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eczema moisturiser

Shea butter fun facts

Another one of our star products here at Itchy Baby Co is the divine and luxurious shea butter.

Shea butter is super moisturising and hydrating thanks to its high content of fatty acids which lock in moisture and help the skin hold on to it for longer. It’s also rich in vitamins, A, B, C, D, E and F, all of which help to keep skin healthy and are intensively moisturising.

Basically, this lovely little ingredient is a good egg.  You’ll find shea butter in our famous eczema moisturiser.

Fun facts about shea butter:

  • Cleopatra apparently loved shea butter. There is a mention of caravans of clay jars filled with shea butter for her use. It’s also said that this luxurious ingredient was beloved by the Queen of Sheba and Nefertiti. So, you’re in good company!
  • Shea butter is ivory in colour and is made by crushing and boiling the nuts from the shea tree.
  • The shea tree grows in 19 African countries, in the Savannah’s of west and central Africa.
  • Untreated shea butter should have a subtle yet pleasant aroma. If your baby suffers with eczema, you’ll know straight away that highly perfumed products are often a trigger for flare-up. Our high-quality shea butter has a mild scent that is a little bit nutty / earthy, guaranteed to please those with sensitive skin and noses!
  • Shea butter offers natural UV protection (it is SPF 6) but it is NOT a substitute for sunscreen. We’d still always recommend using your own sunscreen.
  • It contains 60% fat, making it highly emollient – perfect for sensitive skin or those with eczema.
  • Shea butter can also be used to reduce inflammation. A 2010 study found that due to its cinnamic acid and other natural properties, shea butter was anti-inflammatory. One compound in particular, lupeol cinnamate, was found to reduce skin inflammation and even potentially help avoid skin mutations. This also makes it beneficial for some people with acne.
  • The antioxidant activity of certain active compounds in shea butter, such as linolenic and linoleic acid can help to prevent oxidative stress in the skin, which can reduce the likelihood of wrinkles, age spots, and other signs of premature aging.

Want to know more?

Like reading about our all-natural ingredients? Check out our latest post featuring our star ingredient, colloidal oatmeal!

This blog post was brought to you and your child with love and care by Julia and the itchy baby co. team x

Disclaimer: Information provided is of a general nature only, and you should always consult your medical professional.

Colloidal oatmeal and eczema

Colloidal oatmeal and eczema

What is colloidal oatmeal?

Whenever we’re asked about our products and our journey to creating Itchy Baby Co, there’s one ingredient we just can’t praise highly enough – colloidal oatmeal.

Colloidal oatmeal may sound fancy, but it’s just good old-fashioned oats, finely ground down to create a soft powder, which can be easily suspended in water or creams. Being absorbed easily allows eczema skin to benefit from the protective, moisturising, anti-inflammatory properties of oats more easily and effectively than if they had not been finely milled. It’s super-soothing, non-irritating and is packed with antioxidants – so it’s no wonder that it’s the number one ingredient in all of our products.

How does colloidal oatmeal work such magic?

  • Oatmeal holds a large amount of water because it’s packed full of starches and beta-glucans, this helps protect and hydrate the skin
  • It has a high number of saponins, so it’s perfect for cleansing sensitive skin
  • Oatmeal is full of cellulose and fibre, so it leaves your baby’s skin super-soft and nourished
  • Oatmeal has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity through its many types of phenols
  • Studies have shown that colloidal oatmeal binds to the skin and provides a protective barrier against irritants.
  • It also contains water-binding polysaccharides and hydrocolloids that hold moisture against the skin allowing it to act as an emollient

Why don’t I need to use soap and other cleansing products with colloidal oatmeal?

Colloidal oatmeal has natural cleansing properties which come about because of a feature in its chemical structure called saponins. This means the skin is being cleansed while it is also soaking up all of the other properties which can help to manage eczema and reduce eczema flare ups. There’s no need to use another cleansing product such as a body wash, and definitely stay away from soaps and bubble bath which can dry out and irritate the skin triggering an eczema flare up.

