My blog deals with homeschooling, but part of a thriving homeschool is to keep health and safety at the forefront. Many moms of babies are preparing to homeschool by doing lots of research on the internet. This post is for them.
When it comes to your baby’s health, you can’t afford to make any mistakes. There is a huge industry built around soaps and skin products for your baby and they all claim to be healthy for them. If you’ve ever looked into the dangers of your own skin products, you’ll probably know that isn’t true.
There are all sorts of chemicals found in some of these products that you definitely don’t want to expose your baby to. The problem is, when you read the labels, it might as well be written in another language.
You can’t be expected to know what all of these weird and wonderful chemicals are, so how are you supposed to choose the right products? Here is a handy list of the most dangerous ingredients that you should avoid at all costs.
Talc is a pretty common ingredient that most people don’t realize is dangerous. It’s added to a lot of baby powders and most parents don’t consider it a problem, but it is. Studies into the effects of talc have shown that it can cause irritation of the lungs and there is a possibility that it might be carcinogenic. Since these findings were released a lot of companies have stopped using talc so if you take the time to look you can easily find safe baby powders.
Fragrance of any kind in skin products can be irritating to adults so imagine what they do to the far more sensitive skin of babies, especially during winter. The problem is that lots of companies just list a non-descript fragrance on the ingredients so there’s no telling what it actually is. That’s because most of them are made from petroleum related products which aren’t going to be good for your baby’s skin. The other problem with fragrances is that they’re often used to mask the bad smell of another nasty chemical that’s in there so it’s always advisable to steer well clear of anything with a fragrance. They can also be a cause of asthma in young children which will be a long term health condition. There are loads of good perfume free soaps and skin products for babies on the market so you shouldn’t have trouble finding something that’s good. As well as soap and skin products, fragrances are added to things like diapers and wet wipes so make sure you check anything that touches your baby.
Parabens are unfortunately one of the most common ingredients that are found in all sorts of things. Soaps, body wash, shampoos, and conditioners all contain parabens a lot of the time so be wary. They are neurotoxins that have been linked to all sorts of problems like skin irritation and hormone disruption which can seriously affect your child’s development. Instead of buying stuff with parabens in, look for things like Mustela face cream that are made with all natural products. They don’t rely on parabens, they use things like Jojoba Oil, Shea Butter, and Avocado which are far healthier for your baby.
Propylene Glycol is often found in skin products because it is an absorption agent. It opens up the pores and helps the skin to absorb all of the other ingredients in the product. Unfortunately, it’s really not something that you want to expose your baby to. There is a chance that it might be carcinogenic so best not to use anything that contains it. The most common place that you’ll find it is in baby wipes so you should either look for ones that don’t contain it or just use warm water and fragrance free soap instead.
Baby oil is a product that most parents use and it’s generally considered to be good for the skin, but the reality is very different. Baby oil is essentially a mixture of mineral oil and fragrances. We’ve already established that fragrances are bad news, but what about mineral oil? Mineral oil is a cheap byproduct of petroleum processing and it causes problems with the skin. It essentially blocks up all of the pores in the skin, stopping your baby from releasing any harmful toxins. Using oils on your baby’s skin is a good idea because it keeps them moisturized but you should go for a more natural option like coconut oil or olive oil.
Anything that claims to antibacterial probably has triclosan in it. It’s tricky for parents because it’s easy to be fooled into thinking that keeping your baby away from any bacteria is a good thing, but it isn’t. First off, Triclosan is harmful to the environment and again, it has been suggested that it might be carcinogenic. On top of that, raising babies in a completely bacteria free environment can actually do them more harm than good. The immune system essentially goes through training when it’s exposed to small amounts of natural bacteria. This is how it becomes stronger as they grow up. If you remove every last bit of bacteria, they won’t build a strong immunity and they’ll be more prone to illnesses. It also increases the chance of them developing allergies which cannot be reversed very easily.
This is a very tricky ingredient because it’s not usually listed on the label, even though it’s present in around 57 percent of baby soaps. It’s usually an unplanned by product of two other chemicals so it’s hard to spot, but not impossible. Anything with polyethylene in is likely to contain 1,4 Dioxane so best to avoid it.
It’s an absolute nightmare trying to find decent, healthy products for your baby. There are so many companies out there and they all claim that their product is the best for your baby, but the truth is, you can’t really trust any of them. What you should be doing instead is checking all of the labels yourself and making your own decisions based on the ingredients alone. Don’t let yourself get affected by marketing, just do what’s best for your baby.