With rows and rows of brands available under the organic sections in most supermarkets and departmental around the island, how does anyone really make up his/her mind which product is better than the last? Besides, another question looms – exactly how much of the claimed organic products actually really are organic?
TheAsianparent found a Singaporean-run organic product website and we spoke to the founder, Elaine Dunstone, who is currently based in Australia with her husband and son. Essentia Organics caters to the whole family but certain products are highlighted for mothers-to-be and babies.
TheAsianparent (TAP): What is the importance of caring for skin in children?
Elaine Dunstone (E.D): We believe in 360 degree healthful living for the whole family. This includes the things that have a major impact on our health – eating, breathing, diet, exercise, and skincare. These things are important for people of any age, but for young children who are still developing at an amazing rate it is even more critical to give their little bodies the freedom to do this. Now some might think skincare is secondary to a lot of other things when it comes to health but this is far from the truth.
To understand this you need to be familiar with some of the basic functions of the skin.
Your child’s skin is sometimes overlooked for its role in keeping your child’s body healthy. It protects from various environmental factors such as bacteria and the sun, and it allows perspiration to take place during which the body can free itself from toxins. The skin is also a great way of feeding the body through skincare due to its propensity to quickly absorb like a big sponge.
So why is it important to look after skin in children? We eat certain foods to try to keep our organs healthy and strong. Omega 3 for the brain. Magnesium for the heart. So in the same way we need to feed our child’s skin with products that will make their skin healthy and strong.
TAP : Why do babies need skin care products?
E.D: There are a lot of skin care products out there for babies and toddlers – washes, conditioners, shampoos, oils upon oils, lotions, moisturisers… how stressful it can be! How much of that stuff do we actually need?
From a mother’s experience, you don’t need to go the full slog. Shampoos and conditioners should be the first to go. To wash your baby you really only need a good head to toe wash. You will need a nappy rash cream and maybe a powder to keep baby dry – just make sure it does not contain talc! When dealing with extra dry skin, cradle cap or skin disorders such as dermatitis and eczema, you may need a good oil which is gentle on the skin but able to assist in relieving the symptoms. For newborn babies this should be unscented as their skin is extra delicate at this stage. You may also like to keep a lotion handy which will help baby’s skin stay moisturised and nourished.
TAP: Organic products – how do they really help the skin of babies and children?
E.D: The skin can be a tool for good or for bad depending on what you decide to do with it. Because of this it is very important to find the right skincare product for your baby or child. When you want the best for your child, you want to at least make sure you are using organic baby skincare ranges. Organic means that the majority of ingredients used to make the product are free from contact with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and it also means sustainable agriculture. When my child grows up I want to know that I am giving him the best change to live in a world that can sustain his generation and future generations past that.
When you apply non-organic products, often a large portion of it will be made from petroleum by-products as they are cheap to buy. This of course clogs up the skin and prevents it from breathing properly which may cause skin and health problems.
TAP: Is there a difference in adult regimes of looking after the skin in comparison with the regimes babies and children should have?
E.D: The rituals you go through are different due to different stages that the skin go through, for example you would not exfoliate a babies skin but the end result is the same, to protect the skin and keep it healthy.
TAP: How does your family help you with the business?
E.D: Having a child has been a wonderful experience, but it is not without its times of struggle. Our baby suffered with eczema very early on as well as severe cradle cap. With careful skincare routines we were able to free him of both conditions but it took a lot of trial and error to find products that were really effective. All mothers will go through similar struggles and as parents we fully know and understand this. Being a family business going through the same things as our customers, we think this keeps us down to earth. We also don’t want to abuse their trust. I believe that having a baby is the motivating factor in our business; we want to share what we have found with others that are still struggling with bad skin with their child.
TAP: What is the common misconception about baby products?
E.D: I feel that Singaporeans often follow brands that give us assurance and believe what we see through regular advertising messages. My best advice to mothers who are looking out for quality products is to check the ingredient listing. If you don’t know what half the chemicals out there on the list are, it’s a safer to stick to the natural ones. Even the term organic is now abused. A lot of mothers may already buy products simply because it has the word “organic” on it, but this is often misleading and not always the best marker to tell the quality of ingredients and healthfulness of an overall product.
TAP: In your opinion, how do you perceive the market for organic products in Singapore?
E.D: The Organic market is thriving here in Singapore; there is definitely room for better quality products that are not just organic but contain 100% natural ingredients as well. People are still in the learning process of getting to know the benefits of organic products and the market has room to grow. It will be a good few years before the awareness levels develop further, but the earlier one knows, the better it is for their health.
To find out more information Visit Essentia Organics!
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