BABY SKIN WOESOctober 2018

From nappy rash and sensitivity to everyday care. Beauty Director for Marie Claire, Lisa Oxenham talks you through the key skincare basics for her baby…  

I am a baby skin expert, and like most new mums, can find myself googling skin woes at 4am. Unlike most new mums, however, as a Beauty Director, I find myself around some of the industry’s hottest dermatologists on a regular basis - and it’s all too easy for me to slip a few questions about baby skin into an interview about anti-ageing. The sum total? I’m a baby skin obsessive.

 

The good news? I’ve amassed a wealth of information that I share with my friends and readers. For example, rashes and blemishes are very common in the first year of a baby’s life, and by their second year it starts to become easy to identify, and avoid, triggers.

 

For me the below daily tips have worked, but trust your parental instinct and if you think a doctor is necessary, head straight to your GP or call the NHS helpline 111 who are incredibly helpful and will be able to offer advice and assistance if appropriate.

 

Omega helps flaky skin. Eliza is two and I’m still breast-feeding her so I ensure I have a good intake of skin-supporting EFAs. I eat oily fish three times a week, and avocado, nut and seed oils most days, as well as taking daily omega oils to help her skin health (and mine) stay plump and hydrated. If you’re not breast-feeding and your baby has dry skin, load these foods into their diet instead.

 

 

Sleep can help sensitive patches. The body secretes growth hormones at night, which help to renew cells and tissues and bring fresh nutrients and oxygen to the skin. My tips for a decent night’s sleep? I give Eliza an early bath as soon as I walk in from work as the warm water can stimulate and avoid Facetiming with friends or family in the evening, this disrupts sleep just the same as screen-time. 

 

Bolster the immune system to fight skin infections. A daily dose of probiotics strengthens the gut and therefore their immune system, which will help your baby’s skin to better adapt to the environment. I sprinkle a powder probiotic into Eliza’s porridge in the morning.

 

 

Protect against sunburn. Babies have extremely thin and delicate skin. Eliza is very pale with very little pigment and hers is hypersensitive so I carry Mustela Very High Protection Sun Lotion SPF 50 around with me to top up when she’s exposed to sunlight. This one is water-resistant, protects against UVA and UVB and is super safe on her sensitive skin.
Lock in moisture to calm inflamed skin. If skin is red, sore and sensitive (Eliza was a chubby baby and suffered with friction in her skin folds) reduce the bath temperature and apply moisturiser immediately afterwards when the baby’s skin is still damp. Mustela Soothing Moisturising Cream comforts the tingling and tightness associated with very sensitive skin. I also gently massage Eliza morning and night to help with circulation.

 

Prevent and soothe nappy rash. Any redness is often caused by persistent wet nappies, so make sure you change them frequently. I use a warm, wet muslin to clean Eliza’s bottom and if there is any redness, I apply a healing ointment like Mustela Vitamin Barrier Cream to help her feel comfortable again. 

 

Eliminate cradle cap. This yellow crust which appears under your baby’s hair and eyebrows is the oil glands trying to find balance and skin turnover trying to figure out how to renew. It will usually disappear on its own, but try massaging Mustela Cradle Cap Cream into the area, leave overnight to loosen the scales and then rinse off in the morning with Mustela Foam Shampoo for Newborns. 

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