This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Practical advice for baby skin care

Written by: | Published:

Water alone is not an optimal skin cleanser Water alone is not an optimal skin cleanser for babies, so a soap-free liquid cleanser can be added if needed

Having a new baby is an exciting time but can also be challenging for parents who often have many questions and concerns about caring for their child, including how to look after their baby’s skin. The evidence base for skin care is an ever-changing landscape, with national guidelines not maintaining pace with research.

Sourcing evidence
NICE guidance for postnatal care recommends that parents should be advised that cleansing agents should not be added to a baby’s bath water and lotions or medicated wipes should not be used.1 The only cleansing agent recommended is a mild, non-perfumed soap when needed.

Recent evidence has suggested that water may not be the optimal skin cleanser for newborns.2,3 This provides a challenge when parents ask for guidance about caring for their baby’s skin.

Water alone is a poor cleanser and does not remove fat-soluble substances such as faeces and sebum. It also increases skin pH, (from 5.5 to 7.5), and over-exposure to water leads to higher transepidermal water loss, both of which may weaken the skin barrier.3

Please login or register to read the rest of the article and to have access to downloads and comments.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.

Read a free issue from Practice Nursing

Register to read a free issue from our sister publication, Practice Nursing.

Including articles on asthma, diabetes and more. Read your copy.


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.