Children’s skin is different. It’s more developed than babies’ skin, but not the same as adult skin. Skin cells are smaller in children and the epidermis is thinner, so that water and chemicals move through the skin more easily. Children are more sensitive to allergens and sunlight. They have dryness, rashes, and redness more often than adults, sometimes caused by viruses and microbes. And as every parent knows, children often injure their skin and get cuts and bruises. Kids’ skin requires special care.
How can you best take care of your child’s skin? First, keep it clean and moisturized. A gentle cleanser and natural moisturizer used daily are a great start. It’s a good idea to make daily skin care a habit from a young age. Children will be prepared to take care of their skin for the rest of their lives. Their skin will be in good health and ready for the skin issues that come with adolescence and adulthood.
In their beginning skin care routine, kids will want to use skin care products that are good for the world as well as for them. They care about animal cruelty-free ingredients and ingredients that come from nature. Sustainability is all about preserving the natural environment for future generations. Today’s kids are that future generation.
A good skin care routine for children has several parts. As mentioned, cleanliness is important and a gentle and mild natural shampoo and bodywash are essential. Good natural and hypoallergenic shampoos are hard to find, though. Many contain allergens such as fragrances, cocamidopropylbetaine, and phenoxyethanol. Some have sodium benzoate as the preservative, which can form benzene in the formula. If you find a good one without any of these problem ingredients, please let us know!
Following cleansing, kids’ skin can be dry, so following up with a natural moisturizer is recommended. Nuthatch Naturals Daily Soothing Lotion is an excellent natural moisturizer that is especially formulated for children. We made a moisturizer that is entirely free of fragrances and other allergenic ingredients. We wanted to make sure that our product can be trusted to be the best for children’s skin. Recent scientific research at Johnson & Johnson has shown that using a moisturizer after a bath measurably improves the condition of children’s skin.
For severe dry skin, a natural ointment can be used. This typically contains colloidal oatmeal, an ingredient long known to protect skin and relieve skin irritation and itching. Ointments are based on a waxy material that forms a moisture barrier on skin. Many natural ointments use beeswax, which is effective but an animal product. A product with beeswax is not suitable for vegans. There is also a small possibility that beeswax could cause an allergic reaction.
Kids should use a natural sunscreen every day, especially in the summer. There are only two sunscreen active ingredients that can be considered natural: zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Both are made from natural minerals, but require some chemical processing before they find their way into sunscreen. Zinc oxide is often used to protect and heal the skin and prevent bacterial infections, for example in diaper cream. Titanium dioxide is a better UV filter and allows close to transparent sunscreens if it is present as nanoparticles. Compared to chemical sunscreen actives such as oxybenzone and homosalate, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are much safer, but they aren’t perfect. However, kids have to use sunscreen to avoid sunburn and skin damage, which should outweigh concerns about ingredients. The best solution is to avoid sun exposure – but that doesn’t work for kids!
The elements of a sustainable skin care routine for kids are then:
- A natural hypoallergenic cleanser and shampoo
- Natural moisturizer – such as our Nuthatch Naturals Daily Soothing Lotion
- Natural ointment for severe dry skin and eczema
- Natural sunscreen
What do you use for your kids? What would you like to use but can’t find? Please respond to our survey and product giveaway at this link. We love to hear from our customers!