Newborn babies and children have delicate skin that is more likely to suffer environmental stress like pollution, heat, cold and sunburn. Here are a few pointers for an organic and/or natural approach to baby skincare.

Nappy Rash – Small red spots appearing around baby’s bum, groin, and legs generally signals nappy rash. In serious cases the skin may get inflamed or broken – not nice for baby which means not nice for mummy and daddy either! The usual cause of nappy rash is wet or dirty nappies breaking down into ammonia compounds which cause bacterial skin irritation. If you are having some nappy rash issues, try more frequent changing with 5-10 minutes of fresh air and sunlight in between. Definitely avoid acrylic pants and if you can go for organic cotton nappies, do. They are heaps better for baby and the environment. To treat the nasty itch and soreness, try a few drops of organic lavender oil diluted according to the instructions on the bottle and rubbed gently onto that cute little tushy. You could also try bod for bubs’ Cowboys and Itchy Bums bum barrier cream for a ready-made blend of essential oils and other beneficial ingredients, including lavender.

Eczema – Eczema comes along like a side order with asthma, hay fever, and chemical sensitivity. Unfortunately in this case you can’t send it back to the kitchen. But that doesn’t mean you can’t ease the discomfort for your little one. Eczema is abnormally dry skin with inflammation. Some older babies get regions of inflammation with flaking or peeling of the skin, particularly around the face and inner folds of the elbow and knee. Medical treatment usually involves the topical application of steroidal creams which control the inflammation. You could also try a soothing moisturising cream minus the chemicals. Unscented organic or totally natural products are best because anything perfumed or synthetic will only irritate the skin more. Try BABYBEARSHOP’s Organic Cheeky Baby Butter. So cute!

Sun Protection – Protecting baby from the sun is absolutely essential. It’s proven that there is an increased risk of developing skin cancers in later life after early childhood exposure to ultra violet radiation. The Cancer Council recommends regularly checking the UV index http://www.arpansa.gov.au/uvindex/daily/ausuvindex.htm and becoming familiar with peak exposure periods.

When you have to take baby outside in the sun, all Australian mothers know it is essential to protect babies and children with appropriate sunscreen, hats, and loose fitting outfits made from sun protective materials. However, sunscreens are complex compounds, containing a surprising number of chemicals in addition to their active constituents. These can include synthetic colours and perfumes. Try to find a natural sunscreen such as UV Natural http://www.uvnatural.com/ (although I find this one a little greasy), or just cover bub completely with clothing! If you dress your wee one in organic baby clothes, for sunny days make sure you choose loose fitting clothing made from tightly woven natural fibres such as cotton, linen, and hemp. Clothing made from unbleached organic fibres is tougher and less likely to irritate immature and sensitive skin.

Passionate about skincare and beauty, Kate was horrified when she found out about the toxic chemicals lurking in her favourite products. A passionate desire to educate others on how to make safer choices led to the birth of Ikigai, the Organic & Natural Skincare Boutique. http://ikigai.com.au/

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