Kids Skincare: Best Nighttime Routines

kids skincare best nighttime routines

As a mom, who happens to be a dermatologist, I get a lot of questions from fellow parents about how to care for pediatric skin, especially at bath and bedtime.

I have two young sons, one of which has sensitive, eczema-prone skin, so I’m familiar with the importance of keeping a good routine.

As a general rule, I tell parents to keep their kid’s skin care simple, and to develop a routine. This is key to avoiding parent fatigue and to help prevent child pushback and frustration.

Even if your child has dry and sensitive skin, it is okay to bathe your child everyday. A predictable, relaxing bath time can even calm your child as they get ready for bed.

Plus, bathtime is the perfect time to create a quick and easy routine, incorporating recommended steps to caring for your child’s skin.

Here are 9 of my go-to kids skincare tips:

  1. Keep bathtime short – not more than 10 minutes. Prolonged exposure to water can be drying on the skin.
  2. Use lukewarm water, never hot. Hot water is even more drying on the skin.
  3. Use a fragrance-free, dye-free soap or cleanser. My personal favorites to use for my kids are Dove Sensitive Skin Bar Soap for the body, and Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser for the face.
  4. Even though shampoos are meant for the hair and scalp, rinsing them off will mean that they will inevitably come into contact with other parts of the body. Most “baby” shampoos will have some type of fragrance. I choose to wash my son’s hair with CeraVe Baby Wash & Shampoo. For dry or unmanageable hair, Vanicream (Free & Clear) Conditioner is a good, gentle option for additional moisture.
  5. After bathtime is over, gently pat the skin dry rather than aggressively scrubbing.
  6. Moisturize the entire skin within three minutes of bathing to prevent skin from losing moisture.
  7. It’s important to note that ointments and creams (oil-based) are more effective than lotions (water-based). I alternate between La Roche Posay Lipikar Eczema Soothing Relief Cream, La Roche Posay Lipikar Balm and CeraVe Moisturizing Cream.
  8. For stubborn dry patches, use Aquaphor Healing Ointment to seal in your cream-based moisturizer. This is especially helpful for irritated eyelids, noses and lips.
  9. After moisturizing, dress your child in a breathable, but form-fitting cotton pajama. The occlusion of the clothing will help the moisturizer absorb well overnight. 

The bottom-line: you don’t have to be a dermatologist to take great care of your child’s skin! 

Book Your Kids Skincare Appointment with Dermatology of Philadelphia

Still have questions or concerns about your child’s skin? At Dermatology of Philadelphia / Mohs Surgery Center, we see patients of all ages. Call our office today or book your child’s skin care appointment online to have your child seen by one of our Board Certified Dermatologists.