How often should I bathe in colloidal oatmeal for eczema?

We recommend bathing in a colloidal oatmeal bath once a day as part of your skin care routine in managing eczema. Bathing in colloidal oatmeal will not only allow the skin to benefit from its moisturising, anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, but also wash triggers away from the skin which can cause irritation and sometimes lead to infection. Bath time should be kept to a maximum of ten minutes in lukewarm water and there’s more tips on the best way to bath a child with eczema here.

Soak it up

Our natural oatmeal bath soaks are a great example of colloidal oatmeal at its best.

We started our range with our oatmeal bath soak, which is 100% oatmeal and nothing else! This is still one of our most popular products, however if you like to mix-up your ingredients a bit, we do also now offer a range of combination soaks which combine a number of gorgeous, skin-loving ingredients with the good old colloidal oatmeal.

Enjoy the best of both worlds with this soak; you get the protective benefits of oatmeal, with ultra-moisturising, vitamin-rich ‘goat’s’ milk.

This soak combines our star ingredient, oatmeal, along with highly moisturising ‘goat’s’ milk and moisturising coconut oil. This soak is highly moisturising and adds a tropical lushness to bath time!

Marshmallow root is so great for soothing the skin, so we’ve combined it with our favourite oatmeal to offer a super hydrating, easily absorbed bath soak.

This blog post was brought to you and your child with love and care by Julia and the itchy baby co. team x

Disclaimer: Information provided is of a general nature only, and you should always consult your medical professional.

skincare natural ingredients

Which natural skincare ingredients are in our products?

In formulating our skincare range we spend a lot of time and resources researching and evaluating the properties of natural ingredients which are going to offer the most benefit for our children’s itchy, dry skin. Each natural ingredient is assessed for its ability to intensely moisturise, hydrate, soothe and protect the skin. So what are the natural ingredients we use in our itchy baby co skincare products to relieve itchy, dry skin?

What’s our hero ingredient?

We talk a lot about the wonderful properties of colloidal oatmeal to protect, nourish and cleanse our little one’s skin. Colloidal oatmeal is where our skincare products began and is the main ingredient in our super moisturising, nourishing and cleansing bath soaks as well as featuring in our moisturiser, face mask and our scalp oil is formulated with oat extract. Why are oats in all of our skincare products?

Oats have natural properties which are proven to help relieve the symptoms of itchy, dry skin. These properties are soothing, protective, anti-itch and moisturising.

If we look closer at oatmeal’s chemical structure, we can see more reasons for oatmeal’s effect on itchy, dry skin:

Oatmeal contains many types of phenols, which have antioxidant and soothing activity.

Oatmeal is packed full of starches and beta-glucans, so it can hold moisture and help the skin hold moisture too.

Plus, the cellulose and fibre in oatmeal helps soften your baby’s skin.

In addition, colloidal oatmeal is also made up of saponins which means it is a cleanser as well as a moisturiser. Bathing in colloidal oatmeal not only allows the skin to benefit from its moisturising, protective and soothing properties, but also washes away triggers and pollutants which can sit on the skin. That means you don’t have to use any other soaps or washes which might be drying on the skin.

Colloidal oatmeal is a particularly finely milled formulation which unlocks the natural properties of oats making them more accessible to the skin.

But wait… there’s more than one hero ingredient in our skincare products!

Let’s put the spotlight on some of our other hard working natural ingredients we formulate into our skincare products to look after after itchy, dry skin.

Shea butter

Shea butter is highly moisturising and hydrating, in part due to its high content of fatty acids which help the skin hold moisture. It’s rich in vitamins A, B, C, D, E and F. These all help to keep the skin healthy as well as intensively moisturise. You’ll find shea butter in our moisturiser.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is found naturally in many of our ingredients, including coconut, shea butter and goats milk. We also added extra vitamin E to our natural oatmeal face mask with vitamin E and our oatmeal moisturiser with coconut oil. This is because vitamin E protects the natural oils within the skin, strengthening and nourishing the skin.

