap on a baby’s face is not recommended, especially not on newborns. One of the main reasons for this is because the soap can actually act as an irritant to the baby’s skin, especially the delicate skin on the face. Another reason is that the skin of a newborn is slightly acidic, and this a good thing because it helps prevent infections – but the problem with soap, is that it can lower the acidity of the newborn’s skin and make it drier.

But if you need to use soap-like substances because of baby-acne and accumulation of dead skin cells, as well as saliva and regurgitated milk, what you can use as an alternative is a ph-neutral substitute for soap, such as a gentle skin cleanser. Applying this on the baby’s face and then going over the areas with a soft washcloth will help remove dead skin and dirt without doing any harm to the baby’s skin.

Can I Use Baby Wipes on my Baby’s Face?

Some babies don’t have a problem with baby wipes being applied on their faces, but it’s actually not a good idea to use them very frequently, because, like soap, they can also dry out a baby’s skin and cause an acne breakout and other types of irritation.

How to Wash Your Baby’s Face

When starting to wash your baby’s face, first make sure to have a clean washcloth or cotton wool and then wet them in warm water. Pay attention to the temperature of the water and see that it is not too hot – it’s always a good idea to try it out on your own skin first.

How do You Clean a Baby’s Face With Eczema?

Eczema in babies is not that uncommon and it usually appears in the first five years – but most frequently in the first 4-6 months - of a baby’s life. 

Causes can be numerous, usually linked to environmental factors (like pollution for example), food allergies, as well as certain chemicals and materials. Babies with eczema experience periods of relative calm and flair-ups that can become rather serious when the affected area comes into contact with irritants such as sweat, saliva, soaps, breast milk, and infant formula. In babies, eczema usually appears on their scalp and forehead, as well as the cheeks and the neck. That’s why it’s important to properly clean these areas so you can prevent further flair-ups. Eczema in babies tends to go away on its own as they get older.  

A face-cleaning routine for babies with eczema would include the following:

How do You Clean a Baby’s Face With Acne?

Baby-acne is another very common skin condition in infants that goes away on its own but can be quite the nuisance when it’s there on your little one’s gentle face. The routine around washing a baby’s face with acne is similar to washing a face without one – too much washing will only make it worse because it dries the skin, but also makes the oil glands overproduce natural oils which can contribute to creating even more acne.

How Often Is It Recommended to Wash Baby’s Face?

Babies’ faces tend to get dirty throughout the day so it’s good to do a mild, gentle wash at least once a day, and whenever is necessary after a feeding or more active play – drool, regurgitation, parts of food and sweat may leave traces on the baby’s face, so it’s best to clean them up as soon as you notice them. The baby will certainly thank you and you’ll prevent further possible irritation that might occur during the day.

If you’ want to know more about baby skin products, you can check out our article on "Best Baby Face Wash" and quickly and efficiently inform yourself on the best skin-care that you can currently find for your little one’s face!