Thursday, October 24, 2019

9 ways to indulge in self-care without burning a hole in your pocket

Hi Moms, 

As the holidays approach, we tend to focus more on our kids, specially since they will be home from school (for the ones old enough to be in school). But we often miss out ourselves, and we need and deserve a break too!
I've teamed up with a financial page and app, Basis to help you get some much needed answers like easy ways to take care of yourselves and ways to teach kids about finances. (There's a quick IGTV video about this on my Insta too!) 
These articles are fun and easy to read, so stay tuned for more and I hope you enjoy the read
More to come
TKV

 

9 ways to indulge in self-care without burning a hole in your pocket



 by Team Basis
If we go back to the basics, restoring our inner balance and well-being doesn’t have to be a drain on our energy and finances.
These days, self-care is accompanied by images of the perfect shade of lipstick or that new workout that zaps cellulite. When did something as introspective and personal as self-care become Insta fodder? It has a lot to do with the ambiguity around what self-care means. This definition sums it up nicely – It’s the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.
Unfortunately, most of us are following Urban Dictionary’s tongue-in-cheek definition: Self-care is an umbrella term that has more benefit for the sellers than individuals.
What was intended to restore balance has been pivoted into something superficial and commercial that often leaves us feeling inadequate. So, if your feel-good activity is retail therapy or a spa date, here are some basic (and inexpensive) changes that will make you feel as good as new.

1) Change your relationship with food:

Yo-yo dieting,(a cyclical loss and gain of weight) is bad for heart health, and not helpful in losing weight either. Instead of tucking into expensive new superfoods and spending a fortune on trendy diets, maybe we owe it to ourselves to stop looking at food as an enemy and associate with it in a more wholesome and sustainable way.

2) Take a long-term approach to fitness:

Fitness fads (and expensive gym memberships) will come and go, so it’s time to find a workout that helps us stay healthy and active in the long run. Walking or jogging in the park is a good start.

3) Revive a childhood hobby:

Remember doing something just for the joy of it, without fear of judgement or the pursuit of perfection? Tap into that feeling more often, because adulting is hard enough as it is.
 

4) Sort yourself out financially:

Setting up an emergency fund can make us less nervous about the future while cutting down on unnecessary lifestyle expenses helps us save for more meaningful experiences.

5) Give social media a rest:

Although we millennials are hyper-connected, we’ve often labelled ‘the loneliest generation’. Plus, scrolling through picture-perfect feeds make us feel less than perfect, driving us to spend more on things we don’t need.

6) Give yourself some rest:

The body heals itself during a normal sleep cycle. When we get enough shut-eye, we eat healthier, are more active and alert, are happier, and make better decisions. What’s not to like?

7) Be still:

With a million things on our minds, it’s no wonder we’re always restless. Sitting down for five minutes and focussing on our breathing (and meditating, if you like) helps renew focus while helping us feel better equipped to cope with whatever’s on our schedule.

8) Connect with a loved one:

We play up different parts of our personalities in different situations, and sometimes, we just want to be loved for who we really are. There’s nothing like a good time with friends and family to make us feel whole again.

9) Declutter:

That goes for everything from old clothes in your closet and things that have been piling up on your to-do list. Freeing up space has a liberating effect. Here’s some inspiration from Marie Kondo to get started.
Money is essential to many things in life; working in the finance industry and powering personal finance for women through Basis shows me that every day. Yet, I’ve also learnt that to thrive, we don’t need to stretch beyond our means. All we have to do is start with what we already have.



This article was originally featured on Basis. Basis is a community and content-driven platform with a focus on women’s financial lives. Join our Facebook community to connect with other financially independent women. Download the Basis app to learn about money management, and to make investments.
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Friday, September 13, 2019

10 Quick tips on getting relief from children's colds and coughs:

Flu season has been here a while, and doesn't seem to be getting any better. Most cold and cough medications do not work effectively (if at all), and we often go through bottles before our kids get any relief. It used to make me wonder whether they would have recovered in that much time on their own anyway?

After having tried several cough syrups, we tend to wait and give fever medication as needed (acetaminophen or paracetamol, with ibuprofen as an alternate as needed), and avoid cough and cold syrups which have never seemed to have much of an effect on my kids anyway. Because of this though, we have a list of other things we do when the kids are unwell, below are some of our go-to helpers!


