What products are “safe” to use on a baby’s skin? And why? When should you worry about baby skin rashes and ailments, and what is the difference between various cleansers?
I can think of another 30 questions relating to baby’s skin that I had to Google or scour my books for answers, and since I haven’t really been able to ever figure out my own skin, or predict what my skin will look like from one day to the next, it was and is difficult for me to figure out my son’s skin, even now.
I have done some reserach in search of answers to some of my questions, and some other typically asked queries, to guide you along, and help you to know your baby’s skin (plus what to use, and what to avoid).
What is the difference between baby and adult skin?
Baby skin is more “active” than adult skin – it’s constantly developing at a rapid pace. It’s more vulnerable to irritants, to changes in temperature and to changes in humidity. Therefore, you need to protect your baby’s skin against environmental changes and harsh cleansers. You’ll also need to make sure his skin is properly moisturised, to maintain a healthy barrier against bacteria and other infections.
Compared to an adult’s skin, a baby’s skin is about 30 percent thinner, has a greater tendency to dryness, is more prone to allergies and irritation, and absorbs more water but loses it faster too. Therefore, baby products should ideally be used to take care of baby’s skin because they are developed with these differences top of mind.
Do preservatives in skin care products have a negative impact on baby skin?
Contrary to some popular thinking, preservative-free skin products can be unsafe and potentially hazardous to the skin. Preservatives are a necessary ingredient in certain products as they ensure the integrity, purity and quality of the product during its use. They also protect against the development of microorganisms, including bacteria, mould and fungi.
Is olive oil appropriate for baby skin?
Olive oil is widely reported as being beneficial in the use of cosmetic skin preparations due to its antioxidant activity, protection against ultraviolet (UV) radiation and wound-healing properties. It’s also often used as a homemade remedy to massage or moisturise baby skin.
However, evidence suggests that olive oil, specifically its oleic acid content, is damaging to the skin barrier. The main constituent of olive oil is oleic acid, and even small amounts of oleic acid have been found to induce an inflammatory response and can be irritating to the skin. Therefore, use Johnson’s Baby Oil instead, which is made from ingredients that are proven to be safe for baby’s delicate skin.
Is mineral oil safe to use on baby skin?
Medicinal grade mineral oil is safe for baby skin and is actually used in the management of skin diseases. It is non-irritating to skin, an effective emollient and is one of the safest cosmetic ingredients around.
Is water alone best to care for baby skin?
Water alone is not an ideal baby skin care regimen for two main reasons: it is not an effective cleanser and it can be drying. Water alone does not remove all of the impurities which can be found on baby skin.
Although water does hydrate the skin, the effect is temporary, lasting only about 30 seconds. Once the water evaporates, skin begins to dry.
A complete baby skincare regimen should involve optimally formulated products like Johnson’s Baby to strengthen the skin barrier, including bath, wipes and oils.
Only cleansers which are mild and specifically designed for baby skin should be used on baby’s sensitive skin.
Why is moisturising baby skin so important?
Always use a moisturiser after washing your baby. In a clinical study, 10 percent of mothers surveyed believed that their baby’s skin was dry, when in fact, more than 60 percent of these babies had clinical signs of dryness! Your baby’s skin absorbs water rapidly, but it loses it just as rapidly. That’s why regularly moisturising your baby’s skin using a product like Johnson’s Baby Lotion is a good way to protect against dryness.
What are other ways to protect baby’s skin?
You can also keep your baby’s skin protected by dressing her in loose-fitting clothing, to prevent chafing. Protect your baby’s skin from all direct sun exposure with a hat and other forms of shade. As your baby grows, her skin will adapt and grow with her.
And whether you’re bathing your baby’s skin or smoothing on a moisturiser, you’re doing a lot to keep her skin healthy.