I admit that, before I became a mother I didn’t read labels all that often. I suppose I may not have been too concerned with the kinds of things that went on my own skin, but when I had babies – all that changed. I started reading labels and researching ingredients that were found in the baby products we already had in our cabinets. I was shocked to find that so many ingredients that could be considered harmful to little ones or potentially toxic.
Here are 4 ingredients to avoid when choosing your baby products.
- Menthol – Menthol rubs were the go-to when I was little. I remember seeing it in our cabinets all the time when I was a child, but did you know that menthol baby rubs are not recommended for use in children under 2? Yep, it could cause young children to produce excess mucus which could obstruct their airways and actually have an opposite effect of what you are trying to achieve. There was a study done after an 18-month-old girl went into the ER with unexplained respiratory distress. And after doctors could not find any usual cause for it, they discovered that her grandparents had placed a dab of Vicks under her nose and noticed that her symptoms quickly worsened after that.
- Petroleum – Petroleum jelly, also labeled aspetrolatum, is a mixture of hydrocarbons found in petroleum. The same type of petroleum that we use in our cars. I don’t know about you but I am not comfortable putting something on my child’s skin that belongs inside a car. Studies from Columbia University found that a petrolatum impurity is a known carcinogen. “If you were to take a barrel of oil, you would see that it’s not homogenous throughout,” explains Guerry L. Grune, Ph.d., P.A. and owner of 3rd rock Sunblock. “The bottom consists of a gunky sludge and that is what is turned into Vaseline by distilling crude oil at very high temperatures.”
- Parabens – Parabens are used as preservatives and are known to disrupt the endocrine system and lead to problems later in life like – reproductive problems, developmental disorders, skin irritation and even cancer. These are any ingredients that you see ending in ‘paraben’.
- Hydrogenated Oils – Hydrogenated oils are vegetable oils whose chemical structure has been altered to prevent rancidity in foods, which increases shelf life and saves money for manufacturers. They are often healthy in their natural state, but are quickly turned into poisons through the manufacturing and processing they undergo. Hydrogenated oils are only one molecule away from plastic. When you eat anything containing these oils, your blood becomes thicker and denser. The heart has to work so much harder to pump blood throughout the system. This is a major way that consuming hydrogenated oils contributes to high blood pressure.
The Environmental Working Group has a database available to the public so that you can see for yourself every ingredient listed on your baby products. This database lists the toxicity of each ingredient from a 1-10, 1 being the safest and 10 being the most toxic.
Thank you to Maty’s Healthy Products for sponsoring this post. They use only the purest natural and organic ingredients in their baby products. Maty’s All Natural Baby Chest Rub has the seal of approval from Robert Tisserand who is one of the world’s leading experts in essential oil safety. All of the essential oils in their Baby Chest Rub are in dilutions that are safe for ages 3 months and older. I feel confident using their products on my kids because reading their ingredient label I recognize everything in it! Maty’s All Natural Baby Chest Rub: Sunflower Wax, Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, Sunflower Oil, Vitamin E, and essential oils of: Chamomile, Lavender, Dill Weed, Patchouli, Coriander and Eucalyptus Radiata.