Baby lotion is a very popular product, but with so many brands available on the market today, how can a parent distinguish the superiority of one over another?
The Purpose of Baby Lotion
For centuries, civilizations have survived without the household name of Johnson & Johnson, yet most baby registries will include a request for some form of lotion. Great debates have hailed throughout the parenting and medical communities regarding the necessity and hazards of lotion products, but regardless of the concerns and hypes, most parents enjoy making the lotion process a fun addition to the bath routine. Moreover, babies experience skin dryness just like adults, and although this dryness is normally harmless, it is easily avoided through the regular use of lotion.
Baby lotion is formulated to compliment the pH factor of an infant's skin which is different from adults' skin. According to Mamashealth.com, there is legitimate science behind the specialized formula of lotion for babies because the first twenty-four months of a child's life are marked by changes in skin texture. These changes are the result of still-forming sebaceous and hair follicles. A baby's sensitive skin is very prone to rashes, breakouts, and eczema, so pediatricians always recommend the usage of specialized baby products which are formulated without common allergens and harsher ingredients.
You will note that most baby shampoos are advertised as being "tearless". The tearless quality comes from the fact that these shampoos do not contain the harsher detergents found in adult shampoos. Detergents such as sodium laurel sulfate are already known irritants for adults, so it's no wonder such ingredients are omitted from most baby shampoos and cleansers.
Less Chemicals, Higher Prices?
Popular brands of baby lotion include Aveeno, Johnson & Johnson, Jergens, Mustela, and the list goes on and on. However, many parents are becoming more ecologically conscious as the market is flooded with information regarding environmentally friendly and organic products. This awareness has filtered its way into the health and beauty departments of many stores, which is why more natural brands like Burt's Bees, California Baby, and Little Twig are becoming popular items in baby's hygiene repertoire.
Oftentimes the problem with more natural brands is that they are significantly more expensive than the mainstream items. Whereas a bottle of Johnson & Johnson baby lotion can be obtained for less than six US dollars, a bottle of Little Twig's lotion formula is often more than twice the price. Households with lower incomes will have a difficult time meeting the steep price demands of many natural product lines.
California Baby is rapidly becoming a household name, and although the prices of these hypoallergenic and naturally-derived baby products rival Little Twig in the cost department, many parents find themselves gravitating to such brands after abysmal failures with more mainstream labels. A lotion can often cause the same problems it serves to cure. Hence parents seeking less allergenic ingredients will often enjoy the non-chemically-derived fragrances of natural products that employ aromatherapy essential oils over harsh perfumes.
What harmful ingredients are lurking in many mainstream lotion formulations? Littleforest.com features an article that will introduce readers to a few of the common offenders. Another essay available at Natural News will alert parents to the adverse effects of propylene glycol, a common ingredient in several baby products such as lotions and baby wipes.
Is Natural Always Better?
Removing the artificial fragrances and preservatives from your baby's toiletries doesn't necessary promise smooth sailing for all parents. Some babies are actually allergic to the aromatherapy essential oils that are added to certain brands of organic baby lotions. In cases of severe allergies where neither mainstream or organic/natural lotion formulas mitigate the situation, parents may need to employ almond or jojoba oil treatments to sooth their infant's dry skin. However, if your baby's skin isn't really dry to begin with, you might be better off skipping the supplemental moisturizing agents altogether.