There is a multi-million dollar industry out there promising they have products that will do babies good – but far too many are full of ingredients that are all harm and no good. Mainstream baby products contain numerous toxic ingredients that will enter a baby’s body if used. Here’s what to say NO to:
This powdered mineral is added to baby powder. It’s used as a drying agent, but it’s a known lung irritant and may also be carcinogenic.* Some companies offer talc-free baby powders, but there are still problems with many of the ingredients on their lists. A great alternative is to try our Argyle White Clay Powder - it’s safe and cleansing, while having a gentle drying effect. *Earlier this year pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay a Virginia woman nearly NZ$160 million over claims that baby powder gave her cancer.
The problem with ‘fragrance’ is that it’s a catch-all term for whatever ingredients companies wish to add to their products, and are generally made of coal- and petroleum-derived synthetic chemicals. Baby products are often packaged and sold as having a ‘natural’ fragrance when they are anything but. Check those labels before you buy. The effects of fragrance are long lasting, lingering on the skin for hours, and can cause respiratory, neurological, skin, and eye damage. Our Rose, Lavender and Chamomile Roman oils not only smell incredible, they’re all-natural and completely safe for your baby.
3. Proplyene glycol
This chemical is a penetration enhancer that is easily absorbed by the skin and may be carcinogenic. Its job is to open up all the pores and let the other chemicals in. It’s used in wiper fluid and to de-ice airplanes, and yet it is often found in baby wipes, which is NOT safe. Look out for polyethylene glycol (PEG) and polypropylene glycol (PPG) on labels, too. Or simply use organic Jojoba oil, as a liquid wax it effectively cleanses and protects.
4. Mineral oil
Baby oil is essentially made of mineral oil mixed with fragrance, which is a nasty combination. Mineral oil is a cheap by-product of petroleum processing and acts as a plastic wrap on the skin, inhibiting the skin’s natural ability to release toxins. Opt instead for natural and nourishing oils like coconut, sweet almond or our Rose & Chamomile baby oil for the ultimate in gentle, nurturing baby care.
Stay away from anything with ‘paraben’ in its name, as well as benzoic acid and propylester. Parabens are neurotoxins and are linked to reproductive toxicity, hormone disruption, and skin irritation. Good quality essential oils can act as gentle, natural preservatives.
Anything that’s labeled as ‘antibacterial’ likely contains triclosan, which is a carcinogenic endocrine disruptor that’s also harmful to the environment. Although it makes sense to want to keep a baby away from unnecessary bacteria, that’s actually the wrong approach to take. By raising our babies in sterile environments, we inhibit their ability to create natural resistance and immunity, increase the likelihood of allergies, and leave antibacterial treatments less effective for when we truly need them to work. Essential oils such as Lavender work to enhance the immune system while also providing a positive antibacterial effect.
Your best option is to stick with natural, nourishing and edible ingredients, such as straight oils (sweet almond, coconut); fragrance-free soap (although omitting soap and rinsing just with water is usually fine too); and baby safe essential oils, like our beautiful Mother & Child-safe range.