Baby vs Adult Skin – How is a child’s skin different from adults?
Firstly, one of the many challenges faced by a new mother is the effective care for her newborn infant’s skin. Awareness, understanding and use of an ideal baby lotion on infant skin are vital to ensure that the skin is kept healthy.
Generally at birth, a newborn infant transitions from the warm, wet and sterile womb to a cooler, dry, bacteria-laden environment, outside of the womb. Infant skin plays a key role in this transition of environment, carrying out a multitude of functions such as being a protective barrier to water loss, light, irritants, bacteria, mechanical trauma as well as regulating the body temperature.
Compared to adult skin, infant skin is 20% thinner, with the topmost layer, the stratum corneum being 30% thinner. Therefore, this increases susceptibility to permeability, greater trans-epidermal loss and reduced stratum corneum hydration, affecting the skin barrier function. Additionally, infants have a higher skin surface pH, which increases protease activity. This results in weakened supportive connective components of the stratum corneum. Hence, infants have an increased risk of skin damage. As such, it is no wonder many infants face skin problems such as diaper dermatitis and seborrheic eczema.
What are ceramides?
Ceramides are lipids naturally found in the topmost layer of the skin, the statue corneum. They are also the building blocks of skin that join skin cells together, making up 40-50% of the lipid component. Therefore, they are vital for epidermal barrier function. Reduced levels of ceramides result in impaired barrier protective function against the environment, with excessive transepidermal water loss, dry skin and increased permeability to environmental irritants, allergens and microorganisms. This usually occurs in patients with dry skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. Studies show that if the use of topical ceramides is in the correct ratio with cholesterol and free fatty acids, it can help to improve the epidermal barrier and barrier function.
The importance of baby skincare: baby lotion
At birth, the skin barrier of infants is adequately developed for the new, harsher environment outside the womb. However, the skin barrier still continues to develop throughout the initial years of life. This is where the importance of a quality moisturizer comes into play. A moisturizer would help to strengthen the skin barrier of infants. Therefore, by keeping the skin of infants moisturized, they would have reduced dry skin and hence reduced susceptibility to skin conditions.
Do babies need lotion? The benefits of evidence-based moisturizer for infants
The benefits of moisturizer use have also been proven in a randomized controlled trial that included 227 healthy Asian newborns between 1 week and 3 months old. In particular, results showed that infants who were exposed to moisturizer use, had lower facial trans epidermal water loss, higher facial and body stratum corneum hydration. Additionally, infants have significantly lower rates of diaper dermatitis between birth and 1 month old, with lower rates of body skin problems between 1 and 3 months. Therefore, the use of a moisturizer is effective in improving skin barrier function, as well as protecting infants from possible skin problems.
Best Baby Lotion
An ideal moisturizer for infants would have a formulation of a Prescription Emollient Device. This is the gold standard in eczema management.
Taken by one of our users, Ros Leon, on a trip to Langkawi Island, Malaysia. The Multi-CERAM Cream is formulated with an optimal skin lipid mixture, containing a mixture of plant-derived phytoceramides such as shea butter, and synthetic ceramide.
The Multi-CERAM Moisturiser is an ultra-intensive, steroid-free cream, dermatologist formulated with an optimal skin lipid mixture, containing a mixture of plant-derived phytoceramides and synthetic ceramide. Antioxidants that fight skin inflammation are incorporated for optimal treatment of eczema. They aid the repair of skin repair and restore lipids naturally produced by the body in healthy skin. The Multi-CERAM also contains natural components such as sodium hyaluronate for further skin hydration and glycerin which prevents trans-epidermal water loss.
Furthermore, it stands out from other moisturizers as it focuses on using multiple sources of ceramide for total skin lipid restoration. Conversely, other ceramide moisturizers rely solely on expensive synthetic and animal-derived ceramide which results in low concentrations of ceramide.
Visscher MO, Adam R, Brink S, Odio M. Newborn infant skin: physiology, development, and care. Clin Dermatol. 2015;33(3):271-280. doi:10.1016/j.clindermatol.2014.12.003
Yonezawa K, Haruna M, Matsuzaki M, Shiraishi M, Kojima R. Effects of moisturizing skincare on skin barrier function and the prevention of skin problems in 3‐month‐old infants: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of dermatology. 2018;45:24-30.
Cooke A, Bedwell C, Campbell M, McGowan L, Ersser S, Lavender T. Skin care for healthy babies at term: A systematic review of the evidence. Midwifery. 2018;56:29-43. doi:10.1016/j.midw.2017.10.001