5 Ingredients to Avoid Putting on Your Baby’s Skin

Is your baby prone to diaper rashes or eczema? Are you struggling to treat cradle cap or baby acne? Many products that claim to help these kinds of skin issues contain ingredients that can actually aggravate the problem. So how do you know what is safe to put on your baby's brand new skin? And what ingredients should you avoid at all costs?

View Episode Transcript

Featured Expert


  • EllaOla

    EllaOla is a science-backed, natural luxury skincare brand for your baby. They bring the latest science and gentlest plant-based touch into every baby formula developed with experts in dermatology and pediatrics.

Episode Transcript

Natalie Gross 0:07
As babies adjust to life on the outside, their skin is extra sensitive and can go through a lot of changes in the first year. Maybe you're already noticing how your little one is prone to diaper rashes or eczema. Or you just can't seem to get rid of that cradle cap or baby acne. We'll be talking with experience moms and the founder of a baby skincare company today to help set your mind at ease and give you some ideas of what types of products are safe to put on your baby's skin. Plus information on ingredients you should definitely avoid. So get those notepads ready. This is Newbies!

Natalie Gross 0:51
Welcome to Newbies! Newbies is your online on-the-go support group guiding new mothers like you through their baby's first year. I'm Natalie gross mom to a three year old boy and a girl on the way. We've got a great show today talking about skincare and babies, and specifically what ingredients are safe and not safe to put on your baby's skin. Now if you haven't already, be sure to check out our website, https://newmommymedia.com And subscribe to our weekly newsletter, which keeps you updated on all the episodes that we release each week. Another great way to stay updated is to hit that subscribe button in whatever podcast app you're in right now. And if you're looking for a way to get even more involved with our show, then check out our membership club. It's called Mighty Moms. And that's where we chat more about the topics discussed here on the show. And it's also an easy way to learn about our recordings so that you can join us live. Now let's meet our guests for this conversation. today. We have moms Liz and Tiffany and Holly who's the founder of the skincare company, EllaOla. Ladies, tell us a little bit about you and your families as we get started here. Liz, do you want to kick us off?

Liz Love 2:11
Yes. Hi, my name is Liz. I live in Michigan and I have three kids. Two girls and a boy seven, five and two. So we stay busy and have lots of fun.

Natalie Gross 2:23
Great, thanks for being here. Tiffany.

Tiffany Spies 2:25
Hi, my name is Tiffany. I am also a Michigander just like Liz and I also have three kids they are eight, six and five and we are gearing up for a new school year.

Natalie Gross 2:36
Wonderful. Holly tell us a little bit about yourself and the experiences with your own kids skincare that led you to eventually starting the Ella Ola brand.

Holly Pan 2:46
Hi everyone. My name is Holly and I'm based in New York City. And I'm a mother of two one is three year old daughter and a six year old son the reason how I've found that EllaOla brand is based on my own experience. My whole family we all have very sensitive skin. And the both of my kids they struggle with eczema. And we have tried lots of different brands on the market. And none of them really work for them and we even took them to see a pediatric dermatologist. We learn like nothing on the market like they claim to be natural or safe. Actually, they're not that's why we found that EllaOla brand to try to develop the safest and highest quality products for parents and families.

Natalie Gross 3:33
Awesome. Well, I'm so glad you've joined us today. Liz and Tiffany, let's start with you have your babies experienced or when your kids were babies? Did they experience any skin issues like dry or sensitive skin, eczema, cradle cap, diaper rash, anything like that stand out to you?

Liz Love 3:47
Yes, actually, when my five year old was a baby she would get chafing or form of eczema in the folds of her arm. We lived in Illinois at the time in Southern Illinois where it got very hot very quick in the year. And she was always struggling with these big red like chafing spots all over her arm folds. And then my two year old I'm t that a very young age. And he was always drooling and his poor cheeks were always chat. So it was really hard to find something that would be effective and safe for him.

Tiffany Spies 4:21
Yes, I had my share of skincare well was with my own kids. Some eczema, also dry skin, a lot of diaper rash. And I was also always searching just like Holly said I was constantly searching for non toxic solutions that would help that would actually help their skin. So yes, definitely went through all of that on on our end too.

