It is true, there is nothing more sweet smelling than that of your baby’s soft skin. It’s almost edible! Doesn’t it seem crazy, then, that the baby-care industry topped $815 million dollars in 2007 and is continuing to climb at an aggressive rate? Speeding this sector right along is the trend towards “natural baby care,” which began in the more natural and co-op type markets but has quickly come mainstream with major manufacturers joining in (think Huggies, Johnson & Johnson, etc.)
Last year, independent testing found that more than 60% of all baby skin care products tested contained ingredients that had links to skin allergies and cancer. According to the group that conducted the research, the Environmental Working Group, some of the chemicals are banned in Europe, such as 1,4-Dioxane. However, the U.S. has no federal limits on how much of this ingredient can be present in personal care products, even when marketed for use on babies!
There is some good news. According to pediatrician Alan Greene, M.D., author of Raising Baby Green, you can skip products all together during your baby’s infant stage. ” A gentle sponsge bath with warm water works fine for baby’s sensitive skin.” When your baby is ready to graduate into baths that require a little bit more “cleaning” or “elbow grease,” there is hope. Following his advice, look for brands that have organic ingredients. A rule of thumb is that anything you can’t pronounce probably shouldn’t go on your baby’s skin. Another couple of ingredients to avoid are paraben preservatives which include sodium lauryl and laureth sulfates and lastly, mineral oil. Lastly, babies sense of smell is ultra sensitive at birth, partly because they are programmed to decipher the familiar scents of mom, dad and siblings; so skip the fragrance!