It can take two to four years for your baby’s skin to mature fully. During this time, it’s easier for external elements to seep in and skin to get irritated. It’s also common for babies to get eczema and other sensitive skin conditions.
To protect your child’s skin, use safe and gentle ingredients that will soothe and support its natural function. Here are our top tips and product recommendations to care for your bundle of joy and their sensitive but oh-so-pinchable cheeks.
A friendly reminder before we jump in:As parents ourselves, we know how overwhelming the internet can be when you have a newborn. You’re constantly getting advice thrown at you—do’s and don’ts that cause confusion or even contradict each other.
When it comes to your baby’s health and wellness, it’s always best to bring questions or concerns directly to your doctor. This blog has been compiled using medical research, skincare expertise, and personal experience and should only be used as a guide.
What are the most common newborn skin conditions?
Newborn skin is sensitive. That means strange bumps, rashes, and dryness are verycommon. The good news? These symptoms are typically nothing to worry about and easy to treat.
Some of the most common newborn skin conditions include cradle cap (or neonatal dandruff), diaper rash, baby acne, heat rash, milia, baby eczema, and erythema toxicum—a benign condition that looks like inflamed yellow spots on the face, torso, thighs, or arms.
How can you treat baby eczema?
Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition common in people of all ages, including little ones. At least 1 in 10 children suffer from eczema and many times it’s genetic.
It’s especially common in babies and can make their skin dry, scaly, rough, bumpy, or itchy. You’ll usually see baby eczema on the face, chest, arms, elbows, or behind the knees. Most baby eczema goes away in time, but there are methods to soothe the itchiness and inflammation until then.
For example, daily warm baths can calm your baby’s skin. After each bath, apply a safe, good-quality moisturizer to trap water and hydrate the skin. Our Protective Cream is one of the best creams for baby eczema. It’s designed to nourish and deeply hydrate sensitive skin and is 100% safe for babies and children.
Our founder actually created the Protective Cream as a solution for her and her child’s eczema and sensitive skin conditions. If your baby struggles with eczema, you can use the Protective Cream multiple times per day to calm the skin and even treat the condition moving forward.
Another method for childhood eczema relief is to dress your little one in loose, cotton, long-sleeved clothes. The soft fabric will prevent irritation and the coverage can contain moisture and create a barrier for itching.
If the eczema persists, talk to your doctor about different options and treatments, along with next steps.
How can you prevent and treat diaper rash?
Diaper rash makes the whole diaper situation even less fun—for you and your mini-me. Also called diaper dermatitis, this condition is caused when your baby’s skin is sensitive to wet or soiled diapers. This can make their skin red, inflamed, and irritated.
To prevent diaper rash, change dirty diapers as soon as possible. Even if they haven’t soiled their diaper yet, a wet diaper can cause just as much irritation as a full one. Disposable diapers trap moisture and make it easier for bacteria to grow. On top of that, the materials most disposable diapers are made out of can cause skin irritation and rashes.
If your child is already struggling with diaper rash, use a gentle lotion with safe ingredients. For her children, our founder used the Protective Cream followed by the Restorative Facial Oil to help the skin heal and provide a smooth, calming layer between the skin and the new diaper.
Big on reusable diapers? Make sure your laundry detergent is gentle and free from irritants that could make the diaper rash worse.
Why is minimalism best for baby skincare?
Your baby’s skin is brand new, so it doesn’t need a 10-step skincare routine. Aim for a small number of products that all contain simple, safe ingredients. In the skincare world, we called this “skinimalism”. You can learn all about it right here.
Speaking of minimal, try to only bathe your newborn two to three times per week. Excessive bathing can strip the skin of its natural oils and cause it to become even more sensitive. At bathtime, use lukewarm water and gentle, fragrance-free soaps and shampoos.
What are the best ingredients for sensitive baby skin?
The key word here is gentle. Every ingredient you use on your child’s skin should be irritant-free. That means no perfumes, dyes, strong preservatives, or harsh chemicals.
Reading labels can be tough, but a good trick is to look for products that contain a small amount of natural or plant-based ingredients. These are often the most calming and their natural benefits don’t require harsh additives. Some natural ingredients can still cause irritation, so when in doubt ask your doctor.
Baby skin doesn’t hold moisture very well. It can often flake and peel, especially if your baby is born a bit late. Aim for ingredients that strengthen their skin’s barrier function and lock in moisture, like aloe vera or shea butter. Click here to learn more about optimal moisturizing and hydrating.
Plant oils are another safe option for moisturizing and soothing your child’s sensitive skin, especially jojoba oil. This seed-based oil is the closest natural replacement to sebum—a natural oil your skin produces to protect it from external toxins. Jojoba oil contains essential vitamins for the skin, like vitamin B and E, and helps retain moisture and hydrate.
Another effective oil for baby skincare is camellia oil. It’s an incredibly calming ingredient for inflamed skin and is best known for its ability to lock in moisture.
Our Restorative Facial Oil contains both jojoba and camellia oil. When our founder’s daughter had cradle cap, she used this oil daily and saw amazing results. The flakes of skin started to simply fall away after brushing and soon enough the scalp healed. Since then, Iremia customers have used this gentle oil on their baby’s scalps and it has worked wonders for them.
(Psst. If you’re new to facial oils, we have a helpful guide right here.)
Do your best and your baby’s skin will thank you.
We just gave you a lot of information about your newborn’s skin. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, stop for a few moments and take five long, deep breaths.At the end of the day, your baby’s skin is more resilient than you think. Most sensitive skin conditions are totally normal and will resolve themselves over time. Just keep doing your best and using methods and products you trust. And if you ever have any questions about using Iremia sensitive skincare for your baby, toddler, teenager, or yourself, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here to help.