Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Natural Skin Care for Your Baby

Author: Christine Harrell

A surprising number of mothers will buy expensive lotions and soaps for their sensitive skins, and yet bathe and shampoo their baby in cheaper, chemical-ridden products.

Even those moms who believe they are being very careful about the products they use on their baby are likely not being careful enough.

An article in Clinical Pediatrics reports that over three out of four infants suffer rashes within the first few months of births. Sadly, the reason for such frequent breakouts appears to be the skin care products parents use to keep their babies' skin moisturized. A baby's skin, like all organs, is not fully developed and isn't as effective a barrier against toxic substances. Natural skin care products are much, much safer than the chemical-heavy conventional ones.

The Danger of Over-The-Counter Products
Many products supposedly designed for infants' sensitive skin are the same harsh cleansers for adults, just put in a cute package with a higher price. Reading labels to see what is really in the bottle is even more critical for your baby than for yourself.

Many bubble baths destroy beneficial bacteria on the baby's skin. In fact the problem is so bad that infant bubble bath carries an FDA warning against excessive bathing. These products often contain known carcinogens and irritants such as formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane.

Shampoos are no better. Ingredients to avoid include quaternium 15, imidazolidinyl urea, and parabens. Of course you should also stay away from artificial colors and fragrances.

Baby powders are one of the most common treatments for diaper rash. Many moms use cornstarch, and treat rash with whipped-up egg white that's allowed to dry and form a protective barrier.

Lotions and oils that contain petrochemicals, artificial colors, or artificial fragrances should never be used on a baby.

Natural Skin Care Products
Although most of the skin problems that babies face are due to dangerous ingredients in mass-produced skin care products, this is not the only concern. Even organic skin care products can cause problems if used excessively.

During the first year, babies do not need to be bathed frequently or even at all. An occasional wipe of the genitals and buttocks with a damp cloth is usually all that is needed. If a bath is needed, a small amount of warm water should suffice. Babies don't sweat like children and adults so don't need soap most of the time. If necessary, use a mild soap containing palm, coconut, or olive oil and use as little as possible. Never use antibacterial soap.

Shampoo is also seldom, if ever, needed during the first year. If needed, use a very mild organic shampoo.

Lotions that contain soothing or healing natural skin care ingredients such as chamomile or aloe can be beneficial. They moisturize well and a gentle massage can help a fussy baby sleep.

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About the Author:The author is a freelance copywriter. For more information on natural skin care products and organic kin care, visit

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