Child care - a guide to children's cosmetics compositions
Children's skin has many very important functions - it is a protective barrier that protects them from the outside world, regulates its temperature using the function of sweat and is a tool that ensures contact with the world thanks to the sense of touch. How is it worth taking care of the skin from the first days of life so that it performs all its functions in the best possible way? What changes should you make over time as your child grows up? And above all, how to read cosmetics compositions to make good decisions standing in front of the bending store shelf? And this is necessary, because unfortunately on drugstore and pharmacy shelves you will find a whole lot of products containing substances that can cause allergies and other adverse skin reactions.
Download a helpful graphic on your phone, or use my best practices. Or both.
I have been analyzing food and cosmetics compositions since I had problems maintaining my first pregnancy, and the doctor advised me to eliminate food chemistry from the diet, and then cosmetics with harmful ingredients.
But how harmful it is - I asked? All my cosmetics were from reputable companies, mostly pharmacy ones, and I had full confidence in them. Nothing is more stupid. When I picked up my first cream - firming for the bust, pharmacy and very expensive, which I bought for myself on the occasion of getting pregnant - I grabbed my head when I found it in it ingredient widely recognized as carcinogenic. Paying over PLN 100 for a small tube, I served my breasts a carcinogenic ingredient every day - twice.
The manufacturer's promises, beautiful packaging and advertising, unfortunately, are not a guarantee of high quality products and safe use.
I really don't believe any manufacturer or cosmetic today until I check the ingredients myself. It does not matter whether the brand is known or not, foreign or Polish, pharmacy or drugstore, with history or completely new - when it comes to children's health, I do not trust - I check.
Why does a child's skin require special care?
The skin of a newborn, and then of an infant and a small child - is completely different skin than that of an adult. It can be compared that the skin of an adult is like a dense cotton fabric, and a children's skin - like a fishing net - hers the cells are laid out more loosely. At least until the age of 3, it is not as good protection as an adult - many more particles from the environment penetrate it, not only during bathing or care, but also when wearing nappies or clothes (therefore it is equally important to check the composition of washing liquids). These ingredients penetrate the skin into the baby's bloodstream - in children, blood vessels are placed closer to the epidermis - and then to tissues and organs, sometimes even over a long period of time.
First of all - do no harm
When I need to buy a cosmetic quickly - for example on vacation - instead of reading and carefully analyzing each beneficial or harmful ingredient, I just check there are no harmful ingredients in the cosmetic. What? Later in the post I will tell you about them and make available for download graphics that you can save on your phone and have with you during each purchase.
Second - to interfere with nature as little as possible
I try to influence the natural processes on the baby's skin as little as possible, which is why I use delicate, natural and organic cosmetics, but at a good price and available at the drugstore near the house.
What to avoid in children's cosmetics?
The soaps have an alkaline pH and the baby's skin has a neutral pH. With alkaline soap which the skin of an adult with a pH around 5,5 copes much better than a child's. Disturbed pH of children's skin negatively affects and damages its hydrolipidic coat, it also has a negative effect on the formation of good bacterial flora on the baby's skin.
Strongly drying ingredients
So popular SLS, SLES. It is inconceivable to me that the commonly recommended lotions and emollients - incl well-known and reputable brands - in the second place after water, they place this very drying detergent in the composition of the liquid or emollient - and I'm talking about both drugstore and pharmacy cosmetics.
Yet no child's skin - neither healthy nor even more atopic - doesn't need such strong ingredients!
While they are not harmful in themselves, they react with other ingredients - and by adding the influence of temperature, they can already release the toxic formaldehyde.
It's not that all preservatives are bad - without them, we'd have to buy cosmetics directly from the factory and keep them in the refrigerator for just a few days or weeks. However, it is important that the preservative is of good quality so that it does not harm.
Preservatives that are recommended for children's cosmetics are, for example, those that are allowed for preserving food.
