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How To Choose The Best Bath And Skincare Products For Your Baby’s Sensitive Skin?

How To Choose The Best Bath And Skincare Products For Your Baby’s Sensitive Skin?

As a mother, parent or caregiver you will always want what’s best for your baby and one of the most important things you can give them is good health. Expecting mothers and new parents, you’re probably looking for the best body care products for your baby. 

New parents are always in a dilemma as It’s quite common for new born babies to develop minor skin problems from birth such as dry skin, redness, irritation, bumps and diaper rashes. Most of the babies go through all these early stages of skin issues! 

 

Understanding the Baby Skin and its Sensitive Nature 

So the quest for a soft, flawless baby skin often gives a feeling of distraught to new parents! Moreover, since the newborn’s skin is delicate and prone to dryness, parents seek the best efficacious products to “treat” these minor skin problems. If left ignored, they could become a bigger cause of concern and worry for the parents.

The skin is the largest organ in our body and when it comes to babies, not only is the skin even more vulnerable, but it is also more sensitive and needs all the help it can get to grow beautifully.  

All babies have soft, gentle skin which is mild and sensitive. This requires special attention and products which are specially developed to suit delicate and sensitive skin. This attention goes a long way in preserving that sensitive skin.

Did you know?

baby skin water

Some good to know awareness facts about baby skin in its first few weeks after birth:

  • The three layers of skin (epidermis, dermis and hypodermis) are not fully formed.
  • The epidermis layer’s cells are not yet bound to one another which makes a baby’s skin more permeable and extremely sensitive.
  • The sebaceous glands are not fully functional and the skin is therefore not yet protected by a lipid film. This is actually the reason why a baby’s skin smells so good!
  • Baby skin has a neutral pH and is not protected by the acid mantle (protective film) that limits the multiplication of pathogenic germs. A healthy skin mantle is mildly acidic (ranging between pH 5.0~6.0), hence a pH of 5.5 is highly recommended and suitable as per child dermatologists.
  • Baby skin does not yet produce melanin and is therefore not protected from the sun.
  • Finally, it takes about a year for a baby’s skin to fully develop and protect itself from external allergens, pollutants or irritants.

 

Baby Care Products: What do Parents Want?

Picking the correct products is a question that can haunt a new parent.  

What if the product isn’t safe? What if it causes a horrible rash? Will it suit my baby’s skin? And most importantly, what can we really find in the formulations of baby products available on the market?  These are just some of the questions you might be having at this point and it is completely normal to wonder about them. 

Parents while purchasing baby skin and bath care products are looking for:

  1. Products that do not irritate the sensitive skin of the baby
  2. Products recommended by dermatologists and paediatricians
  3. Non-greasy moisturizing products
  4. Preferably fragrance- and perfume-free products

Moreover, if a baby's skin tends to develop any issue such as a suspicious-looking blemish, rash or dryness, it needs immediate attention of parents and also could be an indicator to switch to better, toxins-free products! 

Don’t worry! All future and new parents, especially mothers, have this natural instinct to be protective and ensure the best, and all of these queries are likely to be solved by the end of this post. We hope it helps bring you a step closer to doing better for your baby!

THE KEY IS IN THE COMPONENTS. READ THAT LABEL!

The easiest way to proceed while buying skin care items for a baby’s sensitive skin is to look for what you absolutely do not want in your products. However, almost the majority of the parents miss the product label, mainly because it’s difficult to make sense of the ingredient list.

  • The sad truth is that many commercially available baby products in the market are not necessarily the best for their skin and health. They may be natural or organic but may contain ingredients that are just as concerning as those found in personal care products for adults! In the skincare market, a lot of weightage is given to how the product looks and smells – giving it a pretty colour, bubbly consistency and strong perfume smells. All these may look very attractive and will encourage you to buy them. However, to give these products such smells and colors, the ingredients added are extremely harmful. They are added for different uses but these substances are not the best and we can do better for our babies! They do not add any benefits to your baby’s skin, unlike the natural ingredients. 
  • According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), there are many ingredients of concern that are found in most baby care products that can penetrate their delicate skin’s natural protective barrier and be easily absorbed into their body. For example, nano Zinc oxide is prohibited by the European Union and many global governing bodies for baby care products for baby sunscreen and diaper rash creams. Experts suggest that a Nanomaterial is an insoluble nano-sized bio persistent material that can enter and clog pores and hence recommend nano zinc oxide as the safest for baby products which doesn’t permeate the skin.

[Truly Blessed Diaper Rash cream is prepared with safe non-nano Zinc Oxide, strictly adhering to clean and safe baby care ingredients]

Many baby care products found in the market contain, for instance, carcinogens, allergens, irritants, and synthetic petroleum-based as well as animal-derived ingredients. The best hack is to look at the list of ingredients or flip the bottle over and read what is going inside that lotion, cream or oil. 

baby bath

Here are some substances commonly found in baby products that are harmful and how you can find alternatives to them - 

ELEMENTS

INGREDIENTS 

USED FOR

ALTERNATIVES

Silicones

Peroxide components. Dimethicone, Amodimethicone, Cyclomethicone, etc. Derived from silica, silicones are semi-liquid substances that act as a barrier, making your skin resistant to both air and water.

