What’s inside the balm and baby rubs – An Overview

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It is true that a baby’s medical kit must have a vapor rub or a chest rub but you should know what is inside the chest rub that you are planning to use for your baby.

What are the common ingredients in popular balm and baby rubs

Camphor

Why is it used – It is used because of its cough suppressing and analgesic properties. It is a sleep inducer.

Is it safe to use in baby rubs – It is easily absorbed by the skin. When it penetrated deep into the skin it can be highly toxic. It can cause irritation to your baby’s skin. It can also cause irritation to eyes and mucus membranes.

Menthol

Why is it used – It has analgesic properties. It gives a cooling effect.

Is it safe to use in baby rubs – Experts say that menthol tricks the brain to think that breathing has become easier by triggering cooling sensation. It can be of a little positive physiologic consequence in older children but not in kids. It can actually cause respiratory distress in little babies. 

Petrolatum or paraffin wax

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Why is it used – It is used because of its moisturizing properties and it’s a cheap base.

Is it safe to be used in baby rubs – It is not water soluble. It creates an illusion of moisturizing skin. However, blocks the pores and restricts air flow into the skin. This prevents the skin from breathing.

Eucalyptus

Why is it used – It has anti microbial, decongesting, cough suppressing and pain relieving properties.

Is it safe to be used in baby rubs – It is safe when used in the right quantity. Study the ingredient list and make sure the dosage is minimal, especially, if your baby is below 2 years old. Eucalyptus radiata is a milder and safer variant.

Lavender oil

Why is it used – It has calming and soothing properties. It encourages a fussy baby to sleep.

Is it safe to be used in baby rubs – It does have sedative effects and it does not cause any side effects .

Rosemary oil

Why is it used – It helps in clearing mucus and in decreasing inflammation.

Is it safe to be used in baby rubs – It is safe for children when diluted. When used without diluting it can cause side effects on skin. To be on the safer side check the dosage of rosemary oil on the label.

These are the common ingredients in baby rubs. Some of these ingredients do have potentially harmful side effects. 

Natural  rubs contain essential oils and real moisturizers like sunflower oil or coconut  oil. They contain beeswax or shea butter in place of petrolatum. Organic or natural baby rubs and homemade baby rubs are best for your baby’s health. 

Further reading : 

Are balms/baby rubs safe? Which ones are? 

2 thoughts on “What’s inside the balm and baby rubs – An Overview

  1. Pingback: Do Balms/Baby Rubs Really Work ?

  2. Pingback:  Are balms/baby rubs safe? Which ones are? 

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