How to care for your baby’s skin

Baby's are difficult enough let’s be honest , but for those of us who have had kids with rashes , eczema or any other skin problems you will know how difficult day to day life can be.

You read everything and will be willing to try anything, and before I get any further let me stop by saying; this alone is part of the problem which I will discuss a little further down in this blog.

You want something to work

I understand you just want something to work, to give relief to you and your little one but instead of buying into the latest marketing fad product take some time and do some research on the product(s), their claims and their ingredients and find out if they are actually beneficial to your baby's skin or not.

Might I add, if you are a mummy to be then do this before your baby arrives. Knowledge is power!

Those first few months and years will yield results for a lifetime

You might think why is this girl writing about baby’s skin, surely she mostly works with adults, and you are right, but to me looking after our baby’s skin is what skin health is about. Those first few months and years will yield results for a lifetime, even into adulthood!

So a little about my personal story….

I had my son nearly 6 years ago. He had a late diagnosis of reflux followed by a milk protein allergy that caused a lot of skin issues and still does.

What makes me so passionate about baby’s skin is I’ve seen it first-hand the issues that it brings and being a beauty therapist who now fully specialises in skin, I can look back and see the errors I made and I don’t want anyone else to have to do the same.

Knowing triggers is key to skin problems 

Understanding the aggravating triggers was a huge help (milk allergy for us) but once the skin is compromised, healing the skin back to health was just as challenging and most over the counter or prescription creams that I briefly used caused more problems for us and a lot of them I just didn’t agree with.

When you know what ingredients cause adult skin issues you can only begin to imagine why they should never be used on babies.

6 years on

Fast forward 6 years and my Baby girl is now 1. When I was pregnant I was very blessed to be working with a range called Dermaviduals and I knew immediately that nothing aside from it would touch my baby's skin if I could help it.

I was also armed with way more knowledge about skin structure and function which reaffirmed all my decisions of what not to do this time around, and so far we have avoided ANY skin problems and lots of you have asked HOW hence I’m writing this blog.

My journey

I’m going to share my journey of how we have got here. I realise that everyone’s journey will be different, but regardless of the cause following the principles of corneotherapy, which basically means to repair and maintain the protective skin barrier at all times is what I would highly recommend. If you avoid the ingredients I mention you will be doing this without thinking about it.

I don’t want this to be a cosmetic chemistry lesson but I do want to make a point: unless a skincare product is free of the entire list below then you most likely will run into problems.

I believe that lots of eczema and skin issues are caused by what we do to our baby's skins rather than genetics and many of the causes we blame.

We don’t realise it, but when you understand the kinds of ingredients that most baby products contain, it stands for reason as to why a skin would get irritated and upset.

Make sure your products are :

  • Free of preservatives
  • Free of emulsifiers
  • Free of all essential oils (like tea tree oil)
  • Free of all perfume/fragrances
  • Free of PEGs

Some of the worse culprits in my opinion are: Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Parfum (a.k.a. fragrance), Petrolatum, Paraffin and Lanolin.

The best products will also resemble and mimic the natural structure of the skin- yes,  that  sounds amazing and it is , and from my research Dermaviduals is the only product that does this worldwide!

So now I’m going to do a little “step by step” of how I’ve treated by baby’s skin to date and a few tips that will help you too.

After birth

Lots of us are keen to get our new-borns into a bath and have them smelling “clean”. My advice is wait at least a week before bathing your baby. That wax has a purpose and allowing the skin to get used to the external environment is a must, so that extra layer of protection helps.

 Bathing / Cleansing

I wish I could shout this from the roof tops- Less is more!

Lots of people are following a bath to bed routine these days in the hope of getting their baby to sleep better. Washing a baby’s skin each night is unnecessary and in my option actually harmful to their delicate skin.

So far I have only washed my baby girl once to twice a week and here is why:

The epidermis of children up to the age of 3 is relatively thin, shows minimal sweat and sebum production, has an increased trans epidermal water loss and is sensitive. In other words it’s extremely vulnerable and the choices you make will be vital.

It has been proven in recent studies that over-cleansing during infancy correlates with cases of atopic and sensitive skin later in life and a higher frequency of nappy rash.

In a nut shell, there is simply no reason to bath your baby daily let alone clean the baby skin with liquid soaps, shampoos, shower creams or the like (even if the bottle says gentle).

When bathing lukewarm, soft water serves its purpose and won’t disrupt the natural protective substances that the little body badly needs.

 

For day to day cleansing

For day to day cleansing of the face and neck etc I use the Dermaviduals DMS cleansing milk on some damp cotton wool. I used the same product to cleanse the anal region also. It’s a great way to avoid nappy rashes too!

As a preventative measure I also use a product in the bath called tenfione® semisomal bath.

This is a bath/shower product prepared with natural and nature-identical ingredients. The active agents are embodied in the upper layers of the skin. This stops the skin drying out while bathing and leaves a velvety feeling after the bath.

The product is free of synthetic oils and waxes and keeps the skin from feeling too slippy or oily.

Moisturising you baby

First you need to have a reason to moisturise, is the skin dry? Don’t do it for the sake of it.

If I felt my baby’s skin was dry I used a mixture of non-aqueous creams like Oleogel or DMS Body lotion. It contains an abundance of essential fatty acids and bisabolol which support the prevention of inflammatory skin reactions.

Oleogel K is a new product which also contains a low dosage of urea which inhibits itching without irritating so a great choice if your baby already has skin issues.

If you’re reading this and your child does suffer eczema or other skin issues then we will always recommend products on an individual basis but those mentioned above get a huge thumbs up.

In conclusion,

I hope this has been helpful, and it has probably raised some questions no doubt, but in summary

  • Less is more- Less bathing, less products, Less nasty ingredients
  • Use clean pure skin identical ingredients from the start and this will reduce chances of more complex skin problems later on.
  • P.S Do not use baby wipes to wash your baby's face

If you would like to ask any questions please feel free to email me at hello@theskinhealthclinic.co.uk or call the clinic on 02838318280.

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