|Super soft newborn skin is also uniquely susceptible |
to absorption of toxic chemicals.
This post is sponsored by Earth Mama Angel Baby and Green Sisterhood.
Like many of you, I started paying attention to the ingredients of common household products after the birth of my first child. When my baby first sucked on our wood floor I wondered, what's in my floor cleaner? When he sucked on my hair I wondered, what's in my leave-in conditioner and is it safe for a baby to ingest? As I changed his diapers I wondered, what are disposable diapers made of? And as I rubbed lotion into his dry skin I wondered, how safe are the unpronounceable ingredients of this baby lotion?
Ingredients of Baby Care Products
Of course, that’s why baby skin products are subject to stricter regulations, right?
Wrong. A manufacturer can put "baby," "for kids," "gentle,"or "hypoallergenic" on a product label regardless of the ingredients inside. “Pure,” “natural,” and “safe” are other terms that have no legal meaning and are not necessarily related to the hazard level of product ingredients. For example, the infographic below shows ingredients contained in baby lotion, including products marketed as gentle, sensitive, and natural, along with health concerns associated with those ingredients.
For more detailed information about the ingredients above as well as lists of products that contain these ingredients, click over to EWG’s Skin Deep Database. For example, click here to see all the health concerns associated with fragrance, and then click on “Products” in the left sidebar followed by “baby lotions - 50 products” to see all the baby lotions that contain fragrance. I personally avoid any product that contains "fragrance" since manufacturers can simply list “fragrance” (considered a trade secret) as an ingredient on product labels without disclosing any of the dozen or more chemical components of their scent. Researchers have discovered more than 3,000 different chemical compounds hiding under the term “fragrance,” including suspected hormone disruptors.
Choosing the Safest Products for Your Family
Once I became aware of the inadequacy of U.S. regulation of personal products, I began researching the safety of my family's personal products and searching for alternatives with safer ingredients. You can help choose safer products for your family just by skipping any product that contains "fragrance" in order to avoid undisclosed chemicals. You can also look up the health concerns of individual ingredients that are unfamiliar or the "Hazard Score" of your favorite personal product in the Skin Deep Database.
For more tips on how to choose safer, non-toxic personal care products, watch this video with Earth Mama Angel Baby's Alicia Voorhies. All Earth Mama Angel Baby products have a hazard score of “0” (no hazard and the lowest possible score) in the Skin Deep Database. I wish I had known about their creamy all-natural baby lotion when my little ones were newborns! It also works wonderfully on children and adults.
Do you pay extra attention to the ingredients of baby care products?
What ingredients do you avoid in personal care products?
- Principles of Pediatric Environmental Health. The Child as Susceptible Host: A Developmental Approach to Pediatric Environmental Medicine (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 2012). Also available as PDF.
- The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics: FDA Regulations
- EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database: Myths on cosmetic safety
- Fragrance = Secret Yucky Ingredients
- My Favorite Non-toxic Hair Products
- Finding Non-toxic Lipstick Using the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database
- Should I Use Sunscreen?
- Avoiding Toxins in Baby Products
Works for Me Wednesday