Choosing a safer baby moisturizer
Baby skin is extremely sensitive and susceptible to irritation. Before you slather on any creams or lotions, find out what ingredients you choose avoid and why.
Why choose safer moisturizer for baby?
Baby skin is different to that of adults. It’s far more sensitive and it’s susceptible to irritation. It’s also much thinner and it expands rapidly as a baby continues to grow and develop. This means that anything you put on your tot’s skin is absorbed into their bloodstream relatively quickly. This is why it’s so important to be conscious of the types of products that you use. Creams and lotions may also cause rashes and eczema or exacerbate allergies, so always make a point of looking at the ingredient lists on these products before purchasing them.
Which ingredients to avoid when choosing baby moisturizer
- Parabens: Parabens are a group of chemicals used primarily as a preservative in skincare products. Any product that contains water as an ingredient typically needs a preservative to extend shelf life and prevent the growth of mold and bacteria. The issue here is that these parabens have shown to have estrogen mimicking properties. On labels any ingredient ending with “-paraben” is part of this group of chemicals so it’s best to be avoided.
- Fragrance/Parfum: Phthalates are never listed on any packaging. They are disguised as “fragrance” or “parfum” on a product label. Phthalates are used to bind scents to a product and typically if there are no naturally occurring scents in a product such as lavender oil or shea butter, product makers need phthalates to make that baby powder scent stick. Phthalates also have estrogenic properties which, according to many independent studies, disrupt hormone balances in the body.
- PEGs (Polyethylene Glycol): Avoid products with synthetic ethoxylated ingredients including those with strange names like myreth, oleth, laureth, ceteareth and other “eth”, PEG, polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, polyoxyethylene, or oxynol. These can be contaminated in the processing with 1,4 dioxane which is classified as a potential human carcinogen. It’s best to stay away from body care products in general that are loaded with petroleum-based ingredients.
- Propylene Glycol: Propylene glycol is a thickening/filling agent derived from glycerin and is in everything from store-bought hair dyes to many of your natural deodorants. Propylene glycol has been determined as “generally safe for use” by the FDA for both food and cosmetic use, but something that is also used to de-ice airplanes is probably best left off your baby’s skin.
What to look for when choosing baby moisturizer
If you do need something to combat dryness, there are many natural options available on the market. Depending on the child, you may have to be extra cautious even with natural ingredients, especially if your baby has eczema or allergies to nuts or other ingredients.
- Look for products that don’t list “water” on the ingredients list. These products are less likely to need preservatives, chemical stabilizers or fillers.
- Butters and oils are very moisturizing so seek out ingredients like shea butter or coconut oil to help relieve itchy skin.
- The less ingredients the better! If there is a massive list of ingredients, it’s probably best to stay away unless you really understand what each one is. A great body butter or lotion doesn’t need too much to make it safe and effective.
- Seek out unscented products to avoid problems with allergies or eczema. If you prefer something mildly scented opt for naturally scented products that utilize essential oils instead of chemical components. But again, if a child is extremely sensitive, avoid products scented with pure essential oils as well as they can be quite potent. The best thing to do is to trial a little moisturizer on a small patch of skin.
Skin soothing solutions
Infants typically don’t need lotion or body creams because their skin is so soft and supple. But here are a few ways to keep their skin moisturized in the cold months or after bath time.
- Bath Oils: Add 1-2 drops of a baby-safe oil (for babies over 3 months old) such as lavender or chamomile to their bath water. No lotion necessary after they are toweled off.
- Skip a bath: Babies don’t get that dirty! Unless they’ve had a major blow out, you can sometimes get away with just using a warm wash cloth to give them a head-to-toe clean. Allowing their skin to regulate itself is a great way to keep them from getting dry or itchy.
- Coconut Oil: Have a rough patch or itchy spot? Just a dab of organic coconut oil may be all you need to spot treat.
Lotions and cream we love
Sometimes a lotion or cream is warranted! We love Erbaviva Baby Lotion: This is a luxurious and light lotion carefully crafted with natural emulsifiers and organic oils to moisturize tender and sensitive skin on babies and adults. It also includes additional skin-enriching, all natural premium ingredients such as aloe, shea and cocoa butters.