This is what I learnt about baby skin care in winter

This is what I learnt about baby skin care in winter

Shailaja Prakash

About five years ago, when my daughter was born, we were living in Minnesota. Winters get extremely cold there, with temperatures reaching close to sub-zero numbers. When she was born, I was told by the doctors that I need to make sure her skin is regularly moisturised, that I didn’t have to bathe her every day and that her head, feet and hands need to be covered at all times. These, I remember, were the most important things I needed to follow in order to take care of my newborn, apart from the breastfeeding and sleeping, of course. After the first month of being home, we had the bath routine stabilised, as well as diaper changing. We were using a medicated moisturiser to keep her skin hydrated for the that first month, as the doctor had recommended. After that though, we decided to switch to a regular drug store brand and brought home a lotion that had been recommended by my circle of friends, they’d all used it in the Minnesota winter and were happy with the way their kids’ skin had survived the cold.

Well, no such luck for me. The first application went okay but when we changed her at night we found tiny rashes in her joints: elbow joint, under the neck, behind her knees. We quickly applied some petroleum jelly and it healed soon enough. But the next day the skin all over her body was red with those rashes and we took her back to the doctor who told us to stop the new lotion we were using. Sure enough her skin got better, so we went and got another brand to keep her skin moisturised. Same routine. When it happened with a third product we decided we had enough and switched to an organic, all-natural brand. And lo! No reactions. Of course, they’re expensive, especially when you live in a place as cold as we did. You use up a lot more, therefore buy more but our daughter was happy.

When we moved back to India last year and I got pregnant the second time, I didn’t want to take any chances with my newborn son’s skin where post-bath care was concerned. So I had my friends send me the organic brand that I had been using when I was in the US, but six months later I realised it wasn’t a sustainable option. I looked around in the Indian market for a parabens-free, natural-ingredients enriched brand that I could use for my child. (There’s very little meeting that requirement, by the way.) A neighbour suggested Himalaya but I wasn’t convinced as I have never used the brand before. However, on finding almost no other brand that promised me natural care for my baby, I decided I would try Himalaya Baby Cream.

Well, guess what, I started to use it last winter when my son was four months old and I haven’t looked back since. I tried it for my older child too, and for the first time since her newborn days, she had no reactions at all.

About the cream itself, when you squeeze it from the tube,  it seems thick but when you apply in on your child’s skin, it blends in beautifully and in about 10 minutes, the absorption happens. The skin looks plump and hydrated. The fragrance lasts for a good two-three hours if they’re going to school, or the whole day, if they’re at home. The packaging says the cream has olive oil as its main hydrating agent: Olive oil is almost magical in its properties, and as an active ingredient it really penetrates the skin and keeps it moisturised. My son, though a toddler now, was an active crawler and there were lots of little scrapes on him. I found the cream was soothing for those bruises as well, and in general guarding against all the skin roughening and tearing that happens when kids start to crawl. I am assuming this is  because of the medical properties of licorice in the cream.

Overall, it’s a cream I stock up on every month and use for both my kids, even though my daughter is no more a baby. I sometimes use it on myself, when my own moisturiser isn’t handy and I find it is equally satisfactory for grown-skins as well.

Product: Himalaya Baby Cream
Price:  400 ml – Rs. 225; 200 ml – Rs. 150; 100 ml – Rs. 85
For: Winter care for baby, kids.
Active natural ingredients: Olive oil, country mallow, licorice.
Rating: 4.5/5