Used as smoothening agents for a better texture in products. 

Use uncoated options such as non-nano zinc oxide based Sunscreen or Diaper Rash Cream

Parabens

Parahydroxybenzoic acid + derivatives and/or words ending with parabens. 

Used as preservatives. Parabens have been linked to hormone-disruption and have been found in some breast cancer tumours

Look for natural preservatives-based products that use Caprylhydroxamic Acid, gluconolactone, caprylglycol

Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is linked to cancer and is considered a known human carcinogen. Avoid formaldehyde, quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bromopol) and glyoxal.

Used as surfactant in Baby personal care products like shampoo and liquid soaps 

User formaldehyde-free surfactant based products

Sulfates

Sodium lauryl ester sulfate (SLES), sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), ammonium laureth sulfate, sodium stearyl sulfate. While SLES was developed to be gentler than SLS, the manufacturing process can create 1,4- dioxane, a potential carcinogen

They are ‘surfactants’ which give those foamy and bubbly textures in shampoos and soaps.

Look out are products that are sulfate free from both SLS and SLES. These products might be milder in texture i.e. they might not lather but that’s okay! Lathersclean. Try Sulfate-Free Truly Blessed’s hair and body wash

Alcoholic organic compounds

Look for names ending with formaldehyde, formalin, glyoxal, bromopol, methylene.

Used for their bacteria-killing properties, but they are also known carcinogens.

Try variants that utilise zinc oxide or titanium oxide which are natural and safe while offering antibacterial 

properties.

Triclosan

Used in soaps, hand sanitisers etc. as an antimicrobial substance and has been shown to mildly disrupt hormones

Fragrances 

Benzene derivatives, aldehydes, toluene. 

The label may advertise ‘special fragrance’.

Alternatives are natural scents.

Synthetic fragrances are okay for adult skin but are common allergens for sensitive baby skin.

Look for brands that use IFRA Certified Fragrances for scented products or opt for Fragrance Free options only

Asbestos

Baby Powder. Asbestos is one of the most dangerous substances on Earth. In many regions, talc deposits are contaminated with asbestos fibers. Asbestos exposures as short in duration as a few days have caused mesothelioma in humans

Avoid Talc based products or better to move to Zinc-based diaper creams that create a strong protective barrier

Talc

Seen in diaper rash creams and lotions.

Used in baby powder to prevent chafing and calm diaper rash. Although talc helps with moisture, it is often a contaminated ingredient when mass produced and can be avoided. Geologically, talc and asbestos can be formed from the same parent rock and talc is likely to carry small traces of asbestos. Even small amounts of asbestos in talc can cause mesothelioma and other deadly diseases, many years after exposure.

Avoid Baby Powder made of Talc or better to move to Zinc-based diaper creams that create a strong protective barrier

Phthalates

Substances having the word phthalates or phthalate esters in them.

Phthalates are present in cleansers, diapers, lubricants, lotions, toys, electronics, shampoos, and baby powders, among many other things. 

Check the product as 

being phthalate free. 

Petrolatum, Paraffinum Liquidum/Mineral Oil

Petrolatum, Petroleum Jelly, Paraffin Oil, Mineral Oil and White Petrolatum. Synthetic emollient that can contain a carcinogenic contaminant. Petrolatum could potentially be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs. Mineral oil is made from highly refined, purified and processed petroleum

Found in our analysis of baby lotion ingredients, are mineral hydrocarbons

Avoid products with petrolatum, unless the company clearly indicates petrolatum is fully refined as white petrolatum

Lavandula Augustifolia (Lavender) Oil

Essential oil containing linalool, an allergenic substance

As a natural fragrance essential oil

Avoid essential oils

Cera Alba Beeswax

and

Polyglyceryl-3 Beeswax

Animal-derived products

Unprocessed animal-derived ingredients are not actually harmful for your baby, but may pose an ethical and personal issue. If you prefer vegan body care products for your baby, look for the PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) seal on the package

Look for beeswax-free products

Phenoxyethanol

Phenyl cellosolve, ethylene glycol monophenyl ether, 

PhE, Dowanol EP, 

Phenoxetol, rose ether

phenoxyethyl alcohol, 

beta-hydroxyethyl phenyl ether

Used as preservative and that can be irritating and allergenic

Look for Phenoxyethanol free products

Benzene

Petroleum-derived toxic chemical

Cancer-causing chemical in tests of  sunscreens, hand sanitizers, antiperspirant and deodorant, antifungal treatments, and spray shampoos and conditioners

Look for Benzene free labels

 

Chemicals like phthalates, parabens and heavy metals are potential endocrine disruptors i.e. they can disrupt our hormone system, leading to a wide range of significant health harms such as reproductive issues like changes to fertility, early puberty, low birth weight, obesity, diabetes, immune system impacts, cardiovascular and respiratory problems, some types of cancer, and neurological and behavioral problems. The developing fetus, infants and children are especially vulnerable, since their physiological systems are still developing.

