I Used Baby Beauty Products For 30 Days — & This Is What Happened

Photography by Rachel Cabitt.
Newborns have a few things going for them: They can poop, cry, and scream and still be oohed and ahhed over. Their heads always smell really ridiculously good (we definitely can't say the same about our scalp after three days of dry shampoo). And, most importantly, they have baby skin.
For grown ups, "baby skin" is the goal. We know we'll never get back to the days of a completely blackhead-free nose, but perhaps we can have some of the soft, smooth, zit-free plumpness. The thing is, in our quest to achieve that skin, we usually turn to lasers and acidic peels and harsh scrubs — stuff we'd never in a million years dream of using on a six-month-old.
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But what if the secret is to actually treat your complexion with the same care you'd give a hypersensitive baby's? As someone with reactive, fussy, 20-something skin, I decided to test the theory using the newest baby lines from Dove, Burt's Bees, Cetaphil, and more.
I swapped my floral-scented face creams and antiperspirant for fragrance-free lotions and diaper wipes for 30 days. (However, I didn't give up makeup, even though I know — with the exception of this one — that babies don't generally wear mascara.) So what happened? Find out in the slides ahead.
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My first order of business: swap out the hand soap in my apartment. I knew I wouldn't miss the current formula chillin' in my bathroom — or the drying effect its surfactants had on my poor, poor cuticles — but I wasn't expecting to see such a noticeable difference in my nails. They no longer split or cracked, and the skin on my hands felt smoother than ever, thanks to this bar's moisturizers that gently wash away dirt and grime without stripping.

Baby Dove Rich Moisture Baby Bar, $2.99, available at Walgreens.
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This cleansing water is designed to clean up post-diaper explosion, but since I'm potty trained, I used it as I would a micellar: to wash off the first layer of my makeup. Did it whisk away all traces of mascara, when that's not exactly its intended purpose in the first place? No, of course not. It did, however, soothe my dry, irritated skin and left my face smelling faintly of a baby's (clean) butt.

Mustela No Rinse Cleansing Water, $14.50, available at Mustela USA.
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I must have tested at least 10 different baby wipes before landing on this treasure, and I found that in order to live up to the gentle claim, most lacked the kind of power needed to truly take off makeup. Not the case with WaterWipes. These felt like splashing my face with h2o — and just one sheet wiped away every last trace of foundation, every time.

WaterWipes Baby Wipes, $3.99, available at Target.
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This physical blocker goes on white and needed a little extra blending before I could confidently walk out the door, but once it absorbed, it felt like I was wearing nothing at all — and the coconut extract and vitamin E gave my skin a boost of hydration along with the protection. (It's worth noting that, technically, you're not supposed to use sunscreen on babies until they're six-months-old — but I'm well past that point, and it's a must.)

Burt's Bees Baby Sunscreen - SPF 30, $14.99, available at Burt's Bees.
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It's no surprise that this cult-favorite drugstore brand has an equally trusted baby line. But who knew this body wash — which is packed with gentle sudsers, hydrating lotion, and a hint of calendula extract — would be my new go-to, even after I finished this experiment? If you need a light, cheap, frills-free body wash, this is what's up.

Cetaphil Baby Ultra Moisturizing Wash, $5.99, available at Walgreens.
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When it came to my hair, I struggled. Since babies haven't yet fried their hair and don't use styling products that lead to build-up, their shampoos tend to be a whole lot more basic than my strands require. After plenty of shampoo fails, I did land on this gentle wash that did the job best and didn't hurt my eyes when it slid down my face.

Aquaphor Baby Wash & Shampoo, $8.79, available at Target.

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One beauty product I use religiously, but have a hard time finding because of my sensitive skin, is face moisturizer. So when I say that I could write a love letter to this lotion, which I used from head to toe every single day, I'm not playing around. Swapping out my rose-scented cream for this fragrance-free baby formula for a month was the best thing I could have done for my skin, and a good reminder that basic can sometimes be better.

Baby Dove Sensitive Moisture Lotion, $7.99, available at Target.
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Ever wish you could bottle the soft, powdery scent of a baby? This set did just that. On days I was bored of smelling like absolutely nothing, I'd slather my skin in this fancy lotion and mist my pulse points with a hit of the baby fragrance. It smells kind of like how you'd expect a baby from the royal family to — like flowers, chamomile tea, and velvet — and it's free of alcohol.

Bulgari The Petit et Mamans Scented Delights Gift Set, $72, available at Bloomingdales.
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Ah, baby powder — the OG dry shampoo. Sprinkling this talc dust onto second and third day hair brought me back to my college years, and worked just as well as I remember. In fact, I'd argue that the powder sops up oil better than most dry shampoos on the market — if you're willing to look past the white residue it leaves behind.

Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder, $1.74, available at Target.
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Making the lip balm switch was a breeze. You can use this wonder ointment for everything: dry patches, chapped lips, split ends, cracked cuticles... you get the point. I'll be keeping this one in heavy rotation.

Aquaphor Baby Ointment, $10.49, available at Target.
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Welcome to Mothership: Parenting stories you actually want to read, whether you're thinking about kids or not, from egg-freezing to taking home baby and beyond. Because motherhood is a big if — not when — and it's time we talked about it that way.
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