Red, inflamed patches of eczema had suddenly appeared inside Big Sis’s elbows, and behind her knees, and there was a ring of irritated skin across the top of her chest.
At night she’d scratch and scratch, until her skin was raw and weeping.
I’d recently weaned her on to bottle milk, so at first I assumed she was allergic to dairy products. So I cut out all the milk and cheese from her diet, and started paying twice as much for goat milk formula.
I went back and forth to the doctor, each time trying a different lotion, cream, or ointment – even resorting in desperation to steroid creams. But the eczema just kept getting worse.
Finally, a friend suggested I stopped using the well-known brand of bath bubbles I was using. I also changed the washing powder we were using to a non-bio version – another recommendation I’d heard from a friend.
Sure enough, within days the angry red rash began to clear.
Then, by a timely coincidence, Romy from GREEN PEOPLE offered to send over a sample of their Organic Babies No-Scent Hair and Body Shampoo.
I ditched the equally well-known brand of baby shampoo I’d been using and gave it a try, and was thrilled when the last patches of eczema disappeared.
Six months on I’m still using organic products, and Big Sis’s skin has remained blemish-free. The only time the eczema returned was when my partner accidentally used the old shampoo again, and another time when Nana – not realising – used a different washing powder.
Both times the blotches reappeared on her thighs and face almost overnight. I thought she must have exceptionally sensitive skin, but I’ve spoken to a lot of mums since who’ve experienced the same problem. So what on earth was causing it?
Then, a few days ago I was chatting to Annabel, who developed RHODES TO HEAVEN – another completely natural skincare range – with her sister Penny.
She explained that there were two particular components called sodium lauryl sulfate, SLS, or sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) that were added to shampoos and body washes. They help to make that soft, bubbly foam we associate with a toiletry product ‘working’, but these same chemicals can also over-cleanse the skin, causing dryness and exacerbating skin irritations (including eczema).
Can you imagine the impact these harsh ingredient have on delicate, brand-new baby skin? Yet, if you look on the back, you’ll find them in many products specifically aimed at babies and young children. Hmmmmmmm.
Sure enough, when I checked the old shampoo contained SLS, while the new one didn’t.
I’m not a dermatologist, but I know that since switching to the SLS and SLES-free organic products, my daughter’s eczema has disappeared.
That’s proof enough for me.
• if your little one loves bath time, you might like to read my post on the perfect SULFATE-FREE BUBBLE BATH. And, if you suffer from dry, cracked hands from constant washing, read about the SOOTHING GEL I discovered that helped heal my painful dermatitis.
• samples provided for the purpose of review