Bath time with your baby can bring a lot of joy – there is splashing, giggling, squealing. It’s a special time and so many of us look back fondly on our own bubble bath days – making bubble beards, hats, gloves. It’s only natural to want the same for our little ones. But if your baby or toddler has eczema, it might be best to steer clear of bubble baths. In fact, even if your little one doesn’t have eczema, it might be time to reconsider that bubble bath. Here’s why:
- Bubble bath products use all kinds of synthetic, unnatural ingredients!
As we outline in our Guide to Eczema in Babies and Children, eczema can be triggered by environmental factors. In science terms, some of the ingredients found in bubble baths that can be harmful to babies with eczema include cocamidopropyl betaine, fragrance (sometimes called “parfum”), benzyl alcohol, sodium lauryl sulfate (also called SLS and SLES), parabens, Methylisothiazolinone/ Methylchloroisothiazolinone, phenoxyethanol, phthalates, PEGs, and glycolic/sacilic acid and retinol. When you consider that most of your child’s body is submerged in the bath water and is absorbing what is in the water, these ingredients suddenly don’t feel so joyful and fun. Bye-bye, Mr. Bubbles.
- To keep eczema at bay, it’s helpful to limit super drying and scented (i.e. fragranced) ingredients, both of which are often in most bubble bath formulas. The ingredients found in bubble bath are extremely drying to sensitive skin.
Many of the ingredients listed above, in addition to being toxic, are also either drying or heavily fragranced. We’ve said this time and time again, but babies soak in so much of what we put on their precious bodies! To avoid eczema flareups, it’s especially important to steer clear of any drying or irritating ingredients. Sudsy soap is especially drying to sensitive skin.
- There are better ways of achieving the same purpose!
We get it, bath time is hard. Whether you want it to smell great, and that’s why you use bubble bath, or you want it to be playful, let us give you some other ways of achieving that while caring for your little one’s eczema. We like to use nourishing bath herbs to soothe and scent! As for entertainment, we love using toys, essential oils, and Epsom salts to keep baby healthy and parents happy. If you’re wondering about what, specifically, should be done at bath time to handle eczema, check out our tips for bath time wellness!
"Eczema and Bathing." National Eczema Association, nationaleczema.org/eczema/treatment/bathing/.
Eichenfield, Lawrence F., et al. "Guidelines of care for the management of atopic dermatitis: section 2. Management and treatment of atopic dermatitis with topical therapies." National Library of Medicine, vol. 71(1), no. 116-32, 9 May 2014. PubMed, doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2014.03.023.
"How to Bathe a Child Who Has Eczma." American Academy of Dermatology, www.aad.org/public/diseases/eczema/childhood/itch-relief/bathe-child.
"Why Bubble Baths Aren't Great For Babies With Eczema." Balmonds, 17 Sept. 2019, balmonds.co.uk/blogs/blog/why-bubble-baths-arent-great-for-babies-with-eczema#:~:text=But%20unfortunately%20surfactants%20also%20bind,ingredients%20that%20can%20cause%20problems.