Who doesn’t love the smell of a baby right after a bath? You know, the familiar scent of soap, lotion and powder all wrapped up into one little bundle of joy. However, when parents and caregivers find out what’s really in some of the most popular baby products, those scents are suddenly not so sweet smelling. Do your part to make sure your baby’s sensitive skin is getting what it really needs and not what it doesn’t.
It all starts with smart shopping. It can be incredibly difficult to determine what chemicals are in personal care products for babies because the makers aren’t required to list all the ingredients on the label. Some chemicals used in popular brands may actually cause serious health problems, including damage to the nervous system and respiratory issues.
Some personal care companies may include harmful ingredients under the term “fragrance.” That term is used to avoid listing things like phthalates, which can alter hormones. CosmeticDatabase.org is an easy-to-use resource to find what’s in products so you can choose ones with the safest ingredients. Another good bet is to avoid products that contain quaternium-15, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea formalin, and methylene oxide.
To make it easier for you to shop, opt for products that are made from organic ingredients. That way you will know that these products are produced without using any harmful chemicals and are usually free of chemical preservatives, such as parabens, that are suspected of causing more health problems. Organic products will also not contain artificial colors or synthetic fragrances.
Another safer option is to purchase products that contain mostly natural ingredients. Most of these items are paraben- and phthalate-free but aren’t produced using organic materials. Remember, the word “natural” can mean whatever the manufacturer wants it to, so do your homework to make sure you’re really getting what you want. Visit DoYourPart.com/Columns for more resources that will help you track down that information.
It can be difficult to keep track of the ingredients you should be looking for and ones to avoid. So, your best bet is to keep it simple. The fewer ingredients listed on the back of the product’s label, the better. Remember, everything that goes on our family’s bodies eventually goes right back into the planet. That’s why picking the eco-friendliest options are an important way to do your part for your child’s health and the health of the planet.
Terri Bennett is a veteran TV meteorologist, eco-expert and author of “Do Your Part: A practical guide to everyday green living” available at DoYourPart.com. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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