We’ve all said it at some point, “soft as a baby’s bottom” While babies may have perfectly soft skin, it is also extremely delicate and requires extra care.
Despite having the same basic functions as that of adult’s, infant’s skin is much thinner and more susceptible to damage and irritation as it continues to develop during their first year of life. This is especially crucial to bear in mind when we start to consider harsh and toxic chemicals found in common infant products.
You may be surprised to learn that most infant skin and bath products are considered to be “cosmetics” which aren’t registered with or regulated by the FDA. Instead, cosmetics can be registered with the Voluntary Cosmetic Registration Program (VCRP). As the name suggests though, this program is voluntary.
This alarmingly loose regulation system should make you extra cautious when considering skin and bath products for your child. Always check the ingredient list when buying products for your little one. As a general rule of thumb, you should always avoid products with the following ingredients:
Fragrance-- Fragrances in skin care, bath, and laundry products are a common allergen for infants due to their delicate skin. When you see “fragrance” listed on ingredient labels bear in mind that this single ingredient can contain numerous chemicals that the company is not legally obligated to disclose.
Phthalates and parabens-- These are common preservatives that are linked to allergies, asthma, reproductive problems, and cancer.
Formaldehyde-- A known carcinogen, it can appear directly in products or it can be released by preservatives in the product. Avoid products containing formaldehyde, quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bromopol) and glyoxal.
1,4-dioxane-- While you won’t see it listed directly on the label, it is an unintentional by-product of other common ingredients. 1,4-dioxane is classified as a “likely carcinogen”. Avoid products containing: sodium laureth sulfate, PEG compounds, and chemicals with the clauses xynol, ceteareth and oleth
Because of babies’ thinner and more fragile skin, these and other common chemicals in cosmetic products can become irritants that cause a myriad of issues including rashes, eczema, hives, swelling, or blisters. Furthermore, babies are much more susceptible to percutaneous toxicity due to their higher surface area-to-volume ratio and reduced ability to metabolize drugs and toxins [1,2]. This makes it even more important to be mindful of the chemicals you are exposing them to.
When you read through the ingredients list on a product’s package, you sometimes see strange words that you are not familiar with. Some of these are just the name of a common ingredient, (for example Sodium Chloride is Salt) but many are less common and should be avoided.
When making our baby shampoo and body wash we did some research (some if its results you read right here in this blog post!), and we decided to help our customers better understand what ingredients we use in our product. When you look on our ingredients list (on the bottle's label), you’ll see a straightforward explanation of the stuff we put in our shampoo. This makes it easy for every one of our customers to know exactly what is in our product. If you can’t understand what’s in the product you buy, you might want to think twice about if that’s the right product for you and your baby.
We all want what’s best for our children. Unfortunately, big companies that produce bath and skin care products for our little ones tend to take shortcuts. Protect your most vulnerable family members by researching the products you use and all of their listed ingredients. Buying natural, organic products from brands you trust is one of the easiest ways to cut out harmful ingredients and protect the ones you love.
Darmstadt GL, Dinulos JG. Neonatal skin care. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2000;47(4):757-782.
Afsar FS. Skin care for preterm and term neonates. Clin Exp Dermatol. 2009;34(8):855-858.
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