When a baby is born, she is blessed with beautiful and smooth skin because of vernix caseosa – the thick, white and wax-like substance often hailed as a baby’s “first beauty product”. This natural moisturizer and protectant covers, moisturizes and protects a baby’s delicate skin and develops on a baby’s skin while in the womb and stays on throughout until birth. The vernix also protects baby from infections: according to a publication in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, it contains antimicrobial proteins that are active against group B strep, E. coli and other common perinatal pathogens.
Vernix what again?
Vernix caseosa. This complex mixture has squalene, phospholipids, amino acids and ceramides among its contents. Its main functions include protecting baby’s skin from the drying effects of the surrounding acidic amniotic fluid in the womb. Without the vernix’s protection, a newborn’s skin would be like a wrinkled prune - just think of your fingers developing wrinkles after swimming or taking a long bath. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends against removing vernix for 24 hours from newborns after birth as it is also “ a wound healer, cleanser, anti-infective and antioxidant.” As Dr Michael Farmer, head of the Department of Family at British Columbia Women’s Hospital & Health Centre, says, “Babies are not born dirty.”
Baby skin is ‘ideal skin’
So say the experts at the Skin Sciences Institute of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. A study by its researchers shows that babies whose vernix was not washed off immediately had skin that was more hydrated and less scaly with a faster reduction in pH level. The Institute also has four patents on vernix technology to develop a synthetic equivalent that’s able to deliver similar benefits like the natural prototype does. Think of it like “infant formula as a substitute for milk,” explains Dr Marty Visscher, the Institute’s Executive Director who believes the “list of applications for vernix is endless.”
Skin rebirth with First Light
From beginning to eternity – Beauty, Forever Yours – is the conceptual cradle that led to the birth of First Light skincare range by Ceramiracle. The nutricosmetics specialist in anti-aging skincare started with the now award-winning Ceramides Skin Supplement, a one a day beauty capsule that nurtures skin health, youth and radiance. It’ll soon introduce The Serum, an anti-aging beauty essence inspired by the vernix. This dermatologist-tested phytosqualane-based formula contains natural actives similarly found in vernix and mimics the intense hydration and skin nourishment of vernix to bring back baby-soft skin for you.