Soothe winter sniffles the natural way

By Antonette Golikidis, Little Innoscents

As the days begin to get shorter, all the leaves have fallen and the colder weather sets in permanently. Many parents own up to the idea that winter is upon us and it’s a time that many parents dread, the endless days of staying indoors with sick restless little ones who have the sniffles.

So out comes the blessed chest rub! This wonder balm has been used on many a nights with all families across the world to help alleviate congestion and ease breathing. While it is with the best intentions that we rummage through the medicine cabinet or make late night dashes to the pharmacy aisles we urge you to stop! Check your jar or tube, as there are a few good reasons to take a closer look at the ingredient list.

PBC Expo asked Antonette from Little Innoscents what to look for in your classic chest rub:

Turpentine and camphor

The most common ingredient in vapour balms is turpentine. First turpentine is distilled to create pinene. After drying the pinene is converted into “artificial camphor” (bornyl chloride). This is done by treating it with hydrochloric acid gas. The hydrochloric acid gas is stripped from the product through several additional chemical processes. Synthetic camphor is believed to be a nervous system stimulant and an irritant. Did you know that it has been shown to cause dizziness, nausea, and/or irritation of the eyes/nose/throat if absorbed through the skin?

The turpentine is then bleached with petroleum jelly and put in a jar!

Petroleum jelly

Petroleum jelly, the main ingredient in chest rub, is a derivative of oil refining. It has been made into a soft wax or paraffin mixture and can be sold as a skin ointment. Originally found coating the bottom of oil rigs, it’s a byproduct of the oil industry. The components that are removed from the oil during the refining process of petroleum jelly are carcinogenic in some cases. Petroleum jelly can create the illusion of moisturised, hydrated skin, all the while suffocating your pores. It’s water-repellant and not water-soluble, meaning it merely seals the barrier so that moisture does not leave the skin. So while you might feel the instant gratification of a softened surface, you’re actually drying out your pores by keeping out air and moisture.

For me this was not a product I could use on my family or myself. Luckily, there are ways to winter-proof our babies that is both easy and natural! This includes the Little Innoscents Winter Blues Balm.

Banish the winter blues

At Little Innoscents we use therapeutic beeswax and a unique combination of essential oils that helps alleviate stubborn colds in a more natural and faster way and is 100% natural and safe-for-babies. This effective Vapour Rub Balm is a healthy alternative to greasy petrolatum based remedies found on supermarket shelves.

Awareness of chemicals in skincare is certainly increasing and more parents are trying to choose wisely. My tip is after a bath I recommend rubbing some on the chest, back and bottom of feet before rugging your little one up and putting him to bed for the night. Only needing a moderate amount to get the job done, not only are you giving your kids some relief from feeling unwell but the chemical free base is quite moisturising for their skin.

So next time you are thinking of ways to soothe the sniffles, congestion and stuffiness think of Little Innoscents Winter Blues Vapour Balm. This certified organic wonder balm is perfect for the winter months and a must have next to your bedside and in your medicine cabinet.

Note: The views and advice expressed on this blog post are those of the author and are not representative of the Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo.

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