Written by Pradeep
Soft skin like a baby is a common simile used to compliment the amazing skin. However, mothers know that it is not so easy to maintain the baby’s skin. In the initial years of his life, your baby might face many skin problems like dry skin, rashes, baby acne, or baby eczema. Apart from these, factors such as pH balance in baby soaps can also affect your baby’s skin.
Other factors that have an influence on your little one’s skin include pollution, weather, hereditary factors, and nutrition. Selecting the soap with the right pH balance can help us ensure that we give our baby’s skin the best care and nourishment. In this article, we discuss the importance of choosing soaps with the right pH and how the right soaps can benefit our babies in the long run.
pH stands for potential hydrogen and indicates how acidic or alkaline a substance is. Lower pH indicates that the substance is acidic in nature, and higher pH indicates that the substance is alkaline in nature. The pH scale ranges from 0-14, with acids lower and bases high on the scale. The pH balance of the baby’s skin is about 5.5.
Just like any “chemical” substance, our body has a pH level too. Water has a pH of 7, which is neutral. Since our internal fluids are mostly made up of water, they all have a pH of 7 or something near it. Similarly, our skin has a pH level too. Technically, it is not the skin that has the pH, but the sweat and sebaceous glands in the skin that give it an acidic nature. It is important to maintain the pH level of the skin to avoid various skin problems.
A baby’s skin is different from that of an adult, and special care has to be taken to avoid any skin problems. A baby’s skin is thinner, is more prone to dryness, and is very sensitive. Some special characteristics of a baby’s skin are:
The pH only begins to develop after a baby is born and goes down as the baby grows, making the skin more acidic. This characteristic defines that the baby’s skin is more prone to infections and irritations
The ideal pH level of a baby’s skin (or even our skin) is 5.5. As it is a lower value than the pH of water (7), it is fair to infer that our skin is acidic in nature. It is so because acidic skin is more equipped to fight the spread of bacteria or fungi. It is absolutely important to maintain this 5.5 level of pH. Even a small variation from 5.5 can give rise to a lot of skin problems, especially in babies who have more sensitive skin.
For instance, there is an enzyme that lives on a baby’s skin that is responsible for thinning out the old skin so that the new skin can grow. However, this enzyme is pH sensitive. This means that if the pH is higher than 5.5, then it will thin the skin much more than required. A thinner skin would be more prone to irritation, rashes, and eczema.
Soaps and body lotions need to match the pH level of the baby’s skin. The commercially manufactured soaps that we adults use have a pH factor of 9. Even most of the “mild” cleansers have a pH factor close to 7. None of these suits a baby’s skin. For baby skin, we need a soap that has a pH factor of 5.5. So it is important you pick a baby soap that can maintain the pH level of the baby’s skin and not disrupt it, thereby leading to skin problems.
With the huge amount of noise that the advertisements make, claiming their products have antibacterial, antibiotic or natural ingredients, picking the right soap that suits your baby’s skin can be extremely confusing. But the following tips might help:
A baby’s skin is very sensitive, so maintaining a proper pH balance will help in treating and preventing major skin problems. Choosing soap with the right pH balance will ensure that your baby’s skin will get all the care and prevent harm to the delicate and still developing sensitive skin
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