The Truth About Baby Bath Products

When I received an email from my friend Kendra about the dangers of baby shampoo, bubble bath and lotions, I really started digging. I am not a scientist, I am not a trained researcher but I am a great digger – and I LOVE kids! I always attempt to look at all sides of an issue to reach as close to accurate conclusions as possible before I go to print. My conclusion after the digging about this is simple – there is no other side. Most baby shampoos, bubble bath and lotions should never be in your house let alone near your baby – even those labeled “natural.” I am just really happy there wasn’t a hidden camera anywhere near me to record the tantrum I had as facts piled up and indignation mounted.

So here is just some of what I found:

Fact: The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found traces of formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane in shampoos, soaps, sunscreen, bubble bath and lotions. (ref: “No More Toxic Tub,”) Read it all and you, too, could be filmed having a tantrum!

Fact: The Environmental Protection Agency classifies 1,4-Dioxane as a “Group B2, probable human carcinogen,” while it ranks formaldehyde as “a probable human carcinogen.” (feeling better already?)

Fact: 61% of the children’s bath products tested for this report contained both formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane.

Indulge me – I can’t help myself. Here is just ONE excerpt that helped me reach the tipping point: “Two other ingredients that commonly find themselves at the top of the list of ingredients of your “natural” shampoo are Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and its sister chemical Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). SLS is found in 90% of all shampoos and toothpastes. It is used freely by manufacturers because it is a cheap detergent that produces foam and bubbles which we all equate with cleansing. Sodium Laurel Sulfate is an irritant, and a shampoo containing 15% SLS is mainly tolerable because it comes in contact with the scalp for only a few minutes and it is diluted with water while in use. It is deliberately used in clinical studies to irritate the skin so that the effects of other substances can be tested. It is a caustic cleaner and corrodes hair follicles and impairs ability to grow hair. It is similar to detergent in dishwashing liquids as it cleans hair so thoroughly, it strips the protective lipids from the surface of the scalp, impeding its ability to regulate moisture, so that in order to manage it you have to pour on a chemical conditioner.” Read the article.

Just in case you are a long fact finder, have some spare time, or even if you have your doubts, please feel free to read more at any of the sites listed below:

Pediatrics for Parents Newsletter (opens pdf file)
Infant/Baby Dangers
Dangers of Commercial Baby Shampoo
What Your Shampoo’s Labels Won’t Tell You

The good news? There was ONE tested by CSC that came out “clean:”
Brands That Had Neither 1,4-Dioxane Nor Formaldehyde
(Note that several brands were tested for only one of the two chemicals; consult The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics report to see those brands that tested clean for the one chemical tested.)

Dark & Lovely Kids Beautiful Beginnings No-Mistake Nourishing No-Lye Children’s Relaxer System, Fine Hair Types (SoftSheen-Carson, owned by L’Oreal USA) WAHOO!!! Say that really fast five times….

And as for Mrs. Green? I feel comfortable recommending: the entire ABC Arbonne Baby Care line (totally eliminated my niece’s eczema) and uncleharrys.com. After all, how could you not trust Uncle Harry?

Food for thought: I order all kinds of things online. Why would I not take the time to buy safe shampoo, body wash and body lotion for my grandchildren online? And so I do.