Tips For Looking After Your Baby’s Skin
A newborn baby’s skin is very delicate and sensitive so skin issues are unavoidable. Newborn skin has very few defenses against harsh elements, it can be easily irritated, and a fragile immune system can leave it prone to certain skin conditions. But, with a few basic tips in mind and a regular skincare routine for your baby, you can keep their skin soft and healthy.
What is the best skincare routine for babies?
People often imagine babies' skin to be smooth and soft but the reality is that it can be dry, flaky, sensitive, and suffer some blemishes. This is normal and it is easy to care for your baby’s skin with a couple of basic skincare steps.
Babies only require two to three baths a week in warm - not hot - water to stay clean. Bathing too often can remove the natural oils that protect a baby’s skin and can leave it vulnerable and dry. As a result, baths should only be between 5 to 10 minutes.
When bathing, use fragrance- and dye-free baby soap to wash your baby’s hair and body. After drying your baby, apply baby lotion to seal in moisture and prevent dry skin. Baby skincare products are formulated to be safe for babies' delicate skin but avoid using any oils or lotions for at least their first month.
Baths are not required for newborns, rather a cloth wash is enough to keep them clear and their skin healthy. You won't need to use any shampoo for at least the first month, then at most once a week for their first year.
Read more about: how to bathe your baby.
It is ok to moisturise babies as this will ensure skin stays soft, hydrated, and prevents certain skin conditions from developing. It’s important to keep a baby’s skin moisturised so having a reliable supply of moisturisers, lotions, and ointments is beneficial. Ointments, which have a thicker consistency, are even better at keeping your little one's skin soft.
You are unlikely to need to use moisturisers, creams, or lotions on your baby in the first month but when you do, make sure to use baby-specific products. Baby skin is very sensitive and products developed for adults often have dyes, fragrances, and cleansers that are too harsh for infant skin.
What are some common baby skin conditions?
New parents shouldn’t get too worried if their newborn develops a skin condition. These are part of having a newborn and are either easy to handle or will heal naturally as the skin builds natural resistance. Naturally, if you have any concerns, speak to your GP.
Dry patches of skin
It’s normal for babies to develop small patches of dry skin in the first few weeks after coming home. These patches will often go away on their own, without the need for any additional moisturizer. However, if your baby has very dry or cracked skin, then applying a baby lotion can help. Any product that is applied should be free of perfumes and dyes though as these can further irritate the skin.
Rashes are a common occurrence for babies to develop. Some of these will need to be treated and some will go away naturally. To avoid rashes, be aware that certain chemicals and added fragrances in detergents and skin products, and dyes in clothing, can actually cause these issues. Make sure to always try to use fragrance-free and baby-safe products – typically these are ones specially formulated to your baby's more delicate skin.
If rashes persist and there is itching, blisters form, skin oozes or crusts, red or purplish dots appear, or baby has a fever, seek assistance from your GP or pediatrician immediately.
Eczema and other skin conditions
Other skin conditions such as eczema don’t develop for the first month or two of a newborn’s lifetime but may appear as a red, itchy rash mostly on the face and scalp, at the elbows, and behind the knees.
Eczema can be treated in a number of ways if it occurs. This includes:
- Reducing your baby’s bathing time and minimising the use of soap
- Limiting the use of baby-scented skincare products
- Using only ointments or lotions on dry skin areas
Best Baby Skincare Products
When selecting skin care products for babies it is important to use products specifically designed for them. Products which are fragrance-free as well as tear-free, be they shampoos, bath gels, or lotions, are recommended as these will be gentler on their delicate skin.
If they are also hypoallergenic and tested under the supervision of dermatologists and pediatricians then these are additional benefits to them.
Landys' skincare for babies range includes a selection of products that use high-quality ingredients and formulas that have been specially designed for the sensitive skin of babies. Mustela, in particular, offers a variety of baby products that are specially formulated to best address the changes in the delicate skin of newborns and babies.
Baby moisturisers such as Mustela Soothing Moisturising Lotion help to hydrate their skin, reduces hypersensitivity, and restores the skin’s natural barrier function.
A baby moisturising cream like Mustela Stelatopia Emollient Cream is particularly beneficial for babies that suffer from dry and eczema-prone skin. It helps replenish and soothe skin while also restoring softness and suppleness.
Mustela Multi Sensory Bubble Bath is also excellent for bathing babies as it is formulated to gently cleanse a baby's delicate skin. It’s 95% composed of ingredients from natural origin, it is paraben, phthalate and phenoxyethanol free, and is specially formulated to minimise the risk of allergic reactions.
Simple steps will your baby's skin healthy
Simple steps such as keeping your baby’s skin clean, dry, and out of the sun will go a long way in maintaining its long-term health. If you are going outside, you can use a baby safe sunscreen to keep their skin protected.
If you are using moisturisers or other skin products on your baby then it is important not to overdo it as this can sometimes make skin problems worse. If in doubt, just remember that less is more. While their skin is still maturing, overdoing it on products can sometimes have an adverse effect so it is best to use small amounts of products in order to maintain their skin's health.