—By Little + Free's Creator, Tori Rotter
If you know my story, you know that one of the biggest issues for my daughter has been her sensitive skin, and more specifically her struggles with eczema. While I am not a medical professional and this should certainly not be taken as medical advice, it feels like I have tried absolutely EVERYTHING in the world of eczema relief and wanted to provide my totally honest and unbiased opinions on what worked best for us.
Don’t bathe (with soap) every day
With newborns, it’s well-known that they are not bathed on a daily basis, so that kind of goes without saying. However, I’ve found that even at the age of three, my daughter’s skin is so much better off if we try to bathe her every other day. That being said, based on the activities of the day, that’s not always reasonable. During summer months especially, sunscreen is a must, and nothing dries out my daughter’s skin like sunscreen (and let’s be honest, going to sleep after a sweaty day is just kind of yucky). And even outside of the heat, my daughter is an adventurer and attracts dirt like a moth to a flame. When these circumstances happen to fall on “non-wash” days, we let her soak in a moisturizing bath for a bit and then wipe her skin down gently with a warm washcloth (no soap). This helps melt off the sunscreen, dirt and sweat without the drying factor of a soap. We then follow this with her daily moisturizer (as is part of our regular routine seen below).
Apply allover lotion morning and night
This one is a big one. If I’m being honest, we’ve gotten more lax on the morning slathering as she’s gotten older. But from newborn to 2 years, we never skipped out on our twice-a-day routine. It was the real game changer for long-term results. Now that she’s a little older, we focus more on the nighttime lotion, which combined with balm on problem areas seems to keep the eczema at bay.
Apply balm to problem areas at bedtime
This has been another important step for us. As previously mentioned, we do a full-body moisturizing lotion every night, but whenever a problem area starts to form, we always make sure to use a concentrated balm on those areas. The trick (or at least what we feel has proven more successful) is applying the balm to problem areas FIRST, and then following with all over lotion. That way the more specialized ingredients sink in and the lotion kind of acts as a protective barrier overnight.
Be consistent- as in you have to do it every day
My husband and I struggled with this one for a while. Having a child is tough as it is, without having to stick to a moisturizing schedule. There have been so many times over the years where we would start to notice a problem area and one of us would say “have you been sticking to the routine?” Only to be met with a quippy “have you?” And the truth, of course, is that one (or both of us) would have slacked off a bit and it showed on our daughter’s skin. As I mentioned previously, as my daughter has gotten older, we’ve been slightly less rigid with the schedule, and her skin has remained clear. While not a doctor, I would assume that as children grow, their immune systems become more complex, and their skin becomes a bit tougher, skin sensitivity is likely to decrease a bit on its own. However, when we do see a problem area arise (which does happen periodically), quickly going back to the routine almost always clears it up immediately.
Please note that the following recommendations are based on my personal experiences only. I have tried a lot of different brands (though certainly not all) and in my opinion these have worked the best. I am not being paid by or in partnership with any of these companies.
Best Bathing Products:
Babo Calming Shampoo, Bath and Wash
Aveeno Baby Wash and Shampoo
Best Allover Lotions:
Cetaphil Baby Daily Lotion
Babo Botanicals Sensitive Baby Daily Lotion
Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Nighttime Balm
Pipette Baby Balm
Babo Sensitive Baby Healing Ointment
Babo Botanicals Baby Face & Baby Skin Sunscreen
As previously mentioned, these recommendations are based on trial and error over time, and what has worked best for my daughter (consistently) over time. I believe the most important thing is finding something that works for your kids’ unique skin and sticking with it. Frequent product switches can also lead to irritation (as we found over the years) and so we remain as consistent both in routine and product use as possible.