Natalie Gross 4:46
So how did you ladies go about choosing skincare products did you look for like different certifications like the Environmental Working Group certification or the National eczema Association, CL USDA? Did you do a lot of research or just kind of go with whatever was on the shelf at Target or could arrive the fastest from Amazon, like, how much research did you do and what was important to you?

Liz Love 5:08
Well, I do like a target trip like that. But I feel like for the most part, I like most moms, I took recommendations from friends live actually consulted Tiffany a time or two on good skincare solutions. But I kind of saw what other moms were using, like maybe what was popular among my mom groups I followed, and then I would research it from there, you know, was it USDA approved? Like, were they natural ingredients? Were they safe? And you know, could I read the ingredient list? So that was important to me as I as I chose what I was going to use for my kids.

Tiffany Spies 5:44
Yes, I same similar story, I would go to the store, I would pick up products from store shelves. And the label would look nice would have a leaf on it or something. And it's smiling baby. And I'm like, wow, this is great. I'm sure this is so safe for my baby's skin. Can't wait to use it. You flip it over and you read the ingredient list and you're like nope, nevermind. So I look for certain things in the ingredient list when I'm looking for safe, non toxic products for my kids. And I find I did find that I was frustrated at the store and spending so much time in the skincare aisle in the baby aisle, flipping over products and looking at ingredient lists and just putting them back in frustration. So I definitely have some key things I look for that I have gotten better and quicker at looking at looking for when I'm shopping for products from for myself, for my kids and for my family.

Natalie Gross 6:38
Awesome. Well, I definitely want to hear about those later in the show. But Holly, what do you think like when we're talking about these different certifications? How important are those?

Holly Pan 6:48
Yeah, to us those are really important certifications because like for EWG this certification basically lots of parents they go to this website to check like the score of each ingredient. So normally, they grade the ingredients in terms of like green, orange, different colors. And all of our products we made sure it's on either G score one or two ingredient. They're all like green score ingredients. So parents, I heard that like they, they like to like do research and look at the labels actually the energy, this certification can help you they already do that work for you. And for National Eczema Association. They basically they are in order to get a seal, they will review the ingredient list and also they also check the testing results. So basically what whatever products get this seal that means this product is safe and good for eczema prone skin weight babies were even adults and the USDA organic certification, that's even more strict certification to get because not only the ingredients has to be organic, the factory like the where we manufacture the products, like has to be organic certified. So every single product you're buying, actually I got these certifications and we think these can help parents save lives on research time, so they assure that these products are safe and effective.

Natalie Gross 8:24
Awesome, Holly well thank you so much for sharing. We are going to hear from moms Liz and Tiffany again later in the show. But when we come back I'll be talking more with Holly Pan of Ella Ola about the ingredients to watch for when it comes to choosing skincare products for your baby. So stay tuned!

Natalie Gross 8:45
Today on Newbies we're talking about skincare for babies. We've already met our featured guest today Holly Pan. She's a mother of two and the founder of Ella Ola skincare company, which is a brand at the intersection of science and luxury. They developed the products with a team of Harvard, dermatologists and pediatricians using the highest quality ingredients that have researched back benefits. They have achieved six certifications with the highest safety standards. USDA Organic EWG national eczema Association made safe USDA biobased and NSF organic. They've been featured in Glamour, Forbes, the bump and other outlets and the company has also been recommended by the National Eczema Association. So Holly, I'm excited to continue our conversation. What are some of the most common baby skincare issues that your products can help with?

