Baby’s Dry, Flaky Skin
I know lots of friends who’ve had little babies with dry, flaky skin. They’ve tried all kinds of things to address it, including:
a) Nothing (waiting it out, often to no avail)
b) Lotions and creams from the drug store. Sometimes, these worked.
c) All-natural moisturizers — I think these worked more often than the products from the drug store.
Babies Have Sensitive Skin!
It’s no secret that babies have super sensitive skin. They’re brand new to this world and they’re not accustomed to all the chemicals (both synthetic and naturally occurring ones) that can be found in everyday products, like soaps, shampoos, and moisturizers. If you read my post on essential oils, you’ll see that it seems better to avoid using any kind of essential oil on a newborn for the first three months, at least.
Ingredients to Avoid
Off the top of my head, I know that, if faced with this issue, I would do everything I could to avoid any synthetic ingredients or unnecessary chemicals in my baby’s skin care. This would include things like Vaseline, anything highly scented, and any moisturizers that had the unnecessary chemicals that I myself avoid. It’s also important to avoid essential oils for the first few months.
Well…maybe. I take a lot of pride in my homemade lotions and creams. They are made with the best ingredients that I can find. However, I think that I would go one step further and use a homemade balm instead. I would use one that is based on beeswax and moisturizing butters, like shea butter or mango butter.
The most important difference between my lotions and creams and the balm that I’m proposing is that there is no water in the balm. When water is involved, there’s a need for a preservative. Why introduce a preservative when there’s no real need? Balms are also really easy to make in small batches. The last thing I like about homemade balms is that you can control the consistency. I like it best when the balm is solid in the jar, but softens and warms as soon as you touch it. This makes it easy to spread on the skin.
Another great option would be a plain coconut oil. Coconut oil is great for the skin and works well on its own.
How Do I Deal With Skin Irritation?
For mild skin irritation, in babies and adults, zinc oxide is a great additive to help soothe and heal skin. Zinc oxide is an easy additive for homemade products.
Of course, if the skin irritation is anything more than mild and doesn’t go away with a bit of zinc oxide cream, then I’m sure a visit to the doctor may be in order, just to be sure.
This all sounds a bit idealistic…
I’m sure there are some out there who do it all and make it look easy. I doubt that I will fall into that category.
Instead, I’ll be busy over the next few weeks experimenting with different balm recipes to find one that I think it neutral enough to use on a newborn’s skin. Stay tuned for pictures and updates!