How to Select an All Natural Baby Lotion
Read This Before You Select Any Baby Skin Care Products!
At the time of writing this, Kate and William have just had their new baby. A little boy who will one day, be King. But to all new moms and dads their baby is as precious as any little prince or princess and taking the best possible care of them is a top priority.
When it comes to their delicate skin, you may be wondering how to select an all natural baby lotion, or any natural skin care product for your baby for that matter. If so, please read on. In this article, we explain what to look for, which ingredients to avoid, why 'natural' does not always mean 'safe' and why what you put on your baby's skin is so important.
When selecting baby lotion for your newborn’s skin, you are going to take even more care than you do when choosing skincare products for yourself. After all, a baby’s skin is so much more delicate and sensitive and choosing organic and natural skincare products such as lotions, creams and wipes is a great way of ensuring that the chance of any allergic reaction or skin sensitivity is minimised.
What Should You Look for in Natural Baby Care Products?
Many skin care products contain synthetic ingredients and even products designed to be used for babies can contain chemicals that have been linked to minor problems like irritated skin and eyes to more serious medical problems such as hormone imbalances and even the development of certain cancers.
The first thing to realise about putting a product such as baby lotion onto your child’s skin is that what you put onto the skin’s surface, does not stay there, it is absorbed into the dermis and can find its way into the bloodstream and into other tissues. Just think about medical treatments that are applied to the skin, such as HRT patches, delivering hormone replacement therapy for post-menopausal women and nicotine patches designed to deliver nicotine for smokers who are trying to kick the habit. These two examples show clearly that a product applied to the skin’s surface is absorbed into the bodies of adults so, it is even more important to ensure that what you put on your baby’s skin is safe and natural.
One of the main ingredients in baby lotion should be water. The purpose of using a lotion is to cleanse and hydrate a baby’s delicate skin so water should come high on the ingredients list – although you may find it referred to as “Aqua”.
Ingredients To Avoid In Baby Skin Care Products
- Parabens are chemicals used as preservatives. Whilst preservatives to prevent bacteria and fungal moulds from occurring in any product could be thought of as a good thing, Parabens, are particularly undesirable in products for children and babies because they are known to mimic the naturally occurring female hormone estrogen. This has the potential to disrupt hormone balance and possibly affect the developing reproductive organs of both male and female babies.
- Phthalates should be avoided and in fact, it is best to look for a product that specifically states on the labelling that it is phthalate free because they can be hidden by being listed as fragrance or perfume (see synthetic fragrances below). These ingredients have been linked to problems with development of the reproductive system in animals and so, are definitely best avoided.
- Ingredients derived from petroleum products can cause skin irritations so these are best avoided in products designed for babies. Whilst petroleum jelly and mineral oil are often used as skin lubricants, they really have no place in natural baby lotion in my opinion.
- Synthetic Fragrances which can be linked to the development of allergies and skin problems such as dermatitis. They can also cause breathing problems and there is even the potential for long-term damage to be done to the reproductive system of both boy and girl babies.
- Lavender Oil is a natural ingredient which many Moms would think was a suitable ingredient for any baby lotion. However, research has shown that lavender oil can cause breast development in male children 1**.
- Nut Oils are also a cause for concern as their use could lead to allergies.
1**With regard to the safety of Lavender, please see the following quote taken from the American National Institute for Health (NIH) website - read the full information here:- http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/838.html
"Applying products to the skin that contain lavender oil might not be safe for young boys who have not yet reached puberty. Lavender oil seems to have hormone effects that could disrupt the normal hormones in a boy's body. In some cases, this has resulted in boys developing abnormal breast growth called gynecomastia. The safety of these products when used by young girls is not known."
Useful Reference For Identifying Ingredients In Babycare Products
If you ever find an ingredient on a label and you are not sure what it is or whether it is safe and natural, whether it is in a skin care or makeup product for yourself or a product you are checking out for your baby, the website 'Paula's Choice', provides an ingredients dictionary A-Z where you can look up an ingredient by name - it is a site I have bookmarked and which I refer to quite often.
Even All Natural Baby Products Should be Used With Caution!
Even when using natural ingredients on your baby’s skin, it is very important to only use any new product on a small area of skin the first time. If you slather your baby all over with a new product and he has an allergic reaction, his whole body will be affected and he will be miserable. If you just try a small amount of the new product behind his knee or in the crook of his elbow the first time and watch for any signs of irritation developing over a twenty-four hour period, if there is any adverse reaction, only a small area of skin will be affected – thus minimising any harm or distress.
Choose Baby Skincare Products That Are Safe AND Natural
This Video with Dr. Cara Natterson, demonstrates that Moms need to be looking for baby skincare products that are not only natural, but safe.
Natural Skin Care Tips For Your Baby
Earth Mama Angel Baby Angel Baby Lotion
This lovely product is contains no artificial ingredients and no parabens or toxins. It is a certified vegan product and contains organic herbal extracts including Rooibos to soothe skin, especially if affected by Eczema and Calendula (Marigold) which is wonderful for moisturizing baby’s sensitive skin. It is my personal favorite - here in the UK, it is available through iHerb but in the US, it is available on Amazon.com
Natural Baby Products are a Thoughtful Gift for a New Baby
When thinking of a gift for a new baby, natural baby products really show you care and Moms will be delighted to receive them. Pictured (right) is the lovely Earth Mama Angel Baby "A Little Something for Baby" gift set. This would also make a wonderful Christening gift. You could get more ideas from Christening Gifts for Boys an article that I wrote that provides thoughtful but inexpensive gift ideas for a special Little Treasure!
I hope that this article has helped you to learn what ingredients to avoid in baby skincare products and to understand that because an ingredient is 'natural', it does not automatically mean that it is safe or desirable to use on your baby's skin. Striking a balance between safe and natural as explained in Dr. Cara Natterson's video above is the way to go when selecting an all natural baby lotion for your little Cherub!
© 2012 Alison Graham