Protect Your Baby's Skin: Make Your Own Moisturizer
written by: Donna Cosmato•edited by: Lindsay Evans•updated: 8/25/2011
If you're worried about rubbing harmful ingredients on your child's skin, making a skin moisturizer for toddlers is easy. Follow these tips to create your own homemade recipe. As a bonus, we include suggestions for the best healthy versus unhealthy ingredients to use.
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Why should you make a natural skin moisturizer for toddler body care? The major reason is the safety of your children. Commercially prepared baby care products contain many toxic ingredients, which are absorbed into a toddler’s skin. More and more mothers are concerned about using products with toxic ingredients on their children's tender skin.
A study headed by Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana, a University of Washington pediatrician, reported “phthalates were found in elevated levels in the urine of babies who’d been recently shampooed, powdered, or lotioned with baby products."1 The best way to protect a toddler from exposure to phthalates and other toxins is by making your own moisturizer.
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Homemade Skin Care Benefits
When you prepare a homemade recipe for treating skin, you can be sure of several things:
You are protecting your child’s health.
The skin moisturizer is fresh because it has not been sitting on a grocery shelf for months or years.
There are no fragrances, artificial colors, dyes or preservatives to cause allergic reactions or make your child ill.
Quality control for the preparation and purity of the ingredients is assured.
There are no hidden carcinogens, estrogens or caustic detergents in the moisturizer.
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Ingredients to Avoid
Read this guide to potentially toxic ingredients. Check the label of each product you choose as an ingredient for a homemade skin moisturizer. If one of these ingredients is listed, choose a safer alternative.
Parabens are linked to cancer. Parabens and phthalates have been nicknamed “gender benders" because they are estrogen mimickers. Their use is linked to accelerated puberty in girls as well as genital and other reproductive problems in boys. The major phthalates used in body care products are dibutlyphthalate (DBP), dimethylphthalate (DMP), and diethylphthalate (DEP).
Sodium lauryl sulfate irritates the epidermis (top layer of skin) and makes skin at risk for absorbing toxins. According to its Material Safety Data Sheet, it is rated as a moderate acute health hazard for skin, eye and respiratory tract irritation.
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Most commercial skin moisturizers are emulsions. An emulsion is formed by combining a water base with an oil base, and then binding the two ingredients with an emulsifying agent. The emulsifying agent is necessary because oil and water do not mix. Your homemade skin moisturizer will separate without the use of an emulsifying agent.
To prepare your moisturizer, combine equal parts of a water base with an oil base, and add ten percent parts of an emulsifier. This creates a natural moisturizer that is perfect for most toddler skin needs. For a thicker lotion, add more oil base, and decrease the water base proportionally. Adding more water base, while reducing the percentage of oil base, thins the lotion.
For the water base, use any of the following ingredients either alone or in combination with others:
Aloe juice is antibiotic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and pain relieving. Honey and glycerin are humectants and draw moisture from the air and bind it to the epidermis. Herbs contain antioxidants and many other beneficial chemical agents like eugenol oil.
Use natural oils in your homemade moisturizer, and you can use one oil in your recipe or combine them as desired. Popular oils to use include:
Wheat germ oil
Olive and almond oils are richer oils and best for dry skin. The other oils produce a less greasy moisturizer and are suitable for normal skin. Beeswax or borax can be used as emulsifiers. Find these natural products at local health food stores.
Homemade skin moisturizers contain no preservatives and have short shelf lives. Prepare in small batches and keep unused portions refrigerated to prevent rancidity. A natural homemade skin moisturizer for toddlers makes a perfect gift and can be used by the whole family.