Proper skincare for baby’s most formative early years is an essential component to health and a proactive approach to enhanced immunity. As the body’s first line of defense against harmful elements, and the producer of important immune chemicals like interleukin and interferon, healthy skin is integral to the strength of the immune system, and actively supports the body’s natural healing and protective abilities.
Not only does the skin support immunity, it contributes to, and communicates about, the body’s overall state of health. Nearly 30% of all unscheduled visits to the pediatrician’s office are prompted by a variety of skin conditions, such as rashes, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis and sunburn (Baby Skin, Dr. Nelson Novick). Rashes, bumps and redness can be a telltale sign that your baby’s body is being exposed to more than it can handle.
Parents need to understand how baby skin is unique and know that it needs special care to help it stay healthy. A child’s skin has differing needs depending upon its stage of development and baby skin is more vulnerable to environmental irritants and contaminants. Below is the predominant framework to help parents understand the natural skin development during a child’s early years:
Baby Skin Stages™:
Newborns & Preemies – Baby skin is thin, permeable and, much like baby, isn’t yet functioning at full capacity. The skin is therefore very vulnerable to its surroundings, especially environmental toxins from personal care products, food, clothing, and cleaning supplies. During this phase it is essential to limit contact with any synthetic chemicals and to support the skin’s barrier properties with pure natural and organic skincare products that help build baby skin strength and thickness.
Infants & Toddlers – The Baby’s natural skin functions develop and the surface thickens, however the skin is not producing enough melanin, sweat or natural oils to maintain necessary moisture and act as the body’s first line of defense. Baby’s growing independence results in exposure to the elements and environmental toxins, making hydrating, protective, and anti-inflammatory skin care an additional priority.
Preschool & Beyond – Skin function begins to mature and children learn to take over some of their personal grooming. Many children of this age spend time in group-care settings, increasing contact with bacteria and viruses. Establishing good natural skincare habits with organic skincare products that reduce exposure to harmful chemicals is essential to creating a lifetime of health and wellbeing.
Look for products that have been developed for the unique vulnerabilities of each Baby Skin Stage during the early years.