Care for a lifetime – Super-soft baby skin
A tiny person catches a glimpse of light in the world and is embraced in loving arms. Gentle stroking and soothing are some of the first sensory impressions a baby experiences. Perception by the skin is there from the very beginning, while the other senses only gradually develop later. But the skin is not just a sensory organ, rather it performs many protective and otherwise vital tasks.
Silky soft and delightfully fragrant as it may be, baby skin is especially sensitive and its protective functions have yet to mature. It differs from adult skin in a number of important anatomical and physiological characteristics:
- The corneal layer of baby skin is about 30% thinner than that of adults, and does not pose as strong a barrier against germs and environmental influences. Baby skin therefore reacts more sensitively to touch, which is why sensory impressions via the skin are of especially great significance to babies.
- Babies have less-active sebaceous and sweat glands, which means fewer lipids are produced. Lower secretion from the sebaceous and sweat glands results in a relatively weak function of the hydrolipid film and protective acid mantel. The skin’s barrier function is therefore limited, and skin irritations can be caused more readily. Substances applied to the skin furthermore penetrate more easily into the deeper layers.
- The skin of babies contains fewer pigmenting substances and accordingly produces less melanin, meaning it is less protected against UV radiation.
- Also, the heat regulation of babies is limited, since the subcutaneous fatty tissue is not yet fully developed. Protection against the sun and cold is therefore a must for sensitive baby skin.
Children’s skin starts to resemble the structure and function of adult skin only from about 12 years of age.
The sensitive skin of infants therefore requires special care. Care products should support the skin’s undeveloped protective functions, and must not aggravate the skin or cause any irritation.
Care for sensitive baby skin
Because the skin’s natural protective mechanisms are still immature in babies, regular application of cream is important. Film-forming and rich creams protect the thin, permeable, dehydration-prone baby skin, and support the production of a more robust skin barrier.
Care products should be chosen carefully to match baby skin needs. Fewer, yet higher quality and natural ingredients are just the right thing for baby care products. Care can be taken to ensure the composition of the plant oils used resembles the composition of the skin’s natural hydrolipid layer. Instead of forming a sealing film, the proper care product integrates well into the skin’s natural protective film and still allows the delicate skin to breathe freely.
Irritable nappy region
The diaper or nappy region is an especially challenging area for sensitive baby skin. Modern nappies seal off the skin so tightly that heat and moisture accumulate unavoidably under the nappy. This presents ideal conditions for bacteria from urine and faeces to flourish and attack the baby skin. The problem is then made worse by mechanical abrasion of nappy on skin. The obvious outcome: nappy rash.
For mild skin irritations that only present as flaking and reddening, moisturizing ointments are the product of choice. If the skin starts to swell, or if it becomes severely reddened, then it is time to start using waterproofing and anti-inflammatory zinc pastes.
Zinc oxide, when worked into a nappy rash cream, forms a reliably protective, yet skin-tolerable film. Furthermore, given its slightly astringent properties, zinc counteracts inflammations and supports the healing process of irritated skin.
No more tears – gentle shampoos and wash gels
Babies love bath-time! The littlies will play and splash gleefully in the tub, right up until it is time to wash their hair. The fear of burning eyes runs deep. A diversity of mild and safe surfactants provide the opportunity to formulate gentle and pH-neutral baby wash products. With a “no tears” shampoo or wash gel, every baby has a completely carefree bath-time experience.
- G. N. Stamatas et al. (2010): Infant Skin Microstructure Assessed In Vivo Differs from Adult Skin in Organization and at the Cellular Level. PEDIATRIC DERMATOLOGY Bd. 27 Nr. 2, S.125-131.
Social Media Manager
Stories - Nature - Movement. These three words have the greatest meaning in my life.
As a passionate communicator, I am responsible for social media at IMPAG. In addition, I write various contents for our communication activities in the area of personal care. I love stories, constructive exchange, open discussions and teamwork. In my spare time you meet me and my family always in motion, be it biking, climbing and hiking in the mountains or surfing in the waves of the Atlantic.