Why Unscented

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by Saasha Plefka

Many skin care products on the market today boast about the benefits of aromatherapy, and the appeal of fragrance and scent. Although this is true for adult products, it can actually be very harmful for babies.

Infants are born with a very strong sense of smell. It is one of the first ways a newborn identifies his parents and his surroundings. While baby’s eyesight and hearing are still developing during his first months of life, he is making sense of his new world by identifying the scents around him. So when he is bathed and covered in fragrance, he becomes confused and often irritated. This is often the case in our “perfume culture.”

Moms are obsessed with making their babies smell like a “Johnson & Johnson factory. People comment about the way a baby should smell. Insinuating that if the baby powder smell is missing, somehow the mother is not doing her job properly. Manufacturers have responded to this craze by placing this synthetic scent in everything from diapers to baby dolls.

The chemicals used to provide scent in these products can cause irritation to baby’s sensitive skin and can exacerbate baby eczema and acne. To make matters worse, most of these scented baby skin care products are petroleum based, causing further problems for the skin (see Mineral Oil facts).

sweet cheeks is dedicated to educating parents about the harmful effects of these products and providing excellent quality alternatives. Babies do have a wonderful smell, and it occurs naturally. Many mothers comment on the naturally sweet baby smell of their infants. In fact, smell plays an important role in the bonding process as well. Which is why the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM) discourages the use of scented oils during massage until a baby is at least 1 year old. Unscented, all-natural, digestible oils, like Baby Cheeks Oil are best for massages. This allows both baby and parent to learn each other’s unique smell, without fragrance barriers, facilitating another level of the bonding process.

Saasha is a Certified Infant Massage Instructor through the International Association of Infant Massage. She teaches Infant Massage classes at Hartford Hospital and throughout Connecticut.

Saasha is a member of the Junior League of Hartford, where she is actively involved in the community. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California and a Master’s Degree from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is mother to lovely Chloe, a vivacious four year old, Corinna, a newborn who loves massage time, and wife to Tommy, a great dad and partner.

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