With the cold weather comes the dreaded dry skin, and kids sensitive skin is especially prone to it. The dry winter air and the heaters that stay on at home contribute to decreasing the skin’s natural moisture. Dealing with your kids’ dry skin can be difficult, especially when they won’t let you apply moisturizers on them. However, there are other steps you can take that can aid you in the mission of protecting your child’s skin. Let’s see what those steps are one by one.
1. Limit Bath Time
Unlike what our grandmothers have told us, daily baths aren’t necessary. Now, if they enjoy their daily baths and it’s part of their routine, go for it but don’t feel that it’s a must. Keep baths short, 5-10 minutes, with warm water, NOT hot water.
Another thing you should avoid is bubble baths. While kids might enjoy the time they spend playing with bubbles in the water, they often contain harsh surfactants that could increase skin irritation and dryness.
2. Avoid Products with Fragrance
When washing kids, many parents opt for products with ‘heavenly’ scents. However, those aren’t suggested as they can dry the skin and potentially sensitize kids to allergies in the future. Some of my favorite baby shampoos include La Roche Posay Hydrating Body Wash, Cerave baby shampoo, Erbaviva baby shampoo.
3. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize!
Moisturizing is a must-take step to maintain the children’s skin and protect it from getting irritated and dried. Apply a thick ointment or cream when the skin is still moist. Some of my favorites include La Roche Posay Lipikar Balm, Avene Xeracalm, Cerave healing ointment. Apply Vaseline on their cheeks when they are outside. Ideally, moisturize the whole body twice daily.
4. Dress Your Child for the Cold
Dress your child in clothes made from natural, breathable fabrics such as 100% cotton. Wool and synthetic fibers can irritate the skin. It’s recommended that you dress your children in one more layer than you as an adult would wear. When outside, have them wear mittens or gloves to protect their little hands.
5. Carefully Choose the Laundry Products You’ll Be Using
When it comes to the laundry products we use to wash kids’ clothes, we have to be extra careful. Try not to use fragranced detergents, fabric softeners, or dryer sheets as they can be harsh to their sensitive skin. Find fragrance-free detergents that are designed for sensitive skin.
On a side note, always wash clothes before wearing them to remove formaldehyde and dyes that can trigger allergic skin reactions.
6. Don’t overheat your home
Place your child’s bed away from heaters and radiators. Also, consider adding a humidifier at home to add moisture to the air, given the heaters are on most of the time. Make sure you are washing that humidifier frequently to avoid infections!
I hope that you found these tips helpful in caring for your children’s skin during the wintertime. If the tips above are not enough, you can always consult your child’s board-certified dermatologist or board-certified pediatrician.