Which products should I use on my baby’s delicate skin? Which ones are safe and suitable for newborn babies? Here's our expert advice about taking the best care of your little one from day one.
Babies' skin and skincare: the big questions
Why is babies' skin so sensitive?
What makes a newborn's skin so much more delicate than an adults, and even a young child's? Paediatric dermatologists Hoeger and Enzmann explain that "A newborn's skin will undergo a number of changes during the first month of life as it adapts to an extra-uterine environment. During this time period the epidermis and dermis is further developed and there is a noticeable change in the baby's skin pH surface and desquamation of the skin."*
Can I use skincare products on my newborn baby?
One of dermatology's most talked-about topics at the moment is whether certain skincare products can help protect babies' skin, and even help improve or prevent skin conditions such as eczema. A recent case study by Manchester University, England**, showed that skincare products branded with low pH and as "suitable for babies" were perfectly safe for newborns, and other studies*** confirm that mild cleansing and moisturising skincare is the most effective way of looking after babies' skin.
Could the right skincare help prevent irritation, and even eczema?
The go-to comprehensive study when it comes to newborn skin care is that of Steen and Macdonald, who published their review in 2004, concluding that "Cleansers need to be extremely mild in their properties to prevent excessive removal of lipids from the stratum corneum, as these are essential to the surface ecosystem." But how can the average parent shopping in a pharmacy or supermarket know what to look for?
Firstly, a neutral-to-low pH is essential to prevent irritation of a newborn's sensitive skin. Look for products specifically tailored for young babies.
Statistics estimate that, in 45% of children, the onset of atopic eczema occurs during the first 6 months of life****. Finding a solution for preventing the development of such conditions is therefore vital for parents. A study by Chalmers, Haines and Mitchell***** concluded that "daily application of an emollient during the 1st year of life is effective in preventing Atopic Dermatitis in high-risk children."
La Roche-Posay recommends
Because being a new parent means juggling multiple responsibilities at the same time, it's not always practical to have a bathroom cabinet overflowing with different products for all the family. That's why La Roche-Posay has created Lipikar Syndet AP+ body wash and the Lipikar Baume AP+ moisturiser, which have been clinically tested on newborn babies. They are ideal for sensitive skin thanks to their hypoallergenic, ultra-minimalist formulae.
Improve and protect your baby’s skin barrier with the help of the sensitive skincare experts at La Roche-Posay.
*Hoegar PH, Enzmann CC. Skin physiology of the neonate and young infant: a prospective study of functional skin parameters during early infancy. Pediatric Dermatology 2002;19(3):256-62.
***Hopkins J ( 2004) Essentials of newborn skin. British Journal of Midwifery 12(5): 314-7.
****Pawankar R, C. G. (2013). The WAO White Book on Allergy (Update 2013), quoted in https://www.allergyuk.org/assets/000/001/369/Stats_for_Website_original.pdf?1505209830
*****Chalmers JR, Haines RH, Mitchell EJ, et al. "Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of daily all-over-body application of emollient during the first year of life"