Miracle in the Green is focused on health and wellness for all members of the family, including parents and infants. We understand from first hand experience how difficult it is to find authentic all natural baby skincare products. The general challenges of parenthood can seem relentless and daunting, especially for first-time parents. Even for the more seasoned, veteran parents, the day-to-day challenges of keeping everyone on track requires the utmost tactful precision. Between soon-to-be mommies and daddies, and the one's already in the throughs of child rearing, we all have one common question: will this be the best thing for my child? The products we choose for our babies are no exception.
Parents spend countless hours Googling and researching reviews for the best day cares, the best baby food, the best car seat. We look for the best everything and anything because that's exactly what our children deserve -- the best. However, with so many stores and catalogs venture through, finding 'the best' becomes exhausting (seriously, who has time to look through 3,200 reviews on Amazon for one swaddling blanket?) and so we settle. There's absolutely no shame in that whatsoever. Trust me, as the mother of 4 wonderful blessings, I've been there myself. At the end of the day, as long as our children are safe and happy, we consider it a success. However, settling for products with harmful ingredients isn't on our list of compromises we're willing to make.
When finding what you need, it's easier to start off having a baseline for what you don't want. We don't want to give our precious bundles of joy potentially toxic chemicals. We instinctively gravitate to natural and organic product labels, because we confident that all natural means it's safe. However, the FDA has no official definition for what deserves to be called all natural . Companies throw around the term 'all-natural' like Lego bricks on the living room floor with reckless abandon. Brands posing as safe, chemical free alternative when still using fake synthetic chemicals in their all natural baby products is nothing new. However, don't worry just yet, the not-so-natural devil can always be found in the details.
So here's our list of ingredients to steer clear of when navigating the shelves and online stores of natural baby products.
Top 4 Ingredients to Avoid
One of the most common ingredients found in baby powders for babies, and women alike often have talc. Talc is a mineral refined into a powder with other chemicals that helps absorb moisture and reduces friction
Why to avoid it: Some forms of talc also contain asbestos and a number of studies that show using talc is linked to cancer.
Alternatives: Use cornstarch based baby powder to avoid baby rash. Other common alternatives include arrowroot starch, rice starch, and oat flour
2. Synthetic Fragrances
Scented baby washes and shampoos that contain fun scents like bubble gum are a huge red flag for synthetic fragrances, but even lightly scented and unscented products can be potentially toxic. It generally means fragrances are used to mask the smell of other chemicals.
Why to avoid it: Synthetic fragrances are created with a blend of petrochemicals (such as benzene derivatives, aldehydes, phthalates, and other toxic carcinogens), which are in the EPA's list of hazardous waste. It can irritate and harm your baby's soft sensitive skin.
Alternatives: Look for fragrance-free products, or companies willing to list ALL the chemicals in their ingredients (often synthetic fragrances are bundled together as "trade scent")
3. Antibacterial Soaps & Triclosan
Most antibacterial products contain triclosan. It's commonly added to soaps, body washes, and cosmetics. Regular soap works just as well to keep your babies clean and healthy. Antibacterial soaps only includes extra chemicals.
Alternatives: Look for organic natural antimicrobial ingredients such as moringa, almond oil, or cocoa butter
4. Sulfates & 1,4-dioxane
Sulfates are created with 1,4-dioxane. Sulfates are chemicals that create foaming bubbles and suds in bath products. The FDA does not require 1,4-dioxane to be listed as an ingredient on product labels, so what out for these other ingredients that contains it: Sodium laureth sulfate, PEG compounds, chemicals that include the clauses xynol, ceteareth and oleth.
Why to avoid it: Sulfates and 1,4-dioxane can cause severe irritation to your baby's skin. 1,4-dioxane is a carcinogen, and also linked to to cancer and congenital disabilities per the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry
Alternatives: Go for organic sulfate-free baby wash and shampoos.
What to do when you're in a pinchLet's say you don't have time to review and compare every ingredient because you're a parent, who has a thousand other things that need to get done, because life with children gives you little time to do much else. Here's our general advice:
- Always go for products specifically designed for babies, products made for older children and adults contain harsher chemicals
- Go for items labeled as pH balanced, alcohol-free, fragrance-free
- Keep it simple! If something has 30 ingredients you can't pronounce, it's better to keep looking for something else with fewer chemicals
Be safe, test it before going all out!
Once you've made the decision to buy that new baby wash or bottom balm, try it out first by doing a small patch test. Dab a tiny amount onto your finger and place it behind your baby's ear or on the inside of their elbow and wait a few hours to make sure it's safe for your baby. Every baby is different and so is their skin!
Love + miracles,