Learn the importance of natural skin care for babies in this interview with Melinda from Earth Mama Organics. Plus find out which natural & organic baby products you should keep on hand (as well as the baby care products you can skip altogether.)
Thank you to Earth Mama Organics for sponsoring this post.
When a new baby comes into the world, it is tempting to want to buy ALL.THE.STUFF for that cute little bundle of joy. I totally understand the temptation, given the abundance of stylish baby gear and adorable baby gifts available these days.
But the truth is, a little baby really doesn’t NEED very many of those things. What a newborn needs is lots of love, a safe and caring environment, and a handful of products to ensure they stay protected and healthy.
The Importance of Natural Skin Care for Babies
Skin care is one of those areas where the temptation is high. Go in any gift shop and you’ll find lotions and potions for babies in pretty pastel colors, scented with special “baby” fragrances, and all wrapped up in fancy packages.
The problem is, most of those skin care products are made with questionable ingredients that could cause harm to baby – from allergic reactions to hormonal disruption – and some common ingredients even have links to cancer. No one would knowingly expose their baby to harmful ingredients, but the problem is most people don’t even know about this issue!
Laws regulating ingredients used in personal care products are woefully inadequate and as a result very few are banned or regulated in any way. Better laws are needed for sure – but in the meantime it’s up to us to play detective while we’re out shopping for baby gifts. Or better yet, find a company we can TRUST to make safe and effective baby care products, so we don’t have to worry!
Interview with Earth Mama Founder, Melinda Olson
To help us understand more about natural & non-toxic baby care products, I turned to Melinda Olson, the founder of Earth Mama Organics. I’ve been a fan of Earth Mama for many years and have personally met Melinda and others in her values-driven company.
Melinda explains which types of products are truly necessary for baby’s skin (as well as what we can skip), and shares a bit about the strict ingredient choices Earth Mama makes to ensure their products are safe and effective for babies.
On to the interview…..
Q: Which products are commonly purchased for babies, but are unnecessary?
A: In our opinion, less is more — that goes for baby skin care products AND their ingredients list. Because let’s be honest: infants don’t really need baby powder and bubble bath. In fact, the more their wonderfully fresh skin is exposed to, the higher the risk of allergic reaction or contact dermatitis.
We often hear from parents who are struggling to figure out why their little one has a rash, and our advice is always the same: stop all skin care products completely and bathe them in warm water for a while to see if the rash goes away. Then start adding one thing at a time back in so you can hopefully determine what’s causing the problem. Because think about it: you’d rather be spending more time snuggling your baby than doing anything else (OK, taking pictures of your little cutiehead is a close second). All the baby really needs? You.
Q: Why do you suggest an all-purpose baby wash, instead of bubble bath and shampoo?
A: We prefer castile soap as an all-purpose baby wash, until the hair gets longer, and here’s why: A detergent is a synthetic blend of a surfactant (to make it foam) an emulsifier (to keep ingredients blended) and a preservative (to keep it from growing yeast, mold and bacteria). True (castile) soap doesn’t need all that extra stuff — it’s a saponified blend of acids and base that naturally creates foam.
In the end, it’s all about the ingredients — and if you have questions about what you’re reading on the ingredient label, always look up ingredients you don’t know on the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.
Also, castile soap has a bonus: mix it with baking soda and scrub your tub with it (and most of your house!) too, so you won’t have to worry about your kid sitting in (or drinking) any potentially toxic cleaning chemicals.
Q: What are the ingredients you see in conventional baby products that Earth Mama always avoids?
A: We always avoid artificial fragrance. The term “fragrance” on a product label is like a nesting doll; it’s a multi-faceted ingredient that can legally hide thousands of chemicals – from parabens to phthalates to artificial preservatives. And there’s no way to know which of over 3,000 different chemicals are nesting in there.
Did you know that even “unscented” products can have fragrance chemicals to help mask its natural smell? Yep. Some people are sensitive to all scents, natural or not, but what many people don’t realize is that they may actually be sensitive to something quite different. Since the ingredient called fragrance can contain so many different chemicals, and manufacturers are not required to list them on the label, you have no way of knowing what’s irritating you.
It’s always useful to look closely at any product — for your baby, or yourself, or anyone in your family — with a critical eye. Try and decipher what’s simply marketing language, and compare that language with the ingredient list. Is the product all talk? For example, if a product claims it’s “natural” (a word that’s not regulated, and doesn’t mean much), flip it over and make sure the ingredients are walking the walk, too.
Q: What are the key ingredients you DO use that help a baby’s skin?
A: All of Earth Mama Organics’ products are based on traditional, age-old herbal remedies, but crafted through the lens of today’s scientific, evidence-based research. The result are products intended to offer safe herbal relief to the world’s most vulnerable population — pregnant women and their babies — yet do no harm.
A couple of ingredients that are most near and dear to our heart are calendula and lavender. Calendula is an herb with beautiful orange flowers that has been used for medicinal purposes for ages. Calendula works to soothe skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis and has wound healing and antiseptic properties as well. Calendula is a star ingredient in all of our baby skin care products.
Lavender is one of nature’s most beloved herbs – not only for its pretty purple flowers but also for its antiseptic, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory properties and its calming attributes. Clinical studies have shown that the aroma of lavender can help improve relaxation in both babies and moms. Lavender is one of the safest essential oils and you’ll find it in our Calming Lavender Baby Wash and Baby Lotion.
Natural Baby Products from Earth Mama Organics
We’re far beyond the baby stage at my house but Earth Mama is my go-to brand for baby shower gifts! Here’s why I love them so much:
- Natural, plant-powered products with certified organic ingredients used whenever they are available.
- Products are either unscented or are minimally scented with essential oils only. (The Sweet Orange scent is to die for!)
- All products rated a 1 on the EWG Skin Deep database
- They stick to the basics – 5 products plus sunscreen as needed.
- Everything is beautifully packaged – this set of travel sized baby products is perfect for gift-giving!
- They are dedicated to helping moms through pregnancy, birth and beyond by offering an online birth plan and postpartum lying in plan and a super helpful blog!
Here’s a rundown on the Earth Mama Organics baby skin care line:
Baby Oil – Earth Mama’s Calendula Baby Oil is a simple blend of nourishing oils and calendula extract. Perfect for baby massage and can also be used on baby’s scalp.
Face Balm – Earth Mama’s Baby Face Nose & Cheek Balm is a certified organic alternative to petroleum jelly and works wonders on dry cheeks and red noses.
Diaper Balm – Battle diaper rash with Earth Mama’s Organic Diaper Balm – it is made from a blend of natural oils and butters as well as soothing calendula – and is of course perfectly safe to use on baby’s sensitive areas – unlike many traditional diaper balms.
Do you have a favorite natural baby skin care product?