Your baby's skin
Specific features of babies' skin
A baby's skin has the same structure as an adult's skin, but it does not yet have all of its functions. Fragile and not yet fully developed, it needs a good three years to strengthen so that it can properly perform its role as a protective barrier. Its delicate nature can be attributed to several factors:
- At birth, the skin's pH is close to neutral. Its pH gradually decreases, becoming more acidic into adulthood. This difference means that a baby's skin is more sensitive to infections and irritations.
- The hydrolipidic film is thinner in babies than in adults. So it is less effective at protecting the epidermis against drying out and dehydration. Your baby's skin is therefore much more vulnerable to attacks from the world around it.
- The baby's corneal layer is also more fragile. The corneocytes are not joined together so well, meaning that they are more permeable to outside factors and infections.
- The dermis is three times thinner.
- And relative to weight, the surface area of a baby's skin is between 3 and 5 times bigger than in an adult. This means that a substance that manages to penetrate the skin ends up being considerably more concentrated in the body – increasing the risk of toxicity.
New research carried out within the framework of a programme scientific studies led by Mustela has resulted in another major discovery about babies' skin. Its extraordinarily rich fund of cells also differentiates it from the skin of an adult: it has a wealth of original cells that are at their maximum strength at birth, but extremely vulnerable during the first few years of life – the period during which the cutaneous barrier is being formed. This wealth of cells, which are fragile and remain unique throughout life, are a valuable resource for your baby's skin. As your baby grows and develops, it will restore and maintain his skin's overall equilibrium. It is therefore extremely important to protect it – to look after the qualities of your baby's skin, both today and for the future.