Transcript: How To Treat Baby Eczema Naturally
There’s nothing more frustrating when your baby is suffering from problems such as eczema, is there? Well, I’m a big fan of natural remedies. So I was thrilled to recently meet Renee Harris who helps moms fix their children’s skin without the use of lotions and drugs that can irritate them.
Renee has plenty of experience since she’s a mother of nine, including twins. She has an amazing business called MadeOn Skincare. I honestly do not know how she has the time to run her business and look after those nine kids. When I spoke with Renee, I immediately realised how passionate she is about skincare and how it has helped her family.
I’m often asked by baby massage clients, what they can use to help their babies with conditions such as eczema. When I spoke with Renee, I realized, that she makes all her own products. She also offers a number of products which are free of essential oils, so they can be used safely on babies.
Hi Renee and welcome to First Time Mum’s Chat. It’s a great pleasure to have you here. Can you start by telling us about how you started on your journey. Well, thank you, Helen. I love, love first time moms. I went into motherhood having no idea what to expect.
I think as I had more kids, I would kind of switch things up as I learned more. So I love that you’re offering all this information. I don’t even think I had as much access to internet stuff. You know, my oldest is now 23, so this is going back 23 to 24 years of when I was pregnant, having a baby. And I know for myself, I did, you know, first baby was just definitely, however people were doing it back then with the hospital care and the things to expect in the hospital. By baby number two, I learned so many new things that I didn’t know.
And then my twins came along and that was coping mode. I was just like, how do you cope? What do you have? A, four-year-old, a two-year-old who was potty training and then all of a sudden you have twins. So yeah, I know you’re thinking, how does she do it with a business and nine kids?
The busiest was when I didn’t have a business, but I had four children aged four and under. So now it’s a lot easier. I’m excited to talk to the new moms in your group about skincare and back then, I didn’t even think about that. I would probably have just taken all the products that the hospital gave me for free and used those.
And now I’ve learned so much more about skin care. If you have babies that maybe have a skin condition, you have to figure out what is triggering that skin condition and what kind of products you might want to put on that child. Even though I’m not a medical expert, I’ve learnt a lot of things, even from my own customers who came to us with children, where they have eczema.
It’s heartbreaking because the children are in so much pain and the moms are trying to figure out what to do. And you were talking about eczema, but as you said, there are so many different skin conditions out there. I mean, you’ve got diaper rash or what you refer to as nappy rash. I know eczema can be incredibly itchy for a baby.
So the way we started, the very first product I made was not with a baby in mind. It was my own skin. I realized, wait a minute, there’s something I could add to this and make it for baby rash. So I’m going to start with that, because it’s only three ingredients and these are really good for your listeners to hear about. So I have always had, let me start with my problem and maybe there are moms with the same kind of problem, but I would get those cracks and splits in your fingers that you get when you’re washing your hands all the time.
And when you have super dry skin, I’ve always had that problem with my own skin. So that was how I came to discover what we now make and sell online. My mom was at a farmer’s market in Colorado and she found that she had the same kind of problem I had with her hands.
There she found what’s called a lotion bar, and this is a solid lotion in the form of just three ingredients, but it’s not like a pump lotion. You just rub it over your skin and your skin feels immediately better. So if you have splits and cuts and dryness and you apply this bar onto your skin, it feels a whole lot better.
So that was the first thing that we discovered. This bar told me, hey, Renee, you should learn how to make this, because at the time I was making soap and I was enjoying making my own bread and yogurt and things like that for the family. I found a recipe online in some soap forum that was hard to find for a three ingredient lotion bar.
And this is, I will give you the secret to what we make. No, don’t give me your secrets away. Okay, well, people can go on our website and they can go look around until they find it. So if you go to hardlotion.com, you could go look for it, but I’ll just tell you then what the three ingredients are, bees wax, shea butter and coconut oil.
