EWG is an environmental working group that shares information on tips to buy safer products for your child. Every day we buy products from shampoo to lotion, from baby oil to body wash. We apply cosmetics or personal care products every day to our skin, hair and nails.
Many contain troubling ingredients, including ones linked to harm and many that have not been assessed for safety. Not everything that says natural is necessarily so. Below are some tips to learn how to choose safer products for your family and reduce harmful chemicals in your body.
Not everything that says natural is necessarily so. Below are some tips to learn how to choose safer products for your family and reduce harmful chemicals in your body. Click To Tweet
Tips to Buy Safer Products for your Child
Know what you are buying
Learn as much as you can about a product before you purchase it. Read labels and pay attention to ingredient names. As parents and caregivers, it is important to watch out for harmful ingredients in your Child’s products.
Here are five worrisome ingredients in body care products.
- PARABENS: These hormone-disrupting preservatives are in many types of products. Avoid products with propyl-, butyl-, iso-propyl, and iso-butyl parabens.
- ISOTHIAZOLINONES: These preservatives can cause serious skin rashes and are banned in some countries, yet they are still in products. Even those products advertised as “hypoallergenic” might not be so safe. Look out for and avoid products with “methylisothiazolinone” or “methylisochlorothiazolinone” on the label.
- FORMALDEHYDE RELEASERS: The preservative ingredients can cause skin sensitization and allergies. Ingredients include DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate; among others.
- FRAGRANCE: Many shoppers do not know what is hiding behind the label “fragrance.” The term “fragrance” is shorthand for a complex mixture of scented ingredients that make a scent last on the skin. Some ingredients are irritating or allergenic, and others can disrupt the body’s hormone systems.
- RETINYL PALMITATE AND OTHER TOPICAL RETINOIDS: This form of vitamin A can be used in sunscreens, lotions and lip products. Look out for retinyl palmitate and other retinyls, such as retinyl acetate. When exposed to the sun on skin and lips, retinyls can break down and damage the skin.
Keep it simple for your Child
Your child and babies’ tiny bodies are especially vulnerable to harsh, toxic chemicals. Therefore it is important to protect your baby by taking some precautions. Below are some tips on how to keep it simple when it comes to caring for your baby.
- Avoid baby wipes with these harmful or irritating ingredients; such as parabens, methylisothiazolinone, formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, and fragrance.
- Skip baby powder. Just like auto exhaust or secondhand smoke, tiny airborne particles can damage a baby’s delicate and developing lungs.
- Use food or natural oil rather than lotions. Soothe dry skin with food or massage grade oil. Some options to try are almond, shea butter or coconut oil, but avoid olive oil.
- Cradle cap is a common occurrence in babies. You can treat the cradle cap by washing with a gentle shampoo rather than harsh chemicals. It is important to see a doctor for advice for serious cases, which occurs infrequently.
Importance of sunscreen
Protective clothing provides the best protection from the sun, but a good sunscreen can help save you from serious sun damage. Look for active ingredients zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, with SPF 15 to 50; then apply whenever you go outside.
Ignore Market Labels.
Many products on the market carry labels such as “natural,” “safe,” “gentle,” “hypoallergenic” and “green”; yet such claims may mean very little.
The Food and Drug Administration does not approve labels before products are sold, and manufacturers often use these terms just for advertisement purposes. Making smart, informed choices about the products you bring into your home and use on your child’s body; is an essential step toward protecting your family from harmful or irritating personal care products.
Research more than 70,000 products in EWG’s Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database to see if your products contain any hazardous ingredients. Visit their site for more information.