Remember less is more when it comes to your baby’s skincare routine. Follow these easy steps to protect your baby’s skin:
1. Limit sun time for babies
Baby skin is super sensitive to sun; keep babies under six months old covered, rather than apply sunscreen to their skin. If you have to take your baby into the sun, remember to use a hat and stay in the shade to prevent burning. For older babies, use just a small amount of sunscreen for a short time and then wash it off.
2. Clean laundry with gentle detergents
Remember, not only is your baby’s skin sensitive to the clothes she wears, but to the clothes you are wearing as you hold her! Switch to a gentle laundry detergent that won’t leave nasty residues behind.
3. Avoid toxic chemicals in baby products
Exposure to toxic chemicals through multiple personal care products adds up to an unacceptable level, especially for babies who are more vulnerable to chemicals.
Always read labels, but also realize that not all dangerous contaminants of skincare products are found on labels. Check out this list of chemicals to avoid in personal care products.
- Parabens - Parabens, chemicals linked to breast cancer risk, are used as preservatives in cosmetic products. Parabens are commonly listed on product ingredient labels as methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben and butylparaben.
- DMDM Hydantoin & Quanternium-15 – These chemicals are used as preservatives in skincare products, despite releasing the notorious cancer-causing chemical formaldehyde. Other formaldehyde-releasing preservatives found on labels include: imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol (Bronopol)
- Fragrance – Used to stabilize synthetic fragrance, phthalates are toxic chemicals absorbed through the skin and enter the bloodstream. Phthalates interfere with the endocrine system, adversely affecting reproduction and interfering with normal development during critical periods, including infancy and puberty.
- Triclosan – Triclosan is an antibacterial agent present in soaps, fragrances, face cleaners and more. Found in hundreds of products, triclosan may contribute to bacterial resistance in the human population.
- Sodium Laureth/Laurel Sulfate – Both are detergents found in personal care products that produce suds. Sodium laureth sulfate can become contamined with 1,4 dioxane, a probable human carcinogen.
- FD&C Color Pigments – Most FD&C colors are made from coal tar. Almost all of them cause cancer and many irritate the skin.
- PEG (Polyethylene Glycol) & Propylene Glycol – According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, PEG compounds (including ingredients that end in “-eth”) may be contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, the probable human carcinogen.
- Talc – Talc is a known carcinogen that has been linked to cancer of the lung and ovaries. Talc particles are similar to asbestos fibers.
When shopping for baby skincare products, opt for a product made with organic materials, fragrances made with essential oils, and is designed for baby skin, free from harsh chemicals. If you prefer skipping commercial baby skincare products altogether, make your own wipes, shampoo or diaper cream with these easy DIY recipes for nontoxic baby care products.