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Our daughter has wonderfully supple and clear skin today and the journey to achieve this balance came from learning to recognize that our external and internal nourishment needs are intertwined.  As a new mom I committed myself to making many healthy lifestyle choices for the care of my daughter. Throughout my pregnancy my partner and I were conscious of making food choices such as; low/no preservatives, lots of wholefoods; fresh fruits and vegetables.  When it came to prenatal beauty I made a deliberate change to natural and organic products such as cleansers free of Salicylic acid,  paraben free lotion and I avoided nail polish altogether. When our daughter was born I was predisposed to choose skin care lines for our daughter with ingredient lists I could easily interpret, lines that followed the less is more philosophy.

I received a great lead from a fellow mom to try EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database for lessons in label reading. I used their rating system and perused product reviews.  Then, to be honest, I took some time to recover from the sticker shock of switching from the traditional “natural” products sold within most drugstores to a line containing only natural and organic ingredients with the concentrated moisture content we could trust to nourish our daughter’s skin. In my mind, how well something worked and how safe it was for our baby mattered more than the price per ounce. I soon discovered a true benefit to the richer higher quality natural product; I could use less per application since it provided greater protection over a longer period of time.   I also succeeded in convincing my reluctant partner who shared in these decisions that making the switch was the most healthful option (which for him meant learning a sparing approach to product use).

Our daughter thrived and had healthy glowing skin with little irritation until around one year of age, about six months following the introduction of solid foods.  My partner and I began to discover eczema like patches on her legs and arms. They were dry, discolored and would change in shape and size over time.  We tried the oatmeal baths, increased moisture, and cotton clothing, anything we considered to have a direct impact on the treatment of her skin.

What ensued was a lesson in the signs that our skin, our largest organ, provides into the inner workings of our bodies.  At a wellness visit with my daughter’s pediatrician we brought up the patches as a topic of concern.  The Dr. took a look asked a few questions related to the length the patches existed and how frequently they occurred and identified them as possible signs of a food allergy.   This was news.  The year previous to this visit we had thought our daughter had an issue isolated to a lack of moisture or an external irritation therefore we worked to treat her dry patches only topically.  However, at two years of age with the guidance of the pediatrician, the use of a six-week elimination diet and blood testing food allergies were identified as egg and dairy based.   The strongest reaction our daughter had to these allergens was, luckily, mild hives on her face.  However, once we eliminated these allergens completely we saw her blossom into a new state of healthiness.  Her skin cleared up within a couple of months and we noticed her energy and immune system improved.

As a family we have come to appreciate skin as signaling device to underlying health.  We continue to make informed product selection when it comes to our family’s skin care as well as dietary choices.   My partner and I are now well versed in label reading and even our daughter, now four, can identify foods she should avoid.  The great news is that with her annual checkups we can see that she will likely outgrow her egg allergy within the next year.  I can say our family’s focus to include the topical care of our daughter’s skin with the dietary requirements to ensure the needs of her skin are met has strengthened our belief in the holistic approach to living.  All components of our bodies are deeply connected and when one part is not functioning successfully finding the cause may require deeper investigation and is worthy of any “necessary” change required to ensure the overall health of the whole self.

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