There’s a lot to be said for heading to the mother-and-baby aisle in the chemist or supermarket – whether you have a child or not. It’s a stress-free way to find lovely beauty products without all the marketing fanfare and overwhelming choice, and you have the reassurance they are free of irritating chemical additives. Plus, products made ostensibly for babies are usually cheaper than the adult varieties.
Lately, it’s also become a bit cool, having a baby product nestling amongst the Nars and Clinique on your bathroom shelf. Beauty insiders coo over Weleda’s Baby Calendula Face Cream, £5.96, as a genuinely credible alternative to grown-up moisturiser. Calendula is often used in children’s products because it is soothing and has a healing action, which makes this cream great for rosacea and sensitive skins. It sinks in well, so works under make-up, too. Swimmers and anyone going on summer hols should snap up Childs Farm 3-in-1 Swim, £2.99. It’s a strawberry and mint bubbly, chlorine-rinsing shampoo, conditioner and body wash in one and you can get it in travel size, which is super-handy for gym bags. It leaves hair remarkably shiny and the childlike smell is kind of addictive. (Actually, the whole Childs Farm range is truly excellent and, if you do have little ones, it is one to pick up. The Hair Detangler, £3.16, is a godsend for mothers of grumpy girls and boys who don’t like having their hair brushed.)
The chicest bathrooms will appreciate tricologist-to-the-stars Philip Kingsley’s PK Kids Shampoo & Body Wash, £19.50. It comes in a large, pump-topped bottle, which makes it easy to use on a bleary morning. It looks sleek and distinctly non-cheesy (so common with most kids products) and has a light, silky feel. Crucially, it is calming on crepey and irritated skin, so wonderful for nurturing eczema-prone elbows and angry calves post-shaving. So, if you have dry skin and are going luxury on your shower gel, go for this one. And having a product that also doubles as shampoo simplifies things nicely. On matters irritated, it is worth picking up a Green People Organic Babies Rescue Balm, £10.50. It is a great cure-all, containing shea butter, hemp and calendula. Wonderful for eyes sensitised by over-zealous make-up removal, raggedy cuticles, chapped lips and also adds a sheen to cheekbones.
If you like to luxuriate in a bubble bath, but want to know you aren’t soaking in a tub of synthetic ingredients and possible nasties, head to Amazon to buy French pharmacy find Mustela Multi-Sensory Bubble Bath, £11.65. It turns the bath water cornflower blue and produces dense, soft bubbly foam. The hypoallergenic formula is also gently cleansing and smells AMAZING. Quite understandably, it has a cult following amongst Paris’ chicest mamans. When you get out, treat yourself with Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Nourishing Baby Oil, £10.99. It is a delicious all-natural apricot, grape seed, wheatgerm and sunflower oil mix that works most effectively on warm, damp skin. A little goes a long way and it hydrates and locks in moisture as well as the fanciest designer cream. Apply generously, I say.
One final tip is Bepanthen nappy cream – a godsend for dry/itchy patches of skin, spots and chapped lips. It's as cheap as chips and comes in a good sized 100ml tube. Apply liberally and when needed.