Holly Pan 9:33
Sure, thanks for the question. Just to clarify our products, not only for babies with common skin care issue, but also for a normal baby size for all babies because lots of babies their skin because their skin is 30% thinner than adults. So baby skin is much more fragile and much more sensitive and even drier. So that's why we see a lot of common issues with baby skin like that. Why skin sensitive skin like 20% of babies actually experienced eczema because each of our product has the National Eczema Association seal. So are the products good or suitable for eczema prone skin baby like our face cream or lotion we clinically tested for a 96 hour hydration because most Eczema is caused by dry skin so dry skin Eczema is really common. And our face cream lotion can definitely help with that provide the actual strong hydration and our best soap. This is a really innovative product can really help with eczema prone skin, like we use like the Claudia oatmeal. That seesaw like this has been used for centuries to treat eczema. And another thing would be the cradle cap. So in actually temporaries our babies experienced cradle cap and our massage or our USDA organic certified massage well can definitely help with the cradle cap, like basically the parent just need to apply some oil on baby scalp and gently massage it and to rinse it to remove the cradle cap. It's really common and also our diaper rash cream can help with diaper rash, or Deborah green is has the food in presenting oxide, which our dermatologist they strongly suggest the babies with diaper rash to use a thin oxide based diaper cream to help protect their skin to really create this barrier to protect from those irritants your baby's autumn area.

Natalie Gross 11:47
Well, you know, kind of as we've been talking, not all baby skincare products are created equal right so what are some ingredients that parents should definitely be wary of in the products that they choose? Can you share five?

Unknown Speaker 11:58
Sure. So the five ingredients pirate parents should definitely avoid will be the top one will be the fragrances. Fragrances is actually you know top three allergens in North America. This is there's a report by published by America and Contact Dermatitis Society. So fragrances definitely is the top one allergen parents should watch for understanding when will be the essential oils. So there's the misconception that because essential oils, they're natural, so they must be safe and then not allergens. But actually lots of babies they they have got allergic reactions from essential oils. And the third one will be other propylene glycol, which is incoming allergen and lots of like really common baby brands actually have that. And the fourth one will be the flower extracts, because flower extracts even though they are natural, but actually, they can cause allergic reactions, such as like really common one will be like calendula extract, chamomile extract, for my we we avoid those in our formula to really make sure our formularies don't contain like those natural allergens, mainly for babies. And the last one will be the harsh chemicals were surfactants. Like the strong surfactant like SLS, SLES like those are really coming in the adult shampoo or body wash. But for babies because their skins really sensitive really fragile. So for baby, we should definitely avoid those surfactants and use a milder, safer, milder surfactants in the shampoo body wash.

Natalie Gross 13:52
It's really interesting. So when we see you know the term natural ingredients on the bottle of a product, can we take that at face value that it's going to be safe for our babies?

Holly Pan 14:02
Definitely no, because lots of natural ingredients. Actually they are allergens. For example, like the calendula extra we mentioned and even olive oil. They're actually not they are harmful for the skin because they're only acid content is high. So and not only lots of natural allergen natural ingredients, they're allergens, but also lots of natural ingredients. They're not backed by science, like there's no proven studies to show that they have they provide those skin benefits. So that's why when we developed the formula, we really involve our like Harvard dermatologist, because they are at the front end of the science they know what ingredients really working so we only use the natural ingredients that really have research back benefits, right they reveal. Our formula live we went through like three months iterations and also three months we discuss back and forth to find our formulation to make sure we only include the natural ingredients that has clinical studies to show they really have the skin benefits.

Natalie Gross 15:21
Well, Holly, a lot of moms like to do massages with their babies. It's part of you know, the nighttime routine sometimes. So what can they be using on their babies to help with skincare? What ingredients should we be looking for? Yeah, give us some tips there.

Holly Pan 15:36
Sure. So I will recommend like three oils, it's like a powerful combo. Our formula like the coconut oil is definitely a dermatologist favorite oil. Because a cow it's really natural and aka improves like skincare. And they're not only for baby, but also for like toddlers and for adults and the coconut oil. It also has an anti inflammatory property. So dermatologists they really love coconut oil. And next oil they really love will be the sunflower oil. Sunflower oil has tons of research studies like to prove that he can really moisturize the skin reduce dryness, and last one will be the argan oil or the oil is called like the liquid gold of the oil. It's actually really one of the most expensive oils in the world. And it has really strong antioxidant property. It can help maintain hydration and soften the skin and argan oil is used widely in massage oil because it can like even last adults they use Argan oil for massage session because a feel make the skin really soft and easy to massage. And our baby massage oil has all these three ingredients.

