“Invest in your skin. It is going to represent you for a very long time.” — Linden Tyler
This quote emphasises the importance of taking care of our skin and more so a toddler’s delicate and sensitive skin. Although advancements in science have also extended to skin care products like soaps and lotions, most of them are laden with chemicals. Some of these chemicals can irritate the skin, trigger allergic reactions, cause hormone imbalance or even cancer. But with increasing awareness about the harmful effects of such chemicals, more and more new-age mothers have begun to rely on natural ingredients to take care of their toddler’s skin. In this article, we look at a few natural ingredients that have stood the test of time and are safe and nontoxic.
A natural coolant, sandalwood paste is often applied on the face and neck, especially during summer, to treat prickly heat rashes and soothe the skin. Sandalwood is available in the form of stick, paste and powder in most shops locally or on online shopping sites. But because of its high price, sandalwood paste and powder are often adulterated. Therefore, use homemade sandalwood paste to be sure of the quality.
How to: For preparing sandalwood paste, rub sandalwood stick on a piece of flat stone or a stone grinder with a few drops of water.
2. Aloe vera
This succulent plant is known across cultures for its various health benefits. It has several properties that are very effective in treating a host of skin conditions. Aloe vera gel is an excellent moisturiser. Apply the gel on the skin of your child and leave it on for 5 minutes before washing it off with water for fresh and clear skin. A low-maintenance plant, you can grow aloe vera in your balcony or foyer.
How to: For preparing aloe vera gel, first peel the leaves, taking care to avoid getting pricked by the serrated edges. Scoop out the pulp with a spoon and either mash it with your hands or use a blender to prepare a gel of even texture.
3. Coconut oil
Although a traditional cooking medium, coconut oil has also been claimed to be beneficial in treating several skin conditions. Its health benefits are now being realised more than ever, especially its use as a beauty aid. Massaging your preschooler’s body with a small amount of coconut oil before giving him a bath will keep his skin soft and supple. Regular massage with coconut oil lends sheen to the skin that no cosmetic can match.
How to: For best results, use cold-pressed coconut oil, which is easily available in most shops.
4. Besan or gram flour
It’s a common ingredient that is found on the kitchen shelves of most homes. Gram flour paste made using besan mixed with a small quantity of water or milk cream has traditionally been used as a face mask for exfoliating, softening and moisturising the skin. This paste is the safest alternative to soaps, most of which contain chemicals that can harm the tender skin of a child.
How to: For preparing besan or gram flour, dry roast Bengal gram lentils and grind to a fine powder.
This powerful herb, which is also a spice, has been used since time immemorial as a beauty ingredient. Highly valued for its antimicrobial properties, traditionally, turmeric paste, mixed with besan, is applied to a child’s body and then washed off with warm water. It is a natural antiseptic and keeps kids germ-free.
How to: For preparing turmeric powder, dry turmeric roots in the sun and get it powdered at a grinding mill. For application, mix the required amount of powder with water to make a paste.
Apart from developing a beauty regimen for your child, it is also important to start her on healthy foods that take care of her skin from within during summer. From making her drink plenty of water to providing her with fruits for snacks, a healthy diet is vital for your child’s well-being. A well-balanced combination of internal and external care will work wonders on your child’s skin.
Tip: Rose water is another wonderful natural ingredient for the skin. To learn how to make your own rose water to add to your baby's bath, watch this video: