Simple Skincare for Babies

Simple Skincare for Babies

Babies’ skin is much (much!) more sensitive than adults’, which means everything can irritate it: chemicals, wind, sunshine, water… even air.

While we can’t control or prevent every little thing (again: air!), being cautious about certain exposures can go a long way toward helping your baby maintain their soft, swoon-worthy skin.

#1 Watch Out for Dryness

Dry skin seems to appear out of nowhere. You put your little one down for a nap with luscious skin, and when they wake up their forehead is covered in flakes. How? Why?!

First, know that dry skin is common in babies and usually isn’t a cause for concern. But it certainly doesn’t feel great to snuggle, and extremely dry skin can be uncomfortable for your baby.

How to Soothe Typical Dry Skin

Cold temperatures and dry air are especially tough on babies’ skin. Keep your little one bundled up and blocked from the wind to prevent dryness from taking hold, especially in cool climates.

You might also consider adding a humidifier to the nursery (or whatever room your baby sleeps in) to keep a bit of moisture in the air and combat dry skin.

Use high-quality organic baby skincare products to lock in moisture and keep that skin glowing beautifully.

Problem Dry Spots
Aside from run-of-the-mill dryness that responds well to baby-safe moisturizers, many tinies experience more persistent dry spots: cradle cap and/or eczema.
  • Cradle cap occurs most often on the scalp or eyebrows, although more extreme cases might also creep onto the forehead or face. Cradle cap skin flakes have a slight yellowish tint.
  • Eczema often shows up in places not typically prone to dry skin, like the inside of knees or elbows or behind the ears. Most cases of eczema are also red or pink, as opposed to plain ol’ dry skin which is typically just skin color or a bit lighter.

#2 But Also… Watch Out for Moisture

Dry skin can be uncomfortable, but excess moisture can also create problems.

When it comes to your baby’s skincare, think like Goldilocks: not too dry, not too moist. Luckily, there are simple steps you can take to get the balance juuust right.

  • Keep an eye on your baby’s chin and neck. These adorable nooks and crannies on your baby’s tiny body are the perfect place for moisture to hide. Pay close attention to the underside of your baby’s chin and around their neck since drool, milk, and formula can easily pool there.
  • Know their folds. You know the ones… those perfectly squeezable chunky thighs, those lovable little rolls on the arms, those tiny fists that seem to always be clenched. All those spots are prime real estate for moisture to hang out and cause problems.
  • Watch their bum. Diapers are designed to hold in moisture, which can result in the dreaded diaper rash. Back in the day, parents used powder to keep diaper rash at bay—but the American Academy of Pediatrics has advised against it for decades. Even talc-free versions can make their way into your baby’s developing lungs, and the risks simply aren't worth it. Instead, pat your baby’s bottom dry with a soft cloth after wiping them clean. (Yet another great use for burp cloths!) Then, apply an all-natural diaper cream to clear up and prevent any further rashes.

#3 Provide Sun Protection

You might think only babies with fair skin are prone to sunburn, but all babies’ skin needs to be protected from the sun.

Babies younger than 6 months should be kept out of direct sunlight altogether. Obviously, they may be momentarily sun-kissed when you’re out and about together, so try using a lightweight car seat or stroller cover to keep them shaded on sunny days.

For babies older than 6 months, their clothing should be their primary form of sun protection. Choose lightweight long sleeves, pants, hats, and cute little sunglasses. Lots of clothing brands even make long-sleeved swimsuits to keep your babe protected while they splash and play outside.

As a secondary layer of protection for babies older than 6 months, use sunscreen liberally and reapply often. Look for a sunscreen that’s specially formulated for children, offers both UVA and UVB protection, and contains no harmful chemicals.

#4 Skip a Bath (or Five)

Bath time can be a fun opportunity to bond with your little one, but it can also wreak havoc on their sensitive skin. Aside from potentially skin-irritating products, think about all the transitions: Dry to wet and back again. One temperature to another and back again. That’s a lot for a baby’s body to manage.

So lighten up on the baths.

I know, I know: It seems weird. But the truth is, our tiny ones just don’t get all that dirty! A bath two or three times a week is plenty, and your kiddo’s skin will be much happier for it.

When you do bathe your baby:

  • Keep the water warm (not hot)—around 100 F. You don’t need to bust out the thermometer and get it exact; you’re just looking for something a bit warmer than body temperature. Check the water with your elbow or inside of your wrist since those spots are more sensitive than your hand. If the water feels comfortably warm to you, it’ll feel nice for your baby, too.
  • Skip the cleanser until your baby is 6 months old. Just a gentle scrub with a soft, wet washcloth does the trick. As they get older, make sure to use bath products formulated especially for little ones. Our Organic Hair + Body Wash is made from the purest ingredients for your baby’s delicate skin.
  • After the bath, pat (don’t rub!) your baby dry with a nice soft towel.
  • Apply a natural, baby-safe oil to hold in moisture and turn bath time into a mini spa treatment for your favorite little pampered person.

#5 Know Your Products

Our skin is the largest organ in our body. And because it’s porous, nearly everything we apply to it makes its way from our outsides to our insides.

I know. It’s a little worrisome to think about that, isn’t it?

There’s plenty of debate surrounding exactly how much stuff winds up in our bloodstream. But when it comes to toxins, chemicals, and other junk, any amount seems like too much, and that’s especially true for our little ones. Since their bodies are smaller, the yucky stuff found in many products is a bigger risk.

When it comes to your baby’s skincare (and yours), avoid using products containing:

  • Formaldehyde
  • Phthalates
  • Parabens
  • Fragrance
  • 1,4-Dioxane

Download our free guide, Top 5 Toxic Ingredients to Avoid in Your Baby’s Skincare, to learn more.

Keep in mind some of these ingredients may be lurking even in products marketed as “organic,” so check labels carefully before buying something new.

Also, resist the temptation to use products made for adults on your baby. It might seem harmless, but—it’s worth repeating—babies’ bodies are sensitive. They need time to adapt to the world around them without being bombarded by stuff.

Finally, a tiny bit of product goes a long way. Just like babies don’t need a bath every day, they also don’t need to be slathered constantly in creams and goos.

#6 Keep Things Simple

Your baby’s skin is learning to grow and adapt to the world around it. Sometimes it can use a little help from baby-safe skincare products. But most of the time, it’s just growing and glowing. In that case, the only thing your baby’s skin needs is a few (hundred) kisses.

If you think you may be dealing with cradle cap or eczema, check out the Cradle Cap Set or learn how Diaper Crème can be used as a spot treatment.

Follow us on Instagram @ChelseyWangBaby for tips and tricks about eczema, cradle cap and other skincare needs. Also feel free to DM or email us and we will be happy to try and help you problem solve!

This information is not medical advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult with your pediatrician if you have any concerns about your child’s skin and before changing anything about their care.