Natalie Gross 17:02
Great. What about bathtime? Especially, you know, with babies who have some of these skin issues we've been talking about eczema, you know, the skin irritation or itchiness.

Holly Pan 17:10
Yeah, so we we developed this best sock. It's really innovative and one of our dermatologists, Dr. Jennifer Tan, so and also Dr. Jennifer Huang. They have seen lots of pediatric patients every day. So they see lots of them struggle with eczema and lots of itchiness. That's why they develop this best soak it in like organic sachet like cotton sachet. And we put the ingredients inside. So when you use it in the bath, you soak it in the bath and when you squeeze it, the water becomes milky white. And when you apply it on your skin, it feels really soft and really silky skin. And it's really designed for eczema skin because of the ingredients. Like we only use five ingredient in this best soak and each of them have all the clinical studies to prove they can help with eczema, especially like the colonial oatmeal also the dead sea salt, so that sea salt has been used for centuries to treat eczema. Like lots of our doctors, patients with eczema, they actually go to that sea to like soak themselves in the Dead Sea to treat eczema. We also have the black tea in the past so it's use commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine. And this black tea has been studies have shown a can of the anti itchy and anti inflammatory properties. And we also have the plant based prebiotic. It's good for healthy skin microbiome. So this past silk, lots of our users lots of moms really love this because they they basically they have never seen this type of product before. And they when we introduced them to this they're really excited to try and they can and you can see the result right away like the skin like the redness, itchiness and the even the dryness. We'll all be relieved.

Natalie Gross 19:21
Awesome, Holly lots of great information for our listeners here. I hope they were taking notes. We are going to take another quick break and when we come back we'll be talking more with Holly and bringing back are moms Liz and Tiffany as we continue this discussion on baby skincare stay with us

Natalie Gross 19:41
All right, let's continue this discussion on baby skincare moms as Holly was talking what was going through your mind were you aware of some of these you know, bad or harsh ingredients?

Liz Love 19:53
Several of them I had you know heard of before to be on the watch list. But I feel like the tricky one is always the claimed to have essential oils in it. You know, in my mind when I see that a product has essential oils, I assume that it's non toxic, you know, and it's super clean and safe for my child to use. But I wanted to mention too, that there's an app that I use that is so helpful, it actually allows you to look up products or scan them directly in the store, and it gives you the EWG rating of the product. So it'll help you see you know, where your product falls and the category it falls into. And it can help you avoid some of those, you know, really not so good products. I mean, that products, ingredients that Holly was talking about.

Natalie Gross 20:37
Yeah, that's awesome. I have to check that out.

Tiffany Spies 20:40
Yes, I am very wary of anything that says fragrance. Like Holly said that is something that is not regulated, and so it can hide so many things, especially thought plates. And those are terrible for adults, let alone for tiny, small, innocent babies and their sweet skin. We don't we want to protect it as much as possible. So fragrances are always a no in my book. Also, like Holly said, sulfates. I feel like we've been trained to equate something that smells good with the ability of it to clean us a clean cleanse our skin and we think okay, well our laundry smells good. Our babies smell good. So they must it must be clean, when in fact there's that fragrance lurking but then the sulfates the bubbles. They that's just so harmful. We don't need the bubbles you don't need bubbles to be clean, right? You just need a good quality non toxic baby wash or balm or ointment to put on their skin doesn't have to be bubbly. It doesn't have to smell like a mountain fresh flower in order for it to be cleaning.

Natalie Gross 21:50
Yeah, good points there. Holly. We talked about ingredients to avoid what are some common or maybe not so common ingredients that parents can be confident in when they see them listed in skincare products what is generally acceptable to put on your baby's skin?

