The special characteristics of babies’ skin
The skin is a complex and dynamic organ that performs several vital functions. The maturation process of the skin starts at birth, with the adaption of the skin to a dry environment, compared to that of being in utero. Skin is in a process of evolving from birth to adulthood. While this evolution is taking place and the skin, as a barrier, is maturing, impaired skin function makes the skin vulnerable to chemical damage, microbial infections, and skin diseases, possibly compromising the general health of the infant.
There are some obvious differences between infant skin and that of an adult. In babies, the dermis is thinner than in adults; the ratio of skin surface area to body volume is significantly higher in babies than in adults; sweat is not able to regulate a baby’s body temperature as effectively as it does in adults and the acid mantle which only begins to develop after the baby has been born, is liable to break down during childhood.
It is with these difference in mind, that we can understand the importance of using specific skin care products on young skin. Among other factors, perfumes, soaps and chemicals can be irritants to sensitive baby skin and should best be avoided.