5 Toxins to Avoid in Baby Skincare Products - Baby Chick
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5 Toxins to Avoid in Baby Skincare Products

Here are the top 5 toxins to avoid in baby skin care products! They have sensitive skin and absorb toxins easily so make sure to avoid these.

Published September 22, 2017
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There is nothing more precious to us than our babies and children. And while we can’t control everything in our children’s lives, we can control certain things – like the products we use on them or expose them to.

It’s commonly known that we should put only the healthiest foods inside our baby’s bodies. It is also just as important to apply only the healthiest of products on the outside of their bodies. We might not realize this, but everyday baby products–like shampoos, lotions, bath gels, sunscreens, etc.–contain ingredients that can be extremely harmful. These ingredients can potentially cause short-term or long-term health issues. Some of these issues can be apparent immediately on baby’s skin after use. Other times, the issues can be invisible, disrupting their bodies in ways we can’t immediately see with the naked eye.

In a pound-for-pound ratio, babies consume more food, air, and water than an adult. Babies also absorb things at a much higher rate than adults. The top layer of a baby’s skin is 30% thinner than an adult’s.1 This causes them to absorb ingredients much more effectively than we do.

There is a process known as bioaccumulation. This means over time, the excessive toxin exposure will build up, accumulate, and make it harder for the body to break down. When we use any product on our baby’s skin, the ingredients (some highly toxic) are absorbed into their bodies. And since toxic ingredients are harder to break down, they can weaken our baby’s immune systems, behavior, skin health, and much more.

The Environmental Working Group has a database available to the public (here), where you can plug in every ingredient listed on a bottle of a baby product. This database lists the toxicity of each ingredient on a 1 to 10 scale—with one being the safest and ten being the most toxic. If you do that for conventional baby products, you’ll see that most of their ingredients go as high as a 10 in their toxicity ratings. The “Think Dirty” app is also a massive eye-opener for some moms. This app allows you to scan your favorite baby products and see how toxic they are to use on your little ones.

5 Toxins to Avoid in Baby Products

1. Sulfates

Popular ingredients in store-bought baby soaps and cleansers are sulfates (SLS).2 These are included in shampoo and baby wash to cause the product to “foam” or “bubble up.” Some think the more bubbles a shampoo creates, the more effective it is. However, sulfates are highly toxic to the body. According to the Environmental Working Group database, SLS has been linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, organ toxicity, skin irritation, and endocrine disruption.

2. Dyes

While bright blue, emoji yellow, or neon pink might look fun, the chemicals that contribute to turning all the colors of the rainbow are not fun at all. Studies show that dyes in foods and products used on the skin are damaging, yet are still used and sold daily. Many dyes have the potential to cause horrible health issues. These include chromosomal damage, tumors, hyperactivity, lymphomas, neurochemical effects, asthma, insomnia, allergies, and eczema.3

3. Parabens

Parabens are synthetic preservatives. They are associated with ingredient names like methylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, and propylparaben.4 Companies put these in skincare products to cause them to last longer and not go bad over a short period of time. Studies have shown that parabens can mimic or imitate hormonal activity in the body.7 It has also been associated with forms of breast cancer, and traces of parabens have even been found in breast tumors.9

4. Phthalates

Phthalates are industrial chemicals used to soften plastics and act as solvents in many topical creams, soaps, and other skincare products. It has been banned in many children’s toys.8 However, it is still used in many baby care products–scary. Studies have shown that phthalates are highly damaging to the liver, kidneys, lungs, and reproductive systems.5,10

5. Fragrances

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 chemicals within the “fragrance” category.6 Unfortunately, this keeps the public in the dark about the toxicity of our products on our little ones. These chemicals are linked to birth defects, cancer, nervous system disorders, allergies, etc.

Now that I’ve effectively freaked you out, let me say that there is no judgment here! Being a mom is hard. Many of us are guilty of using products on our little ones with these hidden ingredients– including me. However, it is important for us to educate ourselves and learn to ditch the toxins for our children’s health.

So what can you do? Be a conscious ingredient reader! Check the back of each product and see for yourself what it contains. There are wonderful products out there that are free from synthetic chemicals and can be a much better choice for your baby’s health.

Your baby is worth it, momma. And so are you! You are totally rocking at this mom thing, especially since you were willing to learn from this post today.

And remember, there is no one more fitting to be your child’s mother than YOU!

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  • Author

Hannah Crews is a wife, a mom of two, and a former news reporter and morning show host. Her humor, entertaining personality, and creativity are used to make a positive… Read more

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