Not satisfied with the main options, these women launched natural skincare lines especially suitable for the delicate skin of children.
A major event in 2011 would cause a significant change in the lifestyle of Hertfordshire mother Denisse Garcia. She had given birth to a healthy baby girl, but in reviewing the hospital notes, Garcia was unhappy with her decision to deliver by cesarean section. At the time, she didn’t realize that she had many options for how her baby would be delivered and would have preferred a more natural delivery without intervention.
When Garcia became pregnant with her second child three years ago, she was determined to have a home birth. In the time between having her children, she had begun to adopt a less impactful, more natural and sustainable lifestyle. “I became a vegetarian after having my first child, and that took me on a journey of embracing a more holistic lifestyle; learning new things and questioning everything, including what I was putting in my son’s skin, ”she says.
Motivated by the positive experience she subsequently had giving birth to her second daughter at home, she opened her own business, Nourishing mom, initially selling dried organic herbs to facilitate and support labor and recovery. Then, spurred on by the success of her first product launches and reinforced by the knowledge of the course she had been taking through the School of Natural Skin Care, Garcia decided to diversify. She started selling handmade products for moms and babies, such as cradle cap ointment, natural diaper rash balm, and body butters for blooming bellies.
Denisse García is the founder of Nourishing Mama
Since the skin of babies and children is notoriously sensitive, finding products that help rather than hinder can be challenging. According to Tina Svetek, formulation tutor and biotechnologist at the School of Natural Skincare, the epidermis is about 20% thinner in babies than in adults. This is the top layer of our skin and the main barrier that protects our body. “For this reason, children’s skin is more likely to lose moisture and become dry,” he says. “Thinner skin also means that irritants enter the skin more easily, making baby’s skin much more prone to irritation from foreign substances, such as fragrances in cosmetics.”
For Aparna Telang Tuli, a mother of two, this was an all too familiar experience. As a child, she had often suffered from skin irritation, which she eventually related to products rather than anything she ate. And when Tuli had a daughter of her own, she ended up with similar afflictions. Growing up in northern India, Tuli’s parents had used local ingredients to calm her down. “My mother used to find natural solutions; we use neem [a herb found in some tropical regions] and different things that were available locally. And my dad was referring to the things his mom used to do for him, ”he says.
With this tradition he is already part of his family, making his own products feel, well, natural. She compares the process to cooking healthy food for her family. “I prefer to cook the food myself and give it to my daughter knowing that everything is nutritious, without pesticides or chemicals, rather than going out and picking something up, which is a short cut.”
The epidermis is believed to be 20% thinner in babies than in adults. Image: Eric Froehling
As a freelance operational consultant in the dry cleaning industry, Tuli found herself with more time when the closure came. Like Garcia, she had also taken a course at the Natural Skin Care School and was eager to put her new knowledge to use.
“I enjoyed making natural products, and my family and friends also enjoyed trying them. And they constantly asked me: ‘can you order more?’ “
So that’s exactly what he did. Zizu Organics will officially launch in early 2021 and will feature two-in-one hand and lip balms, scrubs and moisturizing sticks. With her Indian heritage in mind, Tuli has been experimenting with ingredients like neem, turmeric, sandalwood, eucalyptus, and ashwagandha. [Indian ginseng], and often incorporates coconut oil into what it does.
I started to adopt a more holistic lifestyle; questioning everything, including what I was putting on my son’s skin
“The key ingredient that I work with is coconut oil, as I am inspired by my fatherly roots,” he says. When he was younger, his family grew and harvested coconut trees and extracted the oil. Today, they still have an oil extraction mill in their village, and their cousins have established a facility that processes the fruit for various purposes. “All of the fruit is used and reused.”
Is it difficult to make your own products for your family? Garcia doesn’t recommend homemade products for babies under three months, experimenting too much with essential oils, or trying to integrate SPF protection, but otherwise: “If you’re making, say, a body butter for yourself and your kids, it’s pretty simple ,” she says.
Svetek from the School of Natural Skincare recommends The Soap Kitchen, Gracefruit or Bay House Aromatics suppliers for good quality ingredients.
Recipes to Try at Home, from the School of Natural Skincare
– beaker or other container to mix the ingredients
– small spoon or spatula
– precision scale (you can get a cheap one online)
– bain-marie or bain-marie
Make your own natural skin care products for kids with the recipes below. Image: Anshu
Multi-purpose healing ointment
This simple ointment can be used to nourish your baby’s skin, protect facial skin from bad weather, and even as a protective diaper balm. The recipe yields 100g.
30g calendula oil infused
24.4 g of rosehip oil
15 g of shea butter
10 g of beeswax
10g cold-pressed coconut oil
10 g of avocado oil
0.5 g of lavender essential oil
0.1 g vitamin E
Put all the ingredients except the essential oil in the water bath and allow the butter and wax to melt gently. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Add the essential oil and stir. Pour into the jars and let cool.
Chocolate orange lip balm
This is a simple recipe, which can be made at home with the help of a child. This recipe is for a 50g batch, which will yield approximately five 10g lip balm sticks.
24.7 g of sunflower oil
15 g of beeswax
10 g of cocoa butter
0.25 g of sweet orange essential oil
0.05 g of vitamin E
Put all the ingredients except the essential oil in the water bath and allow the butter and wax to melt gently. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Add the essential oil and stir.
Fill the tubes three-quarters full and let them cool and set (there will be some shrinkage). Then fill with more balm mixture and let it set. Let cool before putting the lids on.
Lead Image: Helena Lopes