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Safe Baby Care Products: Let the Experts Rank Them

There are thousands of baby care brands on the market, and navigating through them to determine what chemicals are safe and non-toxic is pretty tough since the U.S. regulation on the cosmetics industry is pretty much non-existent. In fact, the U.S. still allows petroleum-based chemicals such as mineral oil and petrolatum in cosmetics. Don’t think you won’t find these things in baby products. The number one ingredient in baby oil is mineral oil which is refined 7 times from the same type of oil you put into your vehicle. Do you really want to put that on baby’s skin? Or what about petroleum jelly. That’s exactly what it says: jelly refined 3 times from petrolatum (motor oil!). We use it to lube bolts, squeaky doors, but not to apply to skin. Petrol products in cosmetics is actually illegal according to European standards due to the carcinogen affect of petrol products. Carcinogen means caner-causing agent.

Those are just a few examples of common cosmetic ingredients that are rampant in baby products. There are others, such as added fragrance chemicals which are considered toxic. Some “tear-free” baby formulas actually include a neurotoxin to prevent tearing.

So, how does a concerned parent act as a smart shopper and stay on top of this ever-changing but deceptively advertised market? Check out the Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database. This database is run by the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit environmental research organization based in Washington, D.C. You can look up every product and see the ranking system for it: 0-2 (low hazard), 3-6 (moderate hazard), and 7-10 (high hazard). You can look up a product based on category such as “baby bubble bath” or you can type in the product name directly.

A product page will indicate the product’s ingredients and the associated health risks such as allergies, developmental/reproductive toxins, cancer, or neurotoxins. For moderate to high hazard products, you can also find options for better products with lower health hazards.

There’s more than just baby products.  You can also find out about the hazards in hair care, fragrances, eye care, nail care, make up, skin care, and oral care.

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