Get The Skinny on Safer Skincare
06.01.09 Get The Skinny on Safer Skincare
A new baby’s skin is one of the world’s great wonders: smooth and beautiful. What we put on this precious skin is particularly important because a baby’s skin is thin and porous and they are less able to detoxify from chemical exposure than an adult. Not to mention, babies routinely suck their hands, feet, and arms bringing new meaning to the adage: “If you wouldn’t put it in your body, don’t put it on your body.”
Modern products sold for babies, like diaper ointment, baby wipes, and baby wash, don’t have to be tested for safety before being put on the market. Thus even products labeled “safe for baby,” or “natural,” and “gentle” can contain known toxins, endocrine disruptors, and even heavy metals. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics recently tested dozens of mainstream baby care products and found them to contain formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, which are known carcinogens. However, you will not find these two toxins listed on an ingredient list - they are a byproduct of the creation process of certain preservatives. While an individual product might not be cause for serious concern, the reality is that babies are most likely exposed to several skincare products throughout the day in addition to other chemical exposures in their environment. All of these exposures add up and may contribute to future disease.
The good news is there are many natural and healthy skincare products to help keep that baby skin kissably soft. Even more reassuring is the work of the Environmental Working Group, which has created an easily accessible database of commonly used skincare and babycare items, ranking each for health and effectiveness.
- Avoid alcohol-based cleaners and anti-bacterial soaps whenever possible. These both can be dangerous for children and even leave their hands more susceptible to bad germs.
- Avoid synthetic fragrances, dyes, and products with a long list of ingredients that you don’t recognize.
- Check out items labeled “safe” at EWG’s Cosmetics Database to find healthy skincare products.
- Simpler is better. Babies actually need very few products and those that are the easiest to come by are often the best: gentle soap, clean water, and natural oils.
Breathe easy. All baby skincare products sold on MightyNest are deemed safe by the Environmental Working Group. We make it a priority to try to work with socially-reponsible companies who go above and beyond what is considered safe to produce products you won’t want to live without!