Pregnancy and childbirth is a period of enormous change for you and your baby – and it can be notoriously hard on the skin. Hormone fluctuations for the both of you can lead to dry or sensitive skin, and stretch marks are one of the more well-known side-effects of pregnancy for a large number of women. Choosing from Haakaa’s range of lotions, balms, soaps, and other body & personal care products could be just what you need to help soothe those skin issues! Best of all, each one of our balms are made right here in New Zealand from 100% natural ingredients. Any products containing essential oils use them in diluted, low concentrations, but it’s always a good idea to carry out a patch test first with any skin product, especially for babies or if you have sensitivity concerns.
If you or any other new mum in your life needs some pampering, our Eye Pillow & Shea Butter Soap Gift Set is a great option. As the name suggests, this set consists of an aromatherapy Eye Pillow and a bar of Shea Butter Soap, and is designed to help soothe and relax you after a long day. The eye pillow is filled with brown rice, botanicals and essential oils, providing light pressure on the eyes, blocking light, and sending a signal to your body to relax. The botanicals include lavender and lemon balm, both of which have been associated with an increase in sleep quality in postpartum women1,2. In conjunction with these, essential oils of rose (eases pain and decreases stress), ylang ylang (alleviates anxiety), and bergamot (helps with stress reduction) lend their benefits. As you can see, this eye pillow is a super-powered stress relief aromatherapy tool – and it smells amazing. But this set isn’t just the pillow – also included is this exquisite Shea Butter Soap. Being cold processed, the soap retains the all-important healing characteristics of the Mānuka honey and essential oil of lavender it contains. The combination of shea butter, olive oil, and coconut oil moisturises and conditions your skin. The honey and lavender not only cleanse your skin, but also leave behind their delicate, relaxing scents.
You can also buy an optional Storage Tin that fits the Shea Butter Soap perfectly – ideal if you need to travel. It will remain safe from any bumping around in your bag, so no matter where you travel, you can keep your skin cleansed, moisturised and smelling great.
Our Belly Bliss Lotion Balm is specially formulated to help new mothers and mothers-to-be, though there’s certainly no rule that you can’t use this beautiful balm at any other time! With a base of coconut oil, shea butter and rosehip oil, it helps to moisturise and nourish your skin, improving skin elasticity and easing stretch marks during and after pregnancy. In addition, the essential oils of lavender, ylang ylang, mandarin and frankincense in the lotion balm work to calm, encourage sleep, ease nausea and support the reparation and regeneration of skin cells. Even if you no longer need this for pregnancy, the gorgeous aroma and moisturising qualities of the Belly Bliss Lotion Balm make this an absolute must-have.
It’s not just adults, though – skin care is essential for babies, as well. Their skin is incredibly delicate and, for many babies, can be prone to drying out. Haakaa’s Restore & Adore Balm is ideal for soothing any emerging skin problems that may affect babies’ skin. The base, made from kawakawa-infused coconut oil, shea butter and beeswax, gently moisturises the skin. The kawakawa has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties3, helping reduce itching and pain associated with eczema and other dry skin conditions. Jojoba oil acts as an emollient, contributing to skin softness and suppleness4, while lavender oil calms and relaxes your baby. Finally, tea tree oil has been shown to be an especially effective eczema treatment5, making this balm a gentle yet powerful option for helping deal with those skin conditions that are so common in small babies!
If there’s one other type of skin cream that all babies need, it’s a barrier cream to help prevent and soothe nappy rash. Haakaa’s Baby Bottom Balm has been formulated to do just that! The ever-trusty beeswax, shea butter and coconut oil blend provides a moisturising base, which works in conjunction with soothing zinc and halloysite clay to aid quick healing. Finally, essential oil of lavender helps to alleviate pain and skin issues. This combo makes this balm a nappy bag essential.
