We’ve all heard about skincare layering for grown-ups. It’s the process of using and applying skin care products in a particular order - to increase absorption and effectively help to care for your skin. Most importantly - to ensure you are combining products safely (and not mixing the wrong ingredients) so that your skin care doesn’t mess with your skin’s natural oils and PH balance - which can ultimately lead to skin irritations or sensitivities.
Well, the same theory applies to caring for the skin of your baby and older children for that matter too. Whether they have normal, dry, or sensitive skin, it’s ideal to first seek out skin care that is made from quality, natural ingredients. Then, the next rule of thumb, is to clean the skin, moisturise, and finally treat and protect any trouble spots - so bubs and co are happy and so is their skin!
Keen to learn the steps to ensuring your baby’s skin is healthy, soft and supple?
how to layer skin care for baby and kids: for optimal results!
the 3-step routine to follow:
step one: cleansing
why you need to
A good cleansing routine is not only seen as a proven wind-down ritual for babies and kids, but cleansing also lets your chosen skin care properly absorb into your skin, to work its best! To do this for bubs and the older sibs, simply start with a mild cleansing bath or shower to remove any dirt or impurities … and to help their skin to be properly clean and calm.
rethink your products
If you are in the midst of a bathroom detox and trying to avoid products in your household that contain a laundry list of chemicals: including parabens, alcohols, synthetics, or chemical agents, then you’ll be well aware that these products can be extremely irritating for bubs and kids. Using things like synthetically coloured bubble bath for instance, may be playful and fun, but they are also likely to remove natural oils from your kid’s skin and mess with its natural PH balance: compromising their thin dermal layer which may in turn lead to dry, sensitive or irritated skin. So, maybe now is a good time to think clean, natural for not just your skin care, but for products on your bathroom shelves full stop!
Remember that a baby’s skin layer is very sensitive to start with, much like the skin on our face. Even with older children, approach gently by using a soft face washer, sponge or carefully with your hands, to massage and clean their hair and body mindfully – being aware of any areas that may need to be treated with extra care - so as not to not flare-up their skin further. For baby’s and children that have super sensitive skin, perhaps consider a soap free altetnative.
After a bath, gently pat baby’s skin dry - by paying close attention to baby skin folds that may be found inside elbows and under armpits that can stay wet and easily get dry or flaky. And take a moment to check over their body or skin to make sure there are no trouble spots. With older children, be gentle too. Just because they are not babies anymore, their dermis may still be sensitive!
step two: moisturise
why you need to
To add softness and nourishment back into bub’s thin skin layer after bathing, and to make sure there are no dry or rough spots that may be missed on older children, it’s essential to keep their skin hydrated, especially after a bath or even as needed. Since their skin may be highly sensitive, and can dry out too easily, leading to flaky, itchy skin – is it best to moisturise their bodies right away.
apply when damp
For best absorption, apply a natural skin moisturiser when baby and kiddo's skin is still slightly damp. Remember to choose moisturisers that have zero-nasties and that don’t contain synthetic ingredients, and artificial scents, as they may cause long-term dryness or irritation to their skin. For those with super dry or sensitive skin, consider a body oil.
go pure, go clean
Go for natural plant-based moisturisers with thoughtful, skin-loving ingredients. They are not only gentle and clean but are nature’s way of enhancing the wellbeing of the entire family too!
step three: treat + protect
why you need to
Once you have cleaned and moisturised bubs and the kiddos skin as well, you may need to spot-treat any problem areas with heavier cream or barrier cream, not only to add an extra boost of moisture - but to help repair and provide an optimal barrier-builder to any angry, chafed, inflamed, or infected areas, much like a rash we would need to apply topically!
areas to apply
For babies, this might look like nappy rash, dry, weepy patches under little armpits or in skin creases and folds. For older kids, it may be seasonal rashes or dry skin patches that need extra care.
when in need, try oil
Why are oils all the rage in skin care layering? Body oils are so amazing and loved, not only for the stimulating physical and emotional benefits of a moisturising massage; but because they can also easily penetrate into kid’s skin too and infuse pure, natural nourishment (such as vitamins and antioxidants) into the skin’s layer. Body oil can also deeply nourish a child’s skin for scrapes or falls in young children to help repair the skin more quickly.
This is because body oil is highly concentrated: to deeply hydrate, heal, and nourish skin. And … a little goes a long way – you don’t need much to keep skin nicely moisturised. Plus, oil absorbs so efficiently, leaving kid’s skin feeling supple and nourished.
In essence, the best way to start an effective skin layering ritual for babies and kids - is to embrace self-care early! With these small bite-sized steps, you can not only take care of your family’s skin and help to avoid dry, irritated, and uncomfortable situations; but take comfort in the knowledge that you are taking a careful, loving and considered approach to you and your family’s overall wellbeing. And teaching you littlies skills for life!
And remember: everyone, including, babies, kids, mums, dads, and caregivers: experience different levels of sensitivity to ingredients found in various skin care products. So, if you aren’t sure: do a patch test on yourself, or on the baby or the kidlets first. Or, if you have any concerns, consult with your maternal health nurse or doctor.
*Please note that this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.