Babies appeal to our senses, so it's only logical that baby beauty products would, too. We all know babies are adorable, what with their chubby limbs and wide eyes, their silly sounds that result from not yet being able to speak properly, and, of course, they have that tender, untainted baby skin and that subtle, unique baby scent that make them absolutely irresistible. But what happens when an adult uses baby products, and tries to pull off that same feel and smell not as a toddler, but as a full-fledged grown-up?
From the moment I was born, I was a total Johnson & Johnson baby. My mother strictly used the brand’s baby products to bathe me, clean me, moisturize me, and take care of me all around. So when I decided to use strictly baby beauty products for one week as a beauty experiment, I knew I had to go back to my roots.
I picked up all the essential products in a small travel sized kit from Target, and hypothesized some results before the week began. Would my hair and skin reject the products? Would I break out in hives? Would I pull a Benjamin Button and just grow young and become a baby by day five? That last one, I admit, was unlikely. But I was still curious to know how the made-for-baby products would hold up against the body of an adult.
So, I cleaned out my shower and vanity and replaced my toiletries with baby products. Everything that’s essential for a baby’s (cleanly) survival I tried for one week: Baby oil, baby shampoo, baby body wash, baby cream, and baby powder. While I figured some of the products would be fairly basic, some were not. And while I would love to say that I came out of it with baby soft skin, what this experiment taught me more about was loving and appreciating my skin.
Oh, and the fact that smelling like a baby is never a bad thing.
I am pretty picky about what kind of shampoo I use. I recently tried out a homemade, all-natural shampoo made from coconut milk and Castile soap, and let’s say it didn’t turn out as planned. But ever since that experience, I have been very weary of switching up my shampoo to something besides my all-time favorite Herbal Essences long term relationship variety. So, you can imagine how hesitant I was to try out the Johnson baby shampoo. Thankfully, my worrying was for nothing.
Because babies barely have hair on their heads, if any at all, I assumed that the shampoo wouldn’t be able to lather and properly clean my dark mane of thick, long hair. But I was totally wrong because the shampoo, although thicker and slicker than most shampoos I’m familiar with, worked into my hair with a subtle lather.
On first use, the shampoo was a little difficult to move around my roots, but that got easier as the week went on. I both air dried and blow dried my hair throughout the week and the shampoo didn’t necessarily effect how my locks looked, though they did feel a little waxier. Also, the shampoo didn’t sting my eyes like some do (hence, the gentle formula for the babies) and it was much easier to comb through my long hair post shower.
Baby Body Wash
After a shower using baby shampoo, my hair smelled amazing. But when I also used the baby body wash, I smelled better than a baby’s bottom. That is, a newly bathed baby slathered in the same products I’m using, of course. Like I mentioned before, that unique baby product scent was one of the reasons why I was so intrigued to try out this experiment. But I never expected it to become something I actually longed for, which is exactly what happened with the body wash.
I’m not as picky about body wash as I am shampoo; honestly, any body wash that smells good and simultaneously cleans me is good enough for me. So while I admittedly might not be the best person to have gauge the use and quality of baby body wash for a fully grown human, I have to say I really enjoyed it.
The body wash was light and fresh, and lathered well in my loofah. It wasn’t aggressively soapy or scent-y, and it washed away very easily with no residue left on my skin. As the week went on, I craved stepping into the shower and bathing in this magic. I even revisited the product to either shave my legs (I got a smooth shave with the moisturizing formula) or rinse my feet after a long day.
My only complaint about the body wash is that I had to use quite a bit to really feel like I had exfoliated and cleaned myself enough. The travel bottle I originally bought in the small pack was not nearly enough. I finished half of that in just one shower. I bought myself some more so I wouldn’t run out, just like I bought myself a bigger bottle of shampoo. But I noticed that I took a lot more product than I would with my usual bar of soap or basic body wash. I guess that’s the benefit of having a tiny baby body: You don’t need a lot of product at all.
