Do you buy into the trend of 'going natural' and use natural or organic cosmetics and products? Is it, in fact better for you, your Small Human(s) and the earth??
Recent studies have concluded that infant skin continues to develop during the first year of life. These finding have made us re-think the old notion that their skin is fully formed at birth. For example neither sebaceous (oil) or sweat glands are fully functioning at birth. Infant skin appears to have a thinner outer most layer of the skin, which provides a water-proof layer (epidermis) until well into their second year of life. The water-handling properties are not fully developed until the end of the first year and the babies skin contains more water and less amounts of natural moisturising factors (mixture of water soluble compounds which bind to water and hold onto it). Armed with these new finding we are in a better position not only to understand infant dermatological conditions but also to design better skin care products respecting the unique qualities of infant skin. Mature skin functions as a protective barrier against dryness and other environmental challenges. At what age this functional maturity is reached is as yet unclear.
Natural Works better: Although some unnatural products seem to work better in the beginning, in the long term those ingredients could actually be ageing and cause skin damage. Many natural products work better because they don't contain unnecessary fillers and irritants.
Better for you: Parabens, which are used as a preservative in cosmetics, are estrogenic, meaning they mimic the function of the naturally occurring hormone, estrogen. And have been linked to endocrine disruption. Sulfates are worrying because they break down proteins, which can have a degeneration effect on cell membranes. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) when applied to the skin strips the oil and leaves it dry and irritated.
Other ingredients to avoid: Phthalates; Mineral Oil; Phenoxyethanol; Petroleum.
Better for the environment: Products made from chemicals can have a very negative affect on the environment. Most Natural and Organic Cosmetic Companies take much care to source ingredients that are sustainable and have manufacturing practices that are gentle to the earth. With ingredients that are sustainably harvested and by ethical means, gives us (and our clients) peace of mind. PS. Beware of cleaver marketing. Not all products that label themselves as 'natural' are indeed Natural!
Save your nose: Many artificial fragrances in unnatural products are added to hide the smell of chemicals used in the formulation. Adding fragrances can often sensitize the skin and cause ageing and skin irritation. Generally speaking fragrance is not good for baby's skin due to the increased permeability and therefore more risk of sensitivity and allergic reactions. Natural products smell like their ingredients.