As the cooler weather kicks in and the humidity decreases, my toddler’s dry skin has started to flare up. In particular, the area around his mouth and nose has become red, dry and irritated.
Dry skin is common in babies and toddlers. Their young skin is delicate and sensitive compared to adult skin. Cooler temperatures and windy weather can make their young skin more susceptible to dryness and irritation.
The skin is the body’s largest organ and plays a crucial role in immune defence, UV protection, vitamin production and creating a barrier against water loss and injury. Infant and toddler skincare is as essential to their health as optimal nutrition and sleep!
When my son was about a month old he developed severe eczema and the skin on his beautiful little face became horrendously dry, irritated and inflamed. Being a premature baby meant that he was more prone to eczema and more susceptible to infection. We received an expedited referral to be seen by an excellent paediatric dermatologist and have been grateful to receive ongoing support.
Thankfully, my son does not appear to have chronic eczema but he is definitely prone to dry skin, especially in winter. Thanks to our numerous visits to the paediatric dermatologist, I have become pretty proficient at the ins and outs of baby skincare.
If your little one is suffering with dry skin, than follow these 5 simple steps to ensure healthy hydrated skin:
- Use bath oil. Bath oil and warm water clean and hydrate the skin.
- Skip the soap and bubble bath. These products contain ingredients that dry out skin. Simply clean baby by using a gentle washer and the warm bath water. If you really want to use a cleanser, choose one that is soap-free as it is less likely to strip the skin of its natural protective oils.
- Shorten bath time to less than 10 minutes.
- Gently pat bubs skin dry as opposed to rubbing as this can irritate the skin.
- Apply moisturiser straight after the bath to still moist skin (within 3 minutes of bathing). This seals in moisture and helps skin hydration.
Choosing the Right Skincare Products
It is difficult to find unbiased information about what skincare products are best for babies and toddlers. Children’s skincare is a huge money making industry and we are constantly bombarded with advertising to try and convince us what is best for our children. As a nurse and a worried mum, I only want to use products that are proven to be effective! Here are some tips to help you choose the right skincare products for your kids:
- Not all moisturisers are created equal. When is comes to choosing a moisturiser for your baby it is best to go with a cream or ointment over a moisturising lotion. Moisturising creams and ointments contain higher amounts of fat than water and are therefore more effective at hydrating and protecting skin. However, these products do tend to feel heavy and greasy so you may need to try out a few before you find one that you like.
- High price does not equal high quality. Products that are designed specifically for children often contain the exact same ingredients as the adult version, but they come with a higher price tag. For example, I use standard QV Bath Oil for my baby’s bath. It is the same product as the QV Baby Bath Oil but at a fraction of the cost.
- Natural does not necessarily equal better. Contrary to popular belief, there are actually a lot of natural ingredients that are terrible for skin! Research has shown that many natural skincare ingredients can cause skin irritation, reactions and allergies. For example, ingredients such as lavender, tea tree oil, cinnamon, citrus oils and any skin care product that contains natural or synthetic fragrances (including essential oils), are not good for your skin.
The following skincare products and brands have been recommended by independent Paediatric Dermatologists:
- Aqueous cream
- Dermaveen lotion
I personally use and recommend the following products
- QV Bath Oil. I add one capful of bath oil to my baby’s bath each evening.
- Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. I use this cleanser sparingly in areas that need a good clean.
- QV moisturising cream. I apply this product all over my baby’s body immediately after his bath.
- Epaderm Ointment. I apply this thick ointment moisturiser, multiple times a day, to the areas of skin that are noticeably dry (usually around my son’s nose and mouth).
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P.S. If you enjoyed reading this article you may also like to read ‘SANITY SAVING ADVICE FOR SLEEPLESS BABIES‘.
*This article is not sponsored nor does it contain any form of paid advertising.