Over the last thirty years or so, the rates of allergies and asthma in children have climbed at an unprecedented rate. Heather Hamilton, founder and CEO of Zoe Organics, remembers a childhood full of allergy-induced asthma. One of her most severe attacks occurred in response to breathing in chemicals released from children’s bubble bath. Sunscreens and bath products have been known to cause hives and rashes in some sensitive children, and chemical sensitivities are almost as common as food allergies ~ and often harder to avoid.
Bath and skin products are absorbed into the skin as well as inhaled. If you care about what’s going into your child’s belly, you’re bound to care what is going on their skin and into their lungs as well.
When “Fragrance” Means Something Smells Fishy
While conventional products don’t cause every child to break out in hives or have asthma attacks, there’s another wild card that could cause health problems down the line. I’m referring to the presence of endocrine disrupting chemicals in children’s skincare products. These questionable chemicals are ingested, inhaled, and absorbed through the skin. Studies conducted by the World Health Organization have determined them to be harmful to developing reproductive systems. They also may inhibit thyroid function and brain development.
With their still-developing systems, kids are especially susceptible to the effects of hormone disrupting chemicals.
Pthalates are a chemical class often hidden in that nebulous term “fragrance” on the label of lotions, shampoos, and conditioners. They’ve been known to cause damage, particularly to the male reproductive system. Since 2012, Congress banned six different types of phthalates found in children’s toys. Since the word “fragrance” is trade-protected, any time you see that as part of a label, you could be exposed to phthalates.
Parabens, too, are chemicals often found as preservatives in bath and beauty products. These are known endocrine disruptors, and the Danish government has banned some forms of them in products meant for children younger than 3 years of age. Parabens have also been found in the breast tumors of 19 out of 20 women in one 2004 study, strongly linking the substances to cancer.
A Better Way to Bathe Babies with Zoe Organics
When we’ve got such a wide selection of good-smelling, phthalate and paraben-free skin and bath products for our kiddos, the question we should be asking is: is a few extra bucks off conventional soap worth risking our kids’ long term health?
There are now more options than ever to replace grocery store bubble bath and give moms and dads more peace of mind. Zoe Organics is one of my favorite product lines here at True Goods. Their products can be found in the indispensible EWG “Skin Deep” database, and most of them get a score of perfect “zero.” All of Zoe Organics’ suppliers are certified organic, and they’re extra eco-friendly with the unbleached and reusable materials they use for packaging. You don’t have to wonder what your baby is inhaling or absorbing with this consciously crafted line of bath products.
Consider, for example, the Organic Baby Bath Tea. Its ingredients are 100% organic and vegan, and gentle enough to use on newborns. Each unbleached muslin teabag contains skin-soothing cocoa butter, anti-inflammatory oatmeal and chamomile, and lavender and calendula extracts. This non-toxic, hand-blended product will create a bathing experience that's not only refreshing for your baby, but for your brain as well.
The Organic Bath + Body Wash is made with a super-gentle castile soap and vegan, gluten-free ingredients. This one is great for all ages, too, so you can enjoy it even if you don’t have kids.
A couple of soothing products for mama and baby include the Organic Diaper Balm and Organic Nipple Balm. A blend of beeswax, plantain, cocoa butter, as well as some essential oils, like calming chamomile and calendula, will help prevent and alleviate the pain of your baby’s diaper rash. A similar blend that subs avocado and olive oils for chamomile and plantain will relieve breastfeeding related irritation, and doesn’t even need to be washed off before feeding!