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A newborn baby is precious and so is their skin, especially in their first year. One area that parents may not have considered is the importance of their child developing a healthy skin microbiome – which is the set of microorganisms including bacteria, viruses, and fungi, that live on the skin.

When a baby is born, their skin microbiome starts to develop and there is an even distribution of microbes on the baby’s body. As we grow older, however, the skin microbiome diversifies, and differences can be found at specific sites on the body. Excessive hygiene and the use of harsh chemicals and ingredients may disrupt the healthy balance of the skin microbiome.

Caring for baby skin

Dr Emer Gilligan, External Affairs Director of Ireland-based manufacturer WaterWipes®, insists that it’s important to ensure an infant’s skin is cared for in the right way.

“For the establishment of a healthy skin microbiome, you don’t want to interfere by overloading it with products. You want to let it develop naturally with the same bacteria in its natural environment to create a healthy balance and diversity of microbes.

“An impaired skin barrier function and microbial imbalance has been shown to be involved in skin infections and certain skin conditions, such as eczema and nappy rash, so it’s important to care for the skin in such a way as to maintain a healthy balance.”

Think less is more

Parents can help their child’s skin develop their natural skin barrier by not over-using products or excessively cleansing and being mindful of the products they are using.

WaterWipes® contain only two ingredients, 99.9% water and a drop of fruit extract — a gentle skin conditioning agent. The wipes are ideal for sensitive, newborn, and premature baby skin and have been awarded the ‘Microbiome-friendly’ seal of quality by MyMicrobiome and LabSkin’s Microbiome Friendly+ seal of approval.

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