This article originally published on February 23, 2018.
When it comes to baby products, it’s becoming more popular for moms today to put the importance of ingredients + safety over price + convenience. Many moms are great about ingredient-checking, researching, finding out which natural baby brands are the best for their little one.
However, there are other moms (like me) who “ain’t got time for that,” and have been shocked to find out that their favorite go-to products from natural baby brands are actually unfavorable no-no’s for their kids to be using.
I downloaded the “Think Dirty” app on my phone, which is a great guide to show you the exact toxicity of products from the store. They rate products from a 1 (being the safest) to a 10 (being the most toxic). This takes out all of the guesswork for me. It tells me exactly what’s inside these baby products. Including saving my eyes from being strained in trying to read fine-printed ingredients lists.
So, after researching, here’s a quick guide to help you discover which “natural” baby products to stay away from. Brace yourselves. I’m going to list 3 popular companies that you might have in your cabinets and might use on your little ones daily. Remember, these companies claim to be safe for babies. However, packaging and marketing for the sake of more sales can be highly deceiving for moms like us. And not to mention, the products themselves can be highly toxic for our sweet babies.
Johnson & Johnson has been the center of much controversy in recent months, due to the discovery that some of their ingredients are extremely dangerous for not only babies but people, altogether. The Johnson Natural’s line is branded with packaging that appears to be organic, natural, and gentle for babies to use. However, the baby lotion, shampoo, and baby body wash were rated up to a 9 on the Think Dirty app. These products contain the semi-harmful ingredient “sodium coco-sulfate,” as well as the extremely harmful “fragrance” listing, which hides hundreds of toxic chemicals behind that name, alone. The combination of these ingredients in the products is known to cause developmental and reproductive toxicity in the body, as well as allergy-related conditions.
Aveeno is owned by Johnson & Johnson, so that should be a red flag itself. But most people, including me, are guilty of looking at the Aveeno brand, and think it’s a more natural and safe option for your baby due to its reputation and clever branding of sounding and appearing “more natural.” However, according to the Think Dirty app, their products have ratings up to a 10 in toxicity levels. The calming comfort baby lotion, sunscreen, moisture cream, baby wash, and shampoo contain semi-harmful ingredients. These include “peg-25 soy sterol, ceteareth-6, petrolatum, propyl, and methyl parabens.” And even highly toxic ingredients such as “fragrance, ethylparaben, and benzalkonium chloride.” The combination of these ingredients is extremely carcinogenic. They can bring about developmental and reproductive toxicity, as well as allergy-related conditions.
Most of Burt’s Bees products are extremely safe in the ingredients department. So, this might come as a shock to you to find out that some of their baby products are actually considered some of the most toxic on the shelves. Their cream-to-powder diaper cream and baby powder, as well as their Baby Bee Tear-free Bubble Bath, are rated at a 9 on the Think Dirty app. They both contain ingredients that can produce developmental and reproductive toxicity, such as “fragrance and phenoxyethanol.” Since most of the Burt’s Bees products don’t contain these types of ingredients and are relatively harmless with most of the product line, it’s very shocking to find out that the most toxic ones are ones marketed for babies.
Surprised yet? I know I was! The first thing I did was tossed every bit of those brands and products in the trash. Thankfully, there are plenty of organic and safe options to choose from on the market that are rated very low (0-3) on the Think Dirty app and are conveniently located in stores or online. Our babies deserve the best, even in the products we use on them!