February 22, 2019
I started making products for babies when I was pregnant with my first born because I was horrified at the ingredients found in most baby skincare. Seriously, I trawled every baby shop, health food store and pharmacy looking for truly natural and organic options and there just weren’t any.
I wasn’t going to put anything on my baby’s skin that wasn’t 100% natural and organic because I wanted to cherish my baby’s health. You might ask what skincare has to do with baby health. Turns out it can have a huge effect on it, starting at the microbiota.
What is microbiota and what has it got to do with my baby?
Our skin is colonised with a diverse ecosystem of microorganisms including bacteria, yeasts, viruses and fungi. Collectively, these microorganisms form what’s called microbiota. This colonisation begins at birth when a baby is exposed either to a mother’s vaginal bacteria and/or a mother’s skin bacteria. This ecosystem develops with age, and forms a protective barrier which contributes to the health of the skin.
The condition of a baby’s microbiota varies according to how a baby’s skin is treated, with some soaps and creams significantly affecting the skin’s microbiota. Too harsh cleansing, anti-bacterial agents, and steroid creams, can detrimentally impact the microbiota and increase the likelihood of a baby developing eczema and other dermatitis’.
Why is organic skincare important for babies?
Baby skin is much more sensitive than adult skin because of the underdeveloped microbiota and also the thinness of it. This means they’re more likely to react to skincare products, particularly those containing chemicals and artificial preservatives. Their skin is also far more absorbent than adult skin and takes in the majority of what you put on it.
By choosing organic skincare for your baby’s skin, you’re much less likely to upset the microbiota and cause a reaction. You’re also not putting anything harmful into their bloodstream.
How should I cleanse my baby’s skin and what should I put on it?
When my kids were babies I bathed them every 2nd, 3rd or 4th day depending on how grubby they got. When I did bathe them I used our gentle bamboo washers and warm water. If they had a major poo explosion and some extra cleansing was required, I used a little organic castile soap (olive oil based). After bathing I would apply our Ultimate Baby Oil during massage and then the Baby + Mum Balm to their nappy area.
I think it’s important to note that if we look after our baby’s skin from the get go, we’re helping to set them up for better skin health in the long term. Healthy skin microbiota in infancy will contribute to healthy skin in childhood, teenagehood and adulthood.
NB: These naturopathic recommendations are for general baby skin health. Individual cases may require specific treatment measures so please seek medical advice if symptoms persist.