Not so long ago we highlighted a number of ingredients that you should never use on your skin thanks to their potential carcinogenic, toxic and dehydrating effects.
But what about baby? At such a tender age, baby’s skin is even more sensitive than our own and exposure to toxins and ingredients that dry the skin out can have a much greater impact on their skin than ours.
Worse still, a number of potentially harmful ingredients are widely used in baby skincare products – and even marketed as beneficial for baby’s skin!
Let’s take a look at the key ingredients you should look out for on the back of skincare lotions and creams when buying for baby:
Petroleum jelly: believe it or not, this oil industry by-product was discovered in the 1800’s coating the bottom of oil rigs. While it is touted as a dry-skin cure all and may initially seem to hydrate the skin, it can block pores, trap dirt and inhibit the skin’s ability to breathe. Babies – and people – with problem skin conditions such as rosacea, acne and eczema should particularly avoid petroleum jelly for its dehydrating effect on the skin. Opt for natural emollients and barriers such as beeswax that allow the skin to breathe and maintain its own moisture balance.
Talc: most commonly added to baby powder, talc is known to irritate the lungs and has raised concerns over possible links to ovarian cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies the use of talc powders in the genital area as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” – a good enough reason for us to avoid it.
Fragrance: also listed as parfum, fragrance may make your lotion or cream smell delicious yet can be added by manufacturers to hide the horrible smell of other chemicals used in your product. Unless your product specifically says it does not use artificial fragrance, that supposedly luscious scent is more than likely a commonly used synthetic chemical such as acetone, phenol, toluene, benzyl acetate or limonene. These chemicals are grouped by the US National Academy of Sciences with insecticides, heavy metals, and solvents and indicated as a high priority for neurotoxicity testing.
Parabens: unfortunately given the predominance of parabens in just about everything from our skin and personal care products to food, it’s unlikely we’ll ever be able to avoid all of them. That said, it is worth limiting your exposure given their potentially toxic effects including reproductive toxicity, hormone disruption, and skin irritation. Parabens have also been linked to breast cancer and are known to be secreted in breast milk, so opt for paraben free products where you can.
Proplyene glycol (PEG, PPG): commonly found in baby wipes, PEG or PPG is a petroleum-based raw material that is used as antifreeze, a solvent and a wiper fluid in industrial settings. While we appreciate baby’s bottom can get pretty mucky, we doubt the need for a chemical with the strength to de-ice an airplane.
While there’s no need to panic if you’ve used these ingredients on your baby already, there are some simple changes you can make to your shopping list to avoid using chemically-based lotions and creams on your baby in the future, including:
- look for products with a Paraben-free label
- use water and cotton wool to wash baby’s nappy area
- check the ingredients on lotions and nappy creams and choose ones that use natural ingredients
- avoid products that use fragrances – baby smells sweet enough
- choose a nappy cream that creates a barrier using natural ingredients like beeswax
Bee Loved recommends Bee Loved Baby Lotion for all-over baby skincare (including the nappy area). With natural beeswax to regulate baby’s delicate skin balance, it also acts as a barrier cream in baby’s nappy region without drying out the skin or risking exposure to toxins.
This blog post appeared first on the Bee Loved blog.