If you have sensitive skin, there can come a point in your skin care journey when regular sensitive skin-friendly products just don’t cut it anymore.
Regardless of their claims to soothe and repair, sometimes even the most gentle of formulations are just too overwhelming for skin that’s dealing with stressful conditions like dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea.
But it begs the question: When all else fails, what do you do?
Well, it turns out the solution can be found by taking a closer look at the products formulated to take care of the skin of the most fragile humans among us. And no, we’re not talking about middle-aged men with flimsy egos, but literal babies.
We spoke to Lullaby skincare founder Kirsty Gow-Gates, as well as a sensitive skinned individual who swears by baby products, Australian Artist Julia Kirkpatrick, to find out what the deal is when it comes to sussing out skin care intended for the most fresh-faced of humans.
First things first, what are the main differences between sensitive skin-friendly and baby-friendly skin care?
According to Gow-Gates, when it comes to formulation, the thing that sets baby products apart from their sensitive-skin friendly counterparts is the elimination of potential irritants and unnecessary ingredients.
“High-quality baby products are hypoallergenic and completely free of irritants, offering gentle pH-balanced moisture, ideal for sensitive and eczema-prone skin,” she explains. “Baby-safe organic formulations are also made with fewer ingredients, meaning they are less likely to react than sensitive-skin formulations.”
The other great thing about baby products is that they “are bio-compatible for both your face and body,” says Gow-Gates, meaning they’re “easily recognised by the skin naturally, and therefore easily absorbed and effective.”
The most important point of differentiation, though, is that “baby skin care products are scrutinized and tested at length by dermatologists, and often paediatricians, to ensure their compatibility and effectiveness for infants,” explains the Lullaby founder. “So you know they’re absolutely safe and gentle!”
In fact, if it wasn’t for the advice of her doctors, Kirkpatrick might have never made the switch to baby-safe formulations. “I started using baby products on my skin because the skin on my hands especially was dry and irritated,” she explains. “And health professionals told me to use baby products as they are gentle on skin.”
“My skin feels smoother and my general skin health has improved as a result,” Kirkpatrick confesses.
What baby products should you be looking to integrate into your routine?
While Kirkpatrick espouses the benefits of certain brands, “my go-to products are Aveeno and Baby Dove,” the artist reveals.
As far as Gow-Gates is concerned, it’s all about finding multi-purpose formulations that can be worked into your daily routine with ease. “Using baby products as an adult is more common than you initially might think,” she says. “Many adults with sensitive skin use combination body and hair washes, baby moisturising lotions, SPF50+ sunscreens and even nappy creams as multi-purpose topical soothing treatments for rashes and irritations.”
“Combination body and hair wash for babies that are soap-free and full of organic ingredients – like aloe vera and chamomile – are great for cleansing hair and body without stripping its natural moisture, oils and nutrients,” says the skin care brand founder.
“Baby body lotion will contain less oil and additives than adult equivalents, yet will still be nourishing for dry and sensitive skin,” says Gow-Gates.
A point which Kirkpatrick reiterates, saying she prefers using baby products for that exact reason. “Compared to adult skin care, baby products leave a more powdery and smooth finish,” she says. “Whilst most of the adult products I’ve used can feel sticky, which is gross.”
After a few baby-friendly products to add to your arsenal? Here are a few recommendations:
Lullaby Soothing Nappy Cream ($30 at lullaby skincare); QV Baby Barrier Cream ($8.24 at Chemist Warehouse); Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Fragrance Free Moisture Cream ($7.69 at Chemist Warehouse); QV Baby Skin Lotion ($16.21 at Chemist Warehouse); babyDove Sensitive Skin Care Hypoallergenic Wash ($9.67 at iHerb) and QV Baby Gentle Wash ($13.88 at Chemist Warehouse).
Briar is the Beauty Editor at BEAUTYcrew. Her 'down for anything' attitude has resulted in more than a handful of hair transformations, and she doesn't mind being used as a guinea pig for the industry's most unusual products and treatments. Her work has also appeared on Refinery29, Girlfriend and beautyheaven.