That’s all it is that bar and when you rub it over your skin, it gives you immediate relief. So that has bees wax in it, which makes it hard. If you ever, ever use shea butter, it’s perfect for all kinds of skin conditions. I would even recommend to your listeners that if they have any kind of skin condition and they just need something right away, go to a natural food store and look for pure shea butter, that will help.
It’s going to feel sticky. So there’s some things that you could do to make it into a bar form, but if your baby is just in so much pain and you’re trying to figure that out, then shea butter is the one magic ingredient that seems to do a lot. It gives a lot of relief to children and babies of any age, really.
So when I made the bar that fixed my skin right away. My son had a seasonal eczema issue and he was older. He was about 12 and the same three ingredient bar helped his skin. So I thought we’re onto something here and that’s when we started to sell it at a farmer’s market to just get feedback and see if that helped people.
And there’s one ingredient in there which fixes the rash and that’s called zinc oxide and zinc oxide is super safe. It’s super safe on the skin, but it’s also what helps with the rash. So in my mind, I’m thinking why not just add that one ingredient that the cream has in it to our lotion bar, but make it softer, which means just take out the bees wax and create a cream that would help the baby’s skin. And we did that. We blended it in, we put as much as we could pack it into our product without making that product too hard to apply. And that became what is now our rash cream. So that helps a lot with any kind of rash. Some ladies even put it on their acne because of that redness.
They want to lessen that redness. Then one other thing about zinc oxide is when you’re looking for safe sunscreens and, I don’t know if you remember, at least here in the movies, back in the sixties and so on when you had a lifeguard with the white noses, that’s the zinc oxide. So it’s also a sun screen too.
I’ve often put zinc on my nose and it really helps. It’s a great ingredient. The rash creams that you buy here always have that fishy, I think it’s a cod liver oil added to it or something that’s got that fishy scent to it. We don’t have that. There’s no scent to it from any of the ingredients. So it’s the zinc that takes care of the rash.
And then in that one, we have coconut oil and just a little bit of bees wax to make it hard enough. And it comes out just great. Three ingredients is what can make another product. And then going back to the three ingredient lotion bar for dry skin, same thing, you put it in a tube, like a lip balm tube.
And now you’ve got a lip balm for chapped lips. This is what excited me because I thought, well, this is easy. This is something that helps people. And it’s super easy. You just have to fiddle around with the ratios and figure out what works and the key to it is because there is no water added. There’s no added preservatives, additives and when you have those, sometimes they have a scent. So that’s when these companies will add the fragrances to it. So once you add those preservatives and additives and fragrances, people start to react to the products and their skin, doesn’t like it. And instead of trying to fix your skin, it’s actually going to make it worse.
So those three ingredients, it’s really amazing what they can do. What’s the extra difference between shea butter and butter? A shea is a nut whilst butter is just the form that it comes in.
So, when you have butter that you buy from the store, that’s coming from the milk from the cow, that’s just called butter because of the form that it’s in at the dairy. But when you’re talking about mango butter, and it’s just butter, you’re kind of separating out the oils. So what’s left is the butter. It’s basically the meat of the nut and it’s a shea nut and they are grown in Africa and in their process to make that butter. So it just uses the name butter because of the softness and it feels just like butter. So this is similar to things like peanut butter and almond butter.
So I’ve learned something and you mentioned nuts. So if somebody had an allergy, if a mom had an allergy to nuts, are there any products that you can recommend from your experience that they can use if they’ve got an allergy to nuts?
I know that some moms and some babies these days have allergies to a lot of things, particularly nuts. Well, if they have an allergy to peanuts, because of the type (it’s a legume instead of a nut), that is different. So if you know that you’re only allergic to peanuts, you’re going to probably be fine with shea nuts or shea butter.
Butter is not really a common allergen, but that said they would need to go and find out if they’re actually allergic to nuts. So usually if you’re allergic to nuts, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to be allergic to shea butter. So that would be something they would either know or not know where they can get tested.
