In the market, you can find loads of soaps and other bath products advertised as safe for babies. But should you believe everything the labels say?
The truth is that those products contain many types of substances and not all of them are created equal. As a parent, you should be aware that some products come with chemicals that might be a risk for your baby.
In today’s article, we want to help you stay safe by identifying the hazards and will give you a hand to make the safest choices.
Understanding “pH balanced”?
The pH is basically a measure that tells how acidic or alkaline a substance is. Baby skin care products often display this message in their labels to convey that it is safe for babies.
It is important because within a few weeks from birth, the baby’s skin varies from close to neutral to slightly acidic pH5. This is known as the acid mantle and it’s there are a means of protection.
A product with a pH that is like your baby’s skin won’t disturb that protective layer.
They are not good for babies and you should avoid them altogether. In fact, we should avoid using it for adults too. Read “Do we need antibacterial products?” However, to make it easier for you, antibacterial ingredients are not usually added to products formulated for babies, so you can’t make mistakes easily on this one.
What about “alcohol-free” products?
It is mentioned in the labels because alcohol is commonly used in soaps for adults to help the skin dry fast and to make it smooth. However, it is not recommended for babies since it can cause irritation.
You should also be aware of another group of ingredients called fatty alcohols when looking at a product’s label. These are present in baby products but they don’t irritate or dry the skin. More specifically you might see them listed as Cetearyl alcohol, which is a common ingredient of baby wipes, or Cetostearyl alcohol found in emollients.
Are fragrance-free products safer?
For most babies, mildly fragranced products are OK when used sparingly. They are not likely to cause skin reactions.
But if your baby has dry skin or suffers from eczema it is better to stay away from all perfumed products because they are common irritants. Even natural products can cause some reactions. It is better to stay safe and avoid them altogether.
Read more about Cleaning agents to use for families with babies
The skin of your baby is delicate and requires utmost care, so you should be careful with the types of products you apply. Your baby’s skin is thinner, more delicate and more prone to dryness than adult skin.
Unless your baby is dirty, she usually doesn’t require a full head-to-toe bath, and washing her only with water will be enough. But if you want to use mild baby soaps of the types we discussed, that will not harm either.