What is the best thing for you to use in the bath?
Why I don’t use the stuff from the shop anymore
The first present I remember getting once we announced we were pregnant was the purple Johnson’s bubble bath – once we announced we were having twins we only ever received the giant sized containers of this. At the time I thought this was awesome! We were being so spoilt and feeling so loved. However after only a few weeks it became obvious that Emma had quite sensitive skin and was reacting to something we were putting on her skin.
What caused my daughter’s eczema?
It was hard to narrow the cause down as we were given so many products to use on babies as gifts. After some research I realised how delicate, tender and sensitive baby skin really is. It is also only about a third of the thickness of an adult’s and therefore everything can penetrate their skin much easily and have a larger impact on them than it would an adult. I started removing these commercial chemical-laden products from our daily routine and began simply bathing them in water. I had not discovered essential oils at this stage so it was just plain water. Her skin gradually became less inflamed. Her eczema improved almost immediately and her attitude settled because she wasn’t so itchy and dry.
This was an easy routine to follow as babies – bathing them in just plain water and using minimal chemicals on their skin.
Once they became toddlers and their sleep wasn’t improving I continued my research and discovered essential oils – especially Lavender Peace – and I started adding these to their bath to help them relax and get ready for sleep.
The next thing I looked into was magnesium for it’s benefits for relaxation and sleep. It is a required mineral for hundreds of body processes from energy production to DNA synthesis! It is naturally found inside the body (most is in the bones and within cells and in food (highest in almonds and spinach). It is very uncommon for anyone (babies or adults) to be severely deficient in magnesium) but the less healthy or varied our diet is, the more we can benefit from adding some to a bath or a foot soak for absorption through the skin.
The benefits of absorbing extra magnesium through the skin in a bath or a foot soak can include:
- relief from muscle cramps
- reduction of stress
- relief from constipation
- reduction in foot fungus such as Athlete’s Foot
- improving circulation
- reduction of inflammation.
The first thing I realised was that all external sources of magnesium were not made equal. Some were actually synthetic and made in a lab and used some nasty chemicals in the manufacturing process that I did not want to put on my kids’ skin. So I knew they had to be natural. So then I had to compare two common sources – Epsom salts and Magnesium Chloride Flakes.
Epsom salts are chemically and structurally a salt, but is not normally recommended to be taken internally or added to your fish and chips. Chemically it is magnesium sulfate and it is a combination of magnesium, sulfur and oxygen. Magnesium and sufate can easily be be absorbed through the skin, making Epsom salts perfect for dissolving in the water of a bath or foot soak.
Sulfur is a natural disinfectant and can help detoxify the body by supporting your liver function. It helps regulate the electrolytes in our body which improves nerve function.
Magnesium Chloride Flakes
Magnesium Chloride flakes are also chemically and structurally a salt (your table salt is in fact sodium chloride) but again, not something to be adding to your food. Chemically it is magnesium and chlorine which can both be easily absorbed through the skin, so again, these are perfect for dissolving in the water of a bath or foot soak.
Chloride is also very helpful in regulating the electrolytes of your body which results in an improvement of overall health. Magnesium Chloride flakes can also be less irritating, so if any discomfort was experienced after using Epsom salts, I would recommend trying these.
I would recommend that for the majority of the time you add nothing to a bath or shower of babies and young toddlers. Once they are older and their skin has thickened I would alternate the use of Epsom salts and Magnesium Chloride flakes and use each about once per week or as needed. I would only add scents to a bath that were completely pure and 100% natural such as the purest of essential oils. As with everything I would add only the essentials to a bath that my babies or kids (or me for that matter) were going to soak in for a while. I would chose the highest quality ingredients and be happy that I’m doing my best! I love being in control of what is absorbed into our skin and bodies.
Shop here for Natural Food Grade Epsom salts.
Shop here for Natural Magnesium Chloride flakes.
Shop here for pure essential oils.