Confused about what skincare products to use? There is only one article you really need to read to be in the know and its this one:
It’s commonly known that we should only put the healthiest of foods inside our baby’s bodies. It is also just as important to apply only the healthiest of products on the outside of their bodies. We might not realise this, but everyday baby products–like shampoos, lotions, bath gels, sunscreens, etc contain ingredients that can be extremely harmful. These ingredients have the potential to cause short term or long term health issues. Some of these issues can be apparent immediately on baby’s skin after use. Other times the issues can be invisible, disrupting their bodies in ways that we can’t see right away with the naked eye.
According to The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) , over the last 30 years there has been a twofold to threefold increase in paediatric atopic dermatitis reported with most children developing atopic dermatitis before the age of two years, and 20 per cent of people develop eczema before the age of five (according to the Eczema Association of Australia).
Alarmingly despite all the studies and news reports, many parents are STILL bathing, powdering, wiping and moisturising their babies with products containing an alarming mix of harmful toxins! Parabens, Talc, Sulphates, Propylene, Glycol and DEA are just some of the known toxic ingredients commonly used in baby bath, skin & hair care products and also in baby wipes and nappy change creams.
Thankfully these days, avoiding toxic ingredients is much easier with lots of safer alternatives on the market. Here, we help shed some light on how it is that toxic ingredients end up in baby care products and more importantly, show you how you can protect your babies by knowing what to avoid and what baby skin care products are safe to use.
In Australia and many countries around the world, the baby skin care industry is grossly unregulated. Brands know busy mums don’t always have time to read all the ingredients. And let’s be real, who really understands what all the ingredients are anyway! According to the FDA (US Food & Drug Administration), with the exception of additives and specifically prohibited ingredients, personal-care product manufacturers can use any ingredients as long as they are properly listed on the product label and the use doesn’t cause the product to be misbranded.
If you think those major household brand names have your back, well, they don’t necessarily. In fact, they’re some of the worst offenders.
Dangerous chemicals such as parabens are commonly used as a preservative because it’s cheap. But it’s also very nasty. Parabens may seem like a good idea as babies generally don’t suffer allergic reactions to it. But do you really want your baby’s delicate skins to be absorbing chemicals that mimic estrogen?
Excessive estrogen is linked to cancer and other medical concerns that can affect their development. That’s just one example of the many shocking ingredients used to make everyday products for both you and your bub.
Baby product manufacturers are allowed to use certain amounts of concerning ingredients in their products. These amounts are deemed by the authorities to be at low enough levels not to cause harm. But this is the amount allowed in each individual product; e.g. each nappy cream, baby shampoo etc. What happens when you go through a tub of nappy cream and baby lotion every couple of weeks?
What happens is that your baby is being exposed to accumulative amounts of certain toxic ingredients. When you think of the number of baby wipes that will be used on the average baby over a 2-year period and the dangerous chemicals that your standard supermarket brand wipes contain, it is pretty frightening.
Due to their tiny body size, babies and especially newborns, are much more susceptible to the harmful effects of toxins than we are. In a pound for pound ratio, babies consume more food, more air, and more water than that of an adult. Babies also absorb things at a much higher rate than adults. The top layer of a baby’s skin is 30% thinner than an adult’s and more permeable and their internal organs are still developing. Therefore, accumulative exposure (aka bioaccumulation) of bad toxic ingredients poses a real risk to their health and development, including weakening of our baby’s immune systems, behaviour, skin health, and much more.
You also can’t depend on slogans and labelling to help you make smart choices. Phrases such as ‘pure’, ‘safe for babies’ or ‘pediatrician recommended’ are fundamentally meaningless words designed to mislead you. Without any regulations, companies are free to get creative with the words and symbols they put on packaging to trick you into thinking their product is pure so you’ll buy it.
If this is news to you then don’t worry, you’re not alone. So what can you do about it?
It can be overwhelming but also empowering to learn more about what ingredients both you and your baby should avoid.
HERE ARE THE MOST COMMON TOXIC INGREDIENTS YOU NEED TO AVOID
Parabens - Parabens are synthetic preservatives. They are associated with ingredient names like methylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, and propylparaben. Studies have shown they can disrupt hormonal activity, and they’ve also also been associated with forms of breast cancer, and traces of parabens have even been found in breast tumors.
Ingredients containing the letters eth - such as Polyethylene glycols (also listed as PEG) or Phenoxyethanol as they contain 1,4-dioxane which is a known carcinogen.
Sodium lauryl (ether) sulfate - also labelled as SLS, SLES, sodium dodecyl sulfate or sodium PEG lauryl sulfate. This synthetic ingredient makes shampoo and other products nice and foamy but it can irritate the skin, eyes and lungs and also contains the harmful 1,4-dioxane.
Phthalates are another man-made chemical found in many of our personal care products. Phthalates are used to make plastics flexible and used in many fragrance oils to help prolong the fragrance's scent. A study conducted by the American Academy of Paediatrics concluded that many young infants are frequently exposed to phthalates in common baby lotions, powders, and shampoos thereby making them more vulnerable to the developmental and reproductive adverse effects of these chemicals. Phthalates have been linked to hormonal changes, birth defects, reproductive abnormalities in baby boys (i.e. low sperm count, testicular cancer, deformities of the penis), and damage to the liver, kidneys, and lungs.
So what can you do? Be a conscious ingredient reader! Check the back of each product and see for yourself what it contains. There are wonderful products out there that are free from synthetic chemicals and can be a much better choice for the health of your baby.
Pure, gentle and nourishing ingredients are the essence of every Wotnot product. Our brand ethos is to create products that live up to our claims.
Throughout our over 15 years of creating skin care products Wotnot has managed to remain true to our ingredient philosophy of ‘pure, gentle and nourishing’ and continue to create natural product solutions providing an all-important alternative in the market. Every single ingredient used in their products is listed on the packaging – we don’t have anything to hide!
Wotnot baby products are free of all those parabens, artificial fragrances and other bad boys. Instead they’re packed with nourishing ingredients such as organic pawpaw extract, comfrey oil, and flaxseed oil that are designed to heal, soothe and protect your babies soft skin.
And as you’re coming in contact with your baby’s lotions and creams every day, with Wotnot you can be sure that your skin is being looked after too.
Check out our no toxins or nasty chemical 100% natural baby skincare range today!