I realised that our skin, whether dry, oily or combination skin changes depending on the stage of life we are in. We go through various stages in our lives such as puberty, pregnancy, over 40s and the needs of our skin or the people we care for changes.
This skincare series will cover these different stages and the needs of our skin during these times. I will also invite beauty therapists to cover some stages. I hope this will be useful for you.
I am going to begin with newborn babies, and their skin care needs.
A baby’s skin is the ultimate blank canvas. They have skin that has not been affected by chemicals, the environment, or just life! You will find that babies are usually born with great skin despite the wrinkles, and peeling skin. However, their skin reacts extremely quickly to chemicals and products which are unsuitable for their skin. Have you ever used the wrong cream or the wrong wipes on a baby? The reaction on their skin is surprisingly quick. The next morning they are covered with rashes!
Here are some tips on looking after babies skin:
STAY AWAY FROM JOHNSON’S BABY PRODUCTS
Before I gave birth, I did extensive research regarding Johnson’s products and although their products are marketed for babies, they are not suitable for babies, especially babies of colour. Their products are too harsh for many babies. Now, I am not saying that Johnson’s products will definitely cause skin irritations, because I know some mothers who used these products without problems. However, by doing your own research you will find out that many mothers do not use these products for a reason. They are full of chemicals, which is the worst thing you can use for the delicate skin of a newborn. Here is an example of the ingredients of two of the popular Johnson’s products:
*I got this information from their website:
Johnson’s Baby Oil – Paraffinum Liquidum, Isopropyl Palmitate, Parfum.
Johnson’s Baby Bath – Aqua, Coco-Glucoside, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Polysorbate 20, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, PEG-150 Distearate, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, Quarternium-15, Parfum, CI 42090.
Just because a big corporation stamps ‘baby’ on their products does not mean it is appropriate for babies!
GIVE NATURAL PRODUCTS A TRY
I have had eczema for practically my whole life. Even though I am now at a stage where I manage it effectively, I remember the effects it had on my self-confidence when I was growing up. As a child I had severe eczema on my neck, my arms and the back of my legs, and sometimes I would scratch and scratch until I started to bleed. I was prescribed steroids but that was just a temporary fix because once you stop using it, the problem comes back even worse.
I will be honest with you when I say I really did not want my daughter to experience this, so I started to research some of the causes of eczema and other skin conditions. There is a strong link between harsh chemicals found in many skincare products and eczema. It is not the only cause, but it was one that people including me, tend to overlook. Natural products are great because…they are natural. They moisturise and nourish your skin without adding chemicals which can cause skin irritations. The great thing about natural products is that everyone in your household can use them and you can use them for other things such as your hair, a face mask, a face scrub etc.
Shea Butter, Coconut Oil are a few of the great options for babies. Now, I know that all babies are different but trust me, natural products are much better.
Some mothers decide to bath their babies twice a day, some mothers decide to bath their babies once a day, other mothers do not bath their babies for the first six weeks of their life, choosing to use cotton wool and water to clean the areas that need cleaning. Whatever way you decide to bath your baby, try to stay away from the harsh chemicals that are typically found in soaps and body washes.
Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLS) which is found in soaps, body washes can cause ezcema and dry skin conditions. It is this chemical that makes the products foam.You are minimising the risk of your baby having skin irritation by using products that do not contain SLS. Try and get into the habit of looking at the ingredients of any wash or cleanser that you use on your baby’s skin, to see if harsh chemicals are present. I cannot use products with SLS because it aggravates my ezcema,
I found a great body wash called Halos N Horns which I used for my daughter that does not contain SLS. The great thing is that it is so gentle, that it is tear-free, so it does not hurt your baby’s eyes. It smells great and is really gentle on delicate skins. I recommend this to all mothers. You can find these products in Boots or online.
The key is keep things simple with your baby’s skin.
Trust me, mothers are the hardest on themselves, we always think we could be doing better in one way or another. One thing I have learnt is that trial and error is a great teacher…and Google! Oops, I shouldn’t have said that, but hey, it is the TRUTH. Please do not beat yourself up if your baby is reacting to a skin product that you are using. Just do some research and speak to other non-judgemental mothers, who will not look at you with utter horror and disgust when you tell them that you are using Johnson’s baby products for your precious baby! You will probably find that many mothers learnt by trial and error on what worked for their baby’s skin.
No two babies are the same. What works for one might not work for another, so bear that in mind.
Stay tuned for next week’s post. We will be covering another stage of life that can change our skin.