Myth busted: you're never too young to start skincare
While some ingredients are too potent or irritating for young skin, all skin can do with a little bit of TLC from soothing, nurturing skincare products.
Many of us start thinking about skincare in our teens and early 20s — there are few skincare addicts that wish they hadn't started earlier.
We're far from parenting experts, but we know one thing for sure: instilling good habits from a young age sets people up for success in the long run.
Don't start slathering your baby in anti-wrinkle retinoids, though — for newborn infants, it's as simple as keeping them out of the sun, preventing nappy rash and soothing away windburn, rashes, chafing and minor skin irritations.
There's strong evidence that sun exposure and sunburns during childhood increase the risk of developing skin cancer, and infant skin is particularly vulnerable to sun damage.
How can I protect my infant's skin?
In the first 6 months, keep your baby's skin protected by shielding them from the sun instead of using sunscreen as their skin is too thin and delicate and they may experience irritation from sunscreen ingredients. Shade is your friend! Create coverage with clothing and stay out of direct and indirect sunlight to prevent your baby from suffering heatstroke and sunburn.
Once your baby reaches 6 months, it's okay to start applying sunscreen — but don't rely on sunscreen alone! Continue to cover them with a hat and protective clothing, and stay out of the sun. When shopping for sunscreen, choose a broad spectrum sunscreen. Look for sunscreens with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, as these ingredients sit on the skin and are unlikely to cause irritation.
Why doesn't my baby have baby soft skin?
You'd expect baby skin to be naturally soft and smooth, but in reality, infants often have dry, flaky and sensitive skin.
Our first tip: don't bathe your infant daily! A few times a week is plenty — after all, your baby isn't hitting the gym or going to work. Clean the diaper area as often as necessary, but frequent bathing will dry out the skin and remove oils that protect against infection and irritants. Choose gentle products for bath time, like tear-free formulas with soothing natural ingredients.
How can I protect my toddler's skin?
You don't need us to tell you that toddlers are rambunctious! Give them an active role in skincare so that skincare and sun protection becomes a game rather than a chore.
Many sunscreens for children come in colourful or character-themed bottles — just make sure you're purchasing a broad-spectrum sunscreen and reapply every two hours, especially as sunscreen gets rubbed off easily when kids are active!
Soothe toddler skin after play and sun exposure with a probiotic-rich body lotion that is easy to apply and won't leave sticky residue. Apply lotion in dots or 'squiggly snakes' on your toddler's skin and ask your toddler for help rubbing them away. Your child will be on the way to good skincare habits in no time.