Did you know skin is your body’s largest organ? Your skin protects your body from external factors such as bacteria, chemicals and temperature. However, if you have sensitive skin, your skin barrier can be compromised and it leads to dryness, itching and general discomfort. And you know what’s more frustrating? If your baby suffers from it too. Sensitive skin can be an awful experience for young babies who cannot verbalise their discomfort. Find out how to care for your baby’s and your own sensitive skin.
What Exactly is Sensitive Skin?
Sensitive skin is not a disease or serious condition. It just means that your skin is more prone to reactions such as redness and itching. People with sensitive skin may experience occasional or frequent itching, burning and stinging patches of skin1.
When it concerns your baby, it may be a bit trickier to identify sensitive skin as their skin is more sensitive than that of older children and adults. If your baby has some heat rash or the odd patch of dry skin, it isn’t necessarily sensitive skin. In fact, most babies will develop rashes, dry skin, or other skin conditions in their first few months2. However, if you notice that your baby develops dry skin or rash after contact with certain substances, it’s more likely to be a case of sensitive skin. Some of these substances include soap, lotion, or fabric with dyes or detergents2.
How Does Sensitive Skin Affect You and Your Baby?
Sensitive skin is uncomfortable, period. In addition, if it gets bad it can look rather unsightly. If you have sensitive skin, you are likely to experience excessive dryness and itching. But that’s not all. Your skin’s protective barrier may be damaged, leading to rough, flaky patches, a wrinkled texture, redness, swelling, peeling and even open sores. Not only do you have to deal with the physical discomfort, but you may also feel insecure about wearing clothes that reveal the affected areas.
It’s even worse for your baby. While nothing comes close to the joy of watching your baby smiling and laughing, nothing upsets you more than seeing your baby crying in the pain and discomfort that sensitive skin can cause. Babies can’t verbalise what they are experiencing so crying is the only way they can express how they feel.
The good news is you can manage your baby’s and your sensitive skin. You can relieve itch and provide soothing relief for your skin by taking certain steps.
Managing Sensitive Skin
Shorter Showers and Baths
Did you know that water slowly strips your skin of its natural oils? This makes your skin more likely to be dry, tight or cracked. As much as you love that luxurious, long bath or hot shower, it can exacerbate your sensitive skin. Instead of taking long, hot showers, take short, warm ones3. The same applies to your baby. In fact, until your baby crawls, you don’t even have to bathe them every day. You can use a washcloth to regularly clean their diaper area, mouth and wherever skin folds are4.
Choose Clothing Carefully
Fabrics such as wool are rough and can cause skin irritation or even an allergic rash. This is because of Lanolin, a natural wax found in wool. Soft fabrics such as cotton and silk are ideal if you or your baby has sensitive skin3.
Be Careful of Sun Exposure
While some sun exposure is healthy, too much can damage your skin. Always use sunscreen and avoid prolonged sun exposure. If your baby is under 6 months of age, it’s advisable to stay out of direct sunlight as much as possible. After this period, you can start using sunscreen, but choose sunscreens with titanium or zinc oxide, which will not irritate your baby’s skin4. And also, for both you and your baby, always protect your sensitive skin from sun exposure by wearing sun-protective clothing like lightweight, long-sleeved pants and a hat.
Use a Fragrance-Free, Gentle Moisturiser
Moisturising is an effective way to soothe dry skin and relieve itch, but fragranced moisturisers are a no-go for sensitive skin. If you or your baby have sensitive skin, it’s imperative to use moisturisers made of gentle ingredients and that are fragrance free. It’s important to remember that ‘unscented’ does not necessarily mean ‘fragrance free’, and unscented products may still contain fragrances that irritate the skin4.
Aveeno – Gentle and Natural
Aveeno is the go-to brand for sensitive skin. Aveeno’s moisturisers are gentle, natural and fragrance-free products using oats. Why oats though? Did you know that the Food and Drug Adminsitration (FDA) officially categorised colloidal oatmeal as a skin protectant in 2003? Colloidal oatmeal is made by grinding oats into a fine powder and is considered an emollient. Emollients pack fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that benefit the skin and help to soften and smoothen it. That’s why colloidal oatmeal has been used for centuries to treat itchy, dry, and irritated skin! It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties that benefit your skin.
So now you know why Aveeno moisturisers offer long-lasting protection that restores moisture lost from the skin as well as soothes and relieves dryness.
Aveeno Skin Relief Lotion
Clinically proven to be suitable for sensitive skin, it soothes dry, itchy and sensitive skin in adults and relieves itch in just 60 seconds*! In addition, it provides 72 hours of long-lasting hydration**. The key ingredient is the Triple Oat Complex:
- Oat oil that promotes natural ceramide production for stronger skin barrier
- Oat flour that binds water together to form a film to keep moisture in
- Oat extract that soothes and calms itchy skin
Available at Watsons, Guardian, Lazada and Shopee.
Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Moisture Cream
Made with prebiotic oats, it soothes and relieves your baby’s dry and itchy skin right from the first use^. It helps to strengthen and restore the skin’s natural barrier. Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Moisture Cream is designed to be microbiome friendly, gentle on the skin and is pH-balanced. Moreover, it is hypoallergenic, contains no added fragrances that won’t irritate your baby’s skin. Available at Watsons, Guardian, Lazada and Shopee.
Keep Sensitive Skin Under Control
While sensitive skin can feel uncomfortable, it can be controlled. Follow these tips and moisturize diligently. If you or your baby has sensitive skin, don’t be discouraged! It is a common condition that can be managed easily.
*Based on self-assessment conducted on 98 subjects
**After 4 weeks of continuous use
^When used together with Aveeno Soothing Relief Foaming Wash & Shampoo and Hydrating Facial Gel