Why use specific care products for babies and children?

The skin of babies and children has specific characteristics that make it more fragile and more sensitive. It therefore requires special attention and care so it can remain healthy and adapt to its environment.

It is also important to distinguish between the needs of an infant up to the age of three months, a baby up to the age of three years, and a child, from the age of around three years to 10-12 years. In general, cleansing and care products for adults should not be used on the skin of infants and babies.


What are the specificities of a baby’s skin?


People often speak of “baby-soft skin” when referring to soft, velvety skin. And yet that is not always the case! Except for premature babies, a baby’s skin is already completely formed at birth.

However, it is thinner and does not fulfil its barrier function as effectively as that of an adult.

A few weeks after birth, an infant stops producing sebum and his/her sebaceous glands will not be reactivated until adolescence. Thus, the hydrolipidic film is thinner and therefore does not protect the skin as well, which leads to:

  • Dry skin causing irritation
  • Permeability to infectious agents or allergens, making this irritation worse

An internet user’s question: My daughter is currently teething and has a red bottom. I am using a paraben-free cream because she is allergic to parabens, but it isn’t working very well. What can I use?

You can change product and use a water paste, alternating with a soothing repairing cream.

Michèle Sayag, Allergist.

In addition, the surface of a child’s skin is two to three times bigger than that of an adult (higher surface/weight ratio). So a product applied to a child’s skin penetrates more easily. Cutaneous absorption is also promoted by a moist environment (skin under nappies), damaged skin (nappy rash) and folds.

It is therefore essential to use efficient and extremely soft cleansing and body care products, guaranteeing:
. High tolerance, respecting the specific needs of the child’s skin
. High safety, fulfilling stringent formulation and production requirements tailored to the skin of infants and babies.

How can I recognise if my baby has dry or atopic skin?


Weakened by external stress such as the wind, cold weather, hard water or heating, a baby’s skin tends to become dry and more reactive.

With atopic dermatitis, your child’s skin will be very dry and rough, sometimes with red patches. Your child’s skin is tight and sometimes itchy and he or she has trouble sleeping.

Atopic dermatitis is a dermatosis that <strong>often appears starting at two to three months of age and disappears in most cases after several years</strong>. The horny layer in this type of skin is excessively permeable due to a lack of lipids.

The skin no longer fulfils its barrier function properly. It no longer protects the body from environmental allergens, allowing them to penetrate more easily. Sensitivity to these allergens triggers an inflammation that leads to an eczema flare-up, which is most often accompanied with severe itching.

Scratching causes lesions that increase skin irritation. The skin becomes even more permeable to allergens, which can cause a new acute inflammatory reaction. Extremely dry atopic skin progresses through successive phases of flare-ups and remissions.

To learn more about atopy, check out this article.

Three main types of environmental allergens responsible for acute inflammatory reactions have been identified

Airborne allergens mites, pollen, cat and dog hair, feathers, etc.
Food allergens
Contact allergens nickel, fragrances, etc.

Is nappy rash inevitable?

Nappy rash is a common problem that occurs in certain situations including nappies that rub, over-aggressive cleansing, diarrhoea, a change in diet, an infectious episode and teething.

Most cases of nappy rash are an occurrence of irritative dermatitis triggered by the occlusive effect of nappies, aggravated by contact with stools and urine, and potentially infected with bacteria.

To prevent nappy rash, the occlusion and maceration effect of nappies must be eliminated.

Some precautions should therefore be taken:

  • Change your child frequently;
  • Clean them after each nappy change using a mild, soap-free cleansing product guaranteeing safety and tolerance (overly aggressive products alter the skin barrier);
  • Gently pat them dry, particularly in skin folds;
  • After each nappy change, apply a water-based paste with antibacterial ingredients that guarantee safety and tolerance. This will soothe, insulate and rebuild the epidermis on your baby’s bottom to help get rid of nappy rash.
  • If the nappy rash persists, see a doctor.

What causes irritation around the mouth?


Skin irritation around the mouth is characterised by redness, small spots and dry, rough skin. This irritation is the result of macerating saliva following the repeated use of a dummy, thumb or security blanket or during teething.