Our baby rash cream doesn’t have shea butter in it. It only has the coconut oil and bees wax and zinc oxide because I wanted to keep it down to three ingredients on that one. So I guess you can use these creams on, as you say, nappy rash and you mentioned the skin on your face.
What about eczema? Is it okay to use on eczema? Because I know that can be quite itchy. If I had to only have one ingredient for anything, I would choose the Shea butter because it seems to work the most on eczema. So we have some of our products, like cocoa butter is another really good one and a lot of people like the smell because it comes from the actual cacao nut, and that’s where chocolate comes from. So people love the smell of chocolate and we’ve made bars that are made with cocoa butter instead of shea butter, but it didn’t seem to work as well on eczema and psoriasis as the shea butter.
So I recommend the shea butter product, over something else that doesn’t have it. Shea butter seems to be the one ingredient that helps the most from our experience and from what the customers say.
I love the idea. It smells of chocolate because of the cocoa butter. What is it that chocolate does for you? I know there’s something in the chocolate that stimulates certain, is it hormones? Yeah, it apparently does, but you know what it’s good for, since you’ve got first-time moms on here! It’s supposed to be good for stretch marks cocoa butter. Oh really! Yeah, that’s what they say. So are you saying you can just rub it directly on your stretch marks and it reduces stretch marks. That’s what they say. Oh, that’s a good tip. And I don’t know the science behind it.
The other nice thing about the ingredients that we’re talking about is they’re all edible. So, you know, if you have a two year old that comes along and takes a bite out of one of our products, they’re edible and they’re safe. You know, when you’re putting stuff on baby’s skin or even toddlers skin they’re always sucking their fingers and sucking things. So if it’s safe for them in that respect. It’s a nice, safe security for moms to know because there’s so many products out there that aren’t safe.
You could run into a problem because the rash cream is so white from the zinc oxide. If your child was to get it into it and start spreading it everywhere, you’re going to have a lot of that whiteness. I’m visualizing a kid getting into the cream, thinking I’ve got eczema, I’m just going to rub it everywhere. That’s part of being a kid. It’s part of having fun.
Are there any other products that you particularly recommend other than the ones you’ve just mentioned? I mean, for any other skin conditions for baby or not necessarily for babies, just for toddlers or kids in general. The bar that I use that I told you about earlier is good for adults because it has all the wax, which makes it more solid and you have to really work it into your skin. However, we’ve had people coming to us to say, I’m trying to apply that bar to my child’s skin but they won’t sit still long enough and I’m trying to rub it on. Perhaps it’s a toddler and so we came up with a product called Beesilk Jr.
So Beesilk is what we call the bar itself. So the Beesilk Lotion Bar is the one that’s for adults. It’s also easier for children that are old enough to apply it to their own skin. We also created one that has a lot less bees wax and is softer when you want the same ingredients for younger children.
So that’s called Beesilk Junior and it comes in a small tin that you can scoop out and that’s easier for younger children and for a mom to apply to her child’s skin. What’s nice about the product is that it doesn’t hurt the child unless they have a deep wound or something. You need to be careful about that.
If it’s just something that’s itchy and maybe a little bit rashy, sometimes other products could hurt or they could burn. Some of the ingredients in those products might hurt when applied and then the child doesn’t want you to ever touch them and they won’t want to come to you to have this ointment applied because it hurts. It’s nice because the child is not going to fight you when applying something to their skin when they have some kind of irritation, because it feels good.
One of the products we have is packed with shea butter and then a little bit of coconut oil and a little bit of beeswax. So it’s a nice consistency and the reason we have those other ingredients in there is because it’s not sticky. If you only had shea butter and you just lathered yourself with it, it would feel good, but sticky. So having some beeswax keeps it in there longer. It makes it long lasting and you don’t have to keep applying it. And then coconut oil is something that absorbs into your skin with your body’s temperature.
Coconut oil in the winter is usually solid and then if you have hot days, it’s usually liquid just because it melts at 76 degrees. So that’s the reason why we use it is because it just absorbs right into your skin when you rub it on.
