Who does not like to have skin as amazing as a baby? In fact, there are lots of baby skincare products that claim to treat the skin of adults with equal efficiency. As baby formulations are not only limited to babies now, even many dermatologists are recommending these to adults. But having a simple baby product-filled skincare regime may not always be enough for you to get the desired results. So, do baby lotions really work for adults’ skin? Are they equally effective in keeping adults’ skin soft and smooth? Well, here is a comprehensive article to help you know whether baby lotion for adults is the right choice or not. Keep reading.
Baby Skin vs. Adult Skin
Before digging deeper into the differences that are present between baby and adult lotions, it is important to understand how the two types of skin differ from each other. There are a whole lot of differences between the skin of a baby and an adult in terms of structure, composition, and function. The orientation of the skin changes throughout the life cycle of a human being and hence, it develops and matures gradually starting from childhood to adulthood.
A baby’s skin is delicate, sensitive, and vulnerable to all kinds of affliction (dryness, chafing, rashes, irritation, etc.) whereas an adult’s skin does not get afflicted that easily. When the skin of a baby keeps developing, it holds a significantly lower concentration of surface lipids along with higher levels of surface hydration, transepidermal water loss (TEWL), pH, desquamation, and proliferation than those in adults. This eventually results in an impaired epidermal barrier function, which turns the baby’s skin more prone to aggressions (microbial and chemical), skin diseases, diaper dermatitis (1) (2), atopic dermatitis, etc.
As the baby grows up, her skin matures and the epidermal barrier function improves gradually as it starts producing its natural protective oil. Consequently, the skin turns less vulnerable to all those previously mentioned risk factors. Furthermore, the natural cell turnover process of adult skin is much more different than that of a baby. It is also exposed to a lot of pollutants all through the day. All these demands a strong and effective skincare regime for adults. (3)
Baby Products vs. Adult Products
The requirements of the delicate and sensitive skin of a baby are totally different from the requirements of the maturing or already matured skin of an adult. Hence, the skincare products designed for babies are also pretty much different from those intended for adults. We have explained it below:
- While most adult skincare products come loaded with chemical compounds, synthetic fragrances, alcohol, dyes, etc., these are usually avoided in baby formulations. These ingredients are considered as potential irritants or allergens for the skin of a baby with a less developed lipid barrier.
- The skin of a baby is yet to produce its natural protective oil. So, the products used are usually strong protectors rather than thorough performers. As the adult skincare ingredients are too harsh to protect the delicate skin of babies, comparatively milder compositions are used for them.
- The skincare products devised for babies are pH-balanced, which is not always expected from commercial adult skincare ranges. This helps in keeping the skin soft, supple, smooth, and healthy naturally.
- Almost all baby products contain skin-fortifying ingredients in order to strengthen the natural protective barrier of the skin. But you may not find fortifying agents in adult products so frequently.
Although adults can use baby care products without any risk, these products may not be able to nourish and hydrate adult skin efficiently.
How Does a Baby Lotion Work?
When it comes to baby skincare products, the lotion always tops the list of essentials in the entire range. Baby lotion is basically a mild and smooth skin-hydrating product of thick consistency that suits the ultra-sensitive skin of a baby wonderfully. It hydrates and moisturizes the skin so intensely with the purest form of moisturizing oils that it remains soft, supple, and smooth always. When combined with a well-formulated baby wash, a baby lotion may give even softer skin by preserving the skin barrier and maintaining its natural moisture levels. The regime, if practiced over an extended period of time, may also be highly effective in maintaining skin pH, thus reducing irritation, rashes, roughness, redness (erythema), and so on (4). Being extremely gentle on the skin, lotions also soothe it nicely without compromising its health.
Does Baby Lotion Work for Adults?
Well, the simple answer is, “not so efficiently”. We will explain why. The lotions used for adult skin must have the capacity of moisturizing each mature cell of the skin thoroughly. That extra dose of hydration is often provided by the chemicals added to the products. But baby lotions contain very mild moisturizing and nourishing agents. Though they work optimally on the developing skin of babies, they may not work the same on adults. In fact, the formulations will definitely prevent your skin from drying out but will not be able to provide it with the ultimate hydration when it is completely deprived of moisture.
