Every new parent stresses about having everything ready for their new arrival - we know the feeling all to well - the list of ‘required’ baby items seems endless! Where being over prepared is certainly better than being under prepared, when it comes to baby skin, less is more is most definitely true. Fewer skincare products with fewer ingredients, and a lighter touch is always best.
Here are five common baby skincare products you can definitely leave off the list -
Baby Powder (talcum powder)
By now, you would have probably heard that baby powder made from talc is a definite no-no. Due to the possibility of it being contaminated with asbestos, it’s been at the centre of a whirlwind of cases linking it to cancer. A gentle wipe, and a light natural nappy cream is the best alternative.
Baby Oil made from mineral oil
Baby oil made from mineral oil is another product to avoid. A petroleum distillate (yes, the same family of petroleum derivatives that go in your car), it’s cheap, colourless and odourless which means it gets used in lots of skincare products as it can be fragranced and coloured to suit any use. But... it’s toxic if inhaled or ingested (which happens more frequently than you’d think), and there’s serious concern that it could still carry dangerous chemicals if not refined properly. Why use a petroleum product on lovely baby skin when there are so many wonderful natural baby oils available that would do a better job?
Homeopathic Remedies & Essential Oils
They are becoming more and more common in our households but when it comes to babies and children, they can be some of the most dangerous substances. Whether it’s homeopathic remedies which claim to soothe teething pain or essential oils diffused to ‘disinfect’ the air or to treat a condition, many of these have resulted in a toxic overload for a young, immature system. Avoid at all costs.
(Read our article on Essential Oils)
We all remember these from our childhoods and it seems like the most soothing thing to do when your little one has a cold. But the way these work should make you think twice. Vapour rubs ingredients - such as menthol, camphor, eucalyptus - don’t actually clear airways; rather they trick the brain into thinking airways are clear by increasing their sensitivity (remember how they make the air you breathe feel cold?). But this can also lead to our airways producing more mucus and inflammation, and in babies and young children, this could turn into severe respiratory distress.
What's best for a cold? Some would argue good old-fashioned rest and chicken soup.
Okay, so this isn’t toxic like the others but any bubble-creating wash or bath is on the harsh end of cleansers you could use on young, delicate skin. With the rise of dry skin issues and eczema in young children, this is one to avoid in the first year, especially if your little one has signs of dry or sensitive skin.
Can baths be fun without bubbles? Nothing beats a rubber ducky, right? :)