Information on the skin
Smooth as a baby’s bottom is a well known idiom to describe how soft and precious the skin of an infant can look and feel. This is because the skin is new and delicate. It can be up to 30% thinner than the skin of an adult, and more susceptible to bacteria, viruses and UV damage. The immunity and health of an infant increases as it develops. The skin is incredibly important which is why we need to understand the skin, how to protect our babies skin, and how to keep it healthy.
Skin regulates body temperature, absorbs and excretes through sweat, and protects the body. The skin is porous and excretes toxins and minerals, and absorbs substances used on the body. Lotions on the skin are absorbed through the epidermis, hair follicle and glands. The skin controls body temperature through the opening and closing of glands. In heat the glands open to release sweat and in cooler temperatures, the glands constrict to maintain body temperature. babies skin is extremely thin, protected by fetal fat and has no protective barrier. They absorb and lose water easier. As they age their sebaceous glands and sweat glands start to mature.
Due to nappies and excretions being in contact with babies skin for long periods of time, rashes and allergies can occur because the babies skin is delicate and the skin requires an extra layer of protection. This is why it’s important to understand what products are being applied and what is in those products. Alcohol was a common preservative used in baby care that is known under labels such as ethanol and isopropanol. Because alcohol kills bacteria it can be too harsh, leading to dry skin, allergies and hormone imbalances. And with more awareness around alcohol and its effects as a preservative, alcohol is used less within infant product care.
Moisturising is vital to an infant’s skin health – it is recommended to moisturise the infant before nine months, depending on the child’s gestation that will be recommended by the doctor at birth. Using only water based wipes for cleaning will dry the skin quickly. Choose a thick, non-fragranced and hypoallergenic moisturiser so it does not affect the skin barrier. This aids against skin conditions such as eczema and rashes, that can be caused and worsened by using products that contain chemicals and preservatives (dependent on the infant’s skin type, health and genetics).
water-based wipes for cleaning is not enough because the skin is seeking moisturiser.
Baby wipes, also known as water wipes, are an integral part of parenting. They are designed to gently clean and mostly consist of water, vitamins and preservatives. Some preservatives cause allergies and can worsen skin rashes because they help dry out the skin (link). Noticing a gap in the market for a gentle and pure baby wipe is what shaped the Terra brand – avoiding nasty chemicals and preservatives in favor of carefully selected ingredients that are organic, natural and nourishing. Terra water wipes have moisturising components in them such as aloe vera and vitamin E that are beneficial to an infant’s skin, compared to plain water wipes. These are blended with 100% biodegradable bamboo fibre to provide a gentle and sensitive cleanse.
Gentle on your skin – and the planet.