Newborns are one of life’s most precious gifts. They are sweet and innocent and perfect — even when their skin isn’t.
Whether your newborn’s skin is soft and smooth, dry and flaky, or riddled with rashes, it’s important to know how to care for their precious skin. Like adult skin, a newborn’s skin is constantly renewing itself, and most conditions will heal on their own. In the meantime, it’s important to choose all-natural, hypoallergenic products to care for your baby’s skin.
We’re going to clear up any misconceptions and detail the must-have skincare products for newborns. But before we do, let’s take a closer look at the most common skin issues your baby may face.
The Most Common Newborn Skin Conditions
Newborn Skin Peeling
If your baby is born with skin that is peeling and appears to be excessively dry, you may assume that there is something wrong. In most cases, however, this peeling skin is a perfectly natural part of the baby’s transition from the womb to the outside world.
In the womb, babies are covered in a film called vernix caseosa that protects their skin from the surrounding amniotic fluid. This film also regulates temperature, prevents water loss, and boosts the baby’s immunity upon birth.
When the vernix is wiped off once the baby is born, the skin underneath may appear to be dry and flaky, and the amount of peeling is often directly related to the amount of time that the baby was in the womb. Babies that are born at full-term or later often have less vernix covering their bodies, which means that they had more exposure to the surrounding amniotic fluid. Babies that were born before 40 weeks, however, may have more vernix and less peeling.
In either case, the outer layer of the baby’s skin will completely peel away on its own in a matter of weeks, leaving skin that is soft and supple.
Baby acne can appear anywhere on the face, including the cheeks, nose, and forehead. It typically resolves itself, without scarring, and should be left alone as picking at baby acne can result in scarring of the skin. There’s no need to apply any creams, and you certainly don’t want to aggravate the bumps by attempting to pop them or scrub them away.
While the causes of cradle cap aren’t completely known, there are two common theories. The first is that the remaining presence of the mother’s hormones in the baby's bloodstream causes the scalp’s sebaceous glands to overwork, producing an excess of an oil-like substance that causes dead skin scales to adhere to the scalp. The second theory involves the presence of a yeast (called malassezia) that leads to an increased prevalence of oils.
If all of this seems scary, don’t worry! Cradle cap looks (and sounds) much worse than it is. And like baby acne, it typically goes away on its own. Washing your baby’s hair with a gentle, hypoallergenic soap or shampoo is all that’s necessary, though you can also massage the scalp with oil to help loosen some of the patches of dead skin.
One of the most common newborn skin conditions that does require intervention is baby eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis. Researchers believe that there may be a genetic factor in the existence of eczema, and allergies, pollution, and higher maternal age may play a role, too.
In any case, while children may grow out of eczema, it can be really uncomfortable and cause a lot of problems for babies that are struggling with the condition. Doctors may prescribe a topical steroid to reduce inflammation and itching, but many steroid creams are packed full of toxic ingredients that can actually do more harm than good. With or without a steroid cream in use, no eczema treatment plan is complete without a gentle, hypoallergenic body wash and moisturizer.
Must-Have Skincare Products for Newborns
As a parent, it’s natural to want to protect your newborn from harm and to “fix” any issues that arise in their young lives. But as we’ve learned, most newborn skin issues will actually resolve themselves on their own, without our input.
Your only job, then, is to ensure that you are using only the best products to nurture your baby’s skin without causing further damage.
The problem is that conventional baby care products are often filled with toxic ingredients that are linked to cancer, skin allergies, and a host of other issues. But with new products on the market that are free of harmful ingredients and guaranteed safe for newborn skin, finding safe skincare products for your baby is easier than it’s ever been before. Here’s what you need:
Moisturizing Baby Bath Soak
It is definitely possible to over-bathe newborns, particularly if they are prone to dry skin. Using bubble baths, bath bombs, or other common soaks can dry out baby’s skin, cause irritation, or worse; infuse that precious skin with toxic substances! But when you do give baby a bath, using a product like our milk bath can serve a dual purpose: relaxing your baby while nourishing their sensitive skin.
Our milk bath product is made from fresh, raw goat milk and is free of non-GMO oils, thus ensuring a toxin-free soak. The nourishing oils help benefit baby’s skin as well, by locking in moisture. In fact, when our son, Chance, was battling eczema, he sometimes took multiple milk baths during the day because it was so beneficial for his skin.
Gentle Baby Cleanser
You want to keep your baby clean, but you want to do so without drying out the skin or causing inflammation. Traditional soaps will remove dirt and germs from baby’s skin, but they can also strip away the skin’s natural oils, leaving it susceptible to dryness and redness. Additionally, parabens, fragrances, and other chemically-derived ingredients can enter baby’s fresh, new skin and cause irritation.
Our goat milk soap is a great alternative that’s safe for even the youngest newborn because it’s not your traditional store-bought soap that riddled with chemicals. Starting with just four base ingredients (fresh goat milk, coconut oil, olive oil, and sustainably sourced red palm oil), we use traditional soap-making methods to produce a cleanser that is both effective and gentle.
All-Natural Baby Lotion
Whether your baby’s skin is already dry or you want to prevent dryness from occurring, choosing the right lotion is all-important.
There are countless lotions and oils that claim to be formulated for newborns skin, but with up to 40% of them containing petrolatum (a derivative of crude oil), as well as alcohols, artificial colors, fragrances, and other toxic ingredients, we respectfully disagree.
Our goat milk lotion, on the other hand, is made with all-natural ingredients that are designed to deliver intense moisture and lock it in for hours. It’s also completely safe for babies and easily absorbable — without clogging the baby’s gentle pores. With NO GMOs like corn, canola, or soybean oils, this pure formulation is perfect for baby’s sensitive skin. It’s also hypoallergenic being free from typical nut oils (like almond oil) and other common allergens that lead to irritation.
Toxin-Free Diaper Rash Cream
When your baby is already miserable from agitated, sensitive skin, you don’t want to slather harsh ingredients that smell like a hospital room onto their open sores. You want to use something that will soothe the irritation and add to that special “baby” smell. This is exactly why we wanted to develop a baby-friendly diaper rash cream product of our own.
Our Soothing Salve is made with a handful of 100% all-natural ingredients that greatly benefit the skin. Just add a thin layer of the salve to your baby’s skin at the first sign of diaper rash (look for sore, sensitive skin) and you’ve got a truly natural alternative to common store-bought brands.
Back to You
Taking care of your newborn’s skin is an important part of your job as a new parent. Hopefully, we’ve calmed some fears you may have about common newborn skin conditions and helped you to understand that a few bumps here and there, or a little bit of peeling, are perfectly normal as your baby adjusts to this new world. In the meantime, we hope you’ll keep your baby’s skin nourished with all-natural products like the ones we offer at Bend Soap Company.
For even more product recommendations for your baby, check out our Best for Baby’s collection. All of these products were curated with your baby’s delicate skin in mind and are 100% natural, safe, and mom-approved.
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