You should read the ingredients of your baby”s skincare products very carefully to avoid certain ingredients that are potentially harmful. This includes shampoos, lotions, bath soaps and creams. Some of these ingredients may even be contained in “natural” products.
Here”s a handy list of synthetic ingredients to avoid in baby”s products:
* Alcohol: This harsh additive can make body tissues more vulnerable to carcinogens. Special note: Check your mouthwash to make sure it doesn”t contain alcohol; if it does, throw it out and purchase a brand that doesn”t. This is one of the number one ways that toddlers are poisoned in the household.
* Alpha hydroxyl acid: This removes the skin”s protective barrier, which can result in long-term skin damage.
* Animal fat, or tallow: Lye and animal fats and lye are found in many bar soaps, which can be a breed bacteria.
* Collagen: This is an insoluble protein derived from animal skins. The protein is too large to actually penetrate the skin, therefore it forms a filmy layer that can suffocate the skin.
* Diethanolamine, or DEA: This is a crystalline alcohol that is often used as a solvent, emulsifier, emollient and detergent; it is a common ingredient in skin lotions. DEA can irritate the skin and mucous membranes. It also reacts in products that also contain nitrates to form potentially carcinogenic nitrosamines. You should also avoid triethanolamine, TEA, and monoethanolamine, or MEA.
* Elastin of high molecular weight: Like collagen, this is derived from animal sources and can suffocate the skin.
* Glycerin: Unless the air humidity is above 65 percent, glycerin draws moisture from the lower layers of the skin and retains it on the surface; this has the effect of drying skin from the inside out. But glycerin is completely harmless in toothpaste given the mouth”s natural moisture.
* Kaolin: This is a fine white clay that is actually used to produce porcelain. It suffocates and weakens the skin.
* Lanolin: This substance is extracted from wool; it is often contained in lotions.
* Lye: Lye is a highly concentrated solution of sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide. It is often mixed with animal fats to produce bar soap, which can corrode and dry skin.
* Mineral oil: This is a petroleum derivative. It forms an oily film over skin to retain moisture, but traps toxins and wastes; this suffocates normal skin respiration.
* Petrolatum: Like mineral oil, this is also petroleum-based and likewise keeps oxygen out of the skin.
* Propylene glycol: This form of mineral oil is also found in automatic brake fluid, hydraulic fluid, and industrial antifreeze! Would you want to rub those on your baby? Propylene glycol is a strong skin irritant; it can also cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage.
* Sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS: This is a harsh detergent used in garage floor cleaners, engine degreasers and auto cleaning products! SLS can prevent your baby”s eyes from properly developing. It”s also a common skin irritant. It”s also rapidly absorbed by the eyes, brain, heart, and liver; it can also slow healing and cause cataracts in adults.
* Sodium laureth sulfate, or SLES: This is an alcohol form of SLS; it is slightly less irritating but more drying. SLS and SLES can react with other ingredients to cause potentially carcinogenic formations of nitrates and dioxins. A large amount of nitrates can enter the blood stream during one shampooing.
* Talc: This soft gray-green mineral can be harmful if inhaled; it is recognized as a potential carcinogen.