What You Need To Know About Baby Skin

What You Need To Know About Baby Skin

The function of the human skin

The skin is the largest organ in the body, and its variety of functions include:

  • Shielding against irritants and injuries
  • Protecting from infections
  • Reducing the harmful effects of UV radiation
  • Regulating body temperature
  • Preventing loss of moisture
  • Producing Vitamin D
  • Providing a gateway to touch

How baby skin differs from adult skin

Picture this: at birth, your baby undergoes a dramatic transition from an aqueous to a dry environment. Their skin will continue to develop after birth and over time, but it is unable to perform all of its intended functions until it is fully developed.

There are many ways that baby skin is different from adult skin in structure, function and composition:

  1. The othermost layer of baby skin is 30% thinner than in adults. This means it is more permeable and prone to dryness. To give you an idea, baby skin at age two is structurally similar to the delicate area under adults’ eyes!
  2. The pH of baby skin is higher and closer to neutral at birth. It then decreases to a more acidic level to help protect itself from microbes and environmental toxins. The combination of the change in pH level, mom's hormones and the move from an amniotic sac to an air environment is the perfect recipe for an imbalance (baby acne, anyone?).
  3. Baby skin contains more water but loses it at a faster rate (also known as transepidermal water loss), because it is so thin. When the skin gets dry, it loses its barrier function. This causes products applied on the skin to be absorbed more easily and potential skin sensitivity from the ingredients used.
  4. It has less natural moisturizing agents (needed for hydration), less lipids (needed for moisturization), less melanin and smaller skin cells.

All babies have sensitive skin

While baby skin is often thought of as ideal, beneath its soft and supple exterior are differences that can make it more susceptible to certain ailments.

Everything your baby comes into contact with during their first few months of life will influence the development of their skin. This includes changes in pH, skin-microbiome, hydration and lipid content. All babies’ skin should be treated as sensitive.

The upside? This also means they are also sensitive to your touch. Everytime you kiss or massage your baby, you stimulate the production of feel-good hormones and help your baby bond with you!

What you should do

You have probably been given conflicting guidance on how to care for delicate baby skin. In fact, skincare used on babies is often too harsh and unnecessary. You may have been told to use too many products on your baby's skin. For example, you start with a cleanser that dries out your baby’s skin, followed by a moisturizer with harsh preservatives or fragrances and then a petroleum-based balm for eczema.

We need more innovation in the baby skincare market. The findings in clinical articles are often not used in the development of baby skincare products. For instance, we have been using foamy cleansers to clean baby skin for decades, but the anti-aging market has begun adopting gentler oil cleansing options for sensitive skin.

A basic understanding of the science of your baby’s skin will help you better care for it and ensure that it becomes healthy and resilient.

Want to learn how to protect your baby's skin-microbiome? Wondering what to look out for in a natural baby wash? Struggling with baby eczema

At Kiss Kiss Goodnight, our award-winning baby skincare is formulated with evidence-based guidelines to help babies develop healthy, resilient skin. We invite you to check out what our customers are saying about us and experience the line for yourself! 


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