April 13, 2021 4 min read
The Skincare Edit
Joanna Gardiner is CEO of Gardiner Family Apothecary, creators of the safest family skincare products for sensitive skin, from babyhood to adulthood. Joanna’s grandfather, Joseph, travelled throughout Ireland selling the family’s first ointments and cures. Those special formulations have stood the test of time and today they are experts in specialist skincare with their leading Elaveand Ovelleranges.
Oh Baby! Treating Baby’s Skin Right – Right from the Start …
I vividly remember bringing my first baby home. She was so small, so fragile – delicate pink cheeks, tiny toes, ears so fine they were nearly translucent … Like every new mum, I wanted to do everything right – and growing up Gardiner, I knew how important it was to treat baby’s skin right, right from the start!
We expect the skin of newborns to be smooth, soft and smell lovely, all the time. The truth is that baby’s skin can sometimes be dry, sensitive, flaky – and even discoloured – especially in those early days. As a mum who wants the best for your bundle, you agonize over what to do, what to use, and when to do it.
The First Four Weeks
Elave Baby products are 100% organic and dermatologically proven to be safe to use, right from the day of birth. Having said that, plain water is just fine for the first month and you do not have to bath baby every day. A quick dip and gently swirling lukewarm water over him or her two or three times a week is sufficient.
It goes without saying that you do, of course, have to keep baby’s nappy area scrupulously clean, wiping from front to back. Again, we recommend using plain warm water and cotton wool to clean around and inside those delicate little folds of skin. No creams, powders or wipes necessary!
1-6 Months – Watch Out For Those Tell-tale Signs!
One in four children in Ireland develop eczema – that is twice as many children as just a generation ago. Experts believe this dry, itchy skin condition on the outer layers of the dermis is caused by toxins in our environment. It usually occurs within 1-6 months of birth and can persist into adulthood.
Infantile eczema – or atopic dermatitis, as it is sometime called – can run in families, so if mum or dad has allergic tendencies, baby might have them too. Symptoms can be mild and barely noticeable, or very itchy and intense. They include dryness, flaking, redness, tenderness, crustiness and cracking or oozing.
If you have concerns, consult your GP or Health Visitor in the first instance. Then you will need to turn detective to try and identify what is causing your child’s flare-ups, so you can avoid or minimize exposure to them. Common triggers include dairy, pollen, dust or house mites, scratchy fabrics, temperature fluctuations, detergents, fragrances, soap and dyes.
Establishing A Good Skincare Routine
The skin barrier is not fully developed until the age of two, so it is essential to use only the purest, gentlest products on baby’s skin as he or she gets older. As the body’s largest organ, we need to protect and nourish skin so that it, in turn, can protect us from dehydration, toxins, allergens and infections.
Any cream, lotion or wash that touches your baby’s skin could trigger a flare-up, so the most important thing is to ensure you use products which do not contain soap, fragrances or dyes. And, remember, there is no point using a ‘free-from’ Baby Shampoo if you then use a Baby Lotion full of additives. The regime must be ‘top to toe’.
Elave Babyand Elave Junior product ranges do not contain any of these harmful ingredients, as well as omitting nasty irritants like formaldehyde, parabens, sulfates and MIs. If you read the ingredients on the back of some baby products, I guarantee you would be shocked by what they can contain!
Moisturise, Moisturise, Moisturise …
Keeping baby’s skin well moisturised is key to avoiding dry and sensitive skin conditions. After bathing baby with ‘free-from’ products like Elave Baby Bath and Elave Baby Shampoo, gently pat the skin dry and apply lashings of Elave Baby Lotion or Elave Sensitive Intensive Cream and Elave Nappy Cream.
Never use baby wipes (even those which just contain water) on any skin at any time as they can be harsh and abrasive to the skin. And, remember, do not use talc as it could irritate baby’s skin and be inhaled - just pat gently with a soft towel and moisturise with Elave Nappy Cream or Ovelle Baby Aqueous Cream.
Dress baby in loose layers of soft, breathable fabrics like cotton, linen, silk or hemp. Avoid wool, which can be scratchy, or synthetic fabrics that do not let the skin breath or absorb sweat like natural fibres. And remember to use only eczema-friendly laundry liquids or you could start the itch, scratch, itch cycle all over again!
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