By Michelle Vogrinec
Winter is a beautiful season full of grey skies, rain, mud and puddles, white snow, pink cheeks and cold hands. But the winter air can also lead to dry, rough, red and flaky skin and therefore a time to provide extra care for your little one’s skin, particularly as they may experience chafing on their little lips, nose and cheeks.
When functioning correctly, skin is an effective, protective barrier against irritation, dryness and general damage and there are many things that can affect the top layer of your skin. Your first defense against environmental challenges, this layer also helps your skin to retain moisture through the oil that is produced naturally from your body.
DOES A BABY REALLY NEED MOISTURISER?
YES! Absolutely! A baby’s skin is thinner than adult skin and has not yet developed its barrier functions, making it more sensitive and prone to moisture loss. Heating, changes in temperature and blustery winds can make skin even more susceptible to dryness, and winter is often a time for eczema flare ups.
Using a gentle baby moisturiser (such as GAIA Natural Baby Moisturiser) everyday as part of your bub’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, to help “lock-in” extra moisture.
Choose a moisturiser specifically formulated for delicate baby skin, made from natural and organic oils like shea butter, cocoa butter, evening primrose and avocado oils, as these ingredients are well documented to be beneficial for supporting baby skin barrier functions. Look for a baby moisturiser FREE from paraben preservatives, petrochemicals, mineral oil, lanolin and artificial fragrance, as these are known skin irritants that may cause dryness and itchiness.
Research has shown that babies who are massaged regularly tend to be more relaxed, eat and sleep better and have less colic, reflux and constipation. Not only a great way to bond with your baby, massage can also encourage healthy weight gain, aid digestion, improve circulation and help ease teething pain. Establish a daily routine with your baby and you will find you both benefit greatly from the baby massage process.
As the temperature plummets outside, it is often tempting to ramp up the heater inside, which also causes skin dryness – try keeping the heating temperature around 21 degrees (try GAIA Natural Baby Massage Oil).
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