Quick ways to give your children relief from flu, colds and coughs:

1. Eucalyptus oil:
This wonderful essential oil can be found in products from bath washes to vapor rubs and balms, and is great for opening up nasal passages and even bringing down fever - when used in the right form. Eucalyptus drops can be put on the pillow and bedding to help open nasal passages. The vapor rub form can be put on bedding too and is even effective when on the child's chest. It can be used on the soles of the feet too (under loose socks, or under the blanket and this helps bring down fever), and on the forehead (when your child is asleep so that they do not rub it into their eyes). This is recommended for children of 6 months of age and older only.

2. Raising their heads:
Some children sleep on pillows, but many (particularly babies), should not due to the choking hazard posed by any loose bedding in their bassinets, co sleepers or cribs. However, raising their heads does help them sleep better when congested, and keeps mucus from coming back up at night. This can be done by putting a gradated foam wedge, or even a thin pillow under the child's mattress. For thinner bassinet mattresses, a folded baby blanket does the trick too.

3. Cold patches:
There are several cold patches in the market that are amazing at bringing down high fever. These stick on to the forehead and prevent fever from shooting very high. My son in particular tends to get viral fever that shoots up to 103/4 degrees, which can be terrifying, and we often have to ice his forehead or shove him into a cold shower. However, these patches if applied early and kept on, can (in conjunction with fever medication of course), keep the fever from rising too high, and save you some screams (plus, it's painful for you too, to have to put your child in an ice bath).

4. Steam:
I often use a steam machine when I'm congested. However, I just don't feel safe using that around my kids, as the water is usually boiling, kids do not sit that still, and the combination is a hazard that I don't want to dwell on. However, if you run the hot water in the shower or the sink, and your child is in the bathroom (standing away from the water), even this is potent enough to help unclog their nostrils and offer them relief. You can even fill the sink and put some drops of eucalyptus oil in there, which helps. (This is usually a last resort option, as I hate to leave water running, but it is extremely effective).

5. Saline Nasal drops:
Plain saline nose drops, are most hated by the kids. However, if you can administer it effectively (often only once, and then you have to hide it away until the kids forget what it looks like), they work wonders to relieve congestion. You can try these when the kids are asleep too, but they will wake up when you're only done with one side.


6. Use a humidifier/ dehumidifier/ air purifier:
Depending on where you live and the air quality, one or both is needed. When the air is cold or dry, a humidifier keeps allergies at bay, and also prevents nose bleeds and dry coughs (this is great in the winter too).
In countries like India, where it is moist and humid, a dehumidifier is needed to remove any mould and moisture from the air - which can make you just as sick. (We use one through the monsoon months and not just because my entire bedroom gets wet with condensation).
An air purifier, is a must all year round in cities where it's polluted. I've noticed a marked increase in my own immunity, before and after we had this installed.

7. Rule out allergies and clear out allergens:
If your child is getting frequent colds, or dry coughs and often without fever or any other symptoms, it could be allergenic. The most common allergens around children tend to be chalk, dust and stuffed animals. My daughter for one loves her stuffed toys, but we try and stick to ones that are not very furry, as they give my son the sniffles. Make sure to wash these regularly too.
If eliminating the common allergens does not bring relief, you can get a simple allergy test done for your child. Do note though to take the results with a pinch of salt and use a process of trial and error yourself to ensure that they really are allergic and you are not cutting things out of their diet for nothing (chocolate, gluten and milk are common allergens that show up).

8. Keep hydrated:
When they are unwell (particularly with fever or diarrhoea), it's most important to keep them well hydrated. Kids with colds and coughs often throw up as well, its their bodies way of expelling mucus. This too can be dehydrating, so keep giving them water, or even electrolytes as needed.

9. Fever medication rules:
Fever meds should be given every 4-6 hours. I find that alternating medications (usually paracetamol alternated with ibuprofen) tend to be the most effective, specially for my son who tends to get very high spikes. For my younger one, something mild is effective enough. So your child's pattern is important, as is ensuring that they get the dose they need before the fever spikes too high (it will save you from having to put them in water and bring it down).

10. Alternative therapies:
I get a lot of questions on alternative therapies for children. I find that herbal therapies like putting heated ajwain (carrom seeds) wrapped in cloth on their chest does help. There are a ton of these but ensure that they are safe to try before you experiment. In terms of homeopathy and alternative medicine - it's controversial as to whether it works or not - I've never found it to be effective for me, but it is completely up to you to decide what is right and what works for your child! These also tend to differ between doctors and patients too (just test the meds though to make sure you are not giving them anything with steroids).

