Shopping for infant baby care products can be quite difficult, especially for first time parents. For all they know, the baby’s skin is delicate, soft and sensitive, so choosing products specially designed for baby skin is the only thing that matters. But is it?! Today’s market is overwhelmed with baby care products which are everything but designed for babies. They are full of chemicals that can irritate the baby’s skin, which is why you need to be careful with your purchase.
Artificial perfumes, soap and alcohol (ethanol and ethyl alcohol) are the things a baby care product shouldn’t contain as the chances of developing an allergic reaction are huge (aside from irritating the skin). Since baby’s skin is delicate, thin and prone to dryness, you should choose infant baby care products that contain mild cleansers and ingredients that can protect the skin’s natural balance. Thus choosing bath products that are labelled as pH neutral or pH-balanced care the ideal ones for baby skin.
To make things clearer, not all types of alcohol can damage and dry the delicate baby skin. Fatty alcohols, for example, have a different effect on the skin, meaning that no irritation or dryness can occur. For example, cetearyl alcohol falls into the fatty alcohol category and can be usually found in baby wipes, while cetostearyl alcohol can be usually found in emollients.
When it comes to fragrances, essential oils are the main type used in natural and organic baby skincare products which are considered safe to use. However, if the baby has sensitive skin or suffers from eczema, you should opt for fragrance-free products as even the fragrance from natural oils can sometimes irritate the skin.
Except for avoiding fragrances and alcohol, another thing you should stay away from is products labelled as antibacterial. Although antibacterial ingredients are common in baby care products, paediatricians say that there is no need to use them on a daily basis, no matter how dirty the baby’s bottom gets. Antibacterial ingredients can dry and irritate the skin which can be extremely uncomfortable for the baby. A mild, liquid baby cleanser or wipes can work just fine to keep your baby clean.
- Some of the most common things you can see on the label of baby care products are the best before date, the allowed period of use after opening, a description of the baby’s product, the manufacturer’s name and the ingredients list. You can also take a look at the list below that can clarify better some other common terms that you are likely to see on any baby product’s label.
- Antibacterial/antimicrobial – Ingredients that can inhibit or destroy the growth of bacteria.
- Hypoallergenic – A product that is less likely to cause any type of allergic reaction.
- Alcohol-free – A product that is free from the harmful ethanol and ethyl alcohol.
- Dermatological tested – This means that the product has been tested on human skin. However, the tests don’t have to be done by a dermatologist or doctor, but by a medically qualified person.
- For sensitive skin – Products that won’t irritate the skin.
- Natural – It contains natural products, which are not necessarily safer or healthier.
- Organic – A product that contains 95% organically produced ingredients.
- Preservative – An ingredient added to protect both the product and user from germs contamination during storage and use.