“Dry indoor heating combined with sub-zero temperatures outside can make us more prone to itchiness, flaking and inflammation during the winter months,” says Dr. Rob Miller, a dermatologist in Halifax. Baby products can be excellent options for moms with sensitized skin because they’re formulated to be extra gentle. Here’s how to make these products work for you.
Petrolatum (the main ingredient) works by trapping moisture against skin to create a protective barrier. Dermatologists routinely recommend it for severely dry spots like elbows, knees and heels.
Application tip: Slather on cracked, dry heels at bedtime and then cover with socks for an intensive treatment while you sleep.
Try: Vaseline Original Petroleum Jelly, $5
During the winter months, extending the time between shampoos can protect your scalp from irritation. A sprinkle of baby powder will control oil without the drying effects of a full wash.
Application tip: Sprinkle along your part, then massage into the roots of your hair. For best results, let the powder sit for a minute before you brush it out. Bonus: It’ll also give fine hair some extra volume.
Try: Johnson’s Baby Powder, $4
A cleansing milk is an ultra-gentle alternative to your usual bar of soap. Ones designed for baby are pH-balanced and designed to soothe and protect delicate skin.
Application tip: Use your hands or a soft washcloth to apply; rough loofahs and body brushes can irritate dry skin.
Try: Kibio Bébé Soothing Cleansing Lotion, $18, available exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart
On shampoo days treat your dry scalp to an extra-gentle sudsing. Baby shampoo doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles, but it’s also lacking potentially irritating fragrances — a no-no for sensitized skin.
Application tip: Use it every second wash, or when you run out of your usual stuff.
Try: Aveeno Baby Essential Moisture Shampoo, $8
Mineral oil is an efficient dry skin soother. It creates a silky barrier, trapping in moisture to keep skin feeling smooth.
Application tip: Apply a few drops immediately after a shower, when your skin is still damp, for maximum moisture.
Try: Johnson’s Baby Oil, $3