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Article: Protecting Your Melanin-Rich Baby’s Skin

Protecting Your Melanin-Rich Baby’s Skin

Babies naturally have a thinner layer of skin than adults. The first step in ensuring your newborn gets the protection needed for healthy skin is to begin thinking of a skincare routine. In doing so, also be mindful of the ingredients in the products used that could do more harm than good to your baby’s soft skin. We all remember the lawsuits filed against Johnson and Johnson that claim the company's baby powder contained cancer-causing asbestos.

The lawsuit was followed by a wave of awareness for families who use products like these daily on their infants to be more informed on the ingredients being used. As we celebrated the repercussions Johnson and Johnson faced, we also learned that we could not rely on the beauty product industry to tell you what's healthy for our children and what's not.

What to Look Out for in Products

Avoid fragranced skincare products. Fragrances can irritate your newborn's sensitive skin and cause allergic reactions, including rashes and breathing problems. Parabens are synthetic compounds you should steer clear of for its link to skin irritation. While many products have removed them, certain baby products may still contain parabens to increase shelf life.

Also, avoid products with dyes as they can block your baby's pores and interfere with their skin's natural oil balance. Instead, look for products that have natural ingredients such as coconut oil, avocado, and shea butter that can better cater to the diverse needs of your melanated baby's skin.

Try Melebebe’s plant based All-in-One Moisture and Hydration Crème made specifically for melanin-rich kids skin to deeply moisturize dry, irritated, and itchy skin.

The Difference Between Contact Dermatitis and Eczema:

Did you know that children with melanin-rich skin are 1.7 times more likely to develop eczema than white children? When dealing with eczema on your newborn, keep an eye out for any irritation that shows up on the cheeks, forehead, scalp, and backs of the arms. Soaps, pollens, animals, foods, wool, and even dry air can trigger eczema flare-ups. Contact dermatitis is a skin reaction caused by contact with certain substances your baby's skin meets or something it is allergic to. Soaps, lotions, and perfumes are some causes of contact dermatitis.

How to Prevent Contact Dermatitis and Eczema?

Several factors go into the devolvement of eczema in melanin-rich babies, including diet and genetics. As no one thing can guarantee your baby won't develop eczema, making some lifestyle changes can reduce your child's risk. You can start by minimizing the use of harsh soap and keeping bath time short to avoid drying out your baby's skin, irritating eczema or removing the natural oils. Also, limit your use of baby-scented skin products and find products free of alcohol and perfume, which can also play a role in drying and irritating the skin. (Keep in mind that the word "fragrance" can be a cover word for "smells good" but can also be a carcinogen).

Although contact dermatitis is usually only found on the part of the skin that came in contact with the substance your baby is allergic to, the treatment is the same as eczema. It’s essential to make sure your baby wears soft clothing (cotton) and avoid laundry detergents that contain fragrances and dyes as these are common irritants for infants’ skin.

Listen to this Podcast Featuring Augie and Sylvia, founders of Dinobi, to find out how they created a laundry detergent gentle enough to combat their family’s recurring skin irritations.

How Important is Sunscreen for Babies with Melanin?

Did you know that Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) caused by excessive sun exposure is the second most common skin cancer in Black people? Some of the most common sayings we hear today are "Black don't crack" and "Black skin doesn't get sunburn." These are sayings that hurt people and, in many cases, our children. We become conditioned to believe that the melanin in our skin prevents us from getting skin damage from the sun's rays, and this mentality often leads to a late diagnosis of skin cancer. Using sunscreen for your bundle of joy is extremely important as they need sunscreen to keep them from burning, developing wrinkles later in life, and preventing cancer.

Parenthood already has enough questions-let us help you make your skincare choice easier with natural and organic products made with your baby’s skin in mind. We hope you can feel more empowered while navigating the many options available to you.

Shop all natural products by all Black artisans at BLK + GRN