I mention coconut oil a lot with baby massage to people because it does absorb into your skin and it’s very good. Bees wax is very sticky too isn’t it? Yeah, but not when absorbed in together. Bees wax by itself is hard and very solid. You couldn’t rub it like when you see a beeswax candle, it’s just as hard as a candle, but when you melt the three down together, they make it.
Are your bars like a soap that you have to soften a little bit to rub on, or do you just rub it on your skin? That’s a good question because when we first started to sell these, we had to be careful that people wouldn’t confuse it with soap and use water. You don’t use water, so it’s not like you wash it with water to warm your hands or to clean it. You don’t use any water with it. So I have it in my hand and the more I rub it in my skin, the more it absorbs.
So I only need to do this for a few seconds and then I put it down and I can just keep rubbing my hands until it’s absorbed in. So right now my hands feel great. They’re not sticky. It’s not the same as lotion, but after like a minute or two, it’s great.
I can touch paper and I’m not going to leave any grease marks on the paper. Really, your skin is at a perfect temperature just to start rubbing. And then because now if you are like a frigid cold person whose skin tends to be really cold, you might need to do a little bit more of it in your hands, or you might need to keep it in a tin and stick it in your back pocket where it’s warm.
95% of people don’t have any issues with just rubbing it in, setting it back down, then just kind of rubbing it back into your skin. You could use it on your heels too. So I know here it’s summer, it’s in the middle of the summer, so I go barefoot a lot. If you’re used to wearing sandals, you get those little splits and cuts in your heel.
It’s great for that. You can use it on your heels. You can still use it on your arms and legs but what I recommend for that is to use the Beesilk Jr that I was telling you about that has less bees wax. It’s just easier to apply. I was thinking if somebody has eczema, it’s very red and it’s very sore and if you rub it, I’m sure it works, but if you rub then you’re rubbing it on the eczema. That wouldn’t hurt the eczema, would it because if you’re rubbing or would you put it on your hand first and then put it on there? No, because it’s pretty soft. It’s not at all like a bar of soap. Yeah. It’s not like soap because that would be hard. It doesn’t have that same feel.
As soon as you put it on your skin, you can feel it coming on to your skin. So you do a little bit of back and forth with your hands and put it down. It feels like I’ve got some kind of an ointment on my skin and now I can rub it in.
And as soon as I’m done rubbing it in, I feel good. And the nice thing too is it lasts all day long. So, you know, when you use a pump lotion and you apply it and then your hands may feel great. Right after you put it on and it feels good after maybe an hour, it starts to your hands. And especially if you have naturally dry skin, like I do after maybe an hour, it feels like I didn’t put anything on my hands.
They feel like, you know, even it could rub on your shirt, it’s just, it’s all super dry. Staticky, almost skin it’s like, you didn’t even put anything on your hands, but this, especially if you have that super dry skin, put this on at night and just rub a lot on go to bed, your hands are going to feel super soft even the next morning.
Some of the ones that we do have some essential oils, different scents to it, based on the type of scent that people like. There’s, Ylang Ylang which is a nice beautiful smell and we pair that one with Frankincense. So the two of those work really well together and they’re good for the skin. There’s like a citrus I love like grapefruits. So friends suggested grapefruit and lavender together and I didn’t think that would work, but it does.
Citrus is good for your skin too and we have bergamot, lime and Mandarin. That’s another citrus blend where we put all three citrus together and then just plain lavender. Some people like regular lavender and we have one of those.
Well, you know, another tip for your new moms is that sometimes when you have a child that has eczema, it could be coming from whatever the mom is eating. Diet is so important and sometimes it could be dairy. I mean, the mom may not be affected herself by it, but the baby can be through the breast milk. So a lot of times, if you have a constant diaper rash, or constant eczema skin issue, it’d be good to find that out and sometimes that’s what we tell a lot of people who come. They’ll say, do you have something for my baby’s eczema and I’ll say, this will help relieve it, and it may help it go away, but there might be more issues that you have to look into.
