Our skin is the largest organ in the body and is a pathway to our entire body. It is porous and quickly soaks up toxins from the environment and skin care products we use! With this in mind, if you are a new mum, the question to ask is, is this skincare product safe for my baby’s delicate skin?
A newborn’s skin is very delicate and on average is three times thinner than an adults. This means that a substance that manages to penetrate the skin ends up being considerably more concentrated in the body – increasing the risk of toxicity.
There are so many products out there today that claim to be great for your baby. If you’ve been to the baby aisle in any supermarket or shop, you are hit with an array of baby products from the well known Johnson’s and Aveeno’s of this world to the lesser known brands all promising to protect your baby’s skin.
In recent years there has been a growing demand for organic and natural skincare i.e skincare devoid of harmful and toxic chemicals.
But just because a product says it’s organic or natural doesn’t mean it truly is!
In thinking about what skincare products to use, Here’s the rule of thumb!
READ THE LABEL!
Keep away from products with these on the labels
1. Parabens(Methylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben)- a group of harmful preservatives used to prolong shelf life. In recent years this has been linked to breast cancer!
2. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)– An inexpensive chemical compoud widely used in shampoos, toothpaste and bodywashes to make them lather.
3. Polyetylene glycol (PEGS)-made up of several harmful chemicals which include heavy metals such as (lead Iron, nickel, arsenic!)
4. Fragrance– This might sound harmless, a lot of skincare products that have been fragranced are made with nasty chemicals(Phthalates) that have been linked to kidney and liver damage and infertility.
5. Petroleum-based ingredients act as lubricants. These often have cancer-causing compounds. Manufacturers list them as Petroleum Jelly on product labels.
This is by no means an exhaustive list but the most common culprits!
Healthy Alternatives to Harmful Cosmetic Ingredients
In deciding what products to use for your baby and indeed your family, choose products that generally have these kinds of ingredients below on the labels and the higher the ingredient is on the label, the more of that ingredient that is used to make it!
1. Natural Skin Softeners-
Cocoa, mango, Avocado or Shea Butter. These soften the skin naturally and unclog pores.
2. Natural Preservatives-
Vitamin E, essential oils and Grapefruit extract are antioxidants(natural compounds that prevent cell damage).
3. Natural Fragrances-
Essential oils such as Lavender, Chamomile, Bergamot serve as natural fragrances and contain healing and stress reducing properties.
4. Natural oils-
Cocunut, tea tree, rosehip, calendula,sweet almond are just a few examples.
As parents we need to educate ourselves in this area so we make better choices for ourselves and our families. A beautiful skin is one that is healthy and toxin free!
Pamela Orji is the CEO and Founder of Hannah and Hugh Skincare, a range of amazing natural and toxic free products suitable for the whole family.