 

So What do I Look for? Are Natural Baby Products Really Better?

Children are more vulnerable to the effects of contaminants, allergens, pollutants, irritants etc. than adults. The impacts these substances may have are even more worrying on newborns and children as they tend to get greater exposure and on avg. are ten times more vulnerable during the initial and critical stages of development and growth before attaining the age of two at least. 

 

Baby bath

Now that we have a better idea of some of the things that are not necessarily the best to have in your baby's skincare products, we’ll talk about what is actually good and what you need. 

Since a newborn baby’ skin is delicately thin, it loses moisture more quickly than adults’ and its protective layer does not renew itself as quickly. Owing to these reasons, many parents are looking for ultra-gentle, mildly certified fragrance or perfume-free, hypoallergenic products specially formulated for a newborn’s epidermis.

Natural and organic products are your best friend. There are many ingredients available which will help your baby’s skin by nourishing it. Don't get completely misled by brands that simply advertise the words ‘safe’, ‘organic’ or natural without reading the label. But it’s always a good idea to read the label and check the ingredients regardless of what’s on the packaging and whether it is labelled natural or organic. Why? Just because a product is natural doesn’t mean that it will be suitable for your baby’s fragile skin.

There are credible certifications that natural-organic certified brands have such as 

Also a tag of dermatologically tested and mildly acidic pH 5.5/balanced are also good indicators of a better baby product.

Another way to differentiate would be to look at the shelf life of the product - high scale industrial additives like preservatives mentioned above tend to boost the expiry date of the product. These don’t add value to the actual product but only harm them. A good natural product usually has a shelf life of 6 months to a year.

Go for brands that have credibility. Check out the link below for some baby essentials that are completely safe and give your baby the best! 

 

Be on the Lookout for Allergens and Irritants

  • Avoid essential oils. They are extracted or distilled from the volatile molecules of aromatic plants. The extracted essence has a high concentration of powerful active ingredients. Some essential oils are rich in highly irritating ketones (neurotoxic in high doses) or phenols (anti-infectious molecules). It is therefore not advised to use essential oils on children under three years of age.
  • To prevent allergic reactions, avoid products containing methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone, two known contact allergens (they often replace parabens).

 

Some Must-Haves for your Baby Skincare Routine

You can opt for these body care essentials for your baby:

  • A hypoallergenic moisturizing lotion or cream
  • A gentle and hypoallergenic shampoo or body wash. The 2-in-1 version is practical for baby’s bathtime as it reduces exposure time of babies to temperature changes
  • A non-nano Zinc Oxide diaper rash cream to help repel dampness that leads to diaper rash
  • A moisturizing cream for especially dry and sensitive skin 
  • Non-nano zinc mineral sunscreen (do not use before six months of age)
  • Natural, biodegradable baby wipes
  • Choose plain water over bubble bath 

BABY LOTION - Choose a hydrating, light, pH Balanced and non greasy one, that doesn’t clog the skin, keeps skin nourished and can prevent drying and eczema.

BABY OIL - If you’re wondering why you need an oil and a lotion, an oil is used for massages which is often a practice in the early months as it promotes better movement, blood circulation and development not to mention calms and soothes the baby. It is important to choose a well balanced oil which is not heavily scented but also has all the properties that will soak into the skin and help it. 

BABY SHAMPOO AND BODY WASH - A mild acidic pH safe shampoo, which is SLS/SLES free and dermatologically approved can do wonders in keeping away rashes from the most vulnerable area- the scalp. A BABY HEAD-TO-TOE WASH is ideal for quick baby cleansing. This is something you can use on your baby's skin daily to keep it clean and dry. Moreover the gel based wash is non-drying compared to soap or bubble bath.

BABY RASH CREAM or TALC FREE POWDER -  You will need a baby diaper rash cream or powder to apply over your baby’s buttocks mainly to keep the area dry and avoid moisture from accumulating over these sensitive areas. This prevents fungal infections and diaper rashes as well.

BABY ALL PURPOSE CREAM - An all purpose cream is different from a lotion as creams have antioxidants, medicinal properties and aren't for just moisturising. Such creams can be used for topical application on rashes or allergic areas and they clear up easily. 

 

Quick Tips and you're Set

baby bath milk

  • If your baby is allergic to particular substances, check the label for those before you buy them and always do a patch test before trying on your baby.
  • When you are unsure even after a product has matched your criteria or you are confused between two identical ones - customer reviews can be the lifeline you need.
  • Even with the right products, ensure you still keep those products clean, safe, and away from direct sunlight, and discard them by their expiry dates.

 

Truly Blessed Strives to Develop Clean and Safest Baby Products

 

Despite having all this information, you may be feeling a lot of pressure to now pick the correct items. But in the end, the mother knows best so just trust your instincts and you will take on motherhood or parenthood and rock it!

 

1 comment

  • Aradhana Kapoor -

    It is preferred to use natural and very soft product for baby skincare . I really like this post and I apprecuate truelly blassed efforts

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