Make sure that you consider your skin type, chronic issues, and unique requirements while choosing a baby care product.
Benefits of Using Baby Lotions for Adults
So, here is a quick glance at the benefits of using a baby lotion on an adult skin:
- Mild, chemical-free, and hypoallergenic formulations for delicate and sensitive skin
- Suits normal to dry skin that neither has large pores nor breaks out easily
- Gets absorbed into the skin immediately to show instant results
- Hydrates and moisturizes the skin well to prevent water loss from it
- Nourishes the skin with fortifying agents to keep it healthy
- Leaves the skin soft, supple, smooth, and healthy
- Forms a protective layer over the skin to shield it from irritants and environmental risk factors
- Does not cause a stinging sensation when rubbed over open wounds or goes in the eye
Drawbacks of Using Baby Lotions for Adults
Now, here are the potential drawbacks of using a baby lotion on an adult skin:
- Does not ensure safety for all types of sensitive skin except the one with a compromised lipid barrier
- Has no exfoliation properties to slough off the layer of dead cells and debris from the surface of the skin
- Does not cleanse the skin thoroughly to get rid of all the buildups effectively
- Clogs skin pores with its lipid content, which may lead to acne and breakouts
- Does not contain specific ingredients to target skin problems like acne, pigmentation, blackheads, etc.
- Has a not-so-overpowering fragrance, which may cause irritation to inflammation-prone skin
- Most baby lotions are highly overpriced
In the end, it is completely your personal decision whether to choose baby lotions for your adult skin or not. According to general belief, if something is good for a baby, it must be good for an adult too. But make sure that you consider a few factors like the type of skin you have, common skin troubles you have been dealing with, the unique needs of your skin, etc. while deciding on it.
Baby skin and adult skin differ a lot from each other in terms of structure, composition, and function. The skin develops and matures gradually starting from childhood to adulthood. An impaired epidermal barrier function makes a baby’s skin delicate, sensitive, and vulnerable to afflictions. Conversely, an adult’s skin is mature with an improved protective barrier and hence, it does not get afflicted easily. The requirements of both baby skin and adult skin are significantly different. Baby skincare products are mild, pH-balanced, rich in fortifying agents, and free from potential allergens or irritants. Baby lotion is a gentle, soothing, and hydrating product that hydrates and moisturizes the ultra-sensitive skin of a baby. It may not be very efficient for the mature cells of the adult skin but it can benefit that in a number of ways. Lack of exfoliation properties, pore-clogging, fragrance, etc. of baby lotion may also work as its drawbacks. However, it is completely your personal decision whether to choose baby lotions for your adult skin or not. Make sure that you consider your skin type, chronic issues, and unique requirements while deciding on it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is It Okay to Use Baby Lotion on Your Face?
As baby lotion is good for the delicate and sensitive skin of a baby, it can easily be used on the delicate facial skin too. It will get absorbed instantly and hydrate the face beautifully.
Does Johnson’s Baby Lotion Darken Skin?
Johnson’s baby lotion is meant for hydrating and moisturizing the skin of a baby in a gentle and nourishing way. It does not contain darkening or lightening agents and hence, will not darken or lighten the skin complexion.
Can I Use Baby Lotion As a Moisturizer?
Yes, baby lotion can certainly be used as a moisturizer. But based on the condition and troubles of your skin, it may not moisturize thoroughly.
- “Barrier Function and Water-Holding and Transport Properties of Infant Stratum Corneum are Different from Adult and Continue to Develop through the First Year of Life“, PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Changes in Diapered and Non-Diapered Infant Skin over the First Month of Life“, EuropePMC.org
- “Infant Skin Physiology and Development During the First Years of Life: A Review of Recent Findings Based on in Vivo Studies“, OnlineLibrary.wiley.com
- “A Randomized Pilot Clinical Assessment Of Three Skincare Regimens On Skin Conditions In Infants” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov