Natural Organic Baby/Infant Skin Care
See our Natural Organic Baby Skin Care Products here.
by Catherine Cervasio
Everyone has their own ideas on exactly what will work when it comes to caring for Baby’s skin. So too, does Mother Nature…
Natural remedies can play a vital role in baby care and often provide gentle yet effective relief from minor ailments – even enhancing many experiences associated with the care of a new baby. It is important to understand that to take care of Baby’s skin the most natural way is often best. Offer only products which are as pure and natural, baby-specific and bland as possible particularly during the first weeks. The more complex an ingredient list reads, the more likely it will be that Baby may be allergic reaction to one of the ingredients. Simple formulas are no doubt ideal for newborns and for anyone who suffers from sensitivities. Seek out manufacturers producing specifically for infants, as this field is obviously their focus. Many producers simply add on several baby products to an adult range, or are merely inferior copy-cat versions of other better known, high quality products.
Baby Eczema and Label Claims
A quick scan of the label will tell you if a product claiming to be suitable for eczema or problem skin is indeed making claims which are permitted by the TGA, evident by an Aust L number printed prominently on the front of a label. Manufacturers are not permitted to suggest their products are suitable or effective for eczema unless having first been approved by the TGA. An Aust L number demonstrates the product has been manufactured under strict guidelines in accordance with TGA requirements, and has met criteria for making any therapeutic claims. You will also find with a TGA product that manufacturers are required to list only ‘active’ ingredients so you often will not know the others used. For non TGA products, the ingredients should be listed on the bottle or associated packaging (which is required for ALL skincare products) and this will equip you with information as to whether or not there are added colours, artificial fragrances or other ingredients present which may be linked to a family history of allergic reactions. If you are purchasing a TGA listed product and the full ingredient list is not on the label, try calling the manufacturer to ask what the base is. It is not unusual to find a natural paw paw ointment which contains around 30% of fruit extract but in a base of petroleum, with an added preservative and so on. By reading a little before you make a decision to purchase a particular product will enable you to make a well-informed choice on what may be most suitable for your Baby’s skin.
Being aware of which ingredients are more commonly the cause of reactions on the delicate skin of a newborn will ensure you do the best job possible to keep Baby comfortable and content. With the rate of eczema on the rise, some experts recommend, for example, avoiding ingredients known to be linked to a higher incidence of skin allergies or sensitisation – oils such as peanut in skincare preparations, surfactants known as ‘sulphates’ which cause a product to foam (these can be responsible for stripping the skin of its natural, protective oils), artificial additives, mineral oil and even lanolin can all be culprits.
Whilst aromatherapy certainly offers a range of benefits, there are many who prefer to use products without essential oils. Choose a high quality, certified organic or pesticide free (check with the manufacturer) base oil such as sweet almond or jojoba, with a little natural vitamin e (use the contents of an oral vitamin capsule) an ideal all-round oil suitable for cleansing Baby’s nappy area, massage and moisturising the skin. Jojoba is said to closely resemble the skin’s sebum – actually a ‘wax’ rather than an oil which makes this an ideal choice if allergies are common.
Other oils which provide superior benefits to the skin include calendula and evening primrose oils. Evening primrose oil contains a large proportion of gamma-linolenic acid and has found to be beneficial for dry skin and eczema whilst calendula is good for healing and moisturising. Blending these oils together provides a beneficial mixture for dry, irritated skin, sore and cracked nipples for breastfeeding mums, for cradle cap and so on. Prepare your blend by using 5ml evening primrose oil, 5ml calendula oil with 40ml of your chosen base oil. This blend can be added to Baby’s bath water or used for a relaxing massage. Whilst the oil will not disperse readily in the bath water, you will find the small globules of oil adhere to Baby’s skin leaving a silky-smooth film which can be left intact by simply gently patting Baby’s skin dry after the bath.
Born Too Early
For the first several weeks of a premature baby’s life it is best to use a bland, unscented product or alternatively, simply water for all your newborn’s skincare and bathing needs. Following many weeks of limited contact, Baby may be distressed with early handling due to their first experiences of touch being associated with unpleasant procedures such as blood tests and monitoring, so patience is the key here.>
Some parents fail to realise that many general, adult toiletry products are manufactured using higher amounts of perfumes, alcohols, added colours and other ingredients which can potentially be irritating to an infant’s paper-thin skin. Therefore, be sure to avoid using your own toiletries and instead seek out only the mildest and most gentle, natural-based preparations, which have been formulated specifically for babies and not adults.