Holly Pan 22:06
Oh, great question. So yeah, we talk a lot about what ingredient we should avoid, but most important word we should use to help with our baby skin. Skincare. So number one where we really like is the coconut oil like in our products we use lots of like coconut oil and also a coconut water like also you know like a powder form, edible form. So coconut oil is definitely one ingredient we really love. It has so many different benefits like anti inflammatory and also hydrating, a non allergenic and the next one will be the algea so you see a lot of luxurious adult skincare products use algea like Lamere that's a really young, expensive brand. And the you don't really see that many baby brands use this ingredient because it's really expensive. And for our because our products are more like a premium baby skincare. So our crown jewel ingredient actually is the French golden algae and Indonesia algea . So why what's good about algea is in made of sugar, which made it a form of prebiotic and also it has the hydrating property in itself. And so our French go that algea Indonesia algea combo can not only moisturize your skin but also form like a biofilm to really protect the skin. And this algae Indonesia algae is actually a patented ingredient. So this combo is a strong, powerful combo and a luxurious way. And the next ingredient we really like is the hobo oil, the hobo oil the structure is really similar to humans skin sebum. So it's really easy for the skin to absorb and really a moisturizing and we also love the grapeseed oil and also shea butter like these ingredients. We definitely they have tons of research to show they have the skin benefits. So we love these ingredients.

Natalie Gross 24:22
I want to know if any of you have gotten into a good skincare routine with your children. You know we talked a little bit about you know, bedtime massage and moisturizing so curious if you can give our new mom listeners out there some ideas for getting into a good routine with that and any tips and tricks regarding skincare for babies.

Liz Love 24:42
Um, I feel like with our first you know, she was our only one so she got a lot of like good bath before bed like massage, you know? And then as the crew grew you know the bedtime massage time definitely grew less. But um, I always love moisturizing their skin after a bath or shower now, and in the summer as well as the winter, you know, it's important to be preventative. I feel like with their skincare and not wait to the dry winter to make sure we're taking good care of their skin. I'm teaching them good habits now. So that when they're older, they know what to look for. Actually, just the other night, my one daughter was asking why I was looking at her bottle of body wash. And I said, because I want to make sure what's in it is safe for you. And so we kind of talked about how sometimes companies put not good ingredients in products. And so just Yeah, teaching them those things. And, you know, taking good care of their sweet little skin.

Natalie Gross 25:39
That's really cool. Starting them young. Tiffany, what about you?

Tiffany Spies 25:43
Yes, just like Liz said, it's never too early to teach them to read labels, they may not read, because they can't when they're young, but to just be more aware of what they're putting on their skin. And to just reiterate, oh, I'm using this product because it has really a safe ingredients for you. And I want to protect your skin and just that you're never your kids are never too young to have that conversation. Now that my kids are older, they can get into their own routine. And so we have, you know, non toxic lotion and non toxic body wash and shampoo and all that kind of stuff stocked in our bathrooms. And our kids they are you know, I've monitored them a little bit, but they're getting better about, you know, moisturizing their own skin and not using too much lotion, because when especially when you're using non toxic products, a little bit goes a long way, which is a huge benefit, I think to using non toxic products. And so you know, they are starting to develop their own routines. I also think especially when you have just a sweet little newborn, there's nothing better than the smell of a newborn. And I'm immune from baby fever now, but but I know that it's very tempting to want them to smell like a fresh, clean newborn all the time. And so you want to pay them so much. But I feel like it's really important to remind new moms, you don't have to bathe, you can if you want to, but you don't have to pay their child every single day. I know we don't in our house. Still, even as older kids my kids don't take a bath every day, especially in the summer, you know, run through the sprinkler that comes to but our skin does have natural oils and a natural pH balance that you want to keep intact and bathing too much is a thing. And of course if they smell or if they're dirty, rinse them off, get them clean, but bathing too much can be harmful to the skin it can strip your skin of the natural oils that it needs to stay healthy and so I think you know making sure you're not eating too much. And then starting a you know just a shampoo body wash moisturizing routine. It's never too early to start that.

Natalie Gross 27:48
Yeah, Holly any tips and tricks from you?

