Baby love: the brands getting into children’s skincare
Babies are born with their own built-in moisturiser. The vernix – a waxy substance that coats the skin before birth – has beneficial moisturising and antimicrobial properties, and the most recent World Health Organisation guidance is that a baby’s first bath should be delayed for at least 24 hours to allow it to do its work. Even after that, baby skin doesn’t need much more than warm water in the first weeks of life.
But beyond that, it’s all to play for. And the beauty industry likes to start ’em young. Once upon a time, “clean”, everything-free skincare was the concern of those dealing with vexatious issues such as childhood eczema – standard-setting brands such as Green People (founded in 1997) were a lifeline for parents. Now discerning buyers study ingredient lists as a matter of course.
When Olivia Chantecaille and Barbara Sturm had children (both, coincidentally, in 2014), they were always going to be interested in what was going near that pristine skin. Baby skincare lines weren’t far behind – Dr Sturm’s “Mini Molecular” Baby & Kids Baby Bum Cream, with marigold extract and zinc, £20; and Chantecaille Bébé’s Orange Blossom Face Cream, £40 – and other brands soon followed.
Bamford’s Baby Balm (£24 for 60ml) is the sine qua non of a certain variety of baby shower, with its do-it-all reputation giving it a cult quality reminiscent of the grown-ups’ Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream. Bonpoint, the French children’s clothing label, has a moisturiser (£70 for 50ml) and a mission to “awaken children to developing a sense of self-care”, says CEO Pierre-André Cauche. The company has long had skin in the game (so to speak). It launched its first children’s fragrance back in 1986 – Eau de Senteur (£50 for 50ml) – and cosmetics represented 30 per cent of company sales in 2021. It’s adding to its beauty offering with a shampoo and a hand cleansing gel on the way in time for Christmas.
Even Hermès has put its formidable nose, Christine Nagel, to the task of creating a scent for children – alcohol-free, of course. Cabriole (£82 for 50ml) combines Osmanthus, honeysuckle and sandalwood in a scented water that recalls “the apricot-like scent of a child’s cheek”.