Some mistakenly think that healthy skin comes naturally for a baby. In a sense, it does. But, to keep infant skin healthy, proper skin care techniques should be applied. I am a mother experienced in infant skin care for several children, as well as keeping my own skin healthy. I feel my experience could be useful to many parents interested in baby skin care. Over the years, I have gained knowledge through trial and error, the advice of doctors, and also through research.
Getting Started With Healthy Infant Skin Care
Before starting to care for your baby’s skin, do a product inventory. Read labels of cleansing products, lotions and moisturizers, and laundering products. Check for unnecessary chemicals and fragrance. Products that promote healthy infant skin should include mainly water, moisturizers, disinfectants (for cleansing products), and vitamins and minerals. Beyond that, there shouldn't be many other ingredients. While fragrance is included in many baby care products, it often is not good for promoting healthy skin care. Some babies are sensitive to fragrances, dyes, and other chemicals. Even those who are not should be limited to their exposure. I personally do not use any commercial baby products and opt for making my own, due to difficulty finding any that do not contain harmful chemicals.
Cleansing Your Baby’s Skin For Optimal Health
The first step to maintaining healthy skin for an infant is properly cleansing the skin. A baby should not necessarily be using the same cleansers as an adult. Some of those can be harsh on a baby's skin, causing it to dry out or get irritated. Dry or irritated skin is not healthy skin. A good baby cleansing product should contain a cleanser or disinfectant, possibly a moisturizer, water, and vitamins or minerals. Other ingredients should be minimal or non-existent. Soft cloths made of 100% cotton are best for applying cleansers to infant skin. Plain, fragrance free glycerin soap with only oatmeal and almond oil (not to be confused with almond extract or scented essential oils) is a good choice. It’s actually quite easy to make your own.
Moisturizers For Infant Skin Health
Moisturizing is another important step to healthy skin care in infants. Many babies naturally have soft skin, but to maintain that soft, healthy skin, frequent moisturizing is necessary. Using just any moisturizer is not necessarily better than none. The harsh ingredients in some of them can be detrimental to healthy skin care for a baby and can actually deplete moisture. If you can’t make your own products, check labels to be sure the ingredients consist of a proper moisturizer, preferably some vitamins and minerals, as well as purified water. I personally recommend simple coconut or almond oil infused with pure (unfragranced) vitamin E oil.
Bedding and Clothing Play an Important Role in Infant Skin Care
Often overlooked are the garments babies wear, as well as their bedding. Anything that comes in contact with a baby's skin should be considered in maintaining healthy skin care habits. Be cautious of the fabrics used to make the bedding and clothing. Also, pay attention to the laundering products used. Avoid products that contain chemicals, fragrances, and dyes. Natural laundry detergent is best for maintaining healthy skin care in an infant.
To avoid wrinkling in the clothing, try hanging the clothing neatly on the clothesline in the sun. The sunshine method also can help to freshen the clothing, taking away the need for a fabric refresher. Another freshening method is to add a small amount of baking soda (maybe a teaspoon) to the washer with a cup of vinegar. This can serve as a cleanser, disinfectant, de-wrinkler, and fabric softener all at once.
Things to Remember:
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
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