skin care according to age: babies
The baby skin is much thinner than that of adults, resulting in an increased permeability and a diminished protection against various harmful substances.
The skin glands have not reached their full activity potential, and the hydrolipid film (emulsion of water, sweat, lipids and horny cells on the skin surface) is not fully developed. Furthermore, the thin epidermis facilitates the penetration of substances. Therefore, baby skin is highly sensitive to chemical, physical or microbial damage.
When applying topical medications, it has to be taken into account that babies have a high body surface to volume ratio (proportionately more skin for their body size as compared to adults). This results in “higher doses” of topical medications for their size.
Baby skin, with the exception of the napkin area, does not require as much cleansing as adult skin, as less sebum and sweat are produced. Only mild, acidic (pH 4 - 6) skin cleansing products should be applied.
Fragrance-free mild cleansing lotions with moisturising additives are recommended, as well as oils without additional surfactants for very dry skin. As the effect of oil bathes is dimished through the subsequent rubbing dry, it is recommended to use oil after the bath on the already dry skin.
Skin care products for babies should be free of irritants or frequent allergens.
Moisturising is primarily necessary in frequently cleansed skin parts, particularly in the napkin area. Water in oil-emulsions (mixtures with more oil/ lipids than water) or pastes are recommended for this area, with additives such as zinc and panthenol, if appropriate. A pH of 4 - 6 is recommended for all skin care products.
The application of skin care products in other body areas should depend on the baby's skin properties. In dry skin, the use of oil in water-emulsions (mixtures with more water than oil/ lipids) and water in oil-emulsions (mixtures with more oil/ lipids than water) is recommended. In warm climates, high in-door temperatures and with warm clothing, the use of oil in water-emulsions (mixtures with more water than oil/ lipids) is recommended to prevent an accumulation of heat and subsequent skin irritation and itching.
Babies should generally not be exposed to UV radiation, so there is no need for sunscreens. If applied, sunscreen lotions should be free of fragrances and preservatives, and contain physical sunscreens (micropigment) instead of chemical filters.