If your kids fall sick very often, do ask your pediatricians about immunity supplements too!
Hope your kids have a peaceful flu season!!
More to come
TKV




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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

5 ways to deal with working mom guilt:

Hi! I know I've been missing but it's for a good reason --
I've written a book! All you need to know about parenting, and I've been a big caught up with the editing and release! It's now in stores and online so do order, if you enjoy my blog you will love it! It's packed with fun stories and even more tips and tricks on parenting--
Click below for :
Amazon India- 

Kindle-

Amazon.com -


Hope you enjoy the read!!!


Now for mom guilt, which seems most apt, while I myself have been trying to juggle it all --
One of the most common questions I get is how do you do it all, and how do you do it guilt free. The reality is though, that regardless of how balanced everything may look on social media, or sound otherwise, there's no way to do it all without feeling like you're sacrificing something. It's definitely never guilt free. However, there are ways to make sure that the time you do get with your children is maximized so that you can be more effective as parents, and your children also know how truly adored they are.

5 ways to deal with working mom guilt and be effective parents: 

1. Quality over quantity: when you do get time with your babies, put away your cell phone, turn off the television and give them all the energy you have left - which sometimes isn't much, but make sure they know they have your undivided attention. Ask them about their day and probe with interesting questions so that you get answers beyond "nice". Instead of how was school, ask them if they read a book, what their best friend was wearing or who had the yummiest break box at snack time. If you're lucky, you may even get a short story out of them, as a response.

2. Weekend time: The weekends are really your time to maximize everything. Even if you're social and get out a lot, try and ensure that you include the kids in your routine, or then get out without them once they are asleep. You will be surprised at how much they grow and pick up from being out and about with you. Meals out and managing them outside gets easier as they grow.  So take them for a swim, to the beach, a play area or some place fun and give them attention while you can. It makes it easier to get busy with household things when home.

3. Set time everyday for your children: This could be something small like making sure you sit with them and read them books through their dinner, have a family meal or that you bathe them yourself everyday. Kids thrive on routine, and them knowing that you will be there at a set time everyday no matter what - even if it's just bedtime, is more important to them than we realize. It also gives them something to consistently look forward to when they are missing you during the day.

4. Talk to them and explain the importance of your work: No matter how significant or insignificant you think your day has been, explain it to your child. Tell them why you go to work, why it's important for you to earn for your family and what you did in your day that was meaningful. This will not only involve them in the process, it will help create an understanding and build their appreciation and values too.

5. Remember that you are setting an example: It's not easy to close the door on them and walk out to work. Specially when they are home from school, done with school or on holiday (my current situation since my babies are on summer break), but it's important to keep in mind and know that you are a role model for your children. As parents, they look up to us no matter what we do, and we pave  roads in their minds and carve their understanding of how the world works. This holds true for stay at home moms as well, you are their role model no matter what, so tell them your purpose, and be proud of who you are and what you are doing, and they will be proud of you too!


It's never easy, it's never guilt-free, but if they know you are doing all you can (and you know you are doing all you can), then that's truly the best you can do.


More to come!

-TKV




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Friday, August 31, 2018

6 Parenting Truths to Digest


        A lot of the information available out there (note - on social media in particular), pushes us into a bubble. One where everyone looks airbrushed, happy and skinny. This includes mothers with spanking new babies. And while there maybe a few who come out of the hospital looking skinny and airbrushed (like Kate Middleton of course), most of us come out in mesh undies, with leaking body parts and in baggy maternity clothes that we were hoping to never seen again (or at least tuck away for a while). What many social media accounts (even bloggers like me are guilty of this) are missing is a big fat dose of reality that most are afraid to convey. I for one am a believer that the reality doesn't make you look weak, but instead it shows that you are persevering and imparts strength to others who are likely in a similar boat. So here are some mom truths that every mom should know (regardless of how many kids you have or how old they are).


Essential Parenting Truths: 

1. Being a parent can be overwhelming.

         I'm skipping the sugar coating and getting to the point - post delivery, however you delivered, you are physically exhausted. To add learning to be a human vending machine at all hours of the day and night, in addition to dealing with all the post partum pain and bleeding, is downright insane. However, it is something we all go through and try to combat with a smile - as new parents are expected to be overjoyed and thrilled. I vividly remember feeling venomous towards the many people who had the guts to ask me "when's the next one?" when they visited me in hospital post delivery (and by the way, this was after my second and last one, but you guys know it as it's probably happened to you too).
       As parents though we are juggling our emotions constantly, and long after our physical wounds have healed. Whether it's mom guilt versus wanting me time, or the mix of happiness and sadness while we watch our kids grow up - it's a constant emotional tussle. And being overwhelmed through a lot of it is not only okay, but it is indeed normal!


