You Big Baby


If you think about it, we are all quite literally “big babies.” Not least because we were all once actual babies and have since expanded in all dimensions and senses: physically, mentally, hopefully emotionally. But this does not mean that we are exempt from every rather pleasurable aspect of infancy, specifically the products: the creams, oils, soaps, perfumes, and whatever else people have dreamed up and marketed for use on the under-12-month set. We still like to feel soft and well-cared-for—and after all, unlike babies, we have credit cards, computers, and can walk upright, and pop into, say, a Bonpoint boutique, whenever our hearts desire.

If you have sensitive skin, you've probably relied pretty heavily on baby products over the years (some of us have). So-called "baby" products are, on the whole, extremely gentle, very carefully made, stripped of unnecessary or potentially harsh agents, and usually scented very lightly—all things that should probably be considered when manufacturing products for adults, but generally are not. (Of course, the chance that a twentysomething would call the manufacturer of a moisturizer that irritated their skin last week is slim to none; if a drop of shampoo went in your three-year-old eyes, though, your parents probably beelined for the phone. Accountability!)

With that in mind, we combed through past Top Shelves for baby product shout-outs (there have been, and will continue to be, many, including our newfound love for Bonpoint's line) and selected the premiere products on the market for your lovely selves, because why not? Babies are little creatures widely considered wonderful in whatever they do (even if it’s just to blink and grin toothlessly, which is, by the way, a trick we'd like to learn). So go ahead, baby yourself.

Best Body Washes: Jurlique Baby’s Gentle Shampoo and Body Wash is Kate Young-approved and provides a lavender-infused, totally lovely bathing experience. It’s a substantial gel—thick enough to shave your legs with, which is an unexpected perk (since we're pretty sure that people do not shave their babies). Johnson's Baby Shampoo is our go-to for when we're feeling all beauty-product-ed out (No More Tears! anybody? It's soap-free). SoCal mom Melinda Dean and creative duo Cass and Ali Bird love the ultra-organic line California Baby for their babies (Californian or otherwise) and themselves; and good ol’ Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild Soap is good for washing new piercings, teeny people, and you know, everything. Generally, these are gentler than their adult counterparts. And gentle is good, especially for those...hard to reach places.

Best Body Oils: [Ed note: A lot of companies make baby "massage oils," which we found initially hysterical because, come on, picture a miniature hot-stone massage scenario—and then we realized life is actually probably quite stressful if you're a baby, so we're just going to accept that babies need massaging.] Baby skin is naturally more hydrated than adults during the first 12 months, but can also lose water more rapidly. Johnson's old reliable Baby Oil is a classic oil if not the classic hydrating oil, favored by Glamour editor Susan Cernek and makeup artist Francelle Daly, who uses it to prolong her tan. While heavy-duty on the moisture front, you will be an oil slick post-application, so you'll want to relax and marinate for a little while. Weleda Baby has a wonderful Calendula Oil that smells like heaven (delicate florals, almond), and soothes and protects skin. And as we mentioned, haute kiddie couturier Bonpoint makes a Gentle Oil that we can't stop smelling and using—it’s fast-absorbing, very light-and-fresh in scent (Aurelie Bidermann uses their perfume—yes, a perfume for babies; no, it doesn't smell like babies), and silky-smooth. This is the winner in the category, at least for us. Plus, it's formulated with organic flower extracts and other good things.

Best Lotions: Extremement-chic mother-of-two Lauren Santo Domingo told us that “nothing smells better than babies, but Mustela is a close second,” and she’s not wrong: the brand's Hydra-Bébé Body Lotion has an almond-y/jojoba oil scent (not a bad one), and leaves your skin supple, smooth, and—you guessed it!—baby soft. Noodle & Boo also makes a nice Super-Soft Gentle Lotion that’s rich in vitamin E, C, and anti-oxidants (if it’s gentle enough to use on newborns, it’s gentle enough for you), and protects your skin from environmental elements. Finally, Jurlique Baby's Soothing Moisturizing Cream is just that (thank calendula, aloe vera, honey, macadamia/safflower/shea butter, and lavender essential oils). Oh, and Aerin Lauder and others we've talked to wax nostalgic about Johnson's Baby Lotion, which reminds her of her kids. We have no kids, but hey! Smells good to us, too.

Best Baby Powders: Fun fact: Johnson's Baby Powder can be used as a dry shampoo (though this is only recommended for the very light-of-hand and very blond). Inez van Lamsweerde told us when she was 13, she used it to powder her face as white as possible, though a quick Google dive tells us that you can use it to remove sand from your scalp, cool your sheets in summer, dry-shampoo your pet, absorb grease stains on clothing, and remove mold from books! Will wonders never cease.

Moral of the story? Think: more pampering than Pampers when it comes to baby products. Who's to tell you you're too old for something?

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