Amylase, an enzyme present in saliva, is an aggravating factor of the irritation. Aggravated or altered by the cold and wind, these skin irritations around the mouth peak in the winter.

How can I protect a child’s skin from the sun?


  • Babies should never be exposed to the sun.
  • The skin of young children requires specific high protection offering the very best safety guarantees.

Learn more about precautions you should take when children are exposed to the sun here.


What should I do?

Avoid all external sources that promote ageing by changing your lifestyle as much as possible:

  • Eliminate sun exposure, always apply a good photoprotection product;
  • Stop/don’t start smoking, eat a balanced diet, drink enough water to moisturise skin sufficiently;
  • Take care of your emotional health, regulate stress, get enough physical activity, lead a healthy life and create the conditions for good sleep.


More than ever, facial hygiene must be thorough, regularly removing make-up and cleansing with gentle products that do not damage the epidermis.

Exfoliation can stimulate skin renewal, as long as it is done under the right conditions. People with sensitive and/or allergy-prone skin must be especially careful. Their skin is extremely reactive and easily inflamed when products with certain ingredients are applied, especially irritating agents like exfoliants, fruit acids, preservatives, fragrances, etc.

They need high-safety products specially formulated for sensitive skin. Watch out for scented products and organic products that contain plant-based active ingredients that are often responsible for contact eczema. Organic cosmetics do not protect sensitive skin! Ideally you should choose natural products that contain substances found naturally in the skin.

Bioderma - baby girl playing

In addition to essential sun protection products, several other strategies are recommended, depending on your age. The older your skin, the dryer it becomes and the more it needs hydration and nourishment.

Starting at the age of 30, anti-ageing products help slow down facial skin ageing by filling wrinkles and fine lines. Later in life, products improve the face’s firmness and volume, as well as fighting facial sagging.

Regenerating products are more active at night and people with mature skin should focus on using night treatments, as confirmed by new findings in chronobiology. The human body is a wonderful machine that adapts to its environment. During the day, it fights to survive, and overnight, it recovers and rebuilds itself! The same is true for the skin, and sleep is critical for tissue regeneration.

The more your skin is cared for and regenerated, the better equipped it will be to combat attacks.

Bioderma - baby mum cream

Bioderma - Kids
Bioderma - baby girl playing
Bioderma - baby mum cream

Tips for babies with very dry and atopic skin

In addition to the advice you receive from your dermatologist, you should take the following precautions to improve your child’s quality of life:


  • Every day or every other day, give him or her a bath in warm water. It should not be more than 35°C because dry skin does not like hot water. Do not use bubble baths or bath salts as these tend to dry out and irritate your child’s skin.
  • Wash your child using a mild, soap-free, fragrance-free cleansing bar for atopic skin guaranteeing safety and tolerance, which will gently clean, soothe itching and prevent dry skin by limiting the proliferation of micro-organisms that can aggravate dry skin.
  • Dry your child’s skin very carefully, gently patting it, particularly the folds of the skin.
  • Once or twice a day, generously apply a nourishing and protective treatment guaranteeing safety and tolerance, which will soothe (to relieve itching) and prevent severe dryness by restoring lipids (to reinforce and rebuild the altered skin barrier) and limit the proliferation of micro-organisms that can aggravate eczema flare-ups.
  • Avoid allergens likely to cause eczema flare-ups such as mites, pollen and animal hair and feathers.
  • It is preferable to dress your child in cotton clothes as other fabrics, especially wool and synthetics, can irritate their skin.
  • Choose a soft detergent and make sure you don’t use too much to wash their clothes. Too much detergent may make their skin fragile. Don’t forget to iron clothes, as they will feel softer.
  • Make sure the temperature of your home and your child’s room is not too warm (19 to 20°C). Otherwise, it could dry out the atmosphere and damage his skin.

An internet user’s question: Should I moisturize my baby’s skin after a bath? Is a cold cream soap enough?

If your baby has dry skin, you should apply a moisturizing cream after a bath, or occasionally put baby oil in the bath. Even if your child doesn’t have dry skin, applying a moisturising cream after a bath can create a special time for you to bond with your baby.

Michèle Sayag, Allergist.

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