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Protecting baby's skin

Midwife Rita Borchardt, knows what’s good for babies. She has been a midwife for 33 years, ten of which she has spent at her own practice. For decades, she has trusted Penaten products to nourish their special skin.


Rita Borchardt has attended 2,000 births throughout her career. Nevertheless, the midwife knows that every baby is different and requires individual care. The same is true for skin care: it is as much a part of Rita Borchardt’s daily work as bathing and changing diapers. She would like to communicate this to the mothers and fathers who visit her. It’s not always easy because: “Some parents think their children don’t need skin care,” says Rita Borchardt. “But that’s the exception, not the rule. Most babies need a protective cream or lotion because skin in diapers quickly becomes chafed or sore.” The midwife’s eye is so well trained that she can immediately tell which babies haven’t been moisturized. Once she has shown that well-cared-for skin is healthier, the consulted mothers and fathers are quickly convinced. “It’s nice to be able to help, and see that the parents appreciate it,” says Rita Borchardt.


Exploding myths
Since 2009, new scientific findings have substantiated Rita Borchardt in her support of caring for delicate infant skin, including recent studies by Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin. The most important results include:

1. Babies’ skin is different from adults’ skin. For example, infants’ upper skin layer contains significantly more moisture – but also loses moisture much more quickly (1, 2).

2. Scientists are exploding the old myth that washing is better than bathing. The comparison revealed that bathing twice a week has a somewhat better effect on the development of the natural skin barrier in some regions of the body than washing with a washcloth. Bathing also has a positive psychological effect: It encourages the baby’s awareness of their body and strengthens the bond between parent and child. But mothers and fathers shouldn’t overdo it. Babies can be bathed two or three times per week for five to ten minutes in warm water, but not longer (4, 5).

3. The researchers from Charité were also able to prove that bathing twice a week with a mild baby bath gel, and then applying a baby skin care lotion, has a positive effect on the function of the natural protective skin barrier of children in some regions of the body – when compared to following the bath with a clear water rinse (3).

These findings are nothing new for Rita Borchardt. “The studies confirmed the methods I follow in my practice,” says the midwife. She not only applies lotion to her little visitors, she also bathes them using mild bath gels specially developed for baby’s skin. Above all, she chooses Penaten.


A labor of love
What do you like about this traditional brand? “With Penaten, I know how to classify the ingredients, such as the fragrances. The products either have a very light scent, or are completely fragrance-free,” says Rita Borchardt. “I like that because I really enjoy the smell of babies.” When the 52-year-old talks about her everyday work with children, her voice is very warm and tender. She never thought of becoming anything else but a midwife. “It’s my dream job. I’m very happy with what I do.”


(1) Nikolovski J. et al., J Invest Dermatol 2008; 128: 1728-1736
(2) Stamatas G.N. et al., Ped Dermatol 2009: 1-7
(3) Garcia Bartels N. et al., Ped Dermatol 2010; 27 (1): 1-8
(4) Garcia Bartels N. et al., Skin Pharmacol Physiol 2009; 22: 248-257
(5) Blume-Peytavi et al., J Eur Acad Dermatol 2009; 23 (7): 751-75

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