With endless choice and conflicting advice for new parents, choosing the right skin care products for your baby can be confusing. That’s why we’ve asked our experts for some practical advice on the topic of newborn skin care essentials and when to introduce baby skin care products.
Water only for the first four weeks
Babies and children have thinner, more absorbent skin than adults, which means a less effective barrier against chemical toxins. Research suggests the rates of eczema and allergies among children are on the rise and the early introduction of harsh toiletries onto sensitive skin may be a factor.
Babies are born with a white sticky substance on their skin, called the vernix, which gets absorbed after birth and helps to protect the skin against the acidic quality of amniotic fluid in the womb. The World Health Organisation recommends not washing your baby within the first 24 hours after birth to allow the vernix to absorb and not be washed away.
Within the first few weeks of life, skin changes from a neutral pH to an acidic pH, forming the acid mantle that acts as a protective barrier on the skin. Even using gentle products at such an early stage may disrupt the delicate pH balance of your baby’s skin and can lead to irritation so it is best to avoid any newborn skin care. After four weeks, you can start to introduce gentle baby care products, such as an SLS-free baby wash and a nurturing, organic baby oil.
Baby care essentials
Understand the products you really need to care for your baby’s skin.
Natural nappy cream
Nappy cream is a staple in every changing bag, helping to protect against dampness and infection, and to soothe sore bottoms. Some of the bestselling nappy creams may contain ingredients that can be irritating for babies with sensitive or eczema-prone skin. Petrochemicals, such as mineral oil and paraffin wax are commonly found in nappy creams. These crude oil derivatives create a barrier on the skin so it cannot eliminate toxins effectively – much like wrapping the skin in cling film. This may lead to irritation and inflammation, as toxins become trapped beneath the skin’s surface.
Green People’s Organic Babies Calming Nappy Cream is certified organic and ultra-gentle, with naturally calming Chamomile. This effective natural nappy cream protects against the dampness that leads to nappy rash, creating a breathable barrier without blocking pores.
A worry-free wash
Another must-have baby care product is a gentle bath wash to cleanse baby’s hair, body and bottom. For sensitive skin, choose an SLS-free baby wash that won’t upset the skin’s delicate pH balance. SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate) is a harsh, synthetic detergent that is also used in household cleaning products, it is a known irritant and can be too harsh on babies’ delicate skin.
Try using a natural, SLS-free baby wash that is nurturing on your baby’s skin. Green People uses naturally derived, gentle foaming agents in all its organic baby washes, which cleanse effectively without stripping moisture from your baby’s skin.
For a bonding baby massage
Though not an essential part of your baby’s skin care routine, baby massage is a very rewarding and valuable experience for many parents. It provides a unique, bonding experience between parent and child and when using a good quality oil, it also helps to nourish and protect your baby’s skin.
It is important to carefully choose the oil you use when massaging your baby, as not all oils are beneficial for infant skin. Research suggests that using Olive oil on babies’ skin, which is high in oleic acid, may be contributing to a rise in cases of eczema in children. In addition, mainstream brands of baby oil are commonly based on mineral oil, which has little to no affinity with human skin and may cause irritation.
Green People’s Organic Babies Soothing Baby Oil is 100% certified organic and contains nurturing Rosehip and Pomegranate oils that provide deep nourishment for your baby’s skin, leaving it soft and smooth. This natural oil can also be used on cradle cap and may to help prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.
Save the day with salve
For all over body nourishment, a multi-tasking baby salve or balm is high on the list of baby care essentials. While creams and lotions are beautifully hydrating, a salve can be used in many ways for both mum and baby.
During pregnancy, use one of Green People’s organic baby salves or balms to soften the perineum before birth. You can also use the salve as a protective nipple treatment during breastfeeding, which helps to prevent cracking and to soothe soreness. If your baby is prone to eczema, cradle cap or dry skin, apply the salve to any affected areas for calming, softening relief.
For more advice, recommendations and information about our organic baby skin care essentials please visit www.greenpeople.co.uk/babies.