Here at Little Soap HQ we’re always super careful about the products that we use on our skin, and we encourage our customers to follow the same precautions too. Whatever goes on to your skin is absorbed by the body- so any nasty chemicals or additives that manufacturers add to their products are making their way inside your body too. Yuk! When it comes to baby’s skin it’s more vital than ever that you choose your products carefully- and this week we intend to tell you why! Here are three little tips for easy baby skincare at bath time. Please do let us know in the comments what you think.
Remember that your baby’s skin is delicate
Your baby’s skin is different to your own, and therefore not all skincare products or ingredients are suitable. Your baby actually has fewer layers which means that it’s more prone to irritations and sensitivity. Newborn babies have an immature skin barrier, which means that it can be very vulnerable to outside irritants and susceptible to reactions if exposed to chemicals and additives. These additives are also a lot more easily absorbed into the body thanks to the reduced function of the skin’s barrier.
By the age of around two, your baby’s skin will have matured enough to retain levels of moisture for cells to function properly, but until then they are very much at risk from environmental factors, chemical stresses and other irritants such as rubbing from nappies or clothing. Temperature changes, sweating, dyes found in clothes, detergents used to wash the clothes, the products you add to the bath water… your baby’s skin is exposed to it all- and all of these factors can contribute towards sensitive skin, compounded by your baby’s delicate age.
When choosing skincare products for your baby, remember that their needs are different to your own, and even some of our own products here at Little Soap may not yet be suitable. We use only natural ingredients but we know that some of our customers benefit from our un-perfumed soap with oatmeal, for example, which may be just what your baby needs for now too.
Gently does it at bath time
Lots of babies do not need to take a daily bath- sometimes the water can dry out their skin and cause irritations. When it comes to bath time, it’s a good idea to take a gentle approach altogether. Read the ingredients labels carefully if you want to add anything to your baby’s bath water (read this post for more information on product labels) and stick with natural ingredients wherever possible. We also recommend our English Lavender bubble bath for babies because it’s gentle on the skin, and uses organic English Lavender which is known to soothe and calm ready for bedtime.
After bath time, be sure to treat your baby’s skin as gently as possible. Don’t rub them dry, pat gently instead so that you protect those delicate layers of skin.
Go easy at hair wash time
The skin on your baby’s scalp is just as sensitive and delicate as the rest of the body, and often there’s less hair to protect it from environmental stresses too! The scalp actually produces natural oils that are designed to moisturise the skin and hair and to keep it healthy and vibrant. These natural oils are not produced as efficiently in very young babies, so the scalp can become dry easily. This is known as cradle cap, and you may notice dry, flaky patches on the scalp. It’s normal, so don’t panic!
Most babies won’t need a hair wash at every bath time, and a gentle rinse with just warm water will usually suffice. If your baby does have cradle cap, speak to your health visitor or doctor about the best course of action to take- but remember that natural ingredients are always worth considering, so do some research of your own. According to the NHS website, cradle cap can be gently treated by rubbing olive oil into the scalp, so you might want to try that before you invest in expensive, artificially manufactured products. Read more about cradle cap here.
To sum up, gently does it when it comes to caring for baby’s skin. It’s soft, it’s delicate and it needs your help to stay that way! Go for natural ingredients wherever possible, opt for soaps that are designed for sensitive skin (such as our natural range bar for sensitive skin) and look for ingredients that will enhance the bath time experience too. Our lavender bubble bath, for example, or lavender bar soaps for a gentle top and tail wash. Shea butter is also an amazing ingredient to use to help lock in the moisture to baby’s skin and our liquid hand soap for sensitive skin (with shea) can be used by the whole family without the need to but separate bottles for baby.
Shop around, find the products that work best for you all and don’t compromise on your baby’s skincare routine.