Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mama knows best: keeping your baby's skin soft and healthy

We all smile at the touch of that soft, smooth skin of a tiny baby… and frown when their super-sensitive skin gets dried out, flaky, and sometimes even painful. Well, I’ve scoured the world (okay, maybe just the World Wide Web and a couple of local stores) to find the best lotions available to keep that baby soft skin, without the harsh chemicals found in many lotions. These will also work well to keep Mom’s skin soft and smooth and are highly recommended for anyone with sensitive skin or skin conditions, such as eczema.

The most important thing I found, when searching for a good baby lotion, is to find one that is free from irritants, coloring, and fragrance, although very few products meet all of these factors. I came up with two great choices, both of which are healthy for the skin, pleasant to use, affordable, and safe for the most sensitive skin.

1. Earth Mama Angel Baby Lotion (Approx. $15 for 8 oz.)
Earth Mama Angel Baby Lotion another good choice for baby lotion, especially for those looking for a more organic option. It is all-natural, paraben-free (a highly controversial preservative), made with 95.2% organic ingredients, and certified vegan. It is also free from any artificial fragrances or dyes. Containing aloe, rooibos, and shea butter this lotion is a great choice for extremely sensitive skin or eczema. Angel Baby absorbs quickly, gives off a pleasant, natural scent of oranges and vanilla, and leaves the skin smooth and radiant. On the downside, although I found no claims of irritation regarding this product, the citrus that gives this lotion its wonderful scent, is known as a potential skin irritant. Overall, Earth Mama Angel Baby Lotion is a great, all natural option for maintaining that soft baby skin.

2. Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Lotion (Approx. $8 for 8 oz.)
Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Lotion is a more economical but highly recommended baby lotion I found. It is hypoallergenic, non-irritating, surfactant-free (no detergent cleaning agents), and paraben-free. It is also fragrance-free, while still maintaining a very pleasant smell. Furthermore, it contains natural oatmeal powder, which could provide some healing properties, making it a great choice for irritated or broken skin. Now, on the downside, I did find some reviews claiming that it can have a slightly sticky texture at times, although, most of those reviews found it minor and still highly recommended it, and several other reviews claim a smooth, non-sticky application. Overall, Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Lotion seems to be an excellent choice for any sensitive skin.

We hope this is helpful to mom's who are always looking to care for and protect their little ones. If you have used any of these lotions or have other lotions you recommend please let us know.

--The hydrOtion team

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Food Tips for Healthy Skin

We live in a society where everyone seems to be on a diet, but make sure you continue to eat foods that are essential for skin, hair and whole body health. For healthy skin and hair, eat foods that are high in antioxidants, essential fatty acids and don’t forget to hydrate! Here are some tips.

Anti-oxidants prevent collagen breakdown and premature aging by fighting free-radicals that can damage your skin. What foods are high in anti-oxidants?

1. Fruits. Some delicious examples are Berries (blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, and cranberry), pomegranate, grape, orange, pineapple, avocado, date and plum.
2. Nuts. For example pecans, pistachios, hazelnuts, walnuts and my personal favorite: almonds!
3. Vegetables. Artichokes, beans, spinach, broccoli, arugula, Radicchio, peppers and asparagus are high in anti-oxidant power.
4. Other. Cinnamon, oregano, clove, green or black tea, rice bran and last but not least, red wine.

Essential Fatty Acids:
These essential fatty acids are required (hence the word “essential” in the name) for proper health and must be ingested since the body does not have the capability to synthesize them. There are two types of essential fatty acids: omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid) and omega-6 (linoleic acid ) fatty acids which can be obtained from a variety of foods and help skin retain moisture while strengthening skin cell membranes.

Essential fatty acids can be found in Flaxseed oil (very high), flaxseed meal, hempseed oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil, borage oil, evening primrose oil, black currant seed oil, chestnut oil, sunflower seeds (raw), cold-processsed, unrefined canola oil, soybean oil, wheat germ oil, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds, avocados, some dark leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, purslane, mustard greens, collards, oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, and albacore tuna.

Water, water and more water! It plumps your skin cells giving it a healthy and youthful look. It also flushes the toxins out of your body and is the major component of your body. The average person loses about 2 liters of water (or eight cups [8 ounce]) each day through urination, sweating, etc. You need to replace this amount daily. Soda, coffee, beer, wine and even tea do not take the place of water; in fact these are diuretics that dehydrate you. For more information about water intake, you can visit the Mayo Clinic website.