I’ve been on a skincare kick lately. It started with my own skin care regime revamp after a trip to the dermatologist for a post-baby “mole patrol” visit. I’m one of the unlucky ones that gets those pesky brown spots during pregnancy and it always takes me awhile to do something about it. The whole experience got me thinking about healthy skin and questioning what I put on my own skin and my children’s bodies as well. The timing couldn’t have been better to start a product overhaul around the house since I was running low on just about everything and when I bumped into Dr. Lisa Kessler, the creator of baby skin care line BecomingBaby, at the recent Babes and Babies event it was just the motivation I needed to take action. She was nice enough to let me interview her so I could report back with some helpful baby skincare tips.
Project Nursery was first introduced to Becoming Baby last year at the ABC Kids Expo and after receiving some samples the product line became one of My Favorite Things this past holiday season. I promised then to bring you more information about the line and to let you know when the Becoming Baby product line was available to purchase and are happy to deliver on that promise! I talked with Lisa about how to go about finding good products for the family. There is so much conflicting information out there and I was in real need of some clarification.
PN: You created Becoming Baby because you couldn’t find anything on the market that as a doctor and mother you could get excited about using on your children. What was missing from current products on the market?
Dr. Lisa: When I had my daughter, I went looking for simple, natural products without a lot of unnecessary extra ingredients in them. Sounds obvious for a newborn, right? I was surprised how many baby products on the market were made almost entirely of petrochemicals, or contained preservatives such as parabens or formadehyde-donors. I didn’t want strong fragrances (overstimulating for babies) or colored dyes (Ever wonder what makes a certain baby lotion that familiar pink color? Red 33. Not something that sounds like it belongs on baby skin to me.) So I looked to the natural brands instead. The ingredients sounded better and more familiar, and many of them were organic too, but putting all those extra botanic extracts and essential oils on my new baby just didn’t make sense to me either. I learned that many of them aren’t at all beneficial for infant skin and some even cause irritation or allergic reactions. As a pediatrician and a mom, I thought I could come up with something better, gentler and safer – that’s how Becoming Baby began.
PN: Which products do you think are most important to splurge on for baby?
Dr. Lisa:Babies really don’t need all that much fancy stuff, but I do think it’s worthwhile to make the safest, healthiest choices you can afford for things like feeding, skin care and bedding. There are so many amazing natural products on the market now.
PN: I keep hearing about Parabens and how we should avoid them. Why and how do you check if they are in products?
Dr. Lisa: Parabens are a class of preservatives that have been used in the cosmetics industry for decades, in everything from shampoo to toothpaste. They became controversial when recent studies showed that parabens were showing up in some breast cancer tumors. Since they are also known to have estrogenic activity, scientists suggested that a relationship might exist between paraben exposure and breast cancer. The actual link is not known. If a product does contain parabens (and many still do) they will be listed in the ingredients – look for names like butylparaben, ethylparaben, methylparaben or propylparaben. I especially avoid sunscreens with paraben preservatives, since there is research that suggests some parabens actually make skin cells more vulnerable to UV damage!
PN: What other ingredients should parents be conscious of when buying products for their children?
Dr. Lisa:If you visit www.becomingbabyskincare.com, there is a list of all the ingredients we chose to avoid in creating our products. There is also a page that lists and explains every single ingredient in our entire product line. We believe that parents have a right to know what they are putting on their babies, so they can make informed, responsible choices.
PN:How do you keep balanced as a mother, doctor and entrepreneur? We are always looking for tips!
Dr. Lisa:I’m still looking for the magic answer to this one! I guess my best strategy is to prioritize, or as we called it in the ER – triage. It helps me make sure that the most important and most urgent things get done first, but still keeps the whole “to do” list moving along.
What I love about the whole line of Becoming Baby products is the simple concept that extra ingredients in products isn’t necessary and therefore shouldn’t be added. That means fragrance, preservatives and coloring.
WIN IT: Becoming Baby is giving away TWO gift sets which include Baby Wash, Baby Lotion, Comfort Creme and Jelly Balm. Visit BecomingBabySkincare.com and then tell us what product you would be most excited to try and why. Contest ends February 18th, 2011 at 11:59 PST.