When Sweta Doshi’s daughter developed a case of eczema as a baby, she was underwhelmed with the skincare options for sensitive skin. With a career in the beauty industry and an appreciation for coconut oil in large part from her Indian heritage, she set out to create a line of bath products that set a new standard in sensitive skincare that heals and nourishes. Enter Bubbsi, Sweta’s line of coconut-oil based bath products that have done just that. One of Bubbsi’s signature offerings is the Coconut Oil Balm, which opened up an entire new world to us: oil cleansing for babies.
You may know oil cleansing as an alluring Instagram trend that promises clean, supple skin (just swipe up!) and that very well may be true. But as it turns out, oil cleansing’s power and potential isn’t limited to cleaning a day’s worth of gunk out of your pores. As Sweta explains, it's actually excellent for baby:
Let’s start with the basics. What IS oil cleansing? What are some of the key benefits? Oil Cleansing has become popular in adult skincare and makeup removal, but it is also a gentler, more natural and hydrating alternative to soap for babies, too. Plus, it’s suitable for all skin types. Oil cleansing uses natural oils and massage to gently dissolve skin’s oil-based impurities while still retaining the natural oil balance, thus maintaining skin's strength and hydration.
Traditional soaps primarily clean with surfactants, or chemicals that allow water to dissolve and wash away oil and dirt. However, harsh surfactants can strip the skin entirely of its natural oils, sometimes damaging the outer layer of the skin over time with habitual dryness, redness, and irritation. Baby skin is about five times thinner than adult skin, more susceptible to losing moisture, and does not contain enough natural oils to sufficiently protect it from pathogens. This is the reason that Pediatricians recommend only using mild soap once a week max on babies—because it can strip their underdeveloped skin cells.
How does it work? Oil molecules are "lipophilic" which means they are attracted to and can dissolve other oil molecules. The oil cleanser attracts and softens sebum, bacteria, and dirt, and pulls it out of pores. It also helps to replace such oil-based impurities with beneficial oil. They add an extra hydrating layer of protection to the skin’s natural barrier, so you may not even need for a moisturizer after the bath!
That sounds amazing. It's obviously an extremely hydrating way to cleanse, but will it get cleanse the skin of all that newborn funk? It may feel like your little one gets super dirty, but in reality, water can remove most of it. Massaging an oil cleanser removes the extra yucky stuff, re-hydrates skin during a bath, and increases blood flow to strengthen skin cells over time.
Can you walk us through how to oil cleanse a wiggly little babe? Massage is a key part of oil cleansing. Put your little one in the bathtub and wet hair, face and body with warm water. Using small dollops of our Coconut Oil Balm(a little goes a long way), massage into baby's skin by making slow circles starting from the feet, moving up the legs, around the tummy and up to the chest area. Massage from the middle of the chest towards the arm pits to help stimulate the lymphatic system to drain toxins. Use a small amount on the face (will not irritate eyes) and massage from forehead down the nose toward the cheeks. Make sure to massage into the folds around the diaper area (front and back) and in the neck where the yucky stuff resides. Once baby has enjoyed some massage time, rinse with warm water. No need to use a washcloth, as our Balm washes cleanly off.
Gently pat baby dry with a towel, leaving skin slightly damp. Moisturize with our Whipped Coconut Oil Body Cream if desired to further lock moisture into pores. Then snuggle!