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  • The One Thing You May Be Forgetting When Caring For Your Child's Skin

    Did you know you have to moisturize your child’s skin?
    by Kate Borbon .
The One Thing You May Be Forgetting When Caring For Your Child's Skin
  • Adults know the importance of caring for their skin, but what some might overlook is skincare is just as crucial for children. Learn more about why skin care for kids is necessary, and the different steps you may want to consider practicing with your child every day.

    Why you should take care of your child’s skin

    In a previous SmartParenting.com.ph article, pediatric dermatologist Dr. Giselle Adasa says baby skin is more sensitive and delicate because it is around 40 to 60 percent thinner than adult skin.

    She adds baby skin loses moisture five times faster than adult skin, which means your child’s skin is more prone to irritation and conditions like contact dermatitis (e.g., redness, rashes, rough skin).

    One more reason skincare for kids matters is it can help make your child’s skin more resistant to outside aggressors like germs and dirt. DermalYouth says that by starting your child on a consistent skincare routine when she’s young, you help support and protect the outer layer of her skin and ward off skin problems that she may struggle with as a teen, like acne.

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    How to take care of your child’s skin

    Dr. Adasa reminds parents that each child has a different skin type, so what works for other kids might not work for your kid. However, here are some general tips you can consider when it comes to skincare for kids.

    1. Cleanse and moisturize.

    The first crucial part of skincare for kids is cleansing. In another Smart Parenting article, Dr. Adasa explains, “When it comes to cleansers, in general, their main purpose is to clean the skin. The only difference between them is how gentle they are.”

    Robert Kwon, regional R&D associate director for Johnson & Johnson, encourages parents to look for foaming cleansers since foaming is generally considered a sign of effective cleansing. “Good foaming can also serve as visual and tactile stimulation to babies, which can help make bath time more fun and engaging,” Kwon tells Smart Parenting.

    Because a child’s skin loses moisture faster than an adult’s, moisturizing is another key component in skin care for kids. Dr. Adasa says the general rule in applying moisturizer is to do it right after you bathe your child. “Why? Because you have to trap water in the skin.”

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    Kwon explains what to look for in a moisturizer: “Moisturizers that are non-sticky and absorb relatively easy are recommended. Also, the specific emollients used in moisturizers should be carefully considered. Some emollients, such as most olive oils, contain high levels of oleic acid, which can be disruptive to the skin barrier.”

    2. Protect her from the sun.

    This summer, skincare for kids should involve providing them with ample protection from the sun. The first thing you need to do is to get the right kind of sunblock. Make sure the sunscreen you choose is “broad spectrum”; this will mean it can protect your child’s skin from both UVA rays, which prematurely age and wrinkle the skin, and UVB rays, which are the main cause of sunburn, Harvard Health explains.

    Ensure your child’s sunblock is both water-resistant and has SPF 30. Pediatric dermatologist Amy E. Gilliam, M.D. tells Sutter Health that a product above SPF 30 will not provide additional protection. She adds that it’s best to apply sunblock 20 to 30 minutes before your child heads outdoors since it can take up to 30 minutes for sunblock to start working. Reapply it every two hours (you may have to do so more frequently if your child sweats a lot).


    Finally, dress her in clothes and accessories that protect her from the sun, like clothes with a tight weave, a broad-brimmed hat, and sunglasses.

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    3. Be mindful of household irritants.

    When it comes to skin care for kids, be mindful of the products in your child’s immediate surroundings, particularly those that can irritate her skin. Canoe.com says that products with aerosol, such as furniture polish and air-freshening sprays, as well as pet hair and synthetic clothing, can irritate a child’s skin.

    To minimize your child’s exposure to these irritants, vacuum regularly, avoid using aerosol products around her, keep pets out of the bedroom, and dress her in cotton or cotton-blend clothing. Whenever you buy her any new clothes, wash them first in dye- and perfume-free, child-friendly laundry detergent.

    4. Bathe your child daily.

    This might sound like a no-brainer, but daily baths are an important part of skin care for kids. Fatherly says that bathing is the first step parents can take to care for their children’s skin. “Bathing every day is fine, and will not dry out the skin. On sweaty, dirty days, wash all over with soap. On clean days, when using the bath as part of a relaxing, bedtime ritual, just wash the stinky parts,” Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse, a pediatrician and dermatologist, tells Fatherly.


    Dr. Shainhouse’s other recommendations include using warm water, avoiding bath products with harsh chemicals, and doing playtime before bath time so your child won’t sit in soapy water for a long time, which can irritate her skin.

    5. Have your child drink water.

    Drinking lots of water is another good tip for kids' skincare that we do not think about often.But according to the University of Wisconsin Health, if the skin does not get a sufficient amount of water, it can become tight, dry, and flaky. This could be more important for kids since, as Dr. Adasa says, their skin loses moisture more quickly.

    According to another Smart Parenting article, the recommended amount of water kids need to drink every day is one liter (five glasses) for kids five to eight years old, 1.5 liters (seven glasses) for kids nine to 12 years old, and two liters (eight to 10 glasses) for teenagers. Always remember, moms and dads, skin care for kids (and adults) should include drinking water.


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