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Baby's First Skincare Routine

April 13, 2021 5 min read

Baby's First Skincare Routine

The Skincare Edit

Babies Are Perfect – But Sometimes Their Skin Is Not

There is nothing more wonderful than the smell of a baby’s skin. It takes two years for the body’s largest organ to develop fully. A newborn has much thinner skin than a grown-up, so what you put on delicate dermis at the start of life can affect your child well into adulthood.

We expect baby skin to be perfect when, in fact, we should expect lumps, bumps, spots and rashes - and an infant who is occasionally cranky due to things like dry skin, cradle cap and nappy rash. Since 1 in 4 children born in Ireland develops eczema, it is important to treat baby’s skin right, right from the start.

You may be tempted to just cover them in any creams and lotions to avoid any issues. Certainly, you will see lots of baby skincare products in the aisle of your local supermarket or pharmacy. However, this is where alarm bells should ring, as many of the chemicals and fragrances found in baby ranges can irritate young skin.

Choose Carefully To Banish The Nasties

The multi award-winning Elave Baby range contains everything you need, from washes and lotions, to shampoos and nappy cream. The products are 100% cruelty-free, and do not contain any harsh irritants or additives like fragrance, dye, soap, MIs, sulfates, parabens, alcohol, formaldehyde or preservatives.  

Gardiner Family Apothecary are experts in creating formulations which guard against dry and sensitive skin conditions like psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema. No baby is born with eczema – it develops in the first 6 months of life and presents as dry, scaly, red, itchy, cracked or blistered skin which commonly appears behind the knees, elbows and neck

The condition is not contagious and can settle down as the child gets older, but it never entirely disappears and there is no cure, only good management. It is vital, in avoiding and managing the condition, to identify the triggers which cause flare-ups  and to use only the purest products to help soothe irritated skin.


Establish A Good Skincare Routine From Birth

Elave Baby products are dermatologically certified and paediatrician approved for use from Day One, but we advise using plain water for washing baby for the first 4 weeks or so (six weeks for premature babies).  Newborns do not need bathed every day, just swish lukewarm water around them 2 or 3 times a week, dry with a soft towel, and use a soft baby brush to gently remove any flakes of skin from their scalp. 

It goes without saying that the nappy area needs to be kept very clean, wiping from front to back, using cotton wool and water and followed up with the award-winning Elave Nappy Cream, which is enriched with natural zinc, organic caster seed oil and vitamin E. Do not use wipes of any kind – even if they just contain water, the material they are made of can irritate and damage the skin.

It is important to establish a ‘top to toe’ approach with your skincare routine so that as your child get older, you can be sure you are using only the purest, most natural ingredients all over their body. As babies need help to regulate their temperature, dress them in layers of soft cotton and wash their clothes in non-bio detergents. Do not use laundry conditioners or smellies. 


Making A Splash At Bath Time, 4-6 Weeks

As baby gets older, around 4-6 weeks, their skincare regimen should include a daily bath or wash with a gentle cleanser like Elave Baby Bathwith organic camomile and organic aloe vera, and sulfate-free Elave Baby Shampoowith camomile, followed by a moisturising emollient like Elave Intensive Creamwith vitamin E.

Bath time is a lovely bonding time for parent and child, but baths can dry out baby’s skin. Keep baths to a maximum of 10 minutes and no hotter than 37˚C. Do not use bubble bath, which dehydrates the skin, and remember that if a product produces a lot of lather, it is probably not a good sign. Products don’t need to lather to be effective.

On non-bath days, use the sulfate-free Ovelle Baby Aqueous Cream or mix Elave Baby Lotion with camomile extract with a little warm water and dab baby with a facecloth. Pat dry gently, as rubbing can create irritating friction. It is not really possible to 'over moisturise' a baby, so do it as often as you can.

Prepare for sleep-time with a relaxing massage with Elave Baby Oil, an intensive nourishing oil suitable for newborns which softens the skin and is quickly absorbed. As the days brighten, it is also important to apply sunscreen several times a day. Elave Paediatric SPF50+ contains vitamins B5, C & E in an oil-free formula which is paediatrician-approved from newborn. 

For more advice on caring for baby’s skin, check out the Irish Skin Foundation at irishskin.ie or https://www2.hse.ie/wellbeing/child-health/caring-for-your-babys-skin.html

Elave Skincare and Ovelle ranges of dermatologically-approved free-from natural products are available at gardinerfamilyapothecary.com, Boots, Dunnes Beauty and local pharmacies.


Adapting To Life Outside The Womb

Rashes are very common in babies from as early as a few days old, as their bodies adapt to life outside the cosy womb. Most rashes are nothing to worry about and clear up pretty quickly. However, if you are concerned, and particularly if baby appears feverish, fretful or unwell, you should always check with your Pharmacist, Health Visitor or GP.  Here are some common causes of baby rash:

Cradle Cap - a yellow crusty appearance on baby’s scalp. Use a mild tear-free product like Elave Baby Shampoo  and some soft brushing to remove the scaly skin. Small amounts of Elave Baby Oil  rubbed on the scaly parts can help soften them and make them easier to remove.

Nappy Rash - change baby’s nappy often to prevent skin irritation and use cotton wool and water to clean the skin. Some time with nappy off is great for baby’s skin. Do not use baby wipes of any kind, ever! To moisturise and protect against nappy rash, use Elave Nappy Cream or the award-winning Ovelle Silcock’s Base.

Heat Rash - heat and sweat can cause small, itchy red spots. Do not apply any lotions or washes as these may block the pores and make the problem worse. A lukewarm bath with airdrying will help soothe this rash.

Intertrigo -  an itchy reddish rash usually found in neck, armpit and thigh folds. It develops when skin stays moist and the folds rub together, causing friction and offering an ideal environment for the growth of yeast, bacteria and fungus. To avoid intertrigo, carefully wash and dry before gently massaging Elave Baby Oil into the affected areas to lessen the friction.

If you want more advice on caring for baby’s skin, check out the Irish Skin Foundation at irishskin.ie or


Elave Skincare and Ovelle ranges of dermatologically-approved free-from natural products are available at gardinerfamilyapothecary.com, Boots, Dunnes Beauty and local pharmacies.

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