Winter is a beautiful season full of grey skies, rain, mud and puddles, white snow, pink cheeks and cold hands. But the winter air can also lead to dry, rough, red and flaky skin and is often a time for extra care for your little one - particularly as they may experience chaffing on their little lips, nose and cheeks.
During winter we tend to drink less water so we dehydrate quickly, particularly if we are in a very warm environment. Therefore following a few simple winter skin care tips for baby, including offering water or breast milk as often as you would in summer and moisturising as needed, is really important.
Does a baby really need moisturiser?
YES! Absolutely! A baby’s skin is thinner than adult skin and has not yet developed its barrier functions making it more sensitive and susceptible to moisture loss. Heating, changes in temperature and blustery winds can make skin even more susceptible to dryness and irritation.
Using a gentle baby moisturiser every day after bathing as part of your bub’s daily routine, will help maintain skin hydration, keeping it soft and smooth and less likely to become dry. By applying baby moisturiser after the bath, while the skin is still slightly damp, will ‘lock-in’ extra moisture and help keep your baby’s skin healthy.
Choose a moisturiser made from natural and organic nourishing oils and extracts like shea butter, cocoa butter and evening primrose oil and check that it is FREE from parabens, petrochemicals, mineral oil, lanolin, sorbolene and artificial fragrance to leave skin smooth and baby-soft naturally!
Isn’t water hydrating to skin?
As the temperature plummets outside it is often tempting to ramp up the hot tap usage inside. Even though this may make you or your child feel warmer and cozier in the short term, you may not realise the drying effects even water can have on skin – particularly when wind and weather have already started to take their toll.
Keep the water in your shower or bath warm – but not hot (for babies there are bath thermometers you can use to monitor just the right temperature) and use a soap and sulphate free bath wash instead of soap (preferably one with added moisturisers) – and preferably pH balanced to help support the skin’s natural acid mantle.
You can minimise exposure to the elements by protecting exposed skin with scarf, hat and gloves/mittens.
Cold wind around the face and ears can cause wind burn and flaky skin on little cheeks and lips. Constant wiping with tissues can lead to dry, cracked skin on little noses, and winter is often a time for eczema flare ups or nappy rash.
Apply a thick barrier cream or lotion to your baby's cheeks before going outside to protect the skin. Choose a product made from a mixture of organic oils to nourish, zinc, castor oil and beeswax which creates the perfect breathable barrier for your baby’s skin. Ingredients like certified organic calendula and certified organic chamomile may help calm and soothe irritations.
Now there’s no reason you can’t keep playing in puddles and enjoying the outside this winter - just remember to follow a nourishing Winter skin care routine to keep your baby's skin soft and protected against the cold.
About the Author:
Michelle Vogrinec is a mother of three and creator of GAIA Natural Baby. An avid researcher with an interest in preventative health and sustainable living, she is passionate about the environment, complementary medicine and growing fresh, organic fruit and veggies to support her family in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Michelle aspires to empower others to follow their dreams, achieve their goals and live the life they desire.