Your baby’s skin is thinner, more delicate and less resistant to bacteria than your own. Inside the womb, the skin doesn’t need protecting against bacteria and toxins: your baby’s skin is shielded from the outside world. It’s only when your baby is born that their skin adapts itself to the elements of the world beyond the womb.
Why is baby’s skin different?
Newborn skin — straight from the womb — is sterile. It’s only when the baby is born that their skin starts to change and adapt. The micro-organisms and bacteria that work to protect the skin develop gradually. The skin doesn’t have an acid mantle (a barrier that protects the skin against bacteria and viruses). This doesn’t fully form until baby is three months old.
Baby skin is thinner than adult’s. It contains much more water, but also loses water much faster. What’s more, because baby skin contains less keratin than adult’s, it is prone to drying out sooner. Babies are also have a larger surface area to volume ratio of skin than adults, this makes them more vulnerable to absorbing toxins.
Overall, baby skin is more susceptible to allergens, irritation, dehydration, toxins and harmful bacteria.
How can I keep baby’s skin healthy?
Hydrated skin is healthy skin. Skin cells plump with water when the body is hydrated. This helps them to form an effective barrier against bacteria and viruses. Waxy sebum helps to prevent infection in adult skin, but your body only starts producing sebum during puberty. Prior to this, it’s essential to keep young skin healthy and hydrated.
Moisturising is an effective way to keep baby’s skin healthy. Baby skin should be moisturised at least once a day, suggest Childs Farm. If your baby’s skin is unusually dry, your doctor may recommend increasing to 2-4 applications daily.
How does bathing affect baby’s skin?
Bathing can dehydrate the skin. We know this sounds counterproductive, but bathing can disturb the acid mantle on baby’s skin. This can depend on the hardness of water in your area. Hard water can have an alkaline pH; this has been linked to higher rates of eczema in babies, compared to soft water.
Which moisturiser should I choose?
Look for products specifically designed for baby skin. Try to go for something as natural as possible. Many products for adults contain chemicals that may irritate your baby’s skin. Baby products as made with delicate, sensitive skin in mind.
What’s the bottomline?
- Moisturise normal, healthy skin after every bath, shower or swim session.
- Ensure particularly dry areas are moisturised at least once a day.
- Use just the amount that the skin can absorb. Don’t overdo it.
- Always do patch test 24 hours before using any new product
Who are Childs Farm?
Childs Farm are an award-winning British skincare brand that produce skin products for normal, sensitive and eczema-prone skin. They use naturally derived ingredients and essential oils to create their skincare range. All products are dermatologist and paediatrician approved as suitable for sensitive and also eczema-prone skin.
Childs Farm provides this information as a general guide. Further information is available from the NHS and the National Eczema Society, and essential guidance should come from your GP or other medical professionals familiar with the details of your child’s case.
Sponsored content in collaboration with Childs Farm