Reviewed by Emma Stubbs
As a mum, I have drawers full of baby ‘must-haves’. A good 80% of them have been used a few times and never again, meaning I have a huge drawer of baby ‘don’t-need-to-haves’ and a little drawer of actual ‘must-haves’. I was lucky to be chosen to review a few baby products at the start of the year, so let’s see which drawer they’ve made it into…
Mustela SPF 50+ Very High Protection Sun Spray for Babies
A definite must-have baby product is a high protection sun cream. My previous experience of sun cream over factor 50 is that it’s usually thicker than mud and turns your child into a walking ghost as it refuses to absorb. I’m also yet to find a spray that sprays with good coverage and doesn’t just splat out a thick blob each time. My third and final requirement for my perfect sun cream is that it is suitable for me too – I have a tendency to get prickly heat, and a few years ago, I actually found THE sun cream that relieved and prevented this, but alas it wasn’t suitable for babies too. On my life quest to find my dream cream, I was really pleased that I had been sent Mustela’s high protection sun cream to test out. It’s specifically designed for babies and children from newborn. February may not be the best time to check how well it protects against the sun, but I can definitely see if it meets my requirements listed above.
So first off, the consistency is great and a lot thinner than any other high factor creams I’ve used before. It rubs in effortlessly and doesn’t stay on top of the skin like facepaint – hooray, no Casper the ghost baby! I would always choose a spray system over a standard squirty bottle, and this spray is pretty impressive – it goes where you expect it to and provides the perfect amount of cream. The product absorbs easily into the skin and isn’t sticky, which means it would survive the dreaded sandy beach application. It is ever so slightly greasy, but this didn’t last long, and I’d rather that than mine or my baby’s skin feel tacky and heavy with product.
What did surprise me is that it is pretty much odourless. A part of me longed for the typical summer smell of suncream, but I’m pretty sure I can do without that, especially as the lack of smell means a lack of skin-irritating perfume (0% perfume).
One thing that I was unsure about was the application for babies – the instructions state that for children 1 year of age, spray their arms at least 5 times. I am assuming it means for children younger than 2, spray their arms at least 5 times over 2 hours, but I think this needs to be clearer. The packaging should also state (as it does on the website) that it is suitable from birth, as that is not 100% clear either.
The packaging states that it has been specially formulated for sensitive and intolerant skin to minimise the risk of allergic reactions. I really hope this will help with my sun allergies, but I will have to wait for warmer weather to put this to the test.
For now, this is definitely making its way into my essential toiletries drawer, and finally, I think I may actually be able to stop my search for the perfect family-friendly sun spray.
For more information visit www.mustela.co.uk. Rating: 5/5
Mustela Cleansing Milk (200ml)
The next item I was given to review was a cleansing milk by Mustela. I wouldn’t describe the product as a milk since it has the consistency of an emollient cream. It feels lovely and rich, and is really easily absorbed without excess oil or grease. It is meant for face and nappy area, I would quite happily use it all over my little one’s body. The smell is pleasantly baby powder-esque and is not too strong, and I love that it is suitable for newborns including those in NICU. I wasn’t sure of its cleansing capabilities when using it on my daughter, so I actually tested it on my own face and it removed make-up whilst leaving my skin feeling moisturised.
The instructions state to apply with cotton wool and then rinse off, but it would be good to know if or why the rinsing is necessary. For this reason, I’m not too sure of its place in our personal routine – I would be more inclined to use a moisturising baby bath or the lotion that Mustela produce instead. I’m not sure if we will use this religiously, but if my daughter was to break out in a few dry patches, I would reach for this instead of the usual tub of cream we keep in the drawer. I should also note that my daughter’s skin if not overly sensitive and she is not prone to allergies – if she was not so lucky, I might find that this product would make its way into the essentials drawer.
Looking online, I can see that there is a bottle available with a pump dispenser, which would make application a lot easier, especially with a wriggly baby.
The product definitely does what it intends to do well, but the possible need to rinse it afterwards makes it a bit of a hassle, which is why I would give a rating of 3/5.
For more information visit www.mustela.co.uk. Rating: 5/5
Puressential Rest & Relax Baby Balm
If you’re a parent, you know you will try (almost) anything to get your baby to sleep well. In fact, as a Zombiemum, I’ve even thought about setting up a sleep-aid hire system so parents can try something out and then give it back when it inevitably doesn’t work. Puressential’s Baby Relax Balm (RRP: £16.99 50ml) was something I hadn’t tried, so I was very keen to test it out. I obviously laughed in the face of this small little box that said the balm enclosed would ‘prepare relaxation and sleep’. Prepare for sleep, and ACTUALLY sleep are very different things, but obviously claiming that this elixir of essential oils will send your child to the land of nod for a good 11 hours without fail might be a bit unrealistic.
Now enough of my cynicism. My daughter is now two, and I have to say, she is getting a lot better at sleeping. Dare I say it, she now usually sleeps through the night (that’s it, I’ve jinxed it, I’m doomed), and is fairly content at settling herself to sleep. However, the last couple of weeks she has been fighting going to bed a little, despite the military bedtime routine staying the same, so I was interested to see if a massage with this Relax Balm would do the trick.
I didn’t know what to expect from a balm – I’m not a masseuse and I’m not well-versed in the realms of essential oils. I suppose I assumed it would be a bit like a vapour rub, but how wrong I was. It’s kind of like a jelly, which I’ll admit freaked me out at first, but once applied, it turns into more of a massage oil. The essential oils contained are cypress, lavender, marjoram, orange and thyme, and the combined smell really is lovely and soothing without being overpowering. Now what I was really impressed with was how ungreasy the application was – all the massage oils I’ve ever used have left a slippy residue, but this soaked into the skin whilst still allowing me to easily rub and massage my daughter’s skin. Never again will I be using standard baby oil!
You only need a small amount each time (the instructions say to use 1.25g of balm, but I can’t say I can judge what that amount is whatsoever!), so the 50ml pot would definitely last a long time. I’m unsure why this product can’t be used for more than 3 consecutive days per week, and this is a shame, as it would be great to use as part of our daily bedtime routine.
The aromas and the relaxing massage definitely prepared my daughter for sleep, and after her story, she crawled into bed and after a quick kiss and check of her army of small toy bedtime companions, she soon drifted off. VICTORY!!! QUICK! GET IT IN THE MUST-HAVE DRAWER! TELL ALL THE OTHER PARENTS!
I have a small confession in that I also used the product on my insomniac husband’s shoulders before bed, and… HE ALSO SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT! So, I now have a 2 year old who sleeps AND a husband that sleeps. Now all I need is to stop said husband’s snoring. Do you have a miracle balm for that, Puressential?
For more information visit www.puressentiel.com. Rating: 5/5