"How can I remove excess hair from my baby's skin"
Beauty expert Shahnaz Husain answers the one question that most Indian parents ask her!
Babies and young children have tender skin. Needless to say, it should be treated gently, using mild soaps, shampoos, and other ingredients.
Massaging the skin with oil, before bathing, goes a long way in keeping the skin soft and clean. Apart from benefits to the body, massage plays an important role in healthy emotional development. Massage helps blood circulation, muscle tone, and growth. It also helps to remove tan.
In fact, pure olive oil or sesame seed oil help to soothe the skin too. Sesame seed oil is said to have an SPF factor and helps sun-damaged skin.
How to remove excess hair from your baby's skin
Many anxious mothers write to me to seek advice for their babies and infants, about making their skin colour fairer or about removing excess hair on face and body of babies and infants.
- Obviously, hair removal methods cannot be carried out on children, but rubbing the body with a paste of besan and milk is said to discourage fine hair downy hair. In fact, it also helps to remove tan and make the skin colour lighter.
- Yogurt can also be applied on the skin during summer and washed off after 15 minutes, in order to remove tan. Add a pinch of turmeric to the yogurt.
- You can also mix wheat flour with milk into a stiff dough, like the dough we make for “chapatis.” It does not have to be applied on the body. Just hold it in your hand and rub it gently on the child’s body before bathing, the way we use a sponge. This is said to remove tan over a period of time and also helps to discourage fine hair growth.
Health of the skin is important
I also advise mothers not be too anxious about problems of skin colour, because they can convey their anxiety to their children and thus lower their self – esteem. The result is that the children grow up with a complex about their colour. How can they grow up to be self-confident?
It is not the colour, but the health of the skin and body that is important. In India, there is the tendency to place a high premium on fair skin. Therefore, removing sun tan and lightening skin colour becomes an important concern.
- Fairness creams should not be used on children, as they may contain certain chemicals that can harm the skin.
- It is better to use natural ingredients, like saffron, cucumber, turmeric, yogurt, buttermilk, milk etc., help to lighten skin colour. These are certainly safer than fairness creams and actually, benefit the skin in other ways.
- Cool milk applied daily, using cotton wool, helps to soothe the skin and also makes the skin colour lighter over a period of time, if used daily. It is gentle enough for tender skin.
- Add a few strands of saffron to warm milk and let it stand for a couple of hours. Then apply it on the skin, using cotton wool. It is said to lighten skin colour over a period of time.