Always.


2. Postpartum depression is real.

       Why does no body want to talk about this when the reality is that those in need can only get the help they need when they are able to open up and talk about? Being a new parent is isolating as your schedule is completely different from everyone else while nursing, your hormones are all over the place and you are physically consumed with taking care of a new baby. That's usually also when postpartum depression hits due to hormonal changes, and not everyone has someone around to notice and drag them to seek help. Often women have to stand up for themselves and seek the help they need. Which is why it is so important to talk about it, so that others know too that they are not alone and that what they are going through is something that is alright, and something that they can come out of. They need to know that they will feel happy and balanced again and they will be able to enjoy their children too, but to get there they need to be recognize they need help and to able to accept the help they need.


3. Self-love is essential.
 
        Essential to your happiness, your child's happiness, your marriage, and your ability to parent. Absolutely essential. It's also an upward battle though with yourself, thanks to the millions of pictures online of women who look absolutely nothing like the pictures they post online. As someone who frequently posts under the "nomakeupnofilter" hashtag, and means it - let me tell you this, you have to love, accept and also forgive yourself. Accept that your body has changed, whether not externally then internally through birthing, nursing, being pregnant and all the hormonal changes it has gone through. Forgive yourself for eating anything you though you shouldn't, not going to the gym when you felt you should have and for allowing yourself to simply be human. And loving yourself regardless, because until you are happy with who you are and how you are - any other love you get won't feel as real, as it will be feeding only a pit of self doubt. A confident woman on the other hand has more love to share with everyone around her and is less focused on the airbrushed plethora too.


4. Preconceived notions be gone.

       I was in Disneyland Orlando in 2011, shortly after my wedding (with no plans of children on the horizon), and saw a mother chasing her toddler while he was on a leash. I was pretty aghast, and I'm quite sure I passed some judgmental looks and thought some even worse things in my head. This year, in 2018, I was at Disneyland with my two kids and two strollers and my backpack leash - fully prepared to use it (and I have used it several times over the last 4 and a half years since I had my first child). I was definitely apprehensive the first time, about people (like me in 2011) judging me, but then realized that it doesn't matter what anyone thinks because keeping my toddlers safe is my first priority (dirty looks be damned). This is just one of the many many instances where I have had to change my mind set and go from being annoyed at the crying baby on the plane to apologizing for the shrieking badly behaved baby on the plane.
     Parenting teaches you more than any other experience I have ever had (including schooling), and one of the first things I learned was to let go on my preconceived notions and judgments, because once your priorities shift to your little baby and their immense needs - everything else is irrelevant.     

5. Life is up and down, that's just how it is.

       Everything is not always going to be smooth sailing, unfortunately. Kids do fall ill, have off days and seriously disobedient days, and we all go through things that we would rather not talk about. I for one have had a particularly rough year with negative life incidences and seriously ill immediate family members -but it's not something that I have chosen to share on my social media because I needed privacy myself to get through it all (and while I am private in many ways, I am someone who believes these things should be shared if they can do collective good, but was too stumped processing reality myself this year to share). What I have realized though is that everyone goes through these things between deaths and cancers and illnesses and environmental calamities and fertility issues - we are all affected by some degree or another. And yet, when we scroll through people's pages we let the happy faces and facades get underneath our skin and can make us feel worse (or atleast more isolated) about what we are going through, when in reality we all have problems and issues that are easier to not talk about or dwell on.


6. It's alright to prioritize yourself.

     Taking time for yourself, even if it's a long shower with blaring music while ignoring the kids banging on the door, or getting out for a girl's night or a date night doesn't mean that you are neglecting your children or that you love them any less. It just means that you love yourself - as an individual too. And it's hard to prioritize your individual needs around your kids because they have demands constantly (which is fine, who else will they express it too), but we tend to get lost in their needs. So every once in a while, whether you feel you need it or not, take a few minutes or hours (or even a day or two - I know people who love getting a weekend away), to focus on yourself, because that too will make you a better parent. For children it's about quality time and not quantity as much. If you are around all day but answering calls and emails they will be frustrated. However, if you take a few hours to get to work, or catch up with friends and come back put away your phone and play games with them - they will choose the latter in a heart beat.
Definitely Me time 


I hope this helps you feel a little better about being human, (or about not being a part of the rest of us who are human), as it's really the purpose of most of what I write.

