What Causing Your Baby’s Dry Skin On Face?

I was visiting a friend of mine who just gave birth the other week, and I noticed her newborn baby has dry skin on her face.

Naturally, I asked her if she’s aware of this, to which she replied, “Yes. I’m applying moisturizer on it, though.”

I asked if she also makes sure the baby’s clothes are kept from harsh ingredients and that bathing time is not more than five minutes.

To my surprise, she’s not aware of these and told me none of the mothers around her know about them either, so I decided to write about what I know about what causes baby’s dry skin on the face.


Again, take note that I am no medical expert. My knowledge is purely based on experience and the doctors’ advice.

The Things You Do That Cause Drying of Baby’s Face:

dry skin at feet

1. Bathing your baby for more than ten minutes.

I know you want to keep your baby clean and smelling good, so you make sure she’s fully bathed every time. But remember: our babies’ skin is several times more sensitive than ours.

As you strip off the dirt during bath time, the skin’s natural oils are removed as well. Consequently, our little ones’ skin gets drier and drier over time.

What should you do?

To avoid drying, Baby Center recommends limiting the bath time to ten minutes. For babies that are prone to eczema (see below), limit it to five minutes suggests Raising Children Network.

2. Bathing your baby with soap every day.

Did you know that our little ones don’t need to be cleaned with soap every day? They are not as active as us, adults; hence, there’s no need for cleansing with soap regularly, says Raising Children Network.

Also, make sure the skin cleanser you’re using is soap-free, fragrance-free, and hypoallergenic.

2. Using the wrong water temperature.

Lukewarm water is best for our precious babies’ skin. Anything hotter than that causes the skin to dry according to Medical News Today.

3. Using the wrong water.

Salt and chlorine are common elements of water in some areas. These, too, cause skin dryness.

If you suspect your water contains any of these, use distilled or filtered water instead.

4. Rubbing your baby dry.

Any towel, no matter how soft it is to our touch, is not soft enough for our babies’ skin. So rubbing your baby after bathing does no good for her skin as it causes friction.

Pat your baby dry instead.

5. Applying moisturizer at the wrong time.

Moisturizers, particularly emollients, lock in water in our skin. So it’s better to apply it while your baby’s skin is still damp and not when it’s totally dry.

6. Using the wrong detergents for clothes and beddings.

As I mentioned earlier, our little angels’ skin is very sensitive; hence, we should only use products that are baby-friendly. This includes the detergents for their clothes and beddings.

When choosing one, check the label if it’s safe for babies’ clothes. Better yet, read online reviews about the brand for safety.

Also, make sure you are rinsing your baby’s items at least twice to get rid of any soap residue.

Allergens brought by the harmful ingredients may cause drying, itchiness, and others on our baby’s face.

7. Not using a room humidifier.

Humidifiers are not just for helping put your baby to sleep. It also helps keep your baby’s skin moisturized.

If the air in your house is particularly dry, use a cool mist humidifier suggests ​Baby Center​​​Baby Center.

8. Not preparing her skin for the winter.

We all know that the winter season is the number one culprit for dry skin; thus, not preparing your baby’s skin for this weather has negative effects on her face because it’s always exposed to the cold air.

What you can do is to protect your baby’s skin with a moisturizer and doubling or even tripling amount you apply.

Besides moisturizers, dress you baby accordingly.

9. Not giving her enough liquid.

For babies six months or less, your breast milk is enough to keep them hydrated. For older tots, you have to give them plenty of water, particularly if they are starting to get more active.

Other reasons your baby has dry skin on face

Not all reasons for dry skin are parent-caused, though. Some are caused by genes, viruses, or bacteria like these:

1. Ichthyosis

According to the experts at Medical News Today, “ichthyosis is a group of genetic skin conditions that cause peeling and dryness of the skin that is often severe.”

The ichthys is the Greek word for fish; hence, babies when this condition have skins that are scaly.

There are several types of ichthyosis, and the most common one for babies (and also the mildest) is ichthyosis vulgraris.

Unfortunately, there’s no cure for this condition. But you can help lessen the symptoms via topical creams prescribed by your baby’s doctor.

Warning: Never use over-the-counter creams for your baby unless approved by your pediatrician.

2. Eczema

Eczema is a skin condition that’s caused by either bacteria or virus. Its symptoms include red, patchy skin, inflammation, itchy skin, dry skin, and rashes.

Babies with a family history of asthma or allergies are prone to eczema.

To treat this skin condition, ask your baby’s doctor for the best approach.

We discussed this skin condition in detail in a previous article.

3. Vernix

Vernix is the natural substance moms’ bodies produce when they are pregnant to coat their babies’ skin while in the uterus.

According to a study, some babies are born with vernix still on their skin, especially if the babies are born preterm. It goes away on it own during the baby’s first week. As it does, the skin may appear dry and peeling.

You may wash or wipe it off.

To Sum Up

There are several causes for our baby’s dry skin on face, but most of it may be avoided if you take the right precautions.

The rule of thumb is:

Use products that are proven safe for babies, use mist humidifier during dry seasons, moisturize right after bathing, and limit bath time.

Ibeaa Perdon

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