And a lot of times just take out wheat and dairy and eggs. Maybe try one at a time. Sometimes that will fix it. You know, you’ve got to treat the cause as well as the effects and if you treat the cause, then you won’t get the effect but for babies, you’re going to need to relieve it first, before you treat the cause, because they’re not gonna want to wait for you to work it out!
With my son, his was more seasonal, so it would always happen when the change of seasons came, so it could be just that change of the summer to the winter. Then he would start to break out. Then for other kids, it could just be stress, you know, stress can make your skin react.
So there’s all kinds of triggers that, might cause a reaction and also, clothes as well, sometimes triggers that it is not so much eczema, but rashy and sometimes it’s the detergents that you use. It could be the cleansers that you use in the house and there’s so many different things that could be. If people want to find out more about you and find out more about what you do and even order products online, is there a website or anything they can contact you on. Yeah, the easiest and fastest is hardlotion.com.
We did that so that people could remember. It’s not, you know, it’s not soft lotion, it’s hard lotion. So that was, we chose that domain to make it easy to remember but if you go to hardlotion.com then there’s always a place on the website to contact me and so I love hearing from people with their questions, because if I can help one person and I researched something, then I’ll sometimes even use that in an email sent to my audience to say, Hey, you know, somebody had this question and this is what I found to be the case and this is what I suggest that you do. So we talk a lot with our email list and, and just pass on the things that we’re learning.
Sometimes we’ll get on a zoom call with customers. I have a functional medicine coach who has been coaching me on health. And so sometimes she and I will get on a phone call on a zoom call and anybody else can join and ask questions about anything is skin issues or health issues , so we, we do a lot.
We, we like to be that skincare company that’s more than just skincare. So if you want to ask me questions about your teenage daughter I’ve been through that too.
One final thing before we go, if you were to give a first time mum a tip on helping them with skin or anything, what, what would that be? What would be that magical tip you’d give them? That’s a good question. I have one for the mom that’s going to have a baby. You don’t necessarily want to give that bath right away.
I’ve had every kind of birth experience. I’ve had hospital, regular hospital birth, C-sections and then I’ve had four home births. One thing I learned from doing the home births is that the longer you can just keep the umbilical cord attached and have that mom to baby skin time, there’s so much that happens when you have skin to skin contact, and even delaying that first bath.
There’s a whole protective layer around the baby when they’re first born. That is so good for that baby to have. So even though you want to give the bath and make it smell like the baby bath shampoo or whatever, it’s actually better to just try to delay that as long as you can.
I mean, you wipe everything off, but, try to keep that baby as close as you can and there’s so much that happens between mom and baby and that skin to skin contact. So, that would be my biggest tip and then as you have children growing older, I think there’s so much to baby touch.
Even my teenage boys love to have just a little shoulder massage and I could come up behind them if they’re sitting in a chair and massage, and there is something about that contact with your child that continues, if that makes sense. You’re bonding with your children by rubbing their feet every now and then and that’s why we like to use a lotion on to rub the lotion bar into the feet, or just give a little massage and, and you probably know all of the different oils that you could massage with.
Give them whatever they like to have, their shoulders, or if when they get to age 12 and they start to have a lot of pain in their knees, because they’re getting so tall. With my boys, just all of a sudden they grow like two inches in one year and their knees hurt so bad.
So just sit next to them on the couch, just start massaging their knee and have them talk about their day and then that bonds too. Yeah, that’s what I say to people with baby massage and, you know, they start early and, and treat their kids early with baby massage. Then when they get older, they’re going to ask you for a massage.
Thank you so much for coming on, and I really appreciate you being here and it’s been great to catch up. Renee shared some great insights and I learned a lot from her. You can find out more about Renee at MadeOn Skincare in the show notes, which also includes the link to her website.
I highly recommend checking it out and this can be accessed at www.mybabymassage.net/podcast/030.