Beeswax

Beeswax is loved by dry and sensitive skin conditions because of three main reasons:

1. Like colloidal oatmeal, it forms a protective barrier to keep the skin safe from triggers in the environment, while also holding in moisture.

2. Unlike petroleum based products, beeswax lets the skin breathe. This means it doesn’t keep in heat on the skin’s surface.

3. Beeswax draws moisture into the skin, which helps to keep dry and itchy skin hydrated.

You’ll find beeswax in our moisturiser.

Organic sunflower oil

Sunflower oil helps to protect the skin’s barrier which helps the skin fight against dryness. By protecting the skin’s barrier we can lock moisture and hydration to help with dry skin. Sunflower oil is found in our scalp oil.

Organic calendula flowers

Calendula is another name for marigold flowers, and it has a wonderfully soothing effect on the skin. Calendula contains mucilage which softens the external skin and helps the internal mucous membranes of your baby’s skin. It’s high in carotenoids and flavonoids which keep the skin cells healthy.  Calendula flowers are found in our scalp oil.

Carnuba wax

Carnuba wax comes from the carnauba palm found in Brazil. It’s known for its moisturising power, and its emollient properties which makes skin soft. It also creates a protective barrier on your baby’s skin to help it retain moisture. We use carnuba wax in our itchy baby co moisturiser.

Marshmallow root powder

Marshmallow isn’t just a confectionary, it actually comes from a highly potent root. Marshmallow root has a cooling, soothing effect on skin, and is known to help your baby’s skin stay soft. It also contains flavonoids which help soothe the skin. We added marshmallow root powder to our natural oatmeal bath soak with marshmallow root.

Coconut

Coconut is well known for its soothing and moisturising properties. Coconut contains saturated fats which help the skin hold in hydration and keep moisture from escaping through the skin’s pores. The high levels of fatty acid, called capric, caprylic and lauric acid offer natural protection for your baby’s skin. Coconut is high in Vitamin E which helps nourish the skin through its antioxidant properties. We added organic coconut to our premium formula for natural oatmeal bath soak with goats milk & organic coconut. We’ve also used coconut oil to enrich our scalp oil and moisturiser.

Goat’s milk

Goat’s milk has many nutrients, minerals and enzymes that can help nourish the skin.

What’s special about goat’s milk?

Goat’s milk has a high fat molecule content, which makes it extra moisturising. The pH level in goat’s milk is similar to healthy skin. This means it can help with dryness and protect your baby’s skin. Goat’s milk contains Vitamin C, D and E, which all help reduce skin dryness. We use goat’s milk in natural oatmeal and goats milk bath soak.

This blog post was brought to you and your family with love from Julia and the itchy baby co. team x.

Disclaimer: Information provided is of a general nature only, and you should always consult your medical professional.

eczema colloidal oatmeal bath itchy dry skin

It’s just OATMEAL! How can an oatmeal bath help my child’s itchy, dry, eczema skin?

I know, I get it, and I thought the exact same thing – oatmeal is oatmeal. How is it going to help my child’s itchy, dry, eczema skin? So to satisfy my scientific pharmacist self, I started researching the clinical evidence and research available (that kept me busy for awhile!) and after those late night study sessions, I decided to jump right in. Or rather… I stepped into the oatmeal bath carefully holding my little boy and hoping with every bit of my heart and soul for something to wash away the pain of his suffering and ease my guilt.

Why can an oatmeal bath be effective for eczema and dry, itchy skin?

Naturally, the benefits of an oatmeal bath go back to science…

Research shows most of the benefits of having an oatmeal bath come from oatmeal’s chemical structure:

  • Beta-glucans hold in water and protect the skin, and may also assist in stimulating collagen production to strengthen the skin from irritation.
  • Cellulose and fibre which give oatmeal the ability to soften and moisturise the skin.
  • Phenols which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, helping reduce irritation and itching of your child’s eczema skin.
  • Our body contains prostaglandins which cause blood vessels to dilate, resulting in inflamed, irritated skin that can be prone to infection by bacteria and other microorganisms.
  • Colloidal oatmeal lowers the levels of prostaglandins, resulting in repaired barrier function and calmed skin.
  • Saponins, which are compounds found mainly in grains, and this ingredient gives colloidal oatmeal exceptional cleansing qualities to wash the skin and also take away any triggers sitting on the skin’s surface which can cause irritation and lead to infection.

