Going through the endless cute and colorful bottles, tubes and jars with images of cuddly teddies at the baby skincare section, how do you decide which one is best for your baby’s delicate skin? The one with a cute baby image and shea butter written in bold or the one that says mild, gentle and tear free?
You would think that the same amount of care and consideration that went into designing the packaging also went into formulating a safe, toxin free product for your baby BUT you could be wrong. Fancy advertisements and packaging can be misleading and often brands who use otherwise safe and natural ingredients also use toxins and chemicals to enhance the look, feel, texture and shelf life of their product.
Newborn skin is delicate — and so is the baby’s immune system. Chemicals, fragrances, and dyes in clothing, detergents, and baby products can not only cause newborn skin irritation, dryness, chafing, and rashes but can also get absorbed by the body to disrupt your newborn’s budding immune and nervous system.
THE BEST WAY TO CHOOSE IS BY READING LABELS & INGREDIENTS
Always read labels and be especially wary of brands who do not list all of their ingredients. Sometimes INCI names can be confusing so you can always look up any unfamiliar ingredient online to see whether its safe for your baby or not. There’s a long list but to get you started here are top 5 ingredients to avoid when choosing skincare products for your baby.
FRAGRANCE OR PARFUM is just a fancy name for synthetic fragrance can be the most difficult to avoid as even brands claiming natural and organic products use it. Synthetic fragrance is derived from petrochemicals and phthalates, and some have hundreds of components! These include benzene derivatives, aldehydes and many known toxins that are known to cause cancer, birth defects, asthma, eczema, respiratory damage and central nervous system disorders. The problem is that “fragrance” is a generic term and we often don’t know what exactly companies are using as they don’t have to disclose the complete ingredients of “fragrance” itself.
PHTHALATES are used as a preservative in personal care products like shampoos and lotions. These cause endocrine disruption and can lead to decreased sperm motility and concentration, allergies, asthma, and cancer. Look out for diethylhexyl phthalate, dibutyl phthalate, demethyl phthalate, or diethyl phthalate. See Article 1, 2, 3 and 6 below
PARABENS are another preservative used in many personal care products. They are known endocrine disruptors that can lead to reproductive problems, developmental disorders, skin irritation, and cancer. Beware of any ingredient that ends in – paraben such as methyl paraben, butyl paraben and propyl paraben. See Article 1, 4, 5 and 6 below
PHENOXYETHANOL has increased in popularity as an alternative preservative, even among “natural” and “organic” brands since the big paraben scare began. Studies have proven that phenoxyethanol is an irritant to skin and eyes, but this type of allergic reaction is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s also toxic to the kidneys, nervous system, and liver, and with repeated, long-term exposure it can cause organ damage. See Article 3 below
TETRASODIUM ETIDRONATE also known as TETRASODIUM EDTA is made from formaldehyde and sodium cyanide. Although its not a reported carcinogen itself but is in fact a penetration enhancer, Which means it breaks down the skin’s protective barrier, making it easier for other potentially harmful ingredients in the formula to be absorbed by the skin. So be wary of Tetra Sodium EDTA in combination with other toxins in a product
Its best to educate yourself on the harmful effects of all the chemicals we are exposing our children to. So research well before you decide what’s good for your baby and always always read labels before making a purchase. We at Earthly Essentials, are proud to say that we have none of these toxic chemicals in our products, whether they are for babies or even adults.
Article 1 – Cytochrome P450-inhibitory activity of parabens and phthalates used in consumer products.
Article 2 – Early Phthalates Exposure in Pregnant Women Is Associated with Alteration of Thyroid Hormones.
Article 3 – Endocrine disrupting chemicals and endometriosis.
Article 4 – Association between paraben exposure and menstrual cycle in female university students in Japan.
Article 5 – Association of birth outcomes with fetal exposure to parabens, triclosan and triclocarban in an immigrant population in Brooklyn, New York.
Article 6 – Association of environmental chemicals & estrogen metabolites in children.