Throwdown: Which Baby Face Cream Reigns Supreme: EllaOla, California Baby, or Aveeno?

In partnership with EllaOla.

Since discovering EllaOla a few months ago, I’ve become a full-fledged fangirl. You can read our full review here, but today we’re purely talking face cream. 

You may be wondering – babies need face cream? To be honest, I have always used regular lotion on my babies’ faces, but now that I think about it, that makes no sense. Would you ever put body lotion on your face? If the answer isn’t a hard no, we need to have a talk. 

Anyway, I’m now all about using face cream to protect my kids’ delicate skin from weather (winter is coming, after all), drool, and other irritants. And while EllaOla turned me on to face cream, I love to do my research, so today we’re putting a few different brands to the test.

The competition: EllaOla, California Baby & Aveeno Baby

The Players

First, of course, is newcomer EllaOla and its line of triple-certified (EWG, National Eczema Association and USDA Biobased), science-based, clinically-tested skincare made specifically for sensitive baby skin. We’ll stack the brand up against California Baby’s Calendula cream, a USDA certified, award-winning cream that natural mamas rave about. Then, we’ll check out Aveeno’s Nighttime Balm, a National Eczema Association-certified drugstore staple made specifically for babies with eczema.

Test #1: Efficacy

EllaOla: I mean, I really love this cream. It’s the perfect consistency and glides smoothly onto my daughter’s skin, making application a breeze. She has pretty severe eczema and very dry cheeks, and this cream pretty much eliminated both within two days of use (I suppose that’s no surprise considering the brand worked with Harvard pediatric dermatologists on this formulation). Plus, it’s clinically proven to provide 96 hours of skin nourishing hydrating. I won’t lie – I’ve started using it on myself too.

California Baby: This cream is also pretty great. It’s a bit thicker in texture and feels pretty rich (more like a traditional eczema cream), but isn’t super greasy. I didn’t love that it took longer to sink into the skin, which meant my daughter could easily wipe it away. So overall a bit less effective.

Aveeno: Like California Baby’s option, this lotion is definitely on the thicker side. It doesn’t feel as nice for the face but would probably be great on a really dry patch of skin on the body as it’s a pretty intense moisturizer. However it did go on a bit greasy and didn’t relieve her eczema as quickly as EllaOla’s.

Winner: EllaOla

A closer look at the consistency of each face cream - we love that EllaOla's is lightweight and non-greasy

Test #2: Ingredients

EllaOla: With a long list of plant-based ingredients, like a signature marine algae blend, organic grapeseed oil, and shea butter, I am loving the intensity and rigor behind what’s in this face cream. Packed full of anti-inflammatories and powerful antioxidants, it’s obvious that research went into curating the perfect blend that is intense enough to get the job done, but lightweight enough to use every day. And of course, EllaOla doesn’t use any harsh chemicals or fragrances.

California Baby: This brand is known for its calendula – in fact, California Baby grows it on a 100 acre farm in Santa Barbara. It should be no surprise to learn that calendula is the main ingredient in this face cream, along with plant-based emollients and aloe vera. For those who love scents, these are made from 100% pure essential oils like French lavender and clary sage. Scents are not for me, though, and so while it’s a nice blend, I would never use this every day.

Aveeno: Aveeno is the drugstore brand, which means I’m already a bit skeptical about the ingredients (it’s just a more mainstream brand). I was pleasantly surprised to find out this cream is formulated without parabens, phenoxyethanol or phthalates. The star of the ingredient list here is colloidal oatmeal, an FDA approved skin protectant. That’s great, for sure, but I wasn’t as impressed with the rest of the lineup, which includes a bunch of different alcohols, glycerin, sulfate, and a ton of other stuff I can’t pronounce. Our skin absorbs so much, and I just don’t feel comfortable slathering this on my baby.

Winner: EllaOla

We love the airless, contact-free pump that gives you just the right amount of cream every time (photo credit: EllaOla) 

Test #3: Product Design

EllaOla: This packaging is surprisingly fun and delightful. I love that there’s no squeeze tube to deal with (not to mention how much product is wasted in a tube), but I really love the airless, contact-free pump which is way cleaner and more hygienic than dipping your fingers into an open pot of lotion. This design preserves the integrity of the cream, dispenses just the right amount, and doesn’t leave you with a handful of product.

California Baby: This moisturizer comes in a tub or a squeeze tube, which I suppose could be particularly handy for travel. You can also choose from a variety of sizes ranging from 1.8-6oz. This is sort of nice because it’s easy to keep in the car or throw in the diaper bag. But, after trying EllaOla’s contact-free pump, I just can’t imagine going back to a product that I have to dip my fingers into. Gross.

Aveeno: Similarly, this one comes in a classic tub. It might be fine if you need a ton of product to cover the whole body, but for the face it’s just not necessary. Plus, because it’s so thick, you end up getting a bunch of extra lotion on your hand and in your fingernails which is just…not cute.

Winner: EllaOla

Test #4: Cost & Convenience

EllaOla: 1.7oz of this face cream will cost you $35 for a one-time purchase, or you can save 15% with subscribe and save. It’s definitely on the more expensive side, especially for a product you don’t know you need (but you do, trust me). One thing that helps save a bit of money, though, is the controlled dispenser – little to no product is wasted, meaning you probably won’t need to purchase nearly as often.

California Baby: A 1.8oz tube of California Baby’s Calendula cream runs about $16 and you can save a bit more by purchasing larger sizes. It’s a pretty good deal, and I’ve seen this brand in a bunch of stores, so you can avoid shipping costs.

Aveeno: This is definitely the cheapest option at $3.49/oz. You can find it at big box retailers like Amazon, Target, or Walmart.

Winner: Aveeno

EllaOla’s lineup of baby skincare is truly one of a kind

Final Verdict: EllaOla

Even though it’s a bit more expensive, EllaOIa’s Soothing Baby Face Cream is truly a superior product on all counts. Not only is it specifically and scientifically formulated for sensitive faces, but it actually works very well (and very quickly), is easy to use, and has the safest, most thoughtful ingredient list. We use it everyday on my 18 month old daughter Lucy, on our 4 year old whenever she’ll allow it, and it’s become part of my nightly skincare routine as well.

Grab one for yourself here and be sure to check out the brand’s Black Friday sale (up to 25% off!).

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