There’s a bit of a paradox going on in the world of nappies and babygros: the UK’s birth rate has been declining for the past 5 years and hit an all time low last year, however there have never been so many baby products available on the market. From baby breathing monitors to nappy bins and ‘pink noise’ night soothers, there is a dizzying amount of choice for new parents to get confused by. I spent weeks researching buggies when I was pregnant, weighing up pros and cons for each model, until one Sunday my husband and I went to a Mamas & Papas event, saw a pushchair that was reasonably priced, easy to fold and could be used from birth to toddler age without needing half a dozen add ons. We bought it there and then. Sometimes the quickest and easiest decisions are the best, and when it came to bodycare for my baby I went straight to the brand that had cared for my eczema-prone skin as a child: Aveeno.
Part of the Johnson & Johnson family, Aveeno is definitely no niche brand. It was founded in the US by two entrepreneurial brothers who worked with a dermatology centre to create a natural bath additive containing 100% colloidal (very finely milled) oatmeal, ideal for dry and sensitive skin. The skincare benefits from oats range from moisturising dehydrated skin to soothing sensitive skin and creating a protective barrier on the skin’s surface. Launched a couple of years in the UK, the Baby range follows the same principle as the original collection: gentle everyday bath products to soothe, nourish and protect sensitive skin.
I’ve lost count of the number of tubes I’ve gone through. Having worked in the beauty industry for over 10 years I tend to flit from one miracle worker to another and rarely stay faithful to one product. There are exceptions though and Aveeno’s Skin Relief Body Moisturising Lotion is one of them. It doesn’t smell amazing, doesn’t look anything special and doesn’t promise the skin of a 20 year old, but for an eczema sufferer, a drugstore product that manages to keep the condition at bay is worth bulk buying. Fragrance-free and fast absorbing, I apply it after showering, particularly on my eczema-prone limbs. It contains oat flour, oat oil and oat essence which helps to soothe dry irritable skin. Whilst it doesn’t cure a severe eczema rash (I use a steroid cream for that), it does prevent it from developing in the first place. 200ml RRP £5.99
I bought this before heading to the airport for a weekend away when I realised my 200ml Aveeno moisturiser would get confiscated at security. This is supposed to be a hand cream but I tend to use it as a body lotion. I haven’t found a travel size version of Aveeno’s Skin Relief (did I mention how much I love travel toiletries?) so the hand cream is my solution. The formulation is not quite the same (it doesn’t feature the triple oat complex, only the oat flour), but it remains pleasingly thick in texture and soothing in result. 75ml RRP £5.99
With my history of eczema as a child and continuing into adulthood, there was always a high chance that my baby would inherit this skin condition. And of course he did. He’s not alone though, with 1 in 8 babies potentially developing eczema from 2 months old, and although baby eczema is common they do tend to grow out of it, so here’s to hoping that’s the case with my toddler. In the meantime I tend to stick to Aveeno’s soap-free Gentle Body Wash for bathtime, squirting some in the water and using it as a shampoo too. 500ml RRP £5.99
I was initially weary of this product: is it really necessary to have a baby-specific moisturising lotion or is it just a marketing tactic? The baby version comes in a smaller tube (150ml vs 200ml) for the same price as the adult one (£5.99). Ah but it comes in a box. And my first reaction when noticing the baby formulation contains nearly 78% more ingredients than the adult’s version was one of distrust. However digging a little deeper I realised that some of these additional ingredients are moisturising oils such as soybean, sunflower and buriti, anti-inflammatory chamomile and olive leaf extract, and soothing aloe vera. All valid formula-enhancing ingredients. Except for the last one which is fragrance. It’s probably not a high concentration, I couldn’t tell from smelling the lotion, but it seems like an unnecessary addition to a baby product supposed to soothe dry sensitive skin. 150ml RRP £5.99
If you suffer from eczema or very dry skin I’d love to hear your skincare recommendations. Please leave a comment to let me know!