It seems like the aisles at supermarkets and big box stores are filled with baby skin care products these days. From diaper rash ointments to lotions and soaps, one could get lost in a sea of lavender and chamomile. Both my children have eczema and/or hives so skin care is important to us, and some skin care products for children seem to do more harm than good. This article will break down what you need to know when choosing skin care products for your baby.
According to WebMD, you will want to choose skin care products that are free of fragrance, dyes, phthalates, and parabens. I couldn’t agree more! Not only do you want to avoid harsh chemicals and artificial ingredients for baby’s skin, but their developing lungs don’t need to breath in man-made scents, either. Luckily, there is a market now for more natural baby products, and most stores carry a few products that meet these requirements. Be sure to read labels! Just because a product claims to be “all natural” doesn’t mean it really is.
Sometimes the best skin care for babies and young children is prevention. When it’s time for a bath, I believe it’s best to wash babies and young children in water only, and keep baths short. If you feel you must use soap or a cleaning product, look for a PH balanced cleansing bar rather than traditional soap. Tela likes Dr. Bronner’s Baby Soap which is super gentle and safe. Check the safety of the products you are currently using and locate safer alternatives at Skin Deep, a website from the Environmental Working Group.
If your water’s chlorine and iron/mineral content contribute to baby’s dry, itchy skin, try attaching a bathtub water filter that de-chlorinates the water. I’m planning to buy one of these and am just beginning to research them. The prices I’ve found range from $45 to $65 plus the cost of replacement filters. You can always install a whole house water filtration system, but that option may not be in every budget. If your baby still has dry, itchy patches that need to be treated, pure Vitamin E oil is a great alternative to lotions with artificial ingredients. I’m using Vitamin E oil on my daughter’s skin, and it’s working great for her eczema. You can find small bottles of Vitamin E oil in the lotion section at your local pharmacy. My bottle was $3.50, and I’m using it in place of lip balm as well!
Natural skin care products don’t have to be expensive or complicated to be good for baby’s skin. For more information on the safety of the products you buy for your children, read Babyminding’s post “Parent’s Guide to Safer Products”.