Did you know that there are harmful toxins to watch out for in baby products? Well, if I got your attention, let me also confess that I think this post should have been written right at the start of my blogging career when I was introducing myself an eco-mommy blogger and someone who loves all things natural and organic. If you ask me, I honestly have no idea what took so long to write this, but then as the popular saying goes, its never too late!
For those of you who follow my blog, you are aware about how passionate I am about products that are natural and organic. Yes, being chemical free is what I believe in. Over the past few years I have spent time scouting around for brands that advocate the need for chemical living. But this post is not about brands. It is a post to educate you to know what’s on the label of the popular products available in the market. It is to help you know what are the harmful ingredients in baby products.
7 Harmful Ingredients In Baby Products
I used to be one of the moms who bought the well known chemical laden products for the boys till they were 1. It all changed when I was introduced to the world of natural living. I began to read more on the natural options available, learnt more about the ingredients that go into the products and made more informed choices.
Since your little one’s skin is very sensitive and also the fact that their tender skin absorbs close to 60% of what is applied on it should make you read the labels and choose the right products. Let’s get to the point, yes there are harmful toxins in baby products and there are ways for you to find out what is right and what is not.
Ready to know more? The next time you buy a product, look at the ingredient list to know if there are harmful toxins in the product you are about to buy. Here are 7 Harmful Ingredients In Baby Products that you should avoid.
Phthalate & Parabens
Phthalate & Parabens are the most common of them all and are listed in soaps, shampoos and lotions. Parabens can also be found in a few wet wipes. Repeated exposure to parabens can cause tumours, hormone disruption and skin irritation.
Phthalates have been linked to endocrine disruption, that can cause not just reproductive problems but also affect the concentration levels. Prolonged exposure can lead to allergies, asthma and in some cases even cancer.
Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)
SLES is the main ingredient that causes the product to foam or lather. It is commonly found is soaps, bubble baths, shampoos, body washes and face wash. This highly toxic ingredient can be very harsh on the baby’s tender skin and when there is a repeated exposure to SLES, it is known to damage the immune system and in some cases also inflame the skin. SLES is also a common ingredient that is used in regular detergents used to wash clothes, so you can very well imagine the damage it cause to the baby’s tender skin.
This is another ingredient that is commonly found in bath products and liquid soaps. Most of the times it is not listed on the label because it is a chemical byproduct. It is known to be a possible human carcinogen, and the ingredient is commonly linked to many types of skin allergies. It is possible that the ingredien 1,4-dioxane is a part of products that contain SLES and PEG compounds.
To ensure that you completely avoid this ingredient, avoid using products that contain SLES, PEG compounds and chemicals listed as xynol, ceteareth and oleth.
Do you love that regular massage oil you picked up for your little one? Especially the lingering fragrance it leaves hours after you have massaged the baby. Pick up the bottle and look at the ingredients. Do you see mineral oil as a listed ingredient? Most of the regular baby oils are essentially made of mineral oil mixed with fragrance, which is not a combination you would want to use on the baby’s tender skin. Mineral oil is a cheap byproduct of petroleum processing and when applied on the skin it acts as a plastic wrap and inhibits the skin’s ability to release toxins.
If you do want to massage your little one, choose natural alternatives that are available in the market. You can also use natural oils of coconut, olive and almonds for a regular massage to keep the skin soft and supple.
If you opened a baby product and fell in love with its fragrance, turn the product and read the ingredients list. Most of the fragrances that are used in baby products are artificial and this is most commonly used in shampoos, body and hair wash,powders, body lotions, massage oils and diapers! Exhaustive list, but to make you understand, it is used in every product that touches your baby’s tender skin. Prolonged exposure to fragrance can cause allergies, skin damage, and respiratory issues. Avoid any product that lists fragrance, perfume or parfum. (read this study)
You know, your little one does not need that talcum powder to look and feel fresh at any point of time. Talcum powder is a powder made from a mineral called talc. Sometimes fragrance and powdered mineral is added to the talc that cause a lot of skin irritation and allergies. Talcum powder is made from talc that may be contaminated with asbestos fibers causing respiratory toxicity and cancer.
Triclosan is found under anything that is labelled as anti-bacterial. Triclosan is known to be an endocrine disruptor and is harmful for the environment. This ingredient is used in antibacterial soaps, hand washes, baby wipes to name a few. (See this post for more information.)
Each time you pick up a product for your baby, or even for yourself, do check the labels. Ask yourself, does your baby need that teething ring or the pacifier. If its an ingredient that we have listed which you spot, stay away from it. Read that label and ensure that you give nothing but the nature’s goodness to your little one. Educate yourself, know more about why we say no to the ingredient. Stay away from harmful ingredients in baby products.
The boys, coffee, books, music and ME TIME are my modes of relaxation!