It is always good to consider the safety of body care product ingredients, but it is especially as when choosing the right products for your baby. With a baby’s delicate skin, the word “gentle” appeals to many parents, but the process used to make common chemical ingredients more “gentle” in fact produces a byproduct that is a known carcinogen. This byproduct, called 1,4-dioxane, is banned from cosmetics and body products in the European Union, and though not considered cause for concern in small amounts, it is present in an alarming number of baby products meant for daily use; the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found detectible amounts in 32 out of 48 products they tested this year. To avoid 1,4-dioxane, watch for these common ingredients: PEG-100 stearate, sodium laureth sulfate, polyethylene and ceteareth-20.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics also tested the baby products for the presence of Formaldehyde, which is released by some common preservatives like Quaternium-15 over time when they are stored in a container. Formaldehyde is a suspected carcinogen, can be absorbed through the skin, and causes skin reactions in some individuals. This iffy – and frankly pretty creepy – contaminate was found in 23 out of 28 baby products tested for it. Seventeen out of 28 were found to have both Formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane. If you’d like to learn more, you can take a look at the Campaign for Safe Cosmetic’s report, “No More Toxic Tub.”
This may leave you feeling somewhat overwhelmed; after all, if these ingredients are present in almost all of the products you normally buy, how can you avoid exposing your baby – and yourself – to these potentially dangerous ingredients? One excellent resource is the Environmental Working Group’s “Parent’s Buying Guide,” which rates the safety level of products based on the European Union’s cosmetics standards and other published safety data. The database contains thousands of entries, and can help parents pick safe and natural products for themselves, too!
Herban Lifestyle offers a line of truly natural baby products, made from organic and natural ingredients. Come back tomorrow for a couple of recipes for baby products that you can make in your own kitchen!