Is using oatmeal for eczema and itchy, dry skin a new thing?

No! Oatmeal has been used for hundreds of years to soothe itchy and irritated skin. The oldest oat grains were found in Egypt in about 2000 BC and was introduced to North America at the beginning of the 17th century. Colloidal oatmeal started to be used for cosmetic benefits in facial masks as well as for cleansing and relieving itching. In the mid 1900s, colloidal oatmeal became ready to use for skin care and in 2003, the US FDA approved it as a product that can relieve skin irritation and itching.

What new evidence is around to suggest colloidal oatmeal might be effective for my child’s eczema?

Studies have been conducted on colloidal oatmeal, as it has been used for centuries as a topical treatment for a range of skin conditions, including eczema. Extracts of colloidal oatmeal were made with numerous solvents and tested in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory assays. A blind study was also carried out with 29 healthy females who displayed mild to moderate itch with dry skin on their lower legs. After treatment with colloidal oatmeal, results showed significant clinical improvements in skin dryness, roughness and the magnitude of itchiness. These results provided evidence that colloidal oatmeal does contribute to anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, benefiting the skin, and may be used to treat the symptoms of eczema (Reynertson KA et al., 2018; PubMed 2018).

In a double blind, active-controlled study researchers aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of 1% colloidal oatmeal cream, compared to prescription creams in children with eczema. A variety of ages (ranging from 6 months to 18 years old) were randomised to colloidal oatmeal and prescription cream. The effectiveness of these products was tested using the Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI) scores, as well as the Investigator’s Global Atopic Dermatitis Assessment (IGADA) scores. The EASI scores showed that prescription cream was not superior to colloidal oatmeal. It was concluded that 1% oatmeal cream was equally effective and safe as the prescription cream, in the treatment of mild-moderate eczema in children (Lisante Et Al., 2017; Medline, 2018).

Another double-blind, randomised, controlled study was conducted by researches where colloidal oatmeal was applied for 15 minutes as an open patch test, and under a patch for 24-48 hours. Results showed no sign of an allergic reaction. In a 2-week, single-blinded study of patients with Fitzpatrick skin types IV-VI, a remarkable improvement in skin brightness was seen within the first day, and continued throughout the study period. These results concluded that using the moisturiser containing colloidal oatmeal twice daily had great improvements in alleviating symptoms of irritated skin (Nebus et al., 2004).

But what is colloidal oatmeal?

When we hear oatmeal bath, it may sound like having a bath with breakfast cereal, but it is not quite what we think.  Oatmeal is ground into a fine powder and boiled, making it into a colloid, which is a solution of very small particles suspended in warm water, and because it has been finely ground, it remains evenly dispersed and does not sink to the bottom. This well mixed oatmeal is called colloidal oatmeal. Colloidal oatmeal binds to the skin and forms a protective barrier which helps to lock in moisture, as well as ease inflammation, it also cleanses the skin.

Where can I find colloidal oatmeal to help my child’s eczema and itchy, dry skin?

Our itchy baby co. products contain colloidal oatmeal. A regular skincare routine of bathing and moisturising your child every day can lead to healthy and happy skin.We recommend dissolving two to three spoonfuls of our natural oatmeal bath soak in a lukewarm bath every day and applying our oatmeal and coconut moisturiser within two minutes of taking your child out of the bath.  You can find a range of natural skincare products containing oatmeal oatmeal at itchy baby co.

This blog post was brought to you and your family with love from Julia and the itchy baby co. team x.

Disclaimer: Information provided is of a general nature only, and you should always consult your medical professional.

