As a parent, you should focus not just on what you feed to your kids, but also what you put on their skin. Soft and tender, the skin of babies and kids absorb toxins from chemical products faster than adults. Hence, it’s essential that you set up a natural skin and hair care regime for your children.
Nothing is more precious to us than our babies and children. While it’s true that we cannot control everything that happens to them as they grow up, we can control and certainly should focus on certain aspects like – helping them adopt a natural, toxin-free lifestyle right from an early age.
In earlier times, baby products used to be sourced from commonly available kitchen products. Now many everyday baby products like – moisturisers, lotions, powders, soaps, wet wipes, etc. contain harmful synthetic ingredients that cause short-term and long-term health issues. The skin of a baby is 30% thinner than an adult’s, which makes it readily absorb harmful ingredients. Bioaccumulation – the process of excessive toxins entering the baby’s body over time from an early age leads to health troubles like weakening of your child’s immune system, skin issues, digestion troubles, and much more.
So, it’s critical that you keep the tender skin of your baby and older kids away from harmful synthetic skincare products. Continue reading to find natural skin and hair care tips for children of different ages.
Newborn Skin and Hair Care
Simply put, newborn babies don’t require any special skincare products.
No artificial fragrances, creams, lotions, soaps or extra-strong moisturisers are needed at this stage. Keep skincare simple and natural. For wiping the baby, use regular lukewarm water. Sponge wash and wipe dry the newborn gently using soft prewashed cotton towels.
If needed, you can apply pure virgin coconut oil on the diaper area to prevent rashes. If you feel that your baby could do with a pleasant fragrance, apply a tiny pinch of Javadhu powder – a South Indian traditional herbal fragrance made from a mixture of sandalwood powder and other aromatic flowers. Always apply this powder on your baby's outer clothes and not directly on the skin.
Generally, most newborn babies have white flaky stuff on the head, face, limbs, and skin folds. This is called vernix and is a natural moisturiser, keeping your baby's skin protected from infections in the womb and during the early days after delivery. Don't scrub it away, as it goes off by itself.
Also, make sure to wash your newborn's clothes with natural detergents and avoid synthetic fabrics. Natural soft cotton clothes are the best way to prevent rashes and other skin problems.
Infant and Toddler Skin and Hair Care
At this stage, the skin is still soft and rapidly developing. You can move from sponge baths to regular baths with lukewarm water. Make sure to wipe your baby completely dry with soft cotton towels to prevent colds.
Skin Care Routine to follow at this Stage:
Massage your baby’s skin from head to toe with pure virgin coconut oil. Massaging has several benefits like aiding digestion, boosting blood circulation, increasing weight gain, de-stressing the toddler, and helps you to bond with your baby. Remember to be gentle in your strokes.
Sun Exposure – Exposing your baby’s tender skin to the sun’s rays offer several benefits like – more vitamin D, better serotonin (the happy hormone), healthy nervous system, increased energy levels, reduction of early childhood jaundice and much more. However, remember that you need to avoid sun exposure from 10 am to 4 pm when the UV rays are at its harshest. The gentle sunlight of early morning and early evening are the best. In case of bad weather and days when you cannot step outside, you can lay your baby near an open window to receive sunlight.
Avoid scented soaps, lotions, and other skincare products, as it may cause allergies. Stick to Javadhu powder for fragrance.
The scalp is porous and readily absorbs all the chemicals from commercially available shampoos. Therefore wash your toddler’s hair with just lukewarm water and rub the scalp gently if they have got dirty during play.
Kindergartners and School-going Kids
This is the stage when kids are prone to get dirty. Make sure to wash your kids off grime and dust well when they come back home after the outside play. Bathing two times a day helps to keep away infections rashes and other skin troubles.
Feed your children a diet rich in hydrating foods like fruits and vegetables to keep the skin soft and scalp free of dandruff.
For children of all ages, loose clothing made of natural fibres like linen or cotton work best. Avoid synthetic fibres as they do not allow the skin to breathe. When the weather is warm, clothe children with as less clothes as they are comfortable so that their skin is in touch with the natural elements.
Natural Skincare Ingredients for Babies and Kids
Nature has blessed us with plenty of ingredients that do wonders for the skin. Check out these ingredients and use them for the soft, smooth, and glowing skin of your children.
1. Aloe vera
An excellent moisturiser, aloe vera has a range of health benefits for the skin. It moisturises the skin and leaves fresh, clear skin. It can also be used for burns and cuts. A low maintenance plant, you can grow aloe vera on your balcony or verandah, and use it as needed.
How to make: Peel the leaves and scoop out the pulp. Blend it and apply it on the skin.
2. Coconut oil
It helps to keep skin glossy and supply and is the best beauty aid for all skin troubles.
How to make: Massage cold-pressed virgin coconut oil from head to toe, leave for a few minutes and then bathe your baby.
3. Besan flour
A traditional ingredient used for softening, moisturising, and exfoliating the skin. Use it as an alternative to soaps for babies, young children, and even adults.
How to make: Prepare a paste of besan flour with water and apply it on the skin while bathing.
A natural antiseptic it helps to keep children germ-free. You can mix Turmeric along with the Besan paste while bathing. It helps to get rid of the soft downy hair covering newborn babies, gently.
How to make: Prepare a paste of turmeric powder with water and apply on the child’s body while bathing. Wash off with lukewarm water.
A natural coolant, sandalwood helps to treat prickly heat rashes. It’s available in the form of powder, paste or a stick.
How to make: Prepare sandalwood paste using a few drops of water and apply on the skin to soothe it.
Best Natural Kid-friendly Skin Care brands in India
Using ingredients from your kitchen or garden is always best but sometimes when life gets too busy, parents want safe products to use with their babies and toddlers. Thanks to an increase in awareness, today, Indian parents have several natural and organic baby care products readily available on the market. As always, please always check product labels and make an informed decision to purchase.
Here are a few recommendations:
The Moms Co – Natural formulations that are toxin-free. Has a range of products for newborns as well as pregnant moms.
Mama Earth – A brand blending science and Ayurveda to produce certified natural organic products.
Earth Baby – From natural dye-free clothing to baby lotions, soaps, and creams, this brand has chemical-free skincare products for all stages of your baby.
Your baby deserves the best. And, kudos to you moms (and dads) who have taken the right direction by searching for natural skincare products for your baby. Use the tips listed here and build your baby’s skin the natural way, right from an early age.
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