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6 Ingredients to Avoid in Baby Care Products

We believe in products for all, babies included, being as natural and organic, yet efficacious, as possible. When we had our baby in May, we specified to our midwives to not wipe our baby’s vernix off of her skin and we only top and tailed her for a month before giving her a bath (full post on this coming soon!) 

We are often gifted sets for baby care in the early days containing several products, and whilst some product is essential in some instances, such as nappy rash, I would say to only use when necessary.

There are some ingredients that we believe you should avoid, and whilst the levels of these ingredients may be low in formulas, wouldn’t you rather utilise a product that is pure, natural and organic, without certain chemicals in them. There may be limited studies into the long term effects of these ingredients on our health, and the truth is we don’t know just how much enters our bodies through the skin; there are so many varying factors. One thing we know for certain is when it comes to caring for our future children’s’ skin we will be avoiding the following ingredients at all costs:

  1. Artificial colours – some are carcinogenic, some contain heavy metals and some are allergens! Thankfully, there is a Colour Index (CI) for these ingredients, and as a rule of thumb, the ones to avoid all have a number lower than CI 75000. Everything above this number is a mineral or plant-based colourant.
  2. Artificial preservatives – one of the main causes of allergic reactions and skin irritation. Some are also known to be formaldehyde donors, such as urea, and quartenium-15 which means that over time they release small amounts of formaldehyde into the product. Formaldehyde is a carcinogen and toxic to the nervous system. Other preservatives, such as parabens, can cause allergic reactions, and may also be carcinogenic.
  3. Fragrance – also causes allergic reactions and irritation. The word “fragrance” or “parfum” could be hiding some very nasty chemicals in the product, including phthalates, a known hormone disruptor.
  4. Diethanolamine and triethanolamine – react with nitrites (which are not always listed in the ingredients list) in a product to form nitrosamines, which are known carcinogens.
  5. Sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate (SLS/SLES) – a surfactant which gives formulas their lathering qualities, this chemical may cause irritation to the skin. The problem with SLS/SLES is that they are small molecules which is how they cause irritation.
  6. Talc – commonly used on babies, this product has been linked to ovarian cancer.

References

http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/formaldehyde/

http://www.healthychild.org/easy-steps/avoid-phthalates-find-phthalate-free-products-instead%E2%80%A8%E2%80%A8/

http://www.drfranklipman.com/sodium-lauryl-sulfate-from-coconut-is-it-safer/

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2016/03March/Pages/Talc-and-ovarian-cancer-what-the-most-recent-evidence-shows.aspx

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