What do parents need to know when buying skin care products for their babies?
- Only use products marketed for babies.
- Determine the pH level of the baby’s skin.
- Know the medical history of the family.
- Conduct a patch test.
- Check the label and make sure that the products do not contain harsh ingredients.
Babies are generally much more delicate compared to adults.
And probably one of the most delicate parts of them is their skin.
Unlike those of adults, the skins of babies are thinner, which are more sensitive and more susceptible to dryness. This dryness often leads to skin problems like rashes, spots, and a few bumps.
Are you unsure which products you should buy for your baby?
Well, you’re in luck!
This article will tackle everything you need to know about choosing the right products for your baby’s skin.
1. Only use products that are prescribed for infants.
Using a shampoo, soap, cleanser and other skin care products that cater to adults may harm your baby’s skin. It’s because skin care products for adults tend to have more chemicals, such as perfume and alcohol, unlike the products that are made for infants, which are typically a lot gentler.
2. Know the pH level of your baby’s skin.
This is important because infants have an acidic film on top of their skin’s surface. This film is also known as the “acid mantle.” This coating protects the skin of babies.
There are products that are labeled either with “pH neutral” or “pH balanced.” This label indicates the acidity and alkalinity of the product.
The key technique is choosing a product that has a pH level close to the pH level of the baby’s skin.
Do take note that weeks after a child’s birth, the skin of babies tends to change from pH neutral to a mildly acidic pH 5.5.
For a better understanding of this concept, remember the following:
- A pH level of pH1 to pH6 specifies that the substance is acidic.
- A pH level of pH8 to pH14 specifies that the substance is alkaline.
- pH neutral or pH7 is said to be neither acidic nor alkaline.
3. Check the family’s medical history.
In choosing skin care for infants, it is also important to take into consideration the medical history of the family.
Baby products, specifically skin care products, are generally safe for infants.
But if the family has a history of any allergies or asthma, the herbs and botanical components of the product may cause a few skin problems.
4. Conduct a patch test first.
Before purchasing a product, ask if the store has samples available for testing.
This will allow you to know if the baby is allergic to the product or not.
5. Check the label.
To ensure that the baby products are safe for babies, always check the ingredients list.
Here are some of the substances that you should avoid.
Due to its properties as a drying agent, this powdered mineral is often mixed in baby powders and cosmetic powders.
Unfortunately, this mineral is found to be a lung irritant and a possible carcinogenic.
Though the majority of cosmetic and baby product companies have removed talc in their ingredients list, there are still others who stubbornly choose to retain it.
Initially, fragrances are integrated into the formulation of the product in order to mask the nasty smell of other chemicals involved in the production.
Also, “fragrance” can be considered an all-encompassing term for other chemicals. Meaning, the company is not obliged to further break down the contents of the said “fragrance.”
And lastly, early exposure to fragrance may cause asthma.
Do make sure that even other baby accessories like teethers do not contain any fragrances, especially since babies tend to put those in their mouths.
Propylene Glycol (PPG) & Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)
These two substances are often found in baby wipes.
As a chemical penetration enhancer, the role of these chemicals is to open up the pores for the easier entrance of other chemicals into the skin.
These chemicals are not safe; they’re not only carcinogenic but are also used to defrost airplanes.
Unknown to many, mineral oil is just a product of petroleum processing. It coats the skin like a plastic wrap and consequentially hinders the release of toxins through the skin, which means that contaminant will remain trapped in the body.
Most baby oils are just a blend of mineral oil and fragrance. And as you might have guessed, such a combination could be hazardous to the health of babies.
These neurotoxins are associated with reproductive toxicity, skin irritation, and hormonal disruption.
In relation to this, other contents to be wary of are benzoic acid and propyl ester.
Triclosan is a carcinogenic and an endocrine disruptor.
It’s also important to know that raising babies in extremely sterile surroundings can impede the development of a child’s natural resistance and immunity. Allergies are even more likely to occur and antibacterial remedies may no longer be effective.
When choosing the most suitable baby products and baby accessories, there are several things that need to be taken into consideration, such as the ingredients and your family’s medical history, among others.
Since your baby’s skin is extremely sensitive and delicate, it’s paramount that you only opt for products that are gentle and are specifically intended for infants.