When we talk about prenatal skin care we focus our attention on the endless list of hazardous ingredients that so many of our daily products contain. These can be extremely harmful to our babies development throughout all three trimesters, but particularly the first two. There is also concern for miscarriage from over use of toxic ingredients. Our babies are forming from the inside out, these toxins can interfere with hormones, heart health, general health concerns later in life and even be the culprit for birth defects. So we focus our energy on searching for products that are free of parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, toluene, ammonia, benzoyl peroxide, oxybenzone, salicylic acid, aluminum chloride and many more many more. I could go on about this... and believe me I will but in another post where I can explain on a deeper level why these individual chemicals should be avoided. I know it is hard for so many to give up manicures, spray tans, hair coloring and acne treatments during pregnancy, usually you can find an alternative which contains less or next to nothing as a healthier, safer option. Anyway, my point to this intro is why does this concern end once the baby has come into this beautiful world. They are still forming, still developing, still innocent in their bodies. Mainstream children's brands are coated with toxic ingredients and may be camouflaged using suggestive words such as natural, hypoallergenic, eco-friendly, plant based or clinically tested with pediatric and dermatologist over see. If you actually turn the packaging over and read the list of ingredients you may see a very different story.
Personally, for a newborn I believe they need very little in terms of skin care routine. Born with a soft white coating known as vernix (I am not fond of whom ever chose the name for this) which offers your baby complete protection against unwanted pathogens both inside the womb and out. Most nurses want to wash this creamy substance right off your new baby, but don't, instead as you lay your precious infant on your chest gently massage the vernix into the babies skin for complete protection and moisture. Most of it is absorbed in the first 24 hours but it is not fully absorbed until day 6. This is when I would suggest a first bath. For any messes prior simply take a damp warm cloth and bird bath your baby. If you need to 'clean wash' because you feel compelled choose a very gentle, mild cleanser. You can use items around the home such as olive oil or coconut oil as a good baby moisturizer. During this stage I personally prefer to make everything homemade, wipes, diaper creams, body oils, however, this is not everyones forte. So if you are looking for a brand which you can trust, enjoy and looks good on the bathroom shelf, may I introduce one brand that we have recently been using on my six year old; Erbaviva.
Erbaviva is here to protect and serve; a brand who is concerned about our planet and our bodies. A desire to leave a green foot print, keep our skin toxic free yet understand the desire to have a skin care routine which works, smells heavenly and sits pretty.
As you know packaging is important to me, it can make or break a product relationship no matter how clean it may be. Some families want to have everything child related when it comes to items for their kids, there is a thought that a bright colored bottle or in the shape of a dinosaur may make bath time more fun or less of a fight to wash. I don't believe in this. I prefer products to fit within our home; be simple, clean and subtle yet beautiful. We also don't use items that contain fragrance as this is one of the most toxic and common ingredients in products today. We prefer to use essential oils to brighten up the aroma around our home and on our bodies. I love that Erbaviva has chosen to use essential oils in their baby body wash, shampoo and lotion as a way to bring scent into their products. Working with essential oils is my jam, so I am skeptical of the over use and miseducation of these potent oils. I was impressed with Erbaviva's choice to use Chamomile and Mandarin, two of my favorite essential oils to use with children. The scent is so gentle and pleasant; a nice change from lavender I have to admit. I feel joy and calm come over me at bath time. This is the power of using essential oils instead of fragrance, they have therapeutic benefits; this is exactly what these two oils intend to do. Help your child retain balance, unwind, calm down yet but be uplifted, feel positive and be enjoyable.
Erbaviva has carefully chosen ingredients; using natural emulsifiers and moisturizers, nourishing and soothing plants, extracts, oils, and grains such as aloe, sunflower, olive, calendula, and oats. All of these items I use when making homemade products, so I am thrilled to know these are within their ingredient walls. Offering calming, gentle and next to nothing skin care products for your littles to bathe safely and pleasantly. I must add that it is impossible for any real natural brand to be 100% free of any preservatives in order to keep a shelf life. This is the battle they face because in order to retain freshness and longevity there is not a complete natural strong enough to do so. Ingredients like Rosemary extract and lemon have natural preservatives within them but they don't always work with all products, especially face makes, shampoos and body washes. It is vital though you check that the ingredients used to keep products long lasting is the least toxic options out there. These are parabens and formaldehyde, often labeled with chemical names that you won't recognize. This is why I choose smaller brands whom are ethically motivated, because if I have questions about the ingredients they are using, a simple email goes a long way. These brands have an opportunity to explain and gain your trust in their safety and standards. Always feel confident to reach out.
There is a full range of products for baby and child: including bug spray, sunscreen, diaper cream, chest balms and more. It doesn't stop here, Erbaviva also offers prenatal skin care for daily necessities such as belly balms and stretch mark oils. I myself have these to protect my growing bump. If you are just looking for a new range of products for every day use then check out their personal care section. Stock your bathroom shelves with natural non-toxic, eco-friendly, beautiful jars. Full of lotions, oils, balms and salts; I will be looking into some firming oils after I get through the postpartum period and I'm thinking to check out their deodorant too!! Summer baby, hormones... gonna need all the help I can get. Order your Erbaviva here today.
Photos by Roseview