Benefits of natural skincare for baby (and you)

There’s an overwhelming world of information and products out there when you have a baby, isn’t there? You need to make decisions about so many new things, from the pram and the bassinet, to their clothing and toys. Then, what about the dizzying array of lotions and potions for your baby’s skin? You might even be wondering what to put on your own skin as a new mum, especially since your baby will be snuggled up to it for many (many!) hours a day.

We’ve seen a lot of skincare products on the market, so to take the guesswork out of it for you, here we look at caring for your baby’s skin using natural products as opposed to synthetic ones.

Do I even need to use skincare products on my baby?

No matter what skin type your baby has, their skin can be easily irritated, and prone to dryness and sometimes eczema. An infant’s skin is thinner than an adult’s so it can lose moisture quite easily. Applying a range of gentle and natural products is a great way to keep it soft, nourished, and protected.

Why should I use natural skincare products and not synthetic ones?

A baby’s skin is incredibly sensitive and delicate, and does not function as a normal barrier like adult skin does. Therefore, what we want to put on a baby’s skin is gentle, and free of irritants and artificial ingredients that will further dry their skin out.

Which ingredients are best to avoid in baby skincare?

The following ingredients have been found to trigger dryness, eczema flare-ups, and irritation:

  • Artificial fragrances: chemical fragrances that can cause dryness, irritation, and allergies.
  • Soap: can dry sensitive skin out.
  • Sulfates: can cause redness and irritation in sensitive or eczema-prone skin.
  • Petrochemicals: non-renewable, environmentally unfriendly resource.
  • Mineral oils: another common label for petrochemicals
  • Lanolin: safe, but some babies can be sensitive to it.
  • Paraben preservatives: banned in the EU, but not Australia, it’s been detected in breast cancer tissue.
  • Propylene glycol: a known skin irritant.
  • Phthalates: mimics estrogen and is easily absorbed by the skin.

Which ingredients are beneficial for my baby’s skin?

The less complicated the ingredient list, the less likely your baby will have a reaction to it. Products that nurture, nourish, protect, and gently care for your baby’s skin may include the following carefully selected natural and organic vegetable oils and extracts:

  • Wheat germ oil
  • Oat extract
  • Organic lavender
  • Organic avocado oil
  • Organic rosehip oil
  • Organic shea butter
  • Organic aloe vera leaf extract

When should I use natural skincare products on my baby?

It’s recommended that the baby skincare product used to cleanse baby, does not contain strong perfumes or have a high pH. level. Babies all have different skincare needs, but generally you might like to do the following:

  1. Add a little gentle soap-free cleanser to their bath, which will clean, moisturise, and relax them.
  2. You can wash their hair with a gentle shampoo that’s designed for delicate scalps, skin, and, eyes. Some have added moisturising ingredients which is great for cradle cap.
  3. If your baby’s hair is prone to knotty bed hair, then you can use a lovely silicone-free detangler or conditioner to keep it shiny and soft.
  4. After a bath is a wonderful time to rub in a nourishing moisturiser to keep your baby’s skin velvety soft.
  5. To enhance this special time with your baby, and to help you and your baby relax (and hopefully sleep), you could give your baby a soothing massage with a mineral-free massage oil, that contains pure organic essential oils like lavender and chamomile.
  6. For nappy rash, you might like to use a talc-free cornstarch powder to freshen your baby’s bottom and reduce any excess moisture that can cause rashes.
  7. To keep those little bottoms clean and fresh, you can use soft bamboo wipes that are free from alcohol and preservatives (which can leave skin irritated).

What skincare products should I be using for myself as a new mum?

Pregnancy can lead to all kinds of changes in your skin – your usual products just might not be suitable anymore. You may have noticed that your skin has become dryer, has lost elasticity, and you may also have stretch marks. For best results, many women prefer to use products that contain natural and organic oils, rather than ingredients that can be irritating to their sensitive skin.

Are there any other reasons I should choose natural skincare products?

  • Natural products are usually better for the environment and biodegradable…basically because they are made from products that come from nature.
  • Some synthetic ingredients can contain endocrine disruptors, which are man-made chemicals that mimic or interact with hormones in your body, wreaking havoc on normal hormonal functions.
  • We’re still discovering the negative long-term effects of synthetic skincare products, so it’s really not worth taking the chance on our precious babies.
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