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Oh Baby

by Celia Shatzman

Baby-soft skin is a phrase that embodies the beauty standard. But the truth is, babies’ skin is even more sensitive and delicate than adults’. “Their skin is more likely to become irritated when using harsh cleaners or products with added perfumes or fragrances,” says Rachel Nazarian, MD, dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in N.Y. “Products designed for babies generally take this into consideration and minimize known irritants.”

Luckily, organic brands are launching skincare specifically for their youngest customers. Uma recently introduced Perfectly Pure Soothing Baby Oil ($75, umaoils.com), an Ayurvedic formula that enriches skin while calming inflammation and redness, with rose, geranium and sandalwood. And Promise Organic (promiseorganic.com) launched an entire range. “My favorite is Promise Organic Baby Coconut Butter 2-in-1 Wash ($7.99, cvs.com),” says Dr. Nazarian. “Products that moisturize skin while they gently cleanse are best. Promise Organic is also NSF/ANSI-certified organic, and is made with safety in mind.”

Parents should take extra precaution when caring for sensitive infant skin. “Use products that are designated for infants, and that clearly state they are free of added harsh surfactants or perfumes,” suggests Dr. Nazarian. “And you don’t need to wash your baby daily—two to three times weekly is plenty!” Other common mistakes new parents make? Cleaning their babies for too long with harsh cleansers and using products that are meant for adult skin, including shampoo or body lotions.

While you don’t want to use your grown-up products on your little one, baby products can be great for adult skin. “Although adult skin is less likely to become as irritated with harsher products, it still happens quite often,” says Dr. Nazarian. “All skin is meant to be cleansed gently, and even adults have the habit of overcleansing. Products designed for babies are also quite effective on adult skin and I would encourage the use of baby moisturizers and sunscreens in adults. Ultimately, skin is skin. Good skincare habits have no age limit.”

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