More to come!
-TKV

P.S. Sorry about the long silence,  point 5 hopefully explained why I've been MIA.



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Monday, April 30, 2018

10 things to avoid in your baby's skin care products:

Hello!

Sorry for the radio silence last month, those following me on social media (Facebook & Instagram), know that I have been contributing to a couple magazines, in addition to working on a start up, so my writing efforts were channeled elsewhere last month. For those in India, do check out March's Mother and Baby magazine for a detailed piece on how to raise fearless feeders, and April's Conde Nast Traveller (hard copy of both) for some summer inspiration on adventure holidays with kids!!


I've been posting a lot about skin care cosmetics, and how it is safer for our little ones that we use more natural and/or organic products. Particularly in today's day, when most of the products available in the market  have chemical components in them, and harsh surfactants (cleansers). However, we now know through the news and scientific studies that it is as dangerous to put these on your skin as it would to eat them. Our skin is porous and receptive, and chemicals can seep through to our blood and have dangerous long term effects. So, it is best to know what you are putting on your skin, and especially your babies' skin, and is even better to keep your kids away from products that have a high chemical content.

If you are from the school of thought that says "well, we used these products/ chemicals growing up and are fine." I've used that argument in the past too when I didn't know better. However, having your own children changes a lot more than your body, it can change your perspective too, and the fact of the matter is - diseases like eczema, polycystic ovarian syndrome, autism and the multitude of cancers we see were just not as prevalent before as they are today. I personally have suffered from PCOS for most of my life too, and know the reproductive and hormonal havoc it causes.So, if it's simply a matter of being safer with our children by changing our product preferences, then why not?




What is the difference between organic and natural?

There is a difference between organic products and natural products, and also natural actives. So, let's start with what that is and if and why it matters.

Natural actives - products with these have some natural elements to it but are not all natural, for example it may have oats or avocado, but then a ton of chemicals too. Most companies that claim to have naturals, natural ingredients, or natural sensations, particularly from age old brands, fall into this category. However, these are NOT natural or organic products. They basically have one or two natural ingredients, and can be filled with a ton of lathering chemicals, solvents, thickeners and chemical preservatives. Please avoid these, and check the label and ingredient list before you purchase these.


Natural products - a fully natural product can be herbal, organic or just natural - which means that it has plant and vegetables or herbs, it's important to check if it's with natural elements or ALL NATURAL. And also to keep in mind that this does not mean that it is organic.


Organic - 100% organic is almost a myth unless something has no preservatives and then the shelf life will be non existent (so that's very difficult to achieve and also not the safest to use over time as atleast natural preservatives are needed in skin care products to keep microbes from growing ). However, there are some natural preservatives that can be used in organic product, to get to a high % of organic, with the rest of the product being natural (which is the best and safest to use). 


What is organic? It is ingredients grown on an organic farm, where the water, the cleansers, and everything coming into contact with the ingredient is organic (and there are no chemicals or pesticides that touch the produce at all). While all natural is amazing, organic is a choice that's more expensive (as it's harder for brands to achieve) but is a worthwhile choice for our babies as it is purer in quality.


Organic labels for organic certified products include - made with Organics ingredients (where the rest are natural); and organic - which is a higher level of organic.



Ingredients to avoid in Baby Care products:

The most important thing is to read labels, though they sometimes look like greek, and even natural extracts have long names that make them seem like chemicals, while some harsh and even toxic chemicals have quick abbrevations that make you dismiss them completely. Truthinaging is a great great resource to quickly look up the toxicity of any ingredient you are unsure of. 

Below is a list though of ingredients to avoid in Baby Care Products (and of course, what they are and why).


10 things to avoid in baby care products:

1. Parabens:
Parabens are inexpensive and effective preservatives that were, until recently, used in 80% of cosmetic and personal care products. The most common being methylparaben and propylparaben. However, they have been found to mimic estrogen, which research has shown time and time again to be linked to the development and progression of breast cancer. Infact, studies have shown that 18 out of 20 breast cancer tumors have parabens in them (and more than half of all tumors appear in the portion closest to the underarm, where deodorant is used). So not only, are they dangerous, but they seem to stay in the body over time. 

