Women spend hundreds of dollars on beauty products that claim to make skin as smooth as a baby. So why are some parents spending the same sums on skin care products for their babies?
A recent New York Times article examines the new found popularity of premium baby skin care products. In the U.S., sales in the category grew 68 per cent from 2005 to 2010, while baby stores and cosmetics retailers report surging demand for high-end brands.
"I spend more on my kids than I do for myself," Ami Shah Nagarajan, a doctor and mother of three-year-old twins, told the newspaper. "It's worth it to me to get something pure for them." Nagarajan and other women quoted in the article say they spend as much as $150 or $200 a month on products for their children.
Meanwhile, the website of French brand Mustela, known for its premium baby products, has a page full of testimonials from celebrities like Kourtney Kardashian, Katherine Heigl and Tori Spelling, who all say they're fans.
The category is mostly made up of brands touting their natural and organic ingredients, which are supposed to be less irritating to babies' sensitive skin. But is that all marketing and hype, or are the expensive creams and soaps worth the money?
The organic lines tend to be free from chemicals like parabens, sulfates and phthalates, which some studies have linked to a spectrum of ailments, like simple skin irritation. However, the Canadian Pediatric Society says that parents don't even need to use soap when bathing their babies.
Dermatologist Sheryl D. Clark told the Times that any skin care products, natural or not, can harm babies younger than 6 months old.
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