5 Ingredients To Avoid For Baby, And For You!

Photo by: Clare Bloomfield
Baby's first bath can be an exciting as well as daunting experience, especially for us new moms. While we can't always control exactly how our babies will react, we can do our best to make it as enjoyable as possible.  That includes picking a baby wash that will not leave behind harmful chemicals. Nearly all baby products use words like "gentle" and "tear-free" on their packaging. Just looking at the list of ingredients can be overwhelming! Which ones are safe and which should be avoided? To help you out, here are 5 ingredients to avoid when choosing a baby body wash for your little one:

1. Ingredient listed as: “fragrance” - Since fragrance formulations are proprietary, companies do not need to disclose exactly what chemicals are in the fragrance. Besides, why would you want to cover up that wonderful new baby smell with something artificial? Unscented is best, but some natural products contain essential oils that provide anti-bacterial action as well as give a wonderful scent.


2. Ingredients that end with “-paraben” - These include methylparaben, polyparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, etc. which are low cost preservatives commonly used in mass produced cosmetic products. Parabens mimic estrogen and can act as potential hormone system disruptors. Some studies have linked parabens to cell mutations and cancer.

3. Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and its close relative Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) – These are detergents used as an inexpensive foaming agents from hand soap to toothpaste. Studies have shown that it’s a known irritant in both humans and animals. Other negatives include contamination with dioxane (a known carcinogen), allergic reactions, and hair loss.

4. Formaldehyde releasers such as “DMDM hydantoin”, “Quaternium-15”, “Imidazolidinyl urea”, “Diazolidinyl urea”, and “Metheneamine” – These literally breakdown and release formaldehyde, a chemical used to preserve dead bodies. While they are effective preservatives, they can cause allergic reactions and dermatitis. In the U.S., approximately 20% of cosmetics and personal care products contain a formaldehyde releaser.

5. Ingredients that begin with “PEG-“ such as “PEG-8 Laurate”, “PEG-14 Laurate”, “PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate” - These chemical are used as surfactants and emulsifiers. PEGs may contain potential toxic impurities such as ethylene oxide (a known toxin) and 1, 4-dioxane (a known carcinogen). PEGs alone were also found to be damaging to kidneys if applied to damaged skin.

Be sure to check the ingredient list next time you’re shopping, and reap the benefits of truly natural bathing experience for your little one!

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