References:

Lisante, T., Nunez, C., and Zhang, P. (2017). Efficacy and safety of an over-the-counter 1% colloidal oatmeal cream in the management of mild to moderate atopic dermatitis in children: a double blind, randomised, active-controlled study. Journal of Dermatological Treatment 28: 659-667
Renertson, KA. et al. (2015). Anti-inflammatory activities of colloidal oatmeal (Avena sativa) contribute to the effectiveness of oats in treatment of itch associated with dry skin.  J Drugs Dermatol. 14 (1): 43-48. PubMed-NCBI
Nebus J, et al. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2004;50:P77.
Gibson L, et al. (2003) Origin, history, and uses of oat (Avena sativa) and wheat (Triticum aestivum).

best baby skincare products to the test

The results of some of the best baby skincare products are out…

We have been patiently waiting for the results of this review by Kid Magazine to be released – and it’s finally here. A team of mums and bubs have put the best of baby skincare products to the test.

We offered two of our products which have been really popular these past few months, our natural oatmeal bath soak with marshmallow root and our natural scalp oil. The panel consisted of twelve mums and their bubs who tried and tested twenty two of the best baby products on the market.

Read more

laundry detergent alternatives

Eczema and laundry detergent alternatives

Managing eczema can affect everything that our children’s skin comes into contact with. Eczema skin can react to a variety of triggers and we know that laundry detergent can be one of them. We get asked a lot about the best laundry detergent to use for eczema or laundry detergent alternatives and recently I have switched to using organic soapberries.

Read more

natural skin care for eczema

natural skin care for eczema

Managing eczema is a commitment to trying our best to help our children have healthy and happy skin. An eczema skin care maintenance routine involves using products every day, often several times a day to:

  • give the skin the moisture to stop it becoming dry and itchy
  • to soothe the itchiness which comes with eczema
  • to help protect the skin’s natural barrier which keeps triggers out and stops more skin irritation

It’s no surprise when many of us choose products which we are going to use often and regularly to help us keep our children’s eczema skin in the best condition we can, we want something natural and nourishing.

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How can coconut oil help eczema?

How can coconut oil help eczema?

Coconut oil is one of those natural wonders you keep hearing about when you start talking eczema and as you start your research you will begin to understand why. It is taken from the edible flesh of a coconut, has many properties which can help to manage eczema. Here are some of them:

  • Lauric acid has proven antibacterial properties which can help control the growth of staphylococcus bacteria which loves living on dry skin. It also has anti-inflammatory benefits which can help during the itch-scratch cycle.
  • Saturated fats these add smoothness to the skin and also layer the skin’s natural barrier to help it to retain moisture.
  • Vitamin E which is needed for healthy skin to grow and repair itself.
  • Phytonutrients and polyphenols which have antioxidant properties to fight skin cell damage
  • Caprylic and capric acid to prevent itchy and flakey skin as well as helping to protect the skin’s natural protective barrier.

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itchy baby co. natural moisturiser

why is itchy baby co. natural moisturiser different?

Most of you know my story and I’m sure it’s similar to yours. For many years, well ever since my little boy was born nearly five years ago, we have battled with eczema. The emotional ups and downs, well mainly downs, the relentless search for effective products and the ongoing visits to a range of health professionals from naturopaths to paediatric dermatologists, all the while hoping that something, anything, would help.

As a pharmacist and mother I felt so frustrated and helpless that nothing I was trying was making much of a difference. So I was motivated to do something myself and our range of itchy baby bath soaks was developed. Then I started thinking about a moisturiser. What is about many of the creams available for eczema which are stopping me from seeing results? What do most of these eczema creams have in common and what can I change to develop a moisturiser to target eczema which might be different?

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moisturiser for eczema

what is the best moisturiser for eczema?

Finding a moisturiser which helps your little one’s eczema can be challenging. We all know that moisturising will help manage our little one’s eczema by putting hydration back into the skin and improving the skin’s natural barrier function. But, often one moisturiser won’t work as well as another and these results can be different again with different children. Choosing a good moisturiser for eczema doesn’t all have to be about trial and error though. There are some properties to look for when choosing a moisturiser for eczema which should get better results.

Read more