There are many body care products on the market under the heading of “baby” – baby lotion, baby bath, baby soap. But just because something has “baby” in the title does not mean it’s the best for your little one.
Babies’ skin is five times thinner than adults’ skin, so even a product that is “safe” for adults could be harmful for your baby. Here are some things to consider when choosing body care products for your little one.
Baby Body Care – Things To Think About Before Buying
1. Think outside the labels
Unlike food, the FDA does not require extensive labeling of personal care product ingredients, nor does it require companies to test the safety of the ingredients they use. On labels that do show some ingredients, you might see parabens, sodium laureth/lauryl sulfate, and pthalates – all implicated in skin irritation and hormone disruption.
What the labels don’t show are by-products, such as 1,4-Dioxane, a potential carcinogen and component of sodium laureth sulfate. If the product you are considering has sodium laureth sulfate, that means it contains 1,4 Dioxane. Don’t automatically trust labels that claim the product is “natural” or “mild.” There may be many chemicals in mainstream baby body products that are not listed at all on the label.
2. Make baby fragrance free
So many personal care products are infused with fragrance, which means they probably contain pthalates, a chemical that is often a component of scented items. Pthalates are linked to problems with reproduction. Fragrances have been known to cause allergic reactions as well. Be sure to choose fragrance-free products if these are concerns for you.
3. Do your research
There are excellent sites, some with databases, where you can research the safety and toxicity of specific personal care products for babies and children. Some sites even rate the products, giving them a toxicity “score.”
4. Go organic
If the chemicals in baby body care products concern you – including the rather significant “the consumer does not know” factor – consider getting organic products or making them yourself. Look for labels that say “certified organic” or have a list of what they don’t contain, such as “paraben-free” or “NO sodium laureth/lauryl sulfate.”
The simpler, the better – organic olive oil is a mild, natural moisturizer for baby’s skin, as is organic almond oil. Oatmeal is soothing and inexpensive – powder organic oats in a blender and add to baby’s bathwater. Or, mix the powdered oats with water to make a paste and use as a skin cleanser. That’s all the cleanser baby’s skin needs!
- Make your own natural baby skin care – recipes for you to make at home