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Simple is best for baby skin care

By Andrew McDougall+

13-Aug-2014
Last updated on 13-Aug-2014 at 17:33 GMT

Simple is best for baby skin care

When it comes to children’s skin care staying simple is the best advice and not getting too wrapped up in safety concerns.

When it comes to most skin care products for kids they are all completely safe and reading blogs and websites expressing concerns over certain ingredients may not be beneficial, according to a leading dermatologist.

“Parents who have read about concerns with ingredients found in children's skin care products sometimes make choices that, unfortunately, do more harm than good," says board-certified dermatologist Renee Howard, associate clinical professor of dermatology, University of California.

"I don't believe parents need to be concerned about the safety of most over-the-counter products. Preservatives and other additives in these products are present in very low concentrations and most do not penetrate the outside barrier of the skin."

Unscented

When it comes to the products that parents do use on babies, Dr Howard says that simplicity is best advising parents that if they want to be cautious, the fewer products used the better, especially when it comes to babies' skin.

When it comes to skin care products this normally means unscented products are best. Howard recommends using unscented lotions, diaper creams and sunscreens with zinc, and non-lathering cleansers, such as some washes made especially for sensitive skin.

According to dermatologists, surfactants, which cause soaps and cleansers to bubble up when wet, can strip oils from the skin.

This can cause a baby's skin to become too dry. An unscented cream is recommended because fragrance can be irritating to babies' skin and may increase their long-term risk of developing a type of rash called contact dermatitis.

"Scented skin care products are for the parents' benefit, not the baby's, and aren't worth the risk," said Dr Howard.

"Natural products aren't necessarily safer, and many have had very limited testing," she continues. "Some of these products may not be as effective as traditional skin care products."

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