They need specialized products free of perfumes, dyes and preservatives.
Just by looking at it, anyone can tell how delicate a baby’s skin is. Especially when they are newborns, and especially in premature cases, their skin is more vulnerable to the absorption of the chemicals that the products contain and that can be toxic. So, we must choose baby care products with caution for newborn.
In fact, newborn skin has physiological differences from adult skin. So we must take into account when purchasing baby care products. It is thinner, it is less protected by hair, it presents a weaker union between the dermis and the epidermis. Baby skin produces less sweating and has a neutral pH. For this reason, it will be necessary to resort to baby cosmetics for their care. Because not just any product is suitable for their delicate skin.
We must opt for specific products with hypoallergenic formulas, without perfumes, dyes, or preservatives.
Therefore, that of babies is a skin that lacks, especially during the first two years of life, the natural protection of adult skin, so we must opt for specific products with hypoallergenic formulas, without perfumes, dyes, or preservatives and preferably organic or “bio”. These are the “basics” of baby cosmetics:
Baby shampoo and body wash
As a general rule, babies do not need to use shampoo until they are one year old and it is enough that we wash their soft and scarce hair with the same neutral gel that we use for the rest of the body. But if the baby has a considerable amount of hair, we can use any mild shampoo indicated for babies.
Likewise, during the first month of life we can clean the baby only with water , focusing on the areas that need it most, such as folds, the diaper area and the navel. For the head, up to the first month of life, we can use a damp towel. In this way we will respect the natural protective layer of the newborn and avoid skin irritation.
When choosing a gel, we must also make sure that it is specific for babies, with a neutral PH , without perfumes, dyes, or preservatives and, if possible, with some moisturizing oil incorporated such as olive oil or almond oil.
In any case, avoid using gel or shampoo for adults, no matter how mild their formula may seem, especially if they contain “sodium lauryl sulphate”.
Hydration for newborn, do you need baby care products?
It is not advisable to moisturize the skin of babies with products that contain mineral oils derived from petroleum (such as Vaseline or liquid paraffin), because they prevent the skin from breathing normally. Instead, it is preferable to use formulas based on vegetable oils of chamomile, calendula, aloe, arnica, etc.
Always avoid using moisturizing creams since although they can be beneficial for our skin, they contain chemicals that easily cross the delicate skin of the baby. In any case, we should not apply lotions before the month of the baby’s life.
A good option to moisturize baby’s skin without irritating it is sweet almond oil . In addition, we can use it during the bath by adding a few drops to the bath water, since it is suitable for human consumption and, therefore, safe for the little one. Avoid almond oils whose label indicates any of these compounds: «mineral oil», «paraffinum», «glycerin», «vaseline» or «sodium lauryl sulphate».
The opinion of the experts on wet wipes to clean the baby’s bottom is unanimous: they should only be used when we are away from home . Because, although they allow us to save time when changing the baby’s diaper, they contain alcohol and substances with a high allergenic potential.
Thus, when changing the baby’s diaper, it is preferable to clean the area with a gauze moistened in water, a sponge or a moistened cotton towel. If necessary, apply a few drops of neutral baby soap and rinse the area. And, very important: completely dry the baby’s bottom before putting on the new diaper.
To use outside the home, opt for wet wipes with soothing ingredients such as aloe, chamomile or calendula, which respect this sensitive area of baby’s skin, which is more prone to irritation. Instead, avoid those labeled with limonene, linalool, citronellol, or eugenol.
The ointment should be applied when there is irritation on the skin of the baby’s bottom. This usually occurs due to the contact of their delicate skin with urine or feces, so the first precaution we must take is to change their diaper frequently.
If there is irritation, experts recommend creams that contain repairing agents such as zinc oxide or allantoin , calming agents such as chamomile or calendula , as well as lanolin , an ingredient that prevents irritation by creating a physical barrier between the skin and urine or the feces. As with moisturizing lotions and in general with all baby cosmetics, it is advisable to avoid products whose formulation includes some petroleum derivative, such as paraffin or vaseline (petrolatum and paraffinum liquidum).
Although talcum powder has traditionally been used to condition a baby’s bottom, today pediatricians advise against its use for various reasons. On the one hand, they are considered dangerous if they are inhaled by the baby.
But also, its composition based on small particles can irritate the delicate skin of the baby. They can also clog the pores of the skin or cause an allergy, since many contain fragrance.
However, we can use other types of powders, although with caution since most powders contain small particles that can irritate the skin, some also contain fragrances that can cause allergies and irritations.
Likewise, talc is known to dry out the skin of infants, so its use is contraindicated.
Do newborn need baby care sunscreen products ?
Babies under 6 months should not be exposed to the sun or use sunscreen creams. It has risk of irritation or allergy. Instead, it is recommended to protect your skin with appropriate clothing and as much shade as possible.
From that age, we must protect their skin. Even if they are not going to direct sun exposure. Use a cream with a physical filter (creams with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) and protection of at least 50 .
As you will have observed, when it comes to babies’ skin, the less chemical the better. Since cosmetics can alter the natural state of their sensitive skin and cause allergies or irritations.