Best lotion for new dads

Tom Selleck and lotion for dads

Best lotion for new dads

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: why does a dad need lotion?

Baby books tell you a lot. (I’m guessing. I didn’t read any.) But you know what nobody warns you about? How often you wash your hands as a new parent.

Baby poops. You change the diaper. You wash your post-diaper poop hands.

Baby spits formula or milk all over the place. You clean them, get sticky, and wash your post-sticky-gross-funk hands.

Baby needs to be rocked. You hold them. You rock them. You get sticky, because babies are often sticky, and then you wash your post-rocking-sticky-baby hands.

Basically, you’re always washing your hands as a new parent. You’re also always washing your hands when there’s a pandemic going on too, which is currently a thing at the time of writing.

I can’t predict the future or read minds (despite what my wife thinks), but I’m willing to bet your hands are dry. What you need is a great lotion to keep those hands limber and ready to snap into diaper-changing action at a moment’s notice.

I field-tested numerous lotions when my son was a baby so you don’t have to. So without further adieu, let’s dive into the best lotions for new dads.

Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This didn’t in any way impact my choices below. Each product listed is something I’ve personally used and recommend.

Best luxury lotion

Price: $8 for 8oz

Pros: Quickly absorbed. No Scent. A little goes a long way.

Cons: It ain’t cheap.

Do you have dry hands and a wad of cash burning a hole in your pocket? If so, Cetaphil is the lotion for you.

Cetaphil isn’t cheap, but the standard container is a sizeable eight ounces. And that eight ounces will go pretty far, as a single pump is usually enough to fully cover both hands.

Your standard Cetaphil doesn’t have much of a scent. In fact, you have to bury your nose in your hands to get any smell at all, which isn’t advisable unless you want lotion on your nose. The lotion itself isn’t too oily, either. This is a big plus for me, as I can’t stand any lotion that requires I sit around for several minutes while it slowly works its way into my skin. If it’s not absorbed in a minute, I don’t want it.

The biggest downside to Cetaphil is the price. A standard eight ounce bottle will typically set you back around $8. But, keep in mind the bottle will last you a good amount of time. (But do you really want to spend more on lotion when you’re already buying diapers and butt paste?)

best lotion you might have laying around

Price: $5-6 for 8.5oz

Pros: It’s probably on the baby mama’s nightstand. It smells nice. It works pretty well.

Cons: It’s a bit oily. It’s not yours, you jerk. It’s for stomach stretch marks, but I won’t tell if you won’t.

If the mother of your child is living under your roof, there’s a good chance you have Palmer’s Coca Butter Formula Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks chilling around the house. You know, that white bottle with a pump top that has an outline of a lady rubbing her belly while thinking, “I really hope you’re worth the hell you’ve put my body through.”

Palmer’s is great in a pinch. A pump or two of this lotion and your hands will be super slick, smell like cocoa butter, and totally refreshed by morning. There’s also a chance this lotion helps with any minor scars your hands might have, but I’m not a doctor and you can’t hold me to that.

On the downside, this lotion is really, really oily. I’d imagine that’s because it’s intended for a woman’s tummy, not your decrepit dad hands. It’s also technically not meant for your hands. But, if you can live with the fact that you’re rubbing belly butter on your hands, and you don’t have anything else around, and you don’t think you’ll get yelled at for using it, it’s a solid choice!

Best lotion for incredibly dry hands

Price: $5-7 for 2.7oz

Pros: It works incredibly well. It’s odorless.

Cons: It works a little too well.

You know when you’re cooking and you tip the olive oil bottle, ever so gently, and suddenly the pan is drowning in extra virgin? This is the O’Keeffe’s Working Hands experience. This lotion works. Really, really well. Too well.

I swear on my first cat’s grave, I once put O’Keeffe’s on before bed, woke up, and still had oily hands. If you greased a locomotive with this stuff, it’d break the sound barrier and fly off the tracks. The guys from Cool Runnings could have put this on their sled and gone to the moon. You get the idea.

If your hands are incredibly dry, to the point of cracking and bleeding, O’Keeffe’s Working Hands hand cream is a miracle. This will make your hands smooth again. But, keep in mind your hands could be oily until you decide to wash them.

Again, I can’t praise the power of this hand cream enough. It’s as if your hands are being born again after using it. But, it’s so, so oily.

Best overall lotion

Price: $7 for 16oz

Pros: It works quickly. There’s almost no scent. It’s not oily for very long.

Cons: You don’t get to experience the joy of buying it very often.

It’s rare that something checks all the right boxes, but Lubriderm Advanced Therapy Lotion with Vitamin E and B5 certainly does. I love this stuff. It’s affordable, it lasts forever, and it’s quick to absorb.

I’ve been using this Lubriderm lotion for the past couple of years, and it’s been a game changer. It absorbs so fast that I’m able to use it before writing in the morning, and again before bed. With lotions that are slow to absorb, I have to tactically plan out when I use them, otherwise I leave slug-like oil trails on everything I touch. Not exactly ideal. With Lubriderm, I lotion my hands when I want.

The biggest downside to Lubriderm Advanced Therapy Lotion is that it lasts forever, meaning you don’t get the thrill of buying a new bottle very often. It’s also not as strong as the heavy hitter, O’Keeffe’s, so if your hands are akin to the Crypt Keeper, it may not be enough.

But, for most dads out there, this lotion is a great first choice!

stay smooth, even when you’re not

You’re a dad. There’s a good chance you make a fool of yourself at least once a day. But, just because you’re not smooth doesn’t mean your hands can’t be.

When your hands are properly lotioned, they’ll be ready to change countless diapers, clean up limitless puke stains, and crack open a totally responsible amount of beers in no time. If you try a lotion from above and don’t like it, give another a go!

Stay smooth, dads.

P.S. Do you swear by a lotion that’s not on this list? Let me know!


  • Chelsea DeVillez

    We love using straight up cooking grade coconut oil. It's safe, cheap, and absorbs by the time I'm done frying an egg (a little in the pan and a little in the hand... parenthood has redefined self-care time).

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