Does your little one suffer from sensitive skin? We are a family of sensitives, but I only ever really notice it when it comes to winter time. For Mally, it is most noticeable on her cheeks, which stay rosy red and become the home to lots of little white bumps, particularly when it’s cold. She sometimes gets them on the back of her arms too and although, they don’t tend to bother her, I’m conscious that her skin may be dry or irritated and I’m always on the look out for ways to help calm and soothe the redness.
We have recently been trying out the Candula and Evening Primrose Oil Baby Butter by Nom Nom skincare, which is an award-winning, British-made, organic skincare range created for pregnancy, baby and beyond. It was developed by Jayne Russell at her kitchen table in South London. Jayne is a Mother, and a Massage and Nutritional Therapist specialising in pre- and post-natal care, so I think it’s safe to say that she know her stuff! I’ve loved using this butter and have found it to be particularly nourishing for Mally’s sensitive cheeks. I asked Jayne if she had any tips for caring for sensitive skin in the winter months and this is what she recommends… (thank you Jayne!)
Jayne’s Top Tips
- Moving between extreme temperatures, for example from cold winds outdoors to central heating inside, can cause the skin to dry out and become irritated, particularly when the skin is already sensitive. Choose layers – wrap your child up warmly when you go out and then remove layers when you are inside.
- For babies and toddlers, runny noses, crying and teething drool can cause the skin to stay wet and cold which leads to soreness and chapped cheeks. Use a natural barrier to protect it. Butters such as shea and jojoba (a natural wax) are great ingredients to provide a gentle buffer.
- Always dab, rather than wipe the skin, as friction can aggravate dry and sensitive conditions.
- Avoid synthetic chemical based products which can irritate sensitive skin, instead choose natural plant oils which are fabulously nourishing and keep the skin soft and supple. Similar in composition to fats under our skin, these oils readily absorb, carrying fat soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids to nourish, without blocking the pores. The most favourable for delicate young skin are sunflower, coconut, evening primrose, starflower, shea butter and jojoba.
- Frequent bathing can strip the skin’s natural oils and its protective barrier. Use gentle bath products, without harsh detergents and massage afterwards with plant based oils to restore moisture. Alternatively, add a few drops of oil to the bath water. For allergy prone skin be wary of potentially sensitising peanut, almond and sesame oils, particularly where there is a tendency to eczema and avoid olive which may cause or exacerbate dermatitis.
Choose non fragranced rather than scented products if your child suffers from eczema, dermatitis or psoriasis. Young skin is more prone to irritation and contact sensitivity so anything which can aggravate, such as fragrance, is best avoided.
Feed the skin from within. Including healthy fats and oils in the diet supports healthy skin for babies and children. Select from sources such as avocado, ground nuts and seeds, egg yolk and oily fish in your diet if breastfeeding and in the weaned diet for older babies and child.