When it comes to treating a newborn baby’s fragile skin, not too much is needed, but what is needed should be chosen carefully. Soap should be avoided in general, as it is too drying (newborns don’t need to be “cleaned” anyway!) and you won’t need to shampoo your baby for a while. It is common, however for newborns to have patches of dry, peeling or flakey skin, especially full-term babies because their skin has been exposed to amniotic fluid for a long time. And of course, diaper rash and eczema are other common newborn skin issues that will also need attention. Moisturizers, oils, balms, and powders can help alleviate and prevent these issues, and parents are increasingly looking for eco-friendly options that will not leach chemicals through your baby’s skin, or into the environment in general. Not so long ago such choices were limited, but now the market has expanded, offering a wide range of options that claim to be natural. This is great news but being faced with many products can become confusing! How do you know what really is best, and what to avoid?
BabaGaga has decided to do the work for you, by recommending what we believe are the best eco-friendly products out there to put on your newborn’s sensitive skin. The following products are all hypoallergenic and free from artificial perfumes or dyes, as well as chemicals that are to be avoided at all costs, including parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). Unfortunately, these are all common ingredients which are often found in products, even some of those labeled as “organic.”
Elysium was started three years ago by two parents who were in search of baby lotion that did not contain harmful toxins. On realizing that most products do contain them, they decided to develop and manufacture their own, using only natural organic oils and herb extracts. Their baby lotion can be used on the body and face to soothe red, irritated patches. The ingredients, which are all vegan, include olive, Jojoba, calendula and almond oil, and prickly pear, cactus, aloe, pomegranate, and green tea essence. The lotion can be smoothed into the baby’s skin daily from day one of his or her life, leaving you with no guilt about putting anything harmful on such new and delicate skin.
Massaging is an amazing way to relax a newborn and to bond with them. For this purpose, babies need an oil rather than a moisturizer. Weleda is a trusted brand for natural skin products, and their Baby Calendula Oil is a really lovely eco-friendly alternative to other baby oils on the market, which are often harsh, and contain toxins and artificial ingredients. Calendula is an edible and medicinal herb (it is always a good idea to opt for edible oils to use on your baby) which has been used on skin since the 12th century and is known to be especially beneficial to babies. It can help grow new tissue which firms a baby’s skin; it contains an anti-inflammatory property which can help dermatitis and diaper rash; it is also anti-viral and antimicrobial which can help prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria.
New little bums get a lot of irritation, and become red and painful, with their sensitive skin running up against a diaper all day and night. Wet and soiled diapers are unavoidable and exacerbate this irritation quite badly. The best type of protection from diaper rash is to use a balm to act as a protective block between the skin and the diaper. Most protections on the market are made from petroleum jelly or zinc-oxide. Eco-friendly options avoid these ingredients altogether yet still provide an excellent barrier. We like the balm made by Earth Mama. Its base is olive oil and shea butter, combined with a range of other herbal extracts that are naturally antibacterial and antifungal. The balm doesn’t have to just serve the purpose of diaper rash either, as it can be used by other members of the family for scrapes, bug bites, rashes, and burns. The Earth Mama balm is compatible with cloth diapering, which is not always the case with balms. It is certified organic by Oregon Tilth, and comes in a plastic-free, glass jar. Basically, it’ll leave you with a good conscience all-around!
Baby powder is something to be cautious of. Those containing talc or cornstarch are to be avoided as they can cause breathing problems. Johnson & Johnson are currently being investigated for one of their talc-based powders over fears of asbestos contamination. A lot of parents are unaware of the issues of powder and are drawn to using them to help with diaper rash. So, if you want to use powder, and are only to get one eco-friendly product for your baby, this should be it! We like the combination of ingredients used in Bee All Natural, as it is not only talc-free but contains no cornstarch as well, which is harder to find in eco-friendly products as cornstarch is technically a “natural” ingredient. Arrowroot powder is the main ingredient here, which is combined with other plant powders that have healing and soothing properties, such as calendula and chamomile. Another word of caution on powders is that although they are usually advertised to be used all over the body, it is best to limit them to the baby’s bum, and definitely avoid using them on the baby’s face.
We hope you like the items we recommend! BabyGaga has affiliate partnerships, so we receive a share of the revenue from your purchase. This won’t affect the price you pay and helps us offer the best product recommendations.