Toxins in baby care products that every parent should be aware of
As a parent, you want the best for your child. This includes giving them the best skin care products to keep their skin healthy and from ingredients that might be harmful to your little one. Unfortunately, baby skin care products are not always safe. Instead, many of these products are jam-packed with potentially harmful ingredients.
To make matters worse the FDA does not require companies to test their products for safety before selling them to parents—and there’s very little regulation of these products once they’re on the market.
“Magical Wool does not contain any synthetic or processed ingredients as it is just the fat from the sheep wool that heals that treats the inflammation”
Creams and lotions are meant to soothe baby skin—not irritate the skin and potentially provoke health issues. Unfortunately, some lotions are doing more harm than good. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), “the Environmental Protection Agency has determined that infants up to age 2 are, on average, 10 times more vulnerable to carcinogenic chemicals than adults, and from age 2 to 15 they are 3 times more vulnerable to carcinogens than adults. Before the age of 2 babies have accumulated 50% of their life-time cancer risk.”
This is shocking information that every parent needs to know. As a society, we need to be concerned about what our children absorb through their skin, the body’s largest organ. It’s scary but true that some potentially toxic ingredients and known carcinogens are not even required by law to be labeled on products.
Many personal care products contain chemicals such as parabens. The FDA requires that the parabens be listed in the ingredient panel if the product contains them.
Research was carried out in 2018 in the United Kingdom found that skin reaction from baby cosmetics goes underreported. The study concluded of 438 baby cosmetic products that were marked ‘sensitive ‘gentle’ and/or ‘fragrance-free’ were more likely to contain skin irritants than those without such labels.
Here is a list of the most common toxins that are in baby lotion products:
Every parent loves a good smelling baby. As a result, fragrances are almost in every baby care products. The term “fragrance” on an ingredients label often means the product is hiding a chemical concoction whose ingredients aren’t required by law to be listed individually. Manufacturers can legally hide hundreds of ingredients under “fragrance” (also known as “parfum”, “perfume”, “essential oil” and/or “aroma”). This is called a “trade secret” in the industry. More than 75 percent of the time, if you see “fragrance” listed, it signals legally hidden phthalates, which are known endocrine disruptors that are linked with birth defects, breast cancer, infertility, liver cancer, diabetes, as well as obesity. On top of all that, exposure to phthalates during pregnancy is associated with autism and ADHD. Dr. Philip Landrigan of Children’s Environmental Health Center at Mt. Sinai has stated that prenatal exposure to phthalates can cause brain injury and behavioural problems. “Fragrance” is a deal breaker, so its presence rules out most conventional baby products.
Would you put petrol on your babies skin? The short answer is no. Research was carried out by the EWG and found that over 40% of all baby body products containing petroleum. One of the observations with petroleum and liquid paraffin is that it doesn’t actually moisturise the skin. It creates a waterproof layer the skin which stops moisture leaving however the feeling of actually being moisturised isn’t real. In short, the skin is simply covered with something that feels soft. Therefore, the moisturising effects of liquid paraffin on the skin is simply an illusion.
Products such as Sudocrem contains BHA which is an endocrine disruptor and also a fragrance which includes parabens and phthalates (as well as petrochemicals and propylene glycol). Consumers should be made more aware what they apply on their baby’s skin.
According to the FDA, nearly one fifth of creams contain a substance that generates formaldehyde. The product label won’t tell you that formaldehyde is present. According to EWG, to truly avoid all forms of formaldehyde, you must avoid products with formaldehyde-releasing chemicals. formaldehyde is "carcinogenic to humans" based on higher risks of myeloid leukemia and rare cancers, including cancers of the paranasal sinuses, nasal cavity, and nasopharynx.
Parabens are a group of chemicals used as artificial preservatives in body care products since the 1920s. They prevent and reduce the growth of harmful bacteria such as mold, increasing the shelf life of the product. Scientific studies suggest that parabens can disrupt hormones in the body and harm fertility and reproductive organs, affect birth outcomes, and increase the risk of cancer. They can also cause skin irritation.
Parabens aren't just bad for humans, they impact the environment too. Dr Veraitch adds, 'Parabens are believed to cause harm to marine life, where they've been found inside sea creatures and are also believed to damage and kill coral.'
Always label read and be sure to know what is going on yours or your little ones skin. By learning to recognise potentially harmful ingredients, you can drastically reduce your little ones exposure from these products. Also, beware of taglines like “dermatologist tested” or “#1 brand recommended by hospitals,” as these are, unfortunately, just nifty promotion techniques. It’s all about ingredients; the rest is just marketing.