Nourishing your baby’s skin during winter
Protect your infant’s skin as the temperature drops with these simple winter skin care tips.
We all know that winter is defined by grey skies, rain, mud and puddles, white snow, pink cheeks and cold hands. But the cold winter air can also lead to dry, rough, red and flaky skin and is often a time to provide extra care for your little one’s skin – particularly as they may experience chafing on their lips, nose and cheeks.
In the same way that we pop extra layers on our babies to keep them warm as the temperature drops, it’s just as important to adjust the way we care for their skin.
Here are a few easy winter skin care tips for your baby.
Does a baby really need moisturiser?
Absolutely! An infant’s skin is thinner than adult skin and has not yet developed its full barrier function making it more sensitive and prone to moisture loss. Heating, changes in temperature and blustery winds can make skin more susceptible to dryness and irritation. Winter is often a time for eczema flare-ups.
Using a gentle baby moisturiser every day as part of your baby’s daily routine will help maintain skin hydration, keeping it soft, smooth and less likely to become dry. The best time to apply moisturiser is after you bathe your baby, while their skin is still slightly damp and able to ‘lock-in’ extra moisture.
Choose a moisturiser specifically formulated for delicate baby skin, ideally one that is made from natural and organic oils, like shea butter, cocoa butter, evening primrose and avocado oils. These oils are incredibly nourishing and beneficial for your baby’s developing skin barrier. Look for a baby moisturiser that is free from paraben, preservatives, petrochemicals, mineral oil, lanolin and artificial fragrances.
Be conscious of heat
As the temperature plummets outside, it is often tempting to ramp up the heater inside. Even though an extra warm home can make your child feel cosier in the short term, it may lead to skin dryness. Try keeping the heating temperature around 21 degrees for the best result.
Hot water can also have a drying effect on your baby’s skin, particularly when wind and weather have already started to take their toll. Try keeping the bath water around 36 degrees (a bath thermometer is great to use if you have one) to minimise dryness and use a soap and sulphate free bath wash instead of plain soap (preferably one with added moisturisers that is pH balanced) to help support the skin’s natural acid mantle.
Protecting your child’s skin
You can minimise exposure to the elements by protecting exposed skin with a scarf, hat and gloves or mittens.
Cold wind around the face and ears may cause wind burn and flaky skin on little cheeks and lips, while colds and flu may lead to dry, cracked skin on little noses from constant wiping with tissues.
Apply a thick barrier cream or lotion to your baby’s nose during a cold to minimise the damage caused by runny noses and to lips and cheeks before going outside to help protect their skin against the elements. Choose a product made from a mixture of organic oils and protective properties like zinc, castor oil or beeswax to both nourish and create the perfect breathable barrier for your baby’s skin.
Now there’s no reason you can’t keep playing in puddles and enjoying time outside this winter – just remember to follow a nourishing winter skincare routine to keep your baby’s skin soft and protected against the cold.
Brought to you by Gaia Skin Naturals
Written by Michelle Vogrinec
Shop for Gaia Naturals at Chemist Warehouse.
Any views expressed within this article are opinions of the author and should be taken as guidance only. Please exercise your own due diligence on what is right for you and your baby.