Ingredients of petroleum origin
So the by-products of petroleum production, such as paraffin, mineral oils - prevent water loss from the epidermis, but also clog pores and block air access to the skin - act like a film, make it difficult for the skin to breathe, blocking the access of good and nourishing substances to the skin - dissolved in them vitamins will not penetrate deep into the skin. It can lead to irritation, itching, rash or clogged pores.
Dyes are intended to visually enhance the product, so the more I do not see the need for their use in children's cosmetics. Of course, we divide dyes into harmless ones and those that are better to avoid, but for children, I advise you to avoid everyone.
Fragrances in cosmetics can irritate and sensitize, and I think every parent will agree with me that the little ones smell so sweet that they absolutely do not need any artificial "perfumes". Additionally, artificial fragrances can penetrate deep into the baby's dermis, as well as into the bloodstream and into tissues, and accumulate in the body as toxins. We avoid!
Polyethylene glycols (PEG) and polypropylene glycols (PPG)
Ethylene oxide is used for their production - Ethylenoxid, considered to be an extremely poisonous and carcinogenic gas that can even damage the genetic structure of cells. Additionally, it can cause inflammation, itching, burning and hives.
Emollients are no "better" or magical preparations - there is no legal regulation that states what cosmetics can be called emollients. In practice any cosmetic that has an oiling effect can be called an emollient. Strongly oiling ingredients are supposed to moisturize - unfortunately, they are very often mineral oils, i.e. petroleum derivatives - they create an occlusive layer on the skin that can do more harm than good - see the aforementioned ingredients derived from petroleum.
In addition, they can mask possibly disturbing symptoms in a child - of course, until they stop working, and the skin that is accustomed to them will no longer help with redness, dryness and irritation when they are really needed. What symptoms?
Emollients on healthy skin can camouflage, for example, a minor rash or dry skin after ingesting an allergen - such as strawberries. Therefore, it will make it impossible to react and temporarily eliminate the allergen from the diet or change the food producer. Sometimes it turns out that the Child is allergic to dairy products or strawberries of only one producer, because we are not dealing with an allergy to proteins but to ... chemicals for growing plants.
It's also not that I always say non-oily cosmetics - if the skin is dry and irritated here and there, they can bring relief and speed up healing, but as a preventive measure, I think that it is not worth using them.
Ecological cosmetics - is it worth it?
What does it mean that a cosmetic is natural or "eco"? Sometimes it really is nothing, because no law defines it.
If you do not want to check the composition of cosmetics on your own, you can trust one of the certificates, here are the two most popular.
ECOCERT certificate - when you buy a product with such a stamp, you can be sure that someone has checked its composition for you, and:
- raw materials come from renewable sources
- do not contain GVO - they cannot come from genetically modified plants and animals
- do not contain a ban on the use of artificial fats, oils, silicones, paraffin and other substances obtained in the distillation of crude oil
- do not contain parabens, phenoxyethanol, opioids, PEG
- do not contain synthetic perfumes and coloring ingredients, as well as animal products (they can only contain products from live animals such as honey, milk)
- the packaging is biodegradable and recyclable
- final products have not been tested on animals
- 95 minimum of all ingredients is of natural origin.
COSMOS ORGANIC certificate mainly includes:
- 95 minimum of agricultural ingredients are organic
- no animal testing
- natural aromas and dyes from plants and flowers
- Minerals meet strict conditions
- environmentally friendly packaging with a waste management plan.
Let's get to the point
When was the first time to take a baby bath?
If I had given birth to a Child at home, I would probably not have bathed it for the first few or maybe a dozen or so days - the embryo, with which a newborn baby is born on the skin, has the best protective, moisturizing and lubricating function, it helps build a good bacterial flora. However, in a situation where the Child is born in a hospital setting - my gynecologist and pediatrician had no doubts - after returning home, both the mother and the child should take a bath so as not to bring home dangerous hospital bacteria.
What about clothes, cones, blankets? It is worth taking to the hospital only those that can be washed in 60-90'C after returning.
