Hailing from Inglewood, CA, 30-year-old Angelica Bell became a first-time mom in November of 2018 to a baby boy, Elijah. She holds a Bachelor’s in Public Health Policy and a Master in Business Administration. She has always been very enthused about nutrition, home remedies, and healthy food preparation. Follow Angelica @mom_of_eli on Instagram as she shares her journey as a health-conscious mama.
CM: What routine do you use for your son’s skin care?
AB: Right now when his skin is wet after a bath, I add olive oil and shea butter and sometimes an extra coat of CeraVe lotion, However I’m still looking for an alternative to that lotion as I think he needs a more moisturizing and lasting brand. I continue to use it because even though it’s not as moisturizing as I would like, it does not break out his sensitive skin. I only use the olive oil from Trader Joe’s because I noticed that other brands have caused him to have a rash. I buy the shea butter from Taj Mahal on Crenshaw and 54th Street. It’s pure shea butter, not mixed with other stuff or diluted. I bathe him in Cerave Wash. In between baths, I moisturize him with the shea butter. Desitin is a cream that was recommended by his doctor when he had a diaper rash. It is very common and inexpensive, but I noticed it broke him out with a rash. I tried Aquaphor since it worked on me years ago. It has been great for his diaper area, preventing a diaper rash, and I also use it to moisturize him every now and then. However, it is very thick and somewhat expensive, so I don’t use it on the rest of his body too often.
CM: Do you and Elijah share any products?
AB: Just olive oil and shea butter because I’ve been using olive oil on my skin since I was about 14; I also use shea butter on my body and sometimes on my face.
CM: What are the biggest changes in your care of Elijah’s skin from when he was born till now?
AB: When he was born, as advised by my mother, I only wiped him off with a wet cloth mixed with olive oil and I didn’t place him in a bath until he was about a month or two old.
CM: Does your son’s skin have any special needs. If so, how do you care for them?
AB: His skin is dry. Even his pediatrician has said so. How much he differs from other babies, I’m not sure. But because of that, I make sure that I apply moisturizer in between baths. I also avoid anything scented on him or myself. I use free and clear detergent and fabric softener sheets. I use the brand All, but I’m sure there are others [brands of laundry detergent] that may work fine as long as they say free and clear.
CM: What’s free and clear?
AB: It’s just the term that detergent companies use to let consumers know that their product is free from dyes perfumes, etc. I discovered it when I was looking at more expensive brands in the baby section. A father shopping in the same department said that he and his son both share the same sensitive skin and use All for everyone’s clothing in the household. All was less expensive than other options and so far it’s mild enough for Elijah’s skin and strong enough for my clothes.
CM: How has your routine been affected since having a baby?
AB: I also use the free and clear for myself because it’s cheaper for us to use the same [detergent] one and he is in constant contact with my clothing. Especially since he nurses. I also avoid scented lotions now, and I no longer spray perfume all over myself. Currently, I’m trying to find a more natural deodorant since he nurses and sometimes his hands go toward my armpit; so in the meantime I just try to use olive oil or something when I’m not actually in need of deodorant. Of course, I’m more conscious of my diet and so forth especially if it seems like he has a rash out of nowhere.
CM: How do you think his skincare will evolve as he grows?
AB: My mom said that his skin is similar to mine, which is a little dry and sensitive, so I assume that his skin will continue to be a bit sensitive, but not as much as it is now. I’ll just continue experimenting with products as I see fit.
CM: What advice would you leave for other parents regarding skin care for their child?
AB: Pay attention to your child’s skin. Ask doctors, family members and other mothers for advice when you are unfamiliar with a certain condition to see if it looks familiar, but take advice with a grain of salt. Remember that there are a number of things that can affect a child’s skin, from skin products to detergent to diet (so for nursing mothers, remember to be mindful of your own diet). When making changes, make them one at a time and try to write notes, and be patient. Give changes 1 to 2 weeks to take effect before assuming that they have no effect.