Are bubble baths good for my skin?


Babies and Bubble Baths

Bubbles may seem like a great way to help a baby enjoy bath time, but bubble bath may not be the best option for infants. In fact, newborn babies should completely avoid the bathtub until the umbilical cord falls off. Give your newborn simple sponge baths, using lukewarm water and mild cleansers designed for infants. When your baby is ready to start splashing in the tub, continue to use mild soaps and avoid bubble baths and soaps with fragrances, dyes or other chemical additives. An infant's skin has just come out of a carefully controlled environment, so it's not ready to deal with harsh chemicals and other irritants [source: Mayo Clinic].

When choosing any baby bath product -- not just bubble bath -- you should double-check the ingredients. A recent study found that 48 personal care products advertised for children contained formaldehyde and dioxane, suspected carcinogens. In fact, dioxane has been banned in cosmetics by the European Union [source: Boyles]. If you decide to use bubble bath, keep an eye on babies old enough to put things in their mouths. That brightly colored container may be tempting to a curious infant, and even though many bubble baths are nontoxic, poisoning can still occur if too much soap is swallowed [source: Medline Plus].

This doesn't mean you should never indulge in a bubble bath, though -- but it is a good idea to take a look at the ingredient list before you start and to limit the time you spend lounging in the tub. For more information, see the links below.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles

Sources

  • American Academy of Dermatology. "Cosmeceutical Facts & Your Skin." (Accessed 8/22/09) http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/general_cosmeceutical.html
  • American Academy of Dermatology. "EczemaNet: Preventing Flare-Ups." (Accessed 8/22/09) http://www.skincarephysicians.com/eczemanet/preventing.html
  • Baumann, Leslie, MD. "Book Excerpt: The Skin Type Solution." ABC News. March 10, 2006. (Accessed 8/22/09)
  • Boyles, Salynn. "Report: Toxins Common in Baby Products." WebMD Health News. March 12, 2009. (Accessed 8/22/09) http://children.webmd.com/news/20090312/report-toxins-common-in-baby-products
  • Bupa. "Circumcision in Men." January 2008. (Accessed 8/22/09) http://hcd2.bupa.co.uk/fact_sheets/html/circumcision_in_men.html
  • Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters. "Hypospadias Repair." (Accessed 8/22/09) http://www.chkd.org/HealthLibrary/Facts/Content.aspx?pageid=0229
  • Consumer Affairs. "Group Raps 'Toxic' Bubble Bath." March 13, 2009. (Accessed 8/22/09) http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2009/03/toxic_baths.html
  • KidsHealth. "Your Skin." March 2007. (Accessed 8/22/09)http://kidshealth.org/kid/htbw/skin.html#
  • Library of Congress. "Question: Why Do Fingers and Toes Wrinkle in the Bathtub?" (Accessed 8/22/09) http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/wrinkles.html
  • Mayo Clinic. "Anal Fissure." August 8, 2008. (Accessed 8/22/09) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/anal-fissure/DS00762
  • Mayo Clinic. "Anal Itching." May 6, 2008. (Accessed 8/22/09) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/anal-itching/DS00453
  • Mayo Clinic. "Baby Bath Basics: A Parent's Guide to Newborn Baths." April 25, 2009. (Accessed 8/22/09) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/healthy-baby/PR00041
  • Mayo Clinic. "Dry Skin." November 26, 2008. (Accessed 8/22/09) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dry-skin/DS00560
  • Mayo Clinic. "Vaginal Dryness." July 1, 2008. (Accessed 8/22/09) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vaginal-dryness/DS00550
  • Mayo Clinic. "Vaginitis." February 6, 2009. (Accessed 8/22/09) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vaginitis/DS00255
  • Medline Plus. "Bubble Bath Soaps." (Accessed 8/22/09) http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002762.htm
  • Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. "Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)." (Accessed 8/22/09) http://www.hmc.psu.edu/healthinfo/uz/uti.htm
  • National Cancer Institute. "Radiation Therapy and You: Support for People with Cancer." (Accessed 8/22/09) http://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/radiation-therapy-and-you/
  • National Institutes of Health. "Managing Bladder Dysfunction." (Accessed 8/22/09) http://clinicalcenter.nih.gov/ccc/patient_education/pepubs/bladder/bladder7_9.pdf
  • Household Products Database. "Sesame Street Finger Paint Bubble Bath." (Accessed 8/22/09) http://hpd.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/household/brands?tbl=brands&id=13023003
  • Royal Children's Hospital of Melbourne. "The Penis & Foreskin." (Accessed 8/22/09) http://www.rch.org.au/clinicalguide/cpg.cfm?doc_id=5153
  • Snyderman, Judith. "More Than Skin Deep." Washingtonian.com. July 1, 2008. (Accessed 8/22/09) http://www.washingtonian.com/articles/shopping/8751.html
  • WebMD. "Ear Canal Problems (Swimmer's Ear)." February 13, 2008. (Accessed 8/22/09) http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/ear-canal-problems-swimmers-ear-prevention
  • WebMD. "Earwax." February 13, 2008. (Accessed 8/22/09) http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/earwax-prevention

More to Explore