Holly Pan 27:51
Yeah, totally agree like baby definitely doesn't need to bathe every day especially when they don't move around. They're not like toddlers running around our sweat. Definitely no need for a bubble bath either because a can be drying for their skin. So for a good skincare routine normally, we recommend they use our best soak first and then they don't have to use shampoo if the baby isn't 30 was sweating too much. They can just use a little bit of shampoo to wash hair but for the body the best of is enough and then they can use them aside oil to massage the baby and then normally five minutes massage per day is enough. And the baby massage has lots of actually benefits like not only it can be like a great bonding moment for parents and baby but also it can help baby with bloating with gas issue and also help baby with Lhasa developmental help them with like brain development or bone development and help with colic. So definitely baby massage is really beneficial and then they can apply for lotion. And lastly apply for Face Cream. This will be the skincare routine we recommend for baby.

Natalie Gross 29:21
Great well I have learned so much in this conversation. So thank you so much to you all. Are there any last thoughts anyone wants to share before we wrap up?

Holly Pan 29:29
I didn't mention so unlike other baby brand. So most other baby brand, they don't really do a clinical studies. So first of all because it's expensive and also their product may not have that efficacy. So what's really different here at EllaOla because we also want to make parents life easier, like our way did the moisturisation clinical study. Like our baby lotion and baby Ice Cream have been clinically tested to provide a 96 hour hydration. So most other baby brands, if they do the clinical study, they prove either like eight hour hydration, or 24 hour hydration. But we go the extra mile to really prove doesn't mean the baby doesn't need to wash their face for 96 hours. But it's more to show the efficacy, the potency of the hydration, our products have. And also our baby massage oil has been clinically tested for 72 hour hydration, which I don't see we don't see any baby massage oil on the market really doing that. And also not to mention the USDA organic certification, which basically is a food grade certification. Because a baby like to put their hands in their mouth. So we that's why we make it food grade. So even if the baby after massage session, even if they put their hands in their mouth is still safe. Because the oils we use our food grade.

Natalie Gross 31:11
That's so interesting, and something that I wouldn't have considered otherwise. So I'm so grateful you mentioned that.

Liz Love 31:18
Can I add something? I just wanted to say too, that I remember, as a first time mom feeling so overwhelmed, by like, all of the products out there and feeling like I was single handedly destroying my newborn skin just because I had used, you know, the top of the line off the target shelf product at the time, and feeling so guilty that I had somehow you know, ruined their life. And so just taking the time to like research the best that you can, and we all have different budgets, and we all have different resources. And you know, just doing the best that we can for our babies when it comes you know, to anything in life. But I especially felt that very deeply with skincare and coming up with my routine. And my routine might be different than my neighbors and that's okay, because I'm doing the best that I can for my baby.

Holly Pan 32:07
Yes. Yeah, I totally agree with that. Because when I was a new mom, I didn't know anything about skincare either. Like why to my both my kids when they have eczema all over them. I took the I felt so guilty to like why saw them like suffering from the skin issues. And I actually accidentally put some lace supposed to be safe products on them. So but I feel like for new moms, it's okay, like everybody makes mistakes and we're growing with our babies, which is the beauty of her not only they are growing actually we're learning and growing too. So even though like I learned all the stuff after, after they had those eczema issue, but I don't want mom to feel like Oh, I did something wrong. I think it's okay. It's normal.

Liz Love 33:00
I like that growing with our babies as we learn too.

Natalie Gross 33:03
For sure. Yeah. Well, thank you so much, Holly, Liz and Tiffany for joining me on this episode today. Listeners be sure to check out Ella Ola at https://ellahola.com. And you can also check out https://newmommymedia.com where we have all of our podcast episodes plus videos and more.

Natalie Gross 33:30
That wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to Newbies. Don't forget to check out our sister shows Preggie Pals for expecting parents, Parents Savers for moms and dads with toddlers, The Boob Group for moms who give breast milk to their babies and Twin Talks for parents of multiples. Thanks for listening to Newbies, your go-to source for new moms and new babies.

Disclaimer 33:55
This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of new mommy media and should not be considered facts. Will such information and materials are believed to be accurate. It is not intended to replace or substitute for professional medical advice or care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating healthcare problem or disease or prescribing any medication. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health, or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.

Love our shows? Join our community and continue the conversation! Mighty Moms is our online support group, with parenting resources and helpful new mom stories you won’t find anywhere else! You’ll also have a chance to be featured on our shows.

Become a Mighty Mom!