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Evolving science of baby skin care

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Dr David Mays, Senior Director, Global Scientific Engagement, Johnson & Johnson Consumer shares some valuable insights on how the science of baby skincare has evolved over the years

Baby care has evolved immensely over the last few years thanks to the well informed millennial parents. They are adopting new age methods to care for their baby and are chosing research-based products. They want proof of the performance of the products they buy for their babies and doctors are their first source of information followed by Google or vice-versa for some. On my visit to India, I realised that the amount of information available to the consumers today is vast and can easily lead to misguidance and confusion in parents and doctors. There is a need for educating and raising awareness regarding safe and gentle care for babies amongst the healthcare professionals. A lot of old traditions and home remedies need to be re-evaluated to suffice in today’s every changing environment.

Below are some of those topics which were discussed with paediatricians.

One major dilemma I realised that the doctors, parents and the world at large is living in is that ‘Natural Is Always Safe’. Whether a substance is naturally derived or synthetic has no bearing on its healthfulness, safety, or toxicity. ‘Organic’ and ‘natural’ seem like words which will not stop to gain momentum, but the important point to note is that people often think that natural means safe and chemical-free. We see the market is saturated with various natural and herbal concoctions, but have anyone ever tested them for side-effects or if they are safe to use. However, we at Johnson’s stand by those not all natural ingredients are good and not all synthetic ingredients are bad and that each ingredient, natural and synthetic/chemical, needs to be evaluated for efficacy and safety. The debate over naturals and chemicals has been oversimplified where many consumers now believe that the more natural something is, the better and safer it is. It’s just not that simple and in fact that oversimplification is doing a great disservice to consumers. That natural substances are safer across the board simply because they grow naturally is a common misconception. For example: In India, people need to boil the water before they drink it as compared to the US, where we have water directly from the tap. Another example is milk, which needs to be pasteurised before its fit for consumption.

Facts you should know: 1) Fragrance in product aid lower cortisol levels and indeed help the baby sleep longer. 2) Preservatives prevent the growth of microorganisms. Fragranced skincare products