2. SLS/SLES (more commonly known as sulphates): Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS), and Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES), are surfactants. They are put into products because of their cleaning properties and because they foam. Lather is often associated with being clean, and with a product's ability to clean,  even though the two things are unrelated! A product without lather can be just as effective a cleanser as a product that lathers a great amount. However, the one with less lather is likely to be a safer with chemicals that are not as harsh. 
             While SLS/ SLES's were investigated thoroughly as they were suspected to be carcinogenic (cancer causing), the jury on that is still out. However, it is known that they are harsh irritants, can cause skin allergies, and they also increase the ability of other products to stay in the skin. They have been found in the brain, lungs and heart - where you wouldn't want any chemicals to be! They have also been linked to causing fertility problems - in both men and women. 

3. PEGs, or polyethylene glycol:  is a mixture of compounds including plastic polymers that have been stuck together. These are great for making your creams and washes feel thicker (and emulsified). They often have a number attached which represents the weight of the plastic. If the fact that it's plastic is not alarming enough, please consider that anything with a PEG cannot be used on a cut, scrape or what many bottles will call "broken skin," this is because it's great at literally getting under your skin, and sometimes has a very dangerous impurity called 1,4 dioxine, that is cancer causing and can be given out as a bi-product. PEGs are famous for their penetration enhancing effect, which means that they help other ingredients too get directly into your system, so do you trust everything else that's in your product which already has PEGs? 

4. PPGs or proplyene glycol, absorbs water and is often used to make anti-freeze. It's also a solvent and penetration enhancer like PEG. Even though it absorbs water, it actually dries out the skin. It's used as an industrial cleaner to clean out machinery, due to it's harsh nature. Over time, it can cause skin issues like eczema and contact dermatitis.

5. Phenoxyethanol: Phenoxyethanol, began to be used as a paraben alternative, and now is very commonly used - as a preservative. Over time, it has proved to be just as deadly. Not only is it a culprit in contact dermatitis and skin conditions like eczema, but it has been linked to issues in the central nervous system, as it has toxic effects on the brain. In girls, use over time, can cause reproductive damage.

6. Sodium Benzoate: Sodium Benzoate is actually used in products - many many products, that claim to be natural and safe. However, sodium benzoate encourages the production of free radicals in the body, that actually destroy your DNA!! When mixed with other things like Vitamin C (which is great on it's own), it creates benzene, a common culprit in cancers. 

7. Acrylates: These are used in parlors to help bind your acrylic nails to your hands. So what are they doing in on your baby's skin? They help lotions appear thick and creamy. In concentrated form, they cause major skin issues, but even in a milder form, they seep into the skin and can cause harm in the long run.

8. Harsh Surfactants like CAPB: Surfactants are what causes our products to foam. There are mild surfactants that are safe and harsher ones like cocamilopropyl betine that cause more lather (even though they do not actually clean any better than the mild surfactants), and also cause more skin issues and toxicity. This is found in most bubble baths of chemical origin, and are known to react with other common chemicals in skin products to create nitrosamines, which are cancer causing. Its a very common trigger in eczema, rosacea and contact dermatitis too.

9. Mineral Oil: Once these were all the rage, but now we know better. We know that mineral oils are derived from petroleum, and they actually block the skin and do not let it breathe. They form a thick layer over the skin and stop air from going in and out. This causes skin to age prematurely, and produce acne, in addition to stopping the skin from giving out toxins, which is one of its primary functions.Mineral Oil is often contaminated with dangerous hydrocarbons too, which can cause havoc in your baby's body.

10. Silicones: Silicones are like polymers, they go under a multitude of different names (eg methicone, dimethicone, trimethicone, dimethiconol, cyclypentasyloxane). They are smoothening, water resistant, and cheap. However, they can dehydrate your skin, interfere with cell growth, and are very difficult to get off your skin. They also interfere with other ingredients, for example, if your mosturizer has silicone in it, it will not be as effective as a moisturizer. 

If everything is so unsafe what is safe?
There are an endless number of natural oils like olive, sweet almond, macademia, calendula and so on that are now being used in formulations at an increasing rate that are completely safe. Not only are they safe but they are great for the skin and the body. The cosmetic industry is well aware of these issues, but often choose less than safe ingredients due to the availability and pricing of them. However, as parents we need to know what we are using on our kids skin and no better. I am choosing not to mention any product names as the purpose of this is purely educational and not to push forward any brands. 

I hope this list gives you a good place to start with educating yourself on what to and what not to use on your babies and on yourselves too.

More to come!xx

TKV



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