Babies are beautiful. They are the cutest thing on earth for their parents, irrespective of their skin color. Fair, dark, dusky or wheatish, whatever might be the complexion they are born with, it doesn’t matter. What matters to a parent is the child’s well-being, health, and overall growth and development.
Don’t you agree? But peer pressure and societal preferences make people worry about the complexion of their baby – they try to find ways to make the baby’s skin fair.
But do they really work? In this post, MomJunction tells you about various ‘natural tips’ to make a baby’s skin fair, and if they work.
Tips For Making Your Baby’s Skin Fair: Do They Work?
Here are some natural and practical baby fairness tips that people usually suggest new parents:
1. Gram flour paste
A skin pack is made by mixing raw milk, turmeric, fresh cream, and gram flour. The thick paste is applied to the baby’s skin. After ten minutes, this pack is cleared with cotton or a soft cloth.
Rationale: The use of raw milk and turmeric could be therapeutic to the skin (1). Also, this traditional Indian paste is said to give a glow to the skin. However, it cannot make the baby have a fair complexion (2).
2. Fruit sap
Did one of your visitors advise you to use natural fruit extracts to ‘improve the complexion’? People usually recommend grape juice, apples or oranges to cleanse the baby.
Rationale: Plant extractsare found to be useful as anti-aging elements in adults but not in babies, who may also have the risk of ingesting them (3).
Note that fruit juices should not be fed to babies below six months. Doctors suggest breastmilk to be the only food in the first six months.
3. Oil massage
Coconut oil and olive oil are traditionally used in several countries for newborns. Also, the oil should be warm and not hot. Apply soft pressure and gently rub the baby’s skin with the oil.
Rationale: Routine oil massaging helps in improved sleep for the baby. It can keep the baby’s skin hydrated, smooth and act as a skin barrier (4), if you are using uncontaminated and natural oils. But it doesn’t make the baby’s skin fair.
[ Read: What Causes Acne In Babies ]
4. Mild body pack
A body pack is made with sandalwood paste, raw milk, turmeric, and saffron. It is applied to the baby’s body, and once dried, is wiped with a soft cloth.
Rationale: Though the ingredients are known to be skin-friendly, they cannot lighten the skin color.
5. Right bathing temperature
Any temperature of the water doesn’t change the skin color of the baby. However, the baby cannot withstand water that is too hot or too cold. Only lukewarm water should be used to wash your baby’s face and body.
Babies have delicate skin. A gentle massage with a mild moisturizer can be given to the baby, three to four times a day.
Rationale: Moisturizing keeps skin hydrated and prevents dryness. It soothes the baby’s skin but doesn’t change the skin color.
7. A synchronized sunbath
Small amounts of daily exposure to sunlight is considered good for the baby. However, do not expose the baby’s skin excessively to the sun rays as it may tan or burn the skin and make it look dull.
Rationale: You can expose your baby to sunlight for vitamin D supplementation. However, it should be for only a few minutes early in the morning and at cooler times of the day. You should also know that the baby’s skin will not turn fairer with a sunbath (5).
8. Baby scrub
A homemade scrub is made by mixing chickpea powder, baby oil, raw milk, and rose water. The paste is applied to the baby’s skin and rubbed gently.
Rationale: The mixture could help in removing unwanted impurities and the light hair on the baby’s skin. But it won’t lighten the complexion. Also, if the powder is rough or is rubbed roughly, it could cause rashes.
9. Don’t use soap
A mild soap, specifically made for the baby’s sensitive skin, may be used on your infant. You may also make a homemade bath pack with raw milk and rose water. Apply the mixture on your baby’s skin and wash it off with lukewarm water.
Rationale: Mild soap is safe for the baby. However, harsh soap can lead to skin peeling and dryness. Neither the use of the soap nor its avoidance can give a fair complexion to the baby (6).
[ Read: Tips To Keep Your Baby’s Skin Healthy ]
10. Baby wipes
You may use baby wipes that contain glycerin and milk cream. These soft wipes help to cleanse your baby’s face and other body parts.
Rationale: Baby wipes are designed to clean your baby and avoid the dryness. But they are not made to lighten the complexion.
What’s in the complexion?
A baby’s complexion depends on their genes, family and, to an extent, on the climatic conditions of the place they live in. Skin is just like any other part of the body. No amount of external applications can change its color. All you can do is take care of the baby’s skin to keep it healthy and give it a glow.
What is your take on making the baby’s skin fairer? Let us know in the comments section below.
2. Indian myths explored: Gripe water, turmeric, etc.; Sutter Health Palo Alto Medical Foundation
3. Ivana Binic, et al., Skin ageing: Natural weapons and strategies; Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
4. G. L. Darmstadt and S. K. Saha; Traditional practice of oil massage of neonates in Bangladesh; Centre for Health and Population Research (2002)
5. P. Meena et al.; Sunlight exposure and vitamin D status in breastfeed infants; Indian Pediatrics (2016)
6. Bathing your baby; Nationwide Children
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