When it comes to choosing baby products, safety should be on top priority. Babies have delicate skin and are more susceptible to allergic reactions due to the harsh chemical ingredients in the skin and hair care products than grown-ups. That is why it's important to read the labels precisely and choose products that are free of harmful constituents. As the skin is the first line protective barrier it's our responsibility to protect the developing and sensitive skin of babies. Because of this, skincare products for babies need to be safe, mild, skin-friendly, and pH-balanced while nourishing the baby’s tender skin.
Why Safety Should Be on Top Priority When Choosing Baby Products
Since babies have delicate and sensitive skin as compared to adults’ skin and are more permeable to the constituents of skin care products, there is a higher chance of an allergic reaction or damage.
Ingredients to Avoid in Baby Products
There are a number of allergens that should be avoided in baby products which include-
- Phthalates– These are a type of plasticizer that is used to make plastic products soft and flexible. Usually, gentle plastic products or toys are made with the addition of phthalates. They are also often used in cosmetics and personal care products. A number of health issues are directly linked to Phthalates, including reproductive and developmental processes in the human body.
- Fragrances and Perfumes– These are the mixture of chemicals and natural derivatives that are added to instill fragrance in a product. Such fragrances can trigger skin and respiratory allergies in babies.
- Parabens- Parabens are the commonly used preservatives to prevent any bacterial or fungal growth in the products. They can be found in a number of skin and hair care products for babies and adults alike. Parabens have been found to disrupt endocrine function to some extent and have been inconclusively linked to cancer growth. They can also cause allergic reactions in some individuals who have sensitivity to it.
- SLS and SLES- Types of sulfates used as surfactants in soaps and shampoos. They are known to cause irritation on the skin and in the eyes, while also found responsible for allergic episodes in babies whose skin develops sensitivity to sulfates.
- Formaldehyde- A preservative that is used in products to prevent the growth of microorganisms can potentially have a long-term effect on the Respiratory system and skin.
- Synthetic dyes- Baby products often contain artificial colors and synthetic dyes to make them bright and attractive for babies but such dyes must be avoided while choosing a baby product as they can cause an allergic cascade.
Crucial Constituents To Look For In Baby Products-
While choosing baby products like Baby Lotion, Moisturizing Soap, Bath Emollient, and Shampoo For Babies, it's of utmost importance to look for products that are free from harmful ingredients and contain crucial skin-friendly constituents that are safe and beneficial for the baby’s tender skin. Some crucial ingredients that are safe and beneficial for a baby’s tender skin are:-
Aloe vera gel - Provides a soothing, moisturizing, and anti-inflammatory effect on baby’s skin. Almost all the Best Lotion For Dry Skin in the market contain Aloe vera. It is also often incorporated in diaper rash creams to effectively relieve diaper rash and other skin irritations by replenishing goodness in baby’s sensitive skin.
Chamomile - Another natural ingredient that soothes and provides comfort to a baby’s skin. It also helps reduce inflammation and irritation by providing a calming and soothing effect.
Coconut oil - Contains moisturizing capabilities, which are able to nourish dry skin as a moisturizer.
Shea butter - Known as Nature’s moisturizer which is rich in vitamins A, and E and natural oils. It maintains the softness of a baby’s skin and is extremely mild and gentle on babies. It is usually found in many best Dry skin lotions and Moisturizing Soap.
Sea Buckthorn oil - provides a smoother texture to baby’s skin.
Almond oil and olive oil – They both act as mild emollients and are often found in Bath emollients, to moisturize dry skin while deeply nourishing the baby’s tender skin with their goodness of multivitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. They have antioxidant properties also that strengthen the skin barrier and prevent damage to the skin.
Jojoba seed oil - This acts as a natural moisturizer that quickly gets absorbed into the skin and locks the moisture inside the skin.
Understanding Label Markers On Baby Products-
When choosing baby products, it's important to understand the label markers that are used to indicate the safety of products. The following are some of the most common markers-
- "Hypoallergenic" - This indicates that the product will not produce any allergic reaction when applied.
- "Free of phthalates" - This marker indicates that the product doesn't contain phthalates.
- “Parabens free” - This marker indicates that the product doesn’t contain Parabens as a preservative.
- “SLS-Free/ SLES-Free”- It’s of utmost importance that baby bath products like moisturizing soaps and Shampoos for babies, are free of harsh detergents like Sulphate Laureth Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate
- "Natural" - This marker isn't regulated, so it's important to do your own exploration to make sure that a product that's labeled as" natural" actually contains natural constituents.
- “Mild and gentle” - This indicates that the product is mild for the baby’s sensitive skin and can easily be used for their soft skin.
- “pH Balanced” - This indicates that the product does not have any acidic or alkaline pH and is safe for the tender skin of babies.
Tips For Choosing Safe And Effective Baby Items:
Here are some recommendations for selecting baby items that are both safe and effective.
- Read label markers precisely and avoid products that contain potential allergens or harsh ingredients.
- Look for products that contain crucial constituents that are both beneficial and safe for babies.
- Understand and check the label markers that are used to indicate the safety of products.
- Take advice from other parents who have gone through similar journeys.
- Get educated by trusted Paediatricians and Dermatology experts.
Investing in safe and healthy baby products is necessary for a child's present and future well-being.
And for baby-like skin this winter, read- Skin Care Routine To Beat Dry Skin In Winter