When shopping for baby, we know you want the very best.
You’re reading reviews, testing out products and asking fellow parents for recommendations. But are you remembering to ask about ingredient safety too? The products your child is exposed to in their early years can have lifelong effects, and toxic chemicals lurk in everyday products from wipes and lotions to soaps and shampoos.
Skin is the body’s largest organ, allowing the good, the bad, and the ugly to absorb into our bloodstream.
This means what you put on and around your body matters – a lot! For babies specifically, keep in mind their fragile and sensitive skin, which can be much more easily damaged than adults’. When shopping for children’s skincare products be on the lookout for these common yucky ingredients:
Fragrance ~ Beware, this lovely sounding ingredient is not your friend! Instead, it’s a catchall label used to mask the identity of underlying components, often cocktails of synthetic and phthalate-riddled chemicals. The fragrance industry has worked tirelessly to preserve their right to keep fragrance ingredients a “trade secret,” which smells super fishy if you ask us. In baby products, fragrance use is pervasive and very common in wipes, soaps, lotions and more.
DMDM Hydantoin ~ This toxic chemical can release formaldehyde, an established carcinogen, and has also been shown to damage the immune system.
Alcohol ~ Commonly found in baby wipes, this ingredient is far too harsh for sensitive skin. It can also cause inflammation, irritation and clogged pores.
Parabens ~ Preservatives added to food and products for extended shelf life, studies have shown they mimic the hormone estrogen and can lead to hormonal and fertility issues with long-term use. It’s important that all baby products be “paraben free,” so look for this qualifier when checking labels.
Sodium Lauryl / Laureth Sulfate (SLS/SLES) ~ Commonly used in personal care products as a cleaning aid and to create those familiar foamy lathers, these can be much too harsh for a baby’s delicate skin. Milder, “sulfate free” options are preferable.
Phthalates ~ Often found in shampoos, lotions and baby powders, these nasty chemicals can affect hormones and normal child development.
Phenoxyethanol ~ Used in fragrances and as a preservative in many personal care products – even “all natural” ones, this ingredient has been linked to neurotoxicity, reproductive toxicity and worsening eczema.
Triclosan ~ An antibacterial chemical found in a wide range of personal care and household cleaning products, it’s been associated with liver and inhalation toxicity and shouldn’t be used around babies – or around anyone for that matter.
Petrochemicals ~ These are exactly what they sound like – a range of chemicals derived from petroleum. Bad for people, bad for the environment.