Aveeno Baby Lotion vs. Aveeno Moisturizing Lotion for Sensitive Skin

Is the baby version better for adults with sensitive skin? Let's ask My Dad the Chemist.

If you read my comparison of CeraVe baby sunscreen vs. adult sunscreen, you already know that I have a strange affinity for baby skincare products. I love the idea that baby products are designed to be tolerated by the most sensitive skin ever: baby skin. So could they be better for adults who have sensitive skin?

aveeno baby vs adult lotion

Recently, I came across two very similar lotions from Aveeno: Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Lotion for Delicate Skin (fragrance-free) and Aveeno Active Naturals Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion for Sensitive Skin (also fragrance-free). Do you know the difference between delicate skin and sensitive skin? I certainly don’t. To find out which one would be better for my eczema, let’s compare the two ingredient lists and then ask my dad which one he prefers.

Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Lotion for Delicate Skin Ingredients

Active Ingredient: Dimethicone 1.2% (Skin protectant)
Inactive Ingredients: water, glycerin, distearyldimonium chloride, petrolatum, isopropyl palmitate, cetyl alcohol, avena sativa (oat) kernel flour, benzyl alcohol, allantoin, sodium chloride

Available for sale here on Amazon.

Aveeno Active Naturals Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion for Sensitive Skin Ingredients

Available for sale here on Amazon. Active Ingredient: Dimethicone 1.2% (skin protectant)
Inactive Ingredients: Water, glycerin, distearyldimonium chloride, petrolatum, isopropyl palmitate, cetyl alcohol, avena sativa (oat) kernel flour, benzyl alcohol, avena sativa (oat) kernel oil, steareth-20, avena sativa (oat) kernel extract, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, sodium chloride

Aveeno Baby Lotion vs. Aveeno Moisturizing Lotion for Sensitive Skin

It looks like these two products share the same active ingredient (dimethicone) at the same percentage (1.2%). Dimethicone is regulated by the FDA as a skin protectant drug; you can view the monograph (guidance) here.

These two Aveeno lotions have the following “inactive” ingredients in common:

  • water
  • glycerin
  • distearyldimonium chloride
  • petrolatum
  • isopropyl palmitate
  • cetyl alcohol
  • avena sativa (oat) kernel flour
  • benzyl alcohol (a preservative)
  • sodium chloride

The adult version includes a few ingredients that the baby version does not:
- avena sativa (oat) kernel oil
- steareth-20
- avena sativa (oat) kernel extract
- butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter

The baby version includes only one ingredient that’s not found in the adult version: allantoin. This study determined that allantoin helps accelerate wound healing, which may explain the “delicate skin” part of the description of this baby lotion. Interesting. Meanwhile, I’m not sure why the adult version includes three oat-derived ingredients—oat flour, oil, and extract—while the baby version only includes oat flour.

Here’s what my dad had to say:

Dear Emily,
I would say the performance of Version 2 may be slightly better because of Shea Butter.

Love,

Dad

My dad picked version 2 (the adult lotion, Aveeno Moisturizing Lotion for Sensitive Skin) rather than Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Lotion for Delicate Skin because it contains shea butter, which he really likes as a moisturizer.

It turns out in this case that one of the ingredients included in the adult version helped it win out over the baby version. Aveeno Moisturizing Lotion for Sensitive Skin is fragrance-free and includes shea butter. It looks like a promising hand lotion—I will report back if and when I try it out in the future!

Further reading

Photo by Liv Bruce on Unsplash

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