January 28, 2021
If you’re a Mum, chances are you’ve been faced with the hundreds (thousands?) of baby skincare options available to you. But, while back in the day a slug of Johnson’s baby oil would’ve done the trick, we’re now faced with a plethora of new products, all claiming to be the best, most soothing on the market. And we also now have organic products and natural baby shampoo thrown into the mix too – just to add another layer of confusion. So how do you know what products to choose for your baby? And why are natural baby and bath products better for your bub? Let us explain.
Why babies skin is so sensitive
Here’s the thing: babies have the freshest, most untouched skin there is. But because of this, it’s not hardened to the elements and so is more fragile than adult skin, and certainly more sensitive to things like fabrics and bacteria. This is because their skin barrier (the thing that keeps moisture in and germs/ irritants out) is still strengthening and getting used to the relatively dry out-of-utero environment. In these early stages, whilst it’s still developing, it will be more susceptible to the sun, chemicals, skin diseases and chemicals. Which is precisely why natural baby and bath products are so important.
What to look for in natural baby products
Knowing all the above, and also knowing just how much of what we put on our skin is absorbed into the bloodstream (60 percent!), going natural for your baby seems like a no-brainer. So, what ingredients should you avoid? Ditch the harsh soaps, and bubble bath and avoid products with sulphates (foaming agents) as these tend to be drying. Other things to avoid are artificial fragrances which are irritating to sensitive baby skin and anything with alcohol in it as again, it can cause skin to dry. Look for nourishing ingredients in your natural baby bath products, and if their skin is drier, opt for a heavier, thicker cream rather than a lotion formulation. You may also need to moisturise more than once a day – this will continue to help build and protect the moisture barrier.
What about eczema?
Unfortunately eczema is very common in babies and will usually develop before one year old. Eczema, however, is not caused by something you have done or used on your baby – it’s a genetic skin condition that is not curable, but is treatable. The other thing about eczema is that it is triggered by many things and each will be unique to the baby. It could be weather (usually flare-ups happen in the winter dryness) heating and air con, diet, certain fabrics and detergents, and of course, ingredients in bath products and moisturisers. Aside from switching to a nourishing, non-fragranced, paraben free cream to help with the skin barrier (and moisturizing often to protect) humidifiers can also help here to avoid the air becoming too dry.