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Newborn skin 101 - The little need to knows

27 Nov, 2023

It’s a fact: Mini humans don't come with manuals. So, if you have a new fun-size human on your hands and you’re wondering where to start when it comes to taking care of their new to the world skin and navigating the confusing world of baby skincare, you're not alone!

Newborn skin isn’t all peaches and cream, it might be blotchy, bumpy, and can often be a rollercoaster, but this is all perfectly normal as it adjusts to its new world. It needs all the support it can get to stay happy and healthy whilst growing up super-fast.

Those thighs might be chubby and cute but newborn skin is 3-5 times thinner than adult skin and absorbs and loses water twice as fast making it extra vulnerable to dryness and irritation. The skin's main job is to keep the outside world out, but baby’s skin acts like a sieve. This makes it up to 10 times more sensitive to irritants, allergens, and toxins.

Just like the gut, a baby’s skin needs good bacteria on the surface to stay healthy. Say hello to your baby’s skin microbiome! This army of good bacteria starts to develop from birth and is your baby’s first line of defence from the outside world. It protects them from bad bacteria, supports their immune system and influences how their skin looks, feels and behaves. During the first 1000 days of life the development of a healthy skin microbiome is essential to the future health of your little one’s skin.

Studies now show that modern lifestyle, the way you are born and bad skincare ingredients, can all quickly disrupt a baby’s skin microbiome development. This is one of the main triggers of skin problems such as sensitivity, eczema and nappy rash. More importantly, no matter how life starts, with the right skincare and bathing routines we can take steps to boost a baby’s skin microbiome and help it grow stronger every day.

Don’t worry, there are some simple basics when it comes to bathing, nappy changes and picking out products (because there’s a lot of ‘em) that will make you feel like a pro when caring for your little one’s skin.

Bathing: Ditch the soap because you’d lather not! Always, use soap-free bubbles and add a bath oil to the water to boost moisture and protect little skin from the drying effects of water. Keep bath times short, sweet and full of fun.

Skincare: Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise! Moisturising twice a day from as early as 3 weeks old can reduce the risk of developing eczema and skin allergies by up to 50%. It’s best to apply moisture lotion on slightly damp skin to get the best absorption and the most benefits. Apply a light layer of baby oil after the lotion to keep the moisture locked, the nasties locked out and your little one’s skin ultra-nourished.

Scalp and Haircare: Cut the cradle cap! It’s perfectly safe and a good thing to wash your baby’s scalp and new locks of hair – always with a soap-free shampoo. Not washing the scalp can eventually lead to a build-up of oil and skin cells which results in crusty cradle cap.

Products: Always look for dermatologically tested products, 100% toxin-free and keep a beady eye out for hidden allergens that are often found sneaking into baby skincare. These are ingredients such as linalool, limonene, geraniol, farnesol and citranol that can cause chaos on sensitive little skin.

Bonus tip: Introduce new products one at a time. All little skin is different and it’s easier to pinpoint the things that your fun size human might be oh-so-sensitive to. That goes for pretty much anything you’re introducing into their new world…it can even be the new perfume that you’ve treated yourself to.

Article supplied Bunjie

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