baby skincare

How to Choose the Right Baby Skincare Products

The baby skincare industry will have you believe that you need a whole slew of skincare products for your little one, but this couldn’t be further from the truth! A baby’s skin is very delicate, so using a lot of products just increases the risk of skin irritation. The first step is to decide what products are necessary – typically this means soap, shampoo and moisturiser. If your baby has diaper rash, you can add a diaper rash cream and that’s all you really need. It’s natural to want to give your baby the best, but remind yourself that more doesn’t mean better.

Check the Ingredients Label

A lot of baby products are labelled as “gentle” or “mild” but these words are just used as marketing buzzwords, without any regulations to define their meaning. This is why it is important to check the ingredients list so that you know which products to avoid. For instance, baby sunscreen is important because babies have delicate skin which is vulnerable to the sun’s UV rays. However, not all sunscreens are the same – some are chemical sunscreens while others are mineral-based sunscreens. Chemical sunscreens contain chemicals such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, and octocrylene which are absorbed by the skin and may have hormone-disrupting properties. On the other hand, mineral-based sunscreens contain minerals such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide which remain on the surface of the skin and create a protective shield from UV rays. Reviews from the community and experts’ advice on sunscreen for babies can help you decide which sunscreen is best for your baby. Avoid using sunscreens for a newborn but keep them out of direct sunlight. If you must take them out, use clothing and shade for protection. According to the British Association of Dermatologists, parents should wait until their baby is 6 months old to add sunscreen to their skincare routine.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals

Phthlates are often used in skincare products, including baby skincare products, to improve texture. It’s best to avoid any product that contains phthalates as they have been linked to potential health risks, including hormone disruption and developmental issues. Similarly, you should also avoid products that contain sulphates, such as sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulphate (SLES). These chemicals are surfactants that help products lather and foam but they can be harsh and drying on the skin, particularly for babies with sensitive skin.

Choose Fragrance-Free Products

On the surface, it seems like there is no difference between the terms and “unscented” and “fragrance-free”. However, there is a significant difference – “unscented” means that the product has been formulated to have no detectable scent at all which means that certain chemicals may have been added to neutralise or mask the smell of the other ingredients. On the other hand, “fragrance-free” indicates that it may have a natural scent from its ingredients but no artificial or added fragrances have been used in the product. This is why it is better to use fragrance-free baby skincare products.

Avoid Unnecessary Products

Baby talcum powder has been used for decades to prevent diaper rash. However, medical experts advise parents to avoid talcum powder as it contains ingredients that irritate a baby’s sensitive skin. IF your baby seems to be developing diaper rash, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to the area. This will protect the area from moisture and allow it to heal quickly.

Consider Your Baby’s Specific Needs

If your baby has any specific skin conditions such as eczema, cradle cap or diaper rash, choose products that are formulated to address those concerns. Similarly, if your baby has sensitive skin that is prone to irritation, you would need to use products that are specifically formulated for sensitive skin. If you feel that none of the products you’ve tried are helping, consult your paediatrician.

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