Marmur Medical Blog

Using Baby Products as an Adult

Other than the couple of months in my early twenties when I was obsessed with coconut smelling products (I mean everything down to the dish soap smelled like coconut), I have been using baby products since before I can remember. It’s not just because I have an unhealthy attachment to smelling like a powder puff, but I have never had to complain about dry skin. No cracked knees, no painful elbows, but instead, for the most part, baby-bottom soft skin (I’ve never actually touched a baby’s bottom, but from what I’ve heard, it’s pretty soft).

It all started with the hair. I have the world’s most uncooperative hair; one moment it’s fly-away dry and the next it’s so greasy it looks like it got pulled out of a drain. My mom tried to wean me off the baby shampoo and onto more grown-up brands like Neutrogena, Dove or Fekkai, but it was no use. The only shampoo that could do my black locks any justice was good ole’ fashion yellow Johnson and Johnson. So to this day, I’ve stuck to it. Even though I’m a young woman in my mid-twenties, I proudly proclaim myself a “baby shampoo user”. And that’s not all. Sometime during my teens, my skin started to dry. I got these weird stress patches of eczema-like skin and had to start using lotion. So what did I turn to? Baby lotion and body wash of course; it worked for my hair so why not try the baby products on my skin? Turns out, baby products do wonders as well. So the million-dollar question regarding baby products is, why do they seem better?

Baby products are formulated for babies (may seem obvious, but it’s going to be the crux of my argument). Babies have much more sensitive skin than us adults who have been exposed to the environment (wind, sun, chemicals) and have willingly exposed ourselves to countless amounts of treatment options that contain hundreds of ingredients including harsh chemicals meant to strip our skin of its natural oils (ever wondered why you wash, tonic and then lotion again?). Therefore, to deal with the more sensitive nature of babies’ skin, manufacturers produce baby products that don’t contain all that nasty oil-stripping stuff.

Stripping skin of its natural oils causes breaks and cracks in the superficial layers of the skin. Skin likes to be well oiled and moisturized; under these conditions it does it’s protective job the best. When it dries, the breaks and cracks become conduits for inflammation and infections, making the skin look redder and swollen (i.e. not youthful, fresh and smooth, which is what we’re going for). As skin becomes more damaged, the body cannot fight the free radicals and oxidative stress, which is synonymous with aging and wrinkles. However, by using baby products, it’s basically like a mini “detox” for the skin. A more healthy, glowing and intact dermis develops by reducing the exposure to harsh chemicals and minimizing the excessive drying of the skin. Now that the body isn’t constantly trying to revert the inflammation initially caused by using expensive, top of the line, adult products; skin can focus on healing, rebuilding damaged collagen, and therefore restoring elasticity (i.e. youthfulness).

I know what you’re all asking now . . . what’s in this girl’s baby product arsenal? So I’m going to open up and share some of my skin secrets with you. My preferences include:

1) Johnson and Johnson Baby Shampoo (the good ole’ fashioned yellow kind), Head to Toe Baby Wash (again, the yellow kind), and Baby Oil (because on a student budget, Argan oil is a little too expensive to use on the entire body, but I still like to use the grownup-stuff for my hands and face; if you’re looking for a great brand of oil, try Olie Biologique sold at Marmur Medical),

2) Santa Maria Novella Lotion for Girls (my one splurge item).

It turns out, I was way ahead of the curve by starting this regimen 10 years ago. With new evidence pointing to the fact that baby products are highly moisturizing, extremely gentle, and a total penny-pinching secret when it comes to skin and hair care, I ask why haven’t we made this move sooner? So I say raid the children’s section of the drug store, give your skin a break from adult penchant for overtreatment, and try being a big baby about your skincare.

Written by:
Margit Lai Wun Juhasz
Mount Sinai Medical Student