A different type of skincare product is our ever-popular Oatmeal Bath Milk! Made from colloidal oatmeal, baking soda, Epsom salts and essential oil of lavender, this bath milk is designed with babies with dry or itchy skin in mind. What is colloidal oatmeal? It’s ordinary, natural oats that have been ground to a powder so fine it can dissolve in water, giving the bath an opaque white ‘milk’ appearance. Studies have shown oatmeal to have protective qualities, binding to the skin to form a barrier against irritants and helping to hold moisture against the skin while it’s at it6 – ideal if you or your baby have sensitive, dry skin. The baking soda helps to ease skin itchiness, while Epsom salts help to heal inflamed skin. Lavender oil not only serves its common purpose of calming and soothing, but also has antifungal properties to keep your baby’s skin in tip-top condition7. To use, put five heaped spoonfuls either directly into warm – not hot! – water or into a muslin bag, then into the bath – the Oatmeal Bath helpfully includes both bag and spoon. We recommend using the bag rather than putting the oatmeal directly into the water, as it makes cleaning the bath afterwards so much easier! Soak in the milk bath for up to ten minutes, then pat your baby’s skin dry – take care not to rub vigorously. For best results, moisturise the affected areas immediately after drying with the Restore and Adore Balm. This method is often referred to as ‘soak and seal’ and can be amazingly helpful for anyone who struggles with eczema or other dry skin conditions.
Haakaa also has balms that while still fantastic on the skin, also serve other purposes. Our Sweet Dreams Lotion Balm serves two functions: not only is it as wonderful for your baby’s skin as the above offerings due to the same coconut oil, shea butter and beeswax base, but the addition of essential oils of lavender and chamomile soothes your child, helping them drift peacefully off to sleep after a gentle massage.
The Breathe Easy Balm features the same base, but it’s not just a skin balm. Instead, the addition of essential oils of eucalyptus, tea tree, peppermint, thyme and lemon work together the clear airways and relieve congestion, making it an absolute must-have for cold and flu season! The final ingredient of lavender essential oil as always helps to relax and soothe baby when they aren’t feeling well. To use, gently massage small amounts of balm into your baby’s skin before they go to sleep, particularly their feet, chest and back. The balm can be reapplied as frequently as needed.
1Keshavarz Afshar, M., Behboodi Moghadam, Z., Taghizadeh, Z., Bekhradi, R., Montazeri, A., & Mokhtari, P. (2015). Lavender fragrance essential oil and the quality of sleep in postpartum women. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, 17(4), e25880. https://doi.org/10.5812/ircmj.17(4)2015.25880
2Stevens, N., Dorsett, J., DaBell, A., Eggett, L., Han, X., & Parker, T. (2017). Subjective assessment of the effects of an herbal supplement containing lavender essential oil on sleep quality: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. Cogent Medicine 4(1). https://doi.org/10.1080/2331205X.2017.1380871
3Lei, J., Burgess, E., Richardson, A., Hawkins, B., Baird, S., Smallfield, B., van Klink, J., & Perry, N. (2015). Cytotoxic amides from fruits of kawakawa, Macropiper excelsum. Planta Medica, 81(12/13), 1163–1168. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0035-1546106
4Gad, H., Roberts, A., Hamzi, S., Gad, H., Touiss, I., Altyar, A., Kensara, O., & Ashour, M. (2021). Jojoba oil: An updated comprehensive review on chemistry, pharmaceutical uses, and toxicity. Polymers, 13(11), 1711. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13111711
5Wallengren, J (2010). Tea tree oil attenuates experimental contact dermatitis. Archives of Dermatological Research, 303(5), 333–338. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00403-010-1083-y
6Lim, D. (2011). Oatmeal. Dermnet. https://dermnetnz.org/topics/oatmeal
7D’Auria, F., Tecca, M., Strippoli, V., Salvatore, L., Battinelli, G., & Mazzanti, G (2005). Antifungal activity of Lavandula angustifolia essential oil against Candida albicans yeast and mycelial form. Medical Mycology, 43(5), 391–396. https://doi.org/10.1080/13693780400004810