As a mom, it’s important to you to take care of your baby’s sensitive skin.
But just how do you do that? Do you have to use special products? Are some ingredients in those products potentially dangerous?
Baby’s Sensitive Skin is Different from Your Skin
You probably already knew this to be true, but your baby’s skin is different from yours. Not only is it new and flawless and tender, but there are important differences in how the skin is structured and how it behaves.
Baby’s Skin is Structurally Different
For example, a baby’s skin is structurally different than adult skin. The cells are smaller and the collagen fibers are thinner. Clinical findings have shown that the outermost layer—called the stratum corneum—is 30 percent thinner than it is in adults. The epidermis, as well—the top layer of skin—is 20 percent thinner.
That means whatever you put on a baby’s skin may more easily penetrate the skin and sink into the deeper layers, potentially making its way to the bloodstream. So choosing your skincare products carefully is even more important when you’re using those products on your baby.
Baby’s Skin Has a Weaker Outer Barrier
Baby’s skin has a weaker skin barrier making the skin more tender.
A newborn’s self-protection mechanisms are not full developed. As a result, babies and children need extra special care to keep their skin hydrated and healthy.
As the baby gets older, the “acid mantle” forms on the surface of the skin and acts as a protective barrier against bacteria, viruses, harsh chemicals, pollutants and other potential irritants.
Baby’s Skin Loses Water More Easily
A baby’s thinner outer layer of skin also means that it may more easily dry out than yours. That outermost layer is not as good at holding water in.
Recent studies showed this to be true. Baby skin was found to have higher rates of transepidermal water loss (TEWL) than adult skin. It was also found to absorb water more than adult skin—a result of that thinner layer—but to then lose this water at a faster rate.
Baby skin contains fewer natural moisturizing factors and lipids (fats) than adult skin as well, which also contributes to moisturization levels.
Baby Skin is More Vulnerable to UV Damage
A baby’s skin—up to the age of one or two—has not yet developed its full protective melanin content. Melanin is the skin’s pigment that helps protect from the sun’s damaging UV rays. In a baby’s skin, the melanin is just getting started. That means that the skin is not as well able to shield itself from the sun’s radiation.
Sun protection for babies, then, is extremely important. Hats, long-sleeved shirts and pants, and socks and shoes, are a must when going out in the sun. Finding shade for your baby or putting the child in a shaded stroller is also recommended.
How to Care for Baby’s Sensitive Skin
Considering all these differences, you can see why it’s important to carefully care for your baby’s skin during the first couple of years of life.
We have some key tips on how to do that.
1. Always Protect from the Sun
As noted above, the baby’s skin has not yet developed the melanin it needs to protect itself from damaging ultraviolet rays. That means it’s best to always keep your baby out of the direct sunlight. Use clothes, hats, umbrellas, shade, and covered strollers.
Babies one to six months old are best protected in these ways, rather than with sunscreen. Though zinc oxide is considered a safe sunscreen for children, while a baby’s skin is still developing, it’s best not to expose it to the sun at all.
2. Be Cautious About What Skin Care Products You Use
Harsh ingredients in skincare products like fragrances, alcohols, preservatives, and petrolatum products can be particularly damaging to a baby’s sensitive skin. Remember that the outermost layer is not yet developed. That means whatever you put on baby’s skin will likely penetrate the skin and sink into the bloodstream—at least some of it.
So read the ingredient list and use only natural, non-toxic, safe products on your baby’s skin.
Are CV Skinlabs’ Products Safe for Baby’s Sensitive Skin?
Many of you have asked about our CV Skincare products and whether they are safe for baby’s skin. We’re happy to report that yes, they are!
We were careful when designing these products, screening for any harmful ingredients and fragrances, and making sure we included no ingredients with links allergies, dryness, irritation, or sensitivity.
All the products are hypoallergenic, as well. That means you can use them with confidence on even the most sensitive skin—baby’s skin.
We have received many testimonials from moms saying how soothing and nourishing our products are for their babies. It’s also nice that we have such a simple product line. You can use all four products depending on what your baby needs:
A healing moisture spray that’s great for cooling hot rashes, even sunburns, and soothing irritated skin (baby excema). It also helps reduce itching on contact, which particularly helpful as you don’t want your child disturbing their already fragile skin barrier by scratching.
This nourishing and moisturizing formula is perfect for baby’s face and scalp. If your baby has cradle cap, apply calming moisture a couple of times daily to keep the skin healthy.
Rub this soothing lotion over baby’s arms and legs daily to keep skin hydrated and healthy. It’s perfect for eczema, psoriasis, rashy or flaky skin, dry skin, and for applying right after a bath.
This repairing balm helps soothe, heal, and protect damaged, severely dry and cracked skin. It’s ideal for diaper rash. You can also use it on bug bites, poison ivy, chapped skin, rashy skin, and any areas needing some extra TLC.
3. Try to Avoid Letting Skin Get Too Dry
Because of that thin outer layer, baby’s skin may be more vulnerable to dryness. Keep an eye on it. If you see patches of dry skin developing, address those with a safe moisturizer. Just make sure that it’s free of perfumes and dyes that can be irritating to baby’s sensitive skin.
4. Bathe Carefully
The AAP and other health organizations recommend these tips for bath time:
- Don’t bathe every day. Three baths per week during a baby’s first year may be enough. Bathing more frequently can dry out the skin.
- Use an infant tub or sink. They are safer than a bathtub for the first six months of a baby’s life.
- Check the water temperature before putting the baby in. Make sure it feels warm, but not hot. Remember that baby’s skin is more sensitive to heat than yours. Plus, hot water will dry the skin.
- Use soap sparingly. Soaps can dry out the skin. Use only mild, neutral-pH soaps without additives, and rinse the soap away from the skin right away. Use only mild shampoo or body wash on baby’s hair.
- Clean gently with a soft cloth.
- After bathing, pat the baby dry before putting on clothing. If he or she has dry skin, apply moisturizer immediately after patting dry.
5. Avoid Contact Dermatitis Triggers
Many babies struggle with contact dermatitis, which is a type of allergic skin reaction. You may see red and swollen skin or skin that’s dry, cracked, and peeling, or a rash that is itchy with scaly patches.
Try to avoid common triggers for contact dermatitis like harsh soaps and detergents, fragranced products, and certain synthetic fabrics. Dermatitis needs to be moisturized daily. Use skincare products with safe and effective ingredients to help counteract the dryness and flaking.
What steps do you take to care for a baby’s sensitive skin?