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Skin care for babies, children and teens.

Good skin care isn't just for adults. Infants, young children and teens can all benefit from holistic skin care--perhaps even more than grownups. From diaper rash to chicken pox itches to ache, children experience a whole host of skin issues all their own. And usually the products available to treat these skin irritations are filled with chemicals. Most new parents are nervous about even holding their baby at first, for fear of breaking, maiming, or generally not understanding what the heck they are doing. So, it's only natural that holistically oriented parents might also be extremely nervous about putting creams, lotions and potions on their babies and children--especially if they can't pronounce the ingredients.

(To all of my readers, with child or not, a good general consumption rule of thumb is to never buy, eat, or apply something that contains an ingredient you can't pronounce.)

So, what's a parent to do? Most conventional skin care products contain all kinds of skin sensitizing agents--sulphates, artificial additives, alcohol, fragrances, food colorings and mineral and peanut oils. None of these ingredients are good for anyone, but especially not hypersensitive babies and children. The trick is to purchase or make your own high quality, natural products. While there are several excellent small businesses that offer skin care products for babies and children, making products yourself is more fun and it allows you to tailor each concoction to your child.

Let's start with infants. Probably the simplest skin care time is in infancy, because babies are not typically out playing in the dirt, scraping their knees or battling the ache caused by raging hormones. However, little bundles do require some special care.


Babies don't really get that dirty, unless they are learning to roll and crawl in the mud, so a short soak in tepid (never, ever hot!) water will probably do the trick. However, a small mount of bath oil will help a dry skinned baby.

1. Mix one-half cup of sweet almond oil with the contents of a Vitamin E capsule.

2. Add a teaspoon of calendula oil to the mixture and stir until blended. Store in a sterilized container.

3. When needed, pour two tablespoons in baby's bath and disperse. When finished bathing, gently massage oil remaining on baby into the skin.


Diaper rash is uncomfortable. For parents and for baby, this skin condition is most often caused by moist heat and friction. Keeping these kinds Of irritants away by using well-fitting and frequently changed diapers will help, but most babies will have a case of diaper rash at least a few times. After each change, try using this simple cream to help provide a moisture barrier and conditioning, soothing treatment in one.

1. Over a double-boiler, gently melt cocoa butter until you have one cup of liquid.

2. In a separate container, mix three tablespoons of jojoba oil with two drops of chamomile essential oil.

3. Add the scented mixture to the melted cocoa butter and stir well.

4. Remove from heat and pour mixture into a sterilized container. Allow mixture to cool and harden before putting a lid on the container.

On to younger children. I remember chicken pox and other itchy bites and scratches as being my worst skin foe as a child. (I think my mother would disagree and name my several deep, stitch-requiring cuts, but I always saw those as battle scars, not itchy nuisances.)


Could this be easier? This bath works for any kind of itch-chicken pox, bug bites, even peeling sunburn. Adding herbs for scent and/or therapeutic benefits is optional. (Chamomile flowers and lavender buds are my favorite sensitive skin standby.)

1. Put oatmeal into a muslin teabag.

2. Add herbs to the bag if you like.

3. Allow bag to soak in a tepid water-rifted tub for about five minutes. Hop in.


Relieving itchy bug bites is essential to avoid introducing infection through torn skin. Like many young children, I am also a scratcher. I cannot stand having an itch and not nearly rubbing it raw. Keeping this special "bug juice" on hand helps to relieve even the worst case of the itchies.

1. Mix one ounce of witch hazel with four drops of tea tree oil.

2. Add four drops of lavender, chamomile OR orange essential oil to mixture.

3. Pour liquid into a sterilized glass container and shake until well mixed.

4. Apply "juice" to bites or itchy spots with a clean cotton ball.

This article on skin care for young ones wouldn't be complete without mentioning the skin care plight of most teenagers. Whether you have a son or daughter, the teenage years bring special skin challenges all their own. Pimples, blackheads, oily skin, ingrown hairs (common in new shavers) are all conditions that plaque teenagers and can, when ignored or not treated property, lead to other problems like low self esteem.

After-the-fact treatments alone aren't enough to eliminate the effects or not caring for your skin properly. I highly recommend that parents start teaching their children proper skin care early on, so that it becomes a habit. Of course, you'll need to change the products a little as your children grow older. However, encouraging children to take good care of their skin not only helps them to avoid problems later in life (from severe acne to skin cancer). It also affords you the opportunity to bond with your child.

Emily Ray, based in Atlanta, GA, has been creating natural beauty products for six years, and she is a regular contributor to New Life Journal. To ask her a question, email
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Title Annotation:Ask Emily Ray
Author:Ray, Emily
Publication:New Life Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2004
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Next Article:Infant massage: a nurturing welcome to the world.

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