The skincare industry aimed at babies is absolutely booming, with millions upon millions of products being sold every single day. As a Mum of two small children, I’m more than aware how tricky it is to navigate among all the marketing jargon and to decide which nappy cream, body lotion or bath wash to choose for our little ones.
How do YOU normally decide which product to buy for your children? Do you only read the labels describing the product, or do you also check out the ingredient lists?
I personally didn’t use to know much when my Leo was born in 2011. I was definitely one of those parents who wanted to buy the best for my child but didn’t have the knowledge or skills to understand the technicalities behind skincare formulations. So what I did was what most parents do – I bought one of the most popular baby oils because that’s what I saw on TV, what’s what most of my friends used and that’s what mothers have used for years and years before me… How naive was I to be tricked into buying a product that was developed from leftovers of the petroleum industry? Are you surprised to hear this? Yes, that baby oil that might be standing on your bathroom shelf is made from what is also known as mineral oil and it’s a cheap oil essentially derived from fuel. And yes, it’s flammable! But I guess brands don’t tell us that during their flashy adverts, do they?
And then there are the nappy creams. Another huge minefield. Most of them have ingredient lists as long as my arm and many of them can irritate babies’ sensitive skin and lead to conditions such as eczema and some are known hormone disruptors. Unfortunately, skincare industry isn’t regulated so it’s perfectly ok for brands to add whatever they like into their products. You’d think the industry should be regulated, right? Especially for skincare aimed at babies/ children and with all the claims that you see on labels: “dermatologically tested” or – my personal favourite – “clinically proven”. Sadly, these are just words used as part of marketing campaigns. You can read more in my post My six golden rules for deciphering skincare ingredient labels and lists.
So if you find it confusing to decide which baby product to buy, please educate yourself about smaller, lesser known natural and organic skincare brands that do make some lovely products aimed at babies’ and children’s sensitive skin. Or why not make your own products for your baby?
In this post, I share with you a recipe for a very simple multi-purpose baby butter. I use one of the ingredients, plain raw shea butter directly on my little Max’s bum to treat any redness as well as all over Leo to hydrate his eczema-prone skin, but I do love to mix things up a bit with other skin-nourishing ingredients.
How multi-purpose really is this baby butter?
Although I intended this balm for my baby’s delicate bum and to prevent nappy rash, there’s so many different ways to use this gorgeously gentle balm. You can double the ingredients to make a bigger batch and simply use it as body butter to moisturise all over your baby’s skin (so much better than that nasty ‘baby oil’!). It’s also perfect for those dry red cheeks or chins when your baby is teething and dribbling, dry elbows, knees or feet, and even to soothe insect bites. And let’s not forget Mummy’s chapped lips or dry hands from all the hand washing (is it just me?).
Recipe for natural & organic multi-purpose baby butter
I’ve chosen the following ingredients because of their properties:
- Shea butter – it naturally contains vitamin A (important for improving skin conditions, such as eczema and dermatitis) and vitamin E (an anti-ageing ingredient protecting our skin); it can also be used to treat burns, cuts and small skin wounds – therefore it’s perfect in a nappy rash cream!
- Flaxseed (linseed) oil – very high in omega-3, it enhances skin condition, hydration and smoothness, and accelerates skin healing so ideal for nourishing dry and damaged, as well as eczema-prone skin.
- Vitamin E – a natural antioxidant that protects the skin from free radical damage so it’s particularly beneficial for those with dry skin; it also helps rejuvenate, revitalise and moisturise skin (and hair).
- 60ml glass jar
- “Double boiler” (i.e. heatproof bowl over a pan of hot water)
- Measuring spoons/ kitchen scales
- Mixing spoon
- Melt shea butter in the double boiler over gentle heat – don’t let it boil, otherwise it’ll lose its wonderful properties!
- Add flaxseed oil and mix well.
- Transfer the mixture to your container and let it cool down for a few minutes.
- When cooled down, add Vitamin E and give it a final stir.
- Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
- Apply a pea-sized amount directly on your baby’s bum to soothe their nappy rash or anywhere on their body to moisturise the skin from within.
A helpful tip!
Spritz your baby’s bum/ skin with thermal water first to help the balm better absorb into skin. Or simply ensure it’s still slightly damp after showering or bathing.