Aveeno Baby Wash and Shampoo Review

Like many new parents, the first few times I gave my newborn baby boy a bath, I was terrified. He was so small and helpless, and in many ways, so was I. With a relatively small amount of experience with babies up until then, it was all new to me. There’s a lot to keep track of when dealing with a baby, and a lot of supplies and toys you’ll be needing to make your life easier.

Keeping your baby clean, happy (this toy can help!), and healthy is a parent’s top priority, and to that end there is a seemingly endless amount of products to choose from – shampoos, conditioners, soaps, and washes. When seeking a proper skin or hair care product for your baby, you need to be aware of two things: first, it should be a product which possesses the ability to clean a child’s skin and scalp, without causing dryness or irritation. Secondly, it should be a product which doesn’t contain many potentially-harmful ingredients (harsh chemicals, latherers, detergents, etc.). Even products which advertise themselves as being ‘all natural’ usually contain a few ingredients which may not be great for kids. This is a review of Aveeno’s baby wash and shampoo.

Aveeno Company Background

1Aveeno is a company which specializes in skin care for all ages. Their baby wash and shampoo is formulated for babies’ sensitive skin, and it is one of their best-selling products. Before we get into reviewing this baby wash, here’s a quick glance at Aveeno and its product line. Aveeno was founded in 1945 by Albert and Sidney Musher, two brothers from Washington, D.C. who were researching the effects of raw cereals on human health and vitality.

The company gets its name from the scientific name of the common oat, Avena Sativa. In 2000, the company came out with its baby product line. Aveeno has changed several hands over the years, and is now a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. The one thing all Aveeno products have in common is the ‘Active Naturals’ core – oats, soy, blackberry, wheat, seaweed, lotus, and other ingredients – which helps make Aveeno so popular.

Aveeno Baby Wash and Shampoo Review

1This product has a natural core of oats, and is a two-in-one product which manages to clean the skin and scalp without stripping them of their natural oils. It is a pediatrician-recommended wash, free of soaps, parabens, allergens, and other irritants. It smells pretty good, with a mild scent which isn’t overbearing. Also, it creates a nice lather when you use it. Aveeno’s baby wash and shampoo is fit for daily use, but it is not necessary for use every day. Usually, only after a baby starts to really crawl around and get messy does the need for a daily wash arise. Oats are known for their hydrating attributes, which is how this wash manages to clean without drying the baby’s skin. If your baby has extremely dry skin, there is a chance you will need to apply some extra moisture, even after you use the baby wash.

This wash has ingredients which are meant to break down the oils on the surface of the skin, so make sure to avoid overuse. If you use it too often – and this is probably true to any baby wash – it could cause the skin’s natural oils (the protective and nourishing sebum) to lessen or decrease in some way, thereby leaving the baby’s skin looking dry. The key is to use in moderation, only every few days or when specifically needed.

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Washing a baby every day with water only is fine in most cases. You normally take care of the problematic areas anyway. Places like a baby’s face, neck, and private parts are cleaned a few times a day during feedings and diaper changes. Baby washes, shampoos, lotions, and other skin care or hair care products should be used in moderation. I actually used this mainly as a body wash, and only occasionally did I use this as a shampoo. Baby Boy’s hair has always been fine and neat, so there was no need for any kind of external shampoo-like cleanser. His hair seemed to be doing fine on its own, and since I know better than to mess with good hair genes, I only used it as a shampoo here and there, never too consistently.

Okay, so Aveeno makes a great baby wash – but how does it compare with other ones which are available? Overall, it is a matter of personal preference, more than anything else. Baby washes are the same in many ways (the good ones, that is), so the differences are mainly in the scent and in a few other ingredients. Within the group of popular baby washes and shampoos, there isn’t a particular one which is significantly better. It comes down to your baby’s reaction to the product (or lack thereof). Some people try a certain product, only to discover that it causes their baby’s skin to break out even more. Trial and error, you know? Live and learn. Nowhere is this statement more true than with regards to new parents and parenthood. Learning your baby is an organic, ongoing process of mutual discovery, and it is truly a wonder to behold, and an amazing thing to take part in.

1Aveeno Baby Wash vs. Johnson’s Head to Toe Baby Wash

These two products are almost identical. They are both recommended by physicians, and are both free of many harmful ingredients which exist in other skin care products. Not only are these two products almost identical, ingredients-wise, they are also effectively made by the same parent company. Aveeno was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 1999, and the main thing separating these two products is the scent. This is a very personal choice, so you basically need to take a whiff, and see which one better suits you. If, for some reason, your baby’s skin does not react well to one of them, try the other.

1Aveeno Baby Wash vs. Cetaphil Baby Wash

This baby wash is another popular one, made by Cetaphil (founded 1947). It is hypoallergenic, tear-free, and contains very few ingredients. There are no parabens, preservatives, colorants, and other harmful elements. It creates a nice lather, and leaves a sweet fragrance. Cetaphil’s baby wash is recommended by pediatricians and dermatologists. Compared to Aveeno’s wash, this one is more helpful with babies prone to eczema or acne. Again, a matter of personal choice. There is no one baby wash which is better than the other.

Is Aveeno Cruelty Free?

Aveeno itself does not test on animals, but it does sell its products to regions where animal testing is required by law. Aveeno (that is to say Johnson & Johnson) is kind of vague about its animal testing policies, and it does not release information on these practices too freely. In the U.S. there is no testing done, but this is not 100% true to the rest of the world. Things may change in the future, but the fact remains that Aveeno – and its parent company Johnson & Johnson – is not cruelty-free, at this time. I hope this changes in days to come.


Aveeno’s line of mom and baby products is fit for many types of skin, scalp, and hair. But, what works well for one baby will not necessarily work as well for another. Try it, keep an eye on your baby’s reaction, and find out for yourself if this is the way to go. It is a company which is definitely worth trying, even if they are not cruelty-free in some locations. Aveeno’s products are fairly inexpensive, usually, and they are based on age-old natural ingredients like cereals, honey, and oils. Remember, don’t fall for marketing ploys and buzzwords. Even if you are a new parent, understand that there are times when there is no need for any kind of baby wash at all. Babies have soft and silky skin on their own, normally, thanks to their baby sebum.

Usually, all you will need in the baby bath is a soft scrubber, maybe a bit of soap, and warm water. But, there are times when dryness takes over certain areas, and that is where Aveeno’s baby wash really shines. It is a gentle cleanser, it lathers nicely, and it is designed especially for sensitive skin. It leaves your baby looking clean and smelling great, and when used properly and in moderation, it is a wonderful addition to your baby’s routine. Give it a shot, and see if your baby is into it.

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