If you’re a new parent, you may have noticed small red or white bumps developing on your newborn’s cheeks, nose, forehead or chin.
This common condition is called baby acne, and it affects about 20% of all infants.
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While it can be distressing to look at, baby acne is harmless and will usually clear up on its own within a few months.
However, many well-meaning parents still look for ways to speed up healing.
One popular over-the-counter product they reach for is Aquaphor, thinking it will soothe and heal their little one’s irritated skin.
But using petroleum-based ointments like Aquaphor can actually make baby acne worse!
In this post, I’ll go over why you shouldn’t use Aquaphor on baby acne and what you can use instead that will help clear up the acne faster.
Can You Put Aquaphor On Baby Acne?
Do NOT use Aquaphor for baby acne – it will only make the acne worse.
The main problem with Aquaphor is that it can clog pores.
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Aquaphor contains petroleum and mineral oil, which creates a waterproof barrier over the skin. This thick, greasy layer helps seal in moisture on dry skin, like with diaper rash.
However, on existing acne, it prevents natural oil and dead skin cells from escaping from pores, thus trapping even more oil, bacteria, and sebum.
This eventually leads to more clogged follicles, redness, swelling, and pimples.
Here are a couple of other reasons why you shouldn’t use it:
Creates A Good Environment For Bacteria
Aquaphor limits airflow to the skin by forming an impenetrable barrier.
And with pores unable to breathe, more acne-causing bacteria thrive in the trapped, warm environment.
The protective layer also traps inflammatory chemicals and compounds within the skin, leading to increased redness and irritation.
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Irritates Your Baby’s Skin
In addition to clogging pores, using thick ointments like Aquaphor can also further irritate the sensitive skin of your little one.
Rubbing and smearing a dense, greasy product can create friction, especially on already inflamed or sensitive skin. This physical irritation can worsen redness and inflammation.
Plus, rubbing vigorously can also introduce more bacteria to non-infected areas.
What You Should Use Instead For Baby Acne
Instead of using Aquaphor, try doing one of these.
A lot of other moms were able to get rid of the acne in a FEW DAYS by doing these remedies.
One of the best natural options for treating baby acne is breast milk.
The antibodies and antibacterial compounds in breastmilk can help fight the bacteria causing the acne.
Many dermatologists actually recommend dabbing a small amount of breastmilk on the affected area and allowing it to air dry.
The nourishing components like lauric acid also have anti-inflammatory properties to reduce redness and swelling.
Mustela Cleansing Water
Another gentler option is to use Mustela Micellar Cleansing Water.
This plant-based, soap-free cleanser is specifically formulated for babies’ delicate skin. Its also hypoallergenic, tear-free, and non-comedogenic.
The micellar water particles lift away dirt, oil, and impurities without drying out the skin..
Mustela cleansing water also uses avocado perseose, which is a natural ingredient with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to combat acne.
Plus, the reviews are fantastic and it has actually worked for hundreds of moms.
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Never use Aquaphor on baby acne.
Aquaphor worsens the root causes that cause baby acne in the first place – blocked pores, oil buildup, irritation, and trapped bacteria.
Using Aquaphor will escalate mild acne into more severe breakouts.
So while Aquaphor is a lifesaver for diaper rash, it should be avoided on acne-prone skin.
When To See A Doctor?
It’s a good idea to make an appointment with your pediatrician if the condition is severe, widespread, worsening, or persists longer than 6 months. It may require prescription treatments to avoid scarring.
Is Aquaphor Safe To Use On Babies?
Aquaphor is generally safe to use on babies to moisturize and protect the skin. It’s fragrance-free and gentle and it is great for diaper rash and eczema. However, do not use it to treat acne.