Bathing your baby is a precious time. It’s a time of bonding, development, cleansing, a time of splashes and giggles and bubbles and fun.
But did you know that the shampoo you use on your baby’s growing hair and gentle scalp could not only be harming them, but it could be making your baby dirtier than before they took that bath?
Before we dive into some shocking and toxic ingredients located in baby shampoos, let’s give you a better understanding of why it’s so important to ingredient-check on products you use, especially on your precious little one:
- The top layer of a baby’s skin is 30% thinner than an adult’s and absorbs ingredients much more effectively than an adult’s.
- There is a process called bioaccumulation, which means over time, every toxin we expose ourselves to and put on or in our body starts to build up and accumulate, and it makes it that much harder for our bodies to break it down. When we use products on our babies, even the leading brand of products that you can purchase at the store, the ingredients (some of them highly toxic) accumulate each time we use them on our babies. This can lead to major health problems evident in their skin, immune health, digestive health, behavior, and overall wellbeing.
Now that we know a little bit more about the importance of shampoo ingredients, let’s reveal some of the surprising things located in popular store-bought baby shampoos:
SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulfate)
Store-bought soaps contain sodium laureth sulfate, a toxic chemical used to remove car grease off garage floors. This can be damaging to the skin, as well as disruptive to immune health and hormonal health. Plus, imagine what it’s doing to your baby’s new and growing hair!
Many baby shampoos contain phthalates, a toxic chemical that has been banned in children’s toys but is still found in soap and cleansing products. It is a known endocrine disruptor and very hard for the body to break down when used consistently during bath time.
Many baby products contain the listed ingredient “fragrance,” which is simply a broad category that hides hundreds of toxic chemicals behind that word itself. Companies are not required to reveal the actual chemicals within the “fragrance” category, hence keeping the public in the dark about the true toxicity of the products we use on our little ones. So before you buy any scented baby shampoo, if you see “fragrance” listed on the back of the bottle, that’s a big red flag.
So, how can you prevent this and ensure that the baby shampoo you use for your child is highly safe rather than highly toxic?
The Environmental Working Group Website
This group has a database available to the public, where you can plug in every ingredient listed on a bottle of a baby product. It will list the toxicity of each ingredient from 1-10, 1 being the safest and 10 being the most toxic. If you check ingredients on your favorite baby shampoo, you might be shocked at how dangerous it actually is.
The Think Dirty App
This app is convenient, easy, and informative. You can use it to scan the barcode of a potential baby shampoo you want to buy and see if it is safe for your child. The lower the score (ranges from 1-10), the safer it is for your baby.
It’s up to us, as parents, to expose our babies to products that will benefit them, not potentially endanger their health. While many companies have the health of babies as their number one priority, other companies might be more focused on mass production for sales and numbers. Our babies are worth using only the best shampoos out there, and it’s up to us to make that educated decision for their wellbeing and future.