I have had eczema my whole life, it was really bad when I was younger and that was because I didn’t understand its triggers and how to manage it when I had breakouts. As I have grown older, I have realised that the environment I live in, change in seasons, my diet and the skin care products that I use all potentially play a role in triggering an eczema outbreak for me. My father also has eczema and because he didn’t attend to it for a long time, it has gotten worse as he has got older. I anticipated that my children might have eczema as well and unfortunately they both do. Baby skin is very sensitive in the first few years so you have to be extra cautious with the products you choose to use to not trigger an eczema outbreak whilst also trying to learn what their triggers could potentially be and also help them manage it when they have an outbreak. I keep mentioning triggers because my biggest challenge with my eczema has been the outbreaks, so my focus has been on managing that on a day to day basis by carefully choosing what products I use. I am now practicing the same behaviour with my children. One of the key triggers is the detergent that we use to wash our laundry, when I was a child my eczema was so bad at times that we could only wash my clothes with the green Sunlight laundry bar! My children’s laundry (clothing & bed linen) is washed separately from ours due to the varying sensitivity of baby skin and adult skin and my own experience with eczema when I was a child.
As with most people that have sensitive skin, anything that is lightly or even heavily fragranced could irritate their skin and that also applies to detergents and fabric softeners. In fact, I don’t use fabric softeners for any of my children’s laundry, it’s just too risky. I have tried and tested a few detergents since having my first baby in 2014 and have two options that I would recommend and one option that I would suggest as I was still considering trying it out.
- First is Woolite, this is a detergent that I have used the longest on my children’s clothes & linen. I use the Sensitive variant which is suitable for using in a washing machine or to hand wash. It has a light fragrance so I would suggest that you test it on one item of clothing and check if baby’s skin reacts to it. I haven’t had any issues since we started using it with my first baby in 2014. It is R79,99.
- Second is Ariel Baby which I recently started using when I switched back to using Ariel on mine and my husband’s clothes as well. It’s been a few months now and so far so good. Baby has adjusted well and his skin has not reacted. It is R74,99.
- The third is a detergent that I would like to try, the Woolies Earth Friendly Fragrance free laundry liquid. There is a fragrance free option which is also vegan friendly. It its R159,99.