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Baby love

When it comes to babies’ skin many parents choose the natural option. Here’s why:

“Newborn babies’ skin is delicate and their immune system is just starting to develop, so it is important to take care when exposing them to new products, which can include chemicals, perfumes and other synthetic ingredients and may cause skin irritation,” says Adrienne Benjamin, a nutritionist with ProVen Probiotics. “Natural products are less likely to include toxins and potentially allergenic ingredients.”

“The first year of life is crucial to the health of your baby’s skin as it is still developing,” says Romy Travis who works with Green People on their baby and children’s ranges. “This delicate skin is more prone to water loss which leads to dryness, making it a less effective barrier against chemical toxins.”

“Even if not using more natural skincare for themselves, many people start to look for natural options for skincare when starting to look after a new baby,” says Sian Morgan from Healing Harvest in Kinvara, Co Galway. “There is nothing you could need for baby which cannot be found in a natural or, even better, organic version. From eco-nappies and wipes, to lotion, shampoo, body wash and other bath products, it is all available in your local health food store.”

“The early introduction of harsh toiletries onto delicate skin may be a factor in the rising rates of eczema and allergies in children,” says Romy Travis. “Key ingredients to be avoided include the foaming agent sodium lauryl sulphate, as well as mineral oils and other petrochemicals. These oils create an artificial barrier over the skin so it cannot breathe or eliminate toxins effectively.”

“Read the whole ingredients list on each product to ensure there are no parabens, phthalates, mineral oils and fragrances,” says Adrienne Benjamin. “Safe alternative ingredients to look for include natural oils (olive, coconut, grape seed), beeswax and herbal extracts (lavender, rosemary, aloe vera).”

Natural ingredients

Calendula – has wonderfully moisturising and soothing properties. Calendula is perfect for soothing eczema, nappy rash and inflamed skin.

Chamomile – boasts a natural anti-inflammatory action whilst working to soothe inflamed and red-looking skin.

Shea butter – rich in vitamins A and E and essential fatty acids, this nourishing ingredient has protective and healing properties making it great for dry, sore skin.

Rosehip – ideal for sensitive skin and often used in the repair of damaged tissue.

Top baby skin tips

  • Do not bath your baby daily – three times per week is enough.
  • Sponge bath instead – and keep baby’s nappy and mouth clean with warm water on a sponge.
  • Cut out the wipes –warm water on a clean cloth is just as effective and does not contain chemicals.
  • Avoid scented products on baby’s skin – they are likely to dry it out.
  • Wash clothes in fragrance- and dye-free washing detergents – and wash all new clothes before you put them on baby.

Did you know?

Certain strains of probiotics (live native bacteria) have been shown in a clinical trial to reduce the incidence of allergy including eczema by up to 60%. 454 mother-baby pairs took 10 billion bacteria for the last trimester of pregnancy and the first six months of infancy and the children were then tested for allergy at two years of age.

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