Are sea sponges good for babies?

The short answer: Yes.

Natural sea sponges are one of the most appropriate and caring ways to cleanse your baby’s skin. Absorbent, hygienic and pleasantly soft, the sea sponge is the ideal product for a gentle yet deep cleansing of your baby’s skin.

But let’s dive a little bit deeper.

What is a sea sponge and where does it come from?

Sea sponges are simple multi-cellular aquatic organisms that belong to the phylum Porifera. They are sessile, which means they are stationary and anchored to the ocean floor. They are filter feeders, meaning they filter nutrients and particles from the water that flows through their porous bodies.

Sea sponges come in varieties of shapes, sizes, or colors, and are found in all oceans of the world. They can grow as small as a few millimeters to as large as several meters in diameter.

They’ve been harvested for thousands of years and used for many purposes, including bathing, cleaning, and even as a natural source of antibiotics. Nowadays, most commercially available sea sponges are harvested from the Mediterranean Sea and the Caribbean. It is noteworthy that, out of the more than 8,000 species of sea sponges, only 6-7 are really of any commercial value.

Harvesting sea sponges involves cutting them off the seabed, which can damage the surrounding marine ecosystem if done irresponsibly. As such, it is important to ensure that sea sponges are sustainably harvested and sourced from reputable suppliers.

The sea sponge as bathing tool

Sea sponges have been harvested and used for personal care and cleaning for centuries. Before the advent of plastic, in many places, the sea sponge was the only sponge people knew and used.

Today, sea sponges are consistently used as natural bath sponges, which remains their most common commercial use. Because they are very soft to the skin, antibacterial, and surprisingly absorbent, they are ideal for cleaning the body and face. They are, overall, considered an excellent tool for gentle skin exfoliation and deep pore cleansing, even for the most sensitive skin type.

The sea sponge as raw material, however, is far from the finished product you would use in your bathroom. That happens after it has undergone specific processing and nothing about its processing is industrialized. Nearly everything -from harvesting to cutting, sterilizing, sorting, and packaging – is done by hand. Furthermore, there are risks associated with diving and harvesting, and there is rarity in nature.

All the above explains why a sea sponge can be an expensive product. Synthetic sponges or other bathing tools are cheap, which makes them commonly used. But a good sea sponge cannot be cheap. Low prices in sea sponges may imply equally low quality, poor processing, and perhaps hygiene risks.

Related article: Why you might want to switch to natural sea sponges

Features, benefits and differences

Unlike synthetic sponges – typically made of various types of plastics, such as polyurethane, cellulose acetate, and polyester – sea sponges are completely natural. They are biodegradable, renewable, and can be harvested without harming the environment.

Overall, sea sponges offer a range of benefits that make them a versatile and eco-friendly alternative to synthetic sponges and other skincare products. Here are some of these:

Safe and non-toxic: Sea sponges are hypoallergenic, non-toxic, and do not contain any harsh chemicals or artificial colors, or fragrances that can irritate the skin. They are an excellent choice for people with sensitive skin or allergies. Kids and babies included.

Gentle exfoliants: Sea sponges have a natural texture that gently exfoliates the skin, removing dead skin cells and impurities without irritating it. They are used on the face and body to promote smoother, softer skin.

Improved blood circulation: Using a sea sponge to massage the skin can help to stimulate blood circulation and promote lymphatic drainage, which can improve the overall health and appearance of the skin.

Antimicrobial/antibacterial properties: Sea sponges have natural antimicrobial properties that can help to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi on the skin. These properties make them a good choice for people with acne or other skin conditions caused by bacterial or fungal infections.

Natural moisturizers: Sea sponges absorb and retain lots of water, much more than you can imagine, which makes them an effective natural moisturizer for the skin. They can help to hydrate dry, rough, or flaky skin, leaving it feeling soft and supple.

Dispelling some myths

All sea sponges are of high quality.

Well, not inherently. While sea sponges are generally considered to be of high quality, not all sea sponges are created equal. The quality of a sea sponge can depend on several factors, including the species of sponge, the location where it was harvested, and how it was processed and prepared for use.

Therefore, it is important to choose a reputable supplier that carefully selects quality sponges, and you should always inspect your sponge carefully before first use.

A sea sponge will last you for years.

Sea sponges are known for their durability and can last longer than synthetic sponges with proper care. However, their lifespan depends on various factors, such as the type (species) of the sponge, its quality, how it is used, and how well it is maintained.

On the internet, you’ll hear a lot of exaggerated claims. There are suppliers that will try to convince you that a good sea sponge may last up to 8 years. Well, the only way a sea sponge will last you that long is…to use it as decoration in your office. Then again, if you’ve bought it for your bath, you can be sure it will break down and degrade sooner than that.

To help extend the lifespan of your sea sponge, it’s important to follow proper care and maintenance techniques. Also, here’s a tip for you: Mediterranean sea sponges are generally more durable than their Caribbean cousins.

So, are sea sponges good for babies?

Well, if one of your biggest concerns as a parent is what your baby’s delicate skin comes into contact with, then you should consider a bathing tool that is antibacterial and hypoallergenic.

Babies and little kids’ skin is thinner and thus more vulnerable and more absorbing than adult skin. Synthetic sponges loaded with petroleum bi-products, or washcloths and shower poufs that easily become a trap for bacteria could potentially harm the absorbent young skin.

Sea sponges, on the contrary, don’t need to be treated with chemicals to be antibacterial as they already contain enzymes that naturally inhibit bacteria growth. If you’ve ever used a sea sponge, you have probably noticed that it does not retain odors or develop bad smells (provided, of course, that it is cared for).

The sea sponge also has other qualities that make it very effective at washing babies, toddlers, and little kids. It absorbs a lot of water and is surprisingly soft when wet (almost like the feel of velvet). It produces a rich lather and offers pleasurable sensations when rubbed against the skin. These natural qualities make the sea sponge more attractive, especially for babies and kids that don’t tolerate washing for long.

So yes, Sea sponges are good for babies. Actually, they are an ideal product for a gentle yet deep cleansing of your baby’s skin.

Note: Not all sea sponges are suitable for the purpose of washing babies, and you’ll need to find the right kind: soft, unbleached, and one that hasn’t had any extra chemicals applied to enhance its life. Here are our suggested products for this purpose below:

Suggested products for washing babies:
Baby bath natural sea sponge 2pk
New born baby sponge + Natural face care sponges combo (1+3 pack)

At Jordan Benedict London, our natural bath sponges come with a hanging cord attached which will be particularly useful for hanging and drying your sponge.