After my showers, and after dousing myself in baby body wash and shampoo, I would then moisturize with baby cream. Again, the baby scent was heavenly, and that continued to be one of the major pros to doing this experiment. But the baby cream, to me, wasn’t anything special.
Maybe it’s because I’m big on creams and have every kind imaginable, but the baby cream was your regular ole’ body cream. It was smoothing, moisturizing, and smelled nice, and would keep your skin soft even in the dead of winter, but that’s what we expect out of creams, anyway. If a cream isn’t doing that for you and then some, it’s pretty basic.
I used the cream on my hands, elbows, legs, and feet. I have mild to medium dry skin, so my body enjoyed the cream enough to soak it up and stay soft until my next shower and application. There wasn’t much difference as the week went on, besides some softening on my feet and heels, as well as my hands.
Though the cream wasn’t anything groundbreaking, I can see how baby’s skin would enjoy the basic formula. While us adults tend to be more concerned about the correct amount of SPF and anti-wrinkle formulas, babies just want something calming and soft. What it must like be to be a baby. Sigh.
To be honest, I never really understood the concept of baby powder. So a baby gets a diaper rash, and you put powder on it? Or is the powder to prevent it? I have no idea. But what I do know is that I did not need powder for diaper rash. Instead, I used the baby powder as a dry shampoo, and it worked quite well!
Having read that baby powder has similar ingredients to that of dry shampoo, I decided to try it out in between hair washes. I am familiar with dry shampoos and use them often, so the baby powder trick seemed ingenious. But it was harder to pull off than it seemed.
Because the baby powder is stored as a loose powder and not as pressurized content like most dry shampoos, it made controlling the product very difficult. I got powder basically everywhere. When I did eventually get it in the right places on my head, it took extra effort to work in the powder and have the white hue fade around my dark brown hair.
Again, there was that classic baby scent that lingered hours after dusting the powder in my hair. But while the powder soaked some of the oil at my roots, it didn’t completely alleviate the problem like my dry shampoos do.
The product I was most speculative of was baby oil, and it turned out to be my favorite discovery out of the whole bunch. While baby oil can be used in many different ways, from hair conditioner to shaving cream, I used it to remove my makeup. And oh baby, it works wonders. I wear lots of eye cosmetics, as you can see from the above photo, and have been searching for a good eye makeup remover for years.
Little did I know that baby oil was the answer to my prayers. Throughout the week, before cleansing and moisturizing for bed, I would take some baby oil onto a cotton pad, lay it on my eyes, and gently run down, removing mascara, eyeliner, and eyeshadow. Then, once I soaked my face in water, all the products I applied earlier that morning were completely gone.
I went into this experiment thinking that I was going to turn into a baby shortly after I started using these products. (No, I didn’t actually think that.) I had my concerns, however, that baby products aren’t meant for adults, so surely they can’t have the same use and results on a full grown human being than on their target audience of cute, adorable half-beings.
Because the products are a lot less aggressive in texture and scent, they are subsequently more gentle, subtle, and light. They do what they need to do: The shampoo cleans your hair and the cream moisturizes your skin. But they do it in the nicest, sweetest way possible.
My skin isn’t very sensitive, but I can see how someone with sensitive skin might benefit from using these products. The same goes for someone who might be sensitive to smell, or certain ingredients found in mainstream beauty products. I can’t guarantee that they will mesh with everyone’s skin, but if they are suitable enough for a newborn, then they have got to be somewhat suitable for an adult.
If you think about how smooth, soft, and untainted a baby’s skin is when they’re just a wee human, you have to remember that these products are geared towards protecting and maintaining that same exact skin. Using baby products may not give you the power to turn back time, but it can remind you that your skin is precious and very much in need of attention, no matter how young or old you are.
So, excuse me while I go bathe in my new baby bath wash and relax after a long day.
Let’s just all hope that my habits don’t actually turn me into a baby…
Images: Melodi Erdogan; Giphy
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