What to wash the baby's skin? Washer or sponge
I personally choose hand - I consider Mom's or Dad's touch to be the nicest for massage in the bath, I used possibly a cotton disposable cotton swab around the ears or neck.
I know that many of us like and choose sponges or washcloths. Which is better? In my opinion, the choice is simple and hygienic considerations appeal to me here - impurities and epidermis remnants will inhabit a sponge or a washcloth, and in addition their humidity promotes the development of microorganisms, so it is good to be able to wash them at a high temperature at least once in a while, but not can be done with a sponge - so they fall off for me, a washers win. Of course, in combination with clean water (yes! Newborns and small babies can also be washed in clean water with calmness) with a delicate liquid or washing gel.
When to moisturize the baby's skin
We have adopted the principle of moisturizing only when there is such a need, so if nothing happens, we do not apply any cosmetic to the whole body after bathing - we let the skin take care of itself, additionally washing towels, bedding and clothes in special delicate liquids.
For minor dryness, such as feet irritated by running around outside all day barefoot or cheeks dried by the wind, we use cream - locally, thanks to which one tube lasts for several months.
Our cosmetics for children
We focused on a series of cosmetics CORINE DE FARME BABY - it's a family business (just like ours!), Which took care not only of a good composition - I personally checked every single ingredient - but also Fr. two certificates - ECOCERT and COSMOS ORGANICso you don't have to trust only my analysis and you will easily find them on the store shelf at a very attractive price. Personally, when I see certificates on the packaging, I expect an exorbitant price of the cosmetic - after all, the price of ingredients and certification is usually visible in the exorbitant price of the product, but nothing could be more wrong here.
Micellar cleansing gel for body and hair, BIO Organic from CORINE DE FARME BABY with a volume of up to You can buy 500 ml for around 26 PLN in the Rossmann chain of stores - same as all other cosmetics in this series, so you can also order them for home delivery. The gel is transparent and odorless, I often reach for it myself. What is most important - with a pump, which makes it very convenient and efficient - How many times did you spill too much liquid on your hand after removing the cap? Not to mention the situation where you hold the baby with one hand and the bottle with the other. Or your toddler gets up and loves pouring liquids from water bottles. Exactly!
To the set is BIO Organic micellar shampoo from CORINE DE FARME BABYwhich I also like to wash my hair with. You will also pay for 500 ml of shampoo from ECOCERT and COSMOS ORGANIC here only PLN 26,69, and even in the promotion 21,59 zł - and maybe you will become its faithful user yourself. I guess it's in vain to look for such a large and organic adult shampoo.
We also use lightweight Protective face and body cream, Bio Organic CORINE DE FARME BABY based on sunflower oil and bitter orange flower hydrolate. This cream spreads well, absorbs quickly and does not leave a noticeable film on the skin, it does not stick. It costs about 25 zł for a 100 ml tube, but in line with the principle that we do not use it when there is no such need - we really have enough time for many weeks, with two kids.
Olive? Only for massage - and here I reached for coconut oil from my kitchen.
What does the care of my children look like?
Lest there be any doubts - we know what allergy, baby acne, atopic dermatitis and cradle cap are - we fought them for months with Mikołaj and after years of fighting (of course under the supervision of a good specialist) we jointly conclude that the golden rule works well in the subject of child's skin care - the fewer the better. That is why in our bathroom you will find everything you can find among children's cosmetics.
I hope that I managed to dispel your doubts about the composition of cosmetics, that It is not worth trusting in the darkly known brand or the fact that the product is pharmacy, and my graphics will be a useful help for you on your phone, i.e. always at hand when you are shopping. Of course, you can also go ahead and buy cosmetics for yourself.
Download and save this graphic on your phone now - it is mentioned Pulls with the most common harmful ingredients in cosmetics, thanks to which you don't have to know all these complicated names by heart (I don't know them all myself) to buy wisely and healthily:
If you read this post on your computer, all you need to do is scan the QR code: