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Ingredients to Avoid While Purchasing Shampoos for Babies

Ingredients to Avoid While Purchasing Shampoos for Babies

Aug 31, 2022


While baby products should be amongst the safest on the market, the sad truth is that they are some of the worst offenders out there for containing toxic ingredients. And, since babies are 10 times more vulnerable to those chemicals than adults, it’s even more critical that we find safer, non-toxic baby shampoo for our precious people. Here are some of the top chemicals to avoid in a non-toxic baby shampoo, and a few of our current favorites out there.

  1. Fragrances and Phthalates:  Okay we know there are few smells as sweet as a freshly bathed baby or toddler.  But enjoy the sweetness without fragrances because fragrances are associated with hormone disruption, skin & respiratory allergies.  If you have allergies in your family, you know it is nearly impossible to know what ingredients are actually triggering them. This is because the word “fragrance” on a label often hides a toxic cocktail of multiple ingredients. Phthalates are used in fragrances, but aren’t listed on labels, and they aren’t restricted for use despite their association with a host of health concerns including reproductive issues and developmental problems in unborn children, as well as asthma and respiratory problems.
  2. Parabens:  These are synthetic preservatives common in baby washes and baby shampoos, as well as many personal care products for adults.  The CDC has detected them in almost all Americans tested. They are linked to a multitude of health risks including cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity and skin irritation.  
    Seek and avoid: any ingredients ending in -paraben.
  3. 1,4-dioxane:  This known carcinogen is thought to be in more than 50% of all baby soaps, especially in those called “tear-free”. It’s a contaminant that occurs when a surfactant has been “ethoxylated”, or chemically combined with the compound ethylene oxide. When you see the word ‘laureth’, it means it is ethoxylated. Tear-free shampoos are ethoxylated. This contaminant can penetrate the skin each time you use the product on your baby, and it’s been linked to cancer, reproductive issues, kidney & liver damage & liver problems.
    Seek and avoid: polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, polyoxyethylene, sodium laureth sulfate, ceteareth, oleth, oxynol, -xynol, PEG, ingredients ending with -eth, -oxynol and those containing the words laureth, laureate, myrrh, ceteareth or oleth.
4. Formaldehyde & Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives: These are known carcinogens yet are common in baby shampoos.  They can be added directly or released by other preservatives. There is a long lost of chemicals that could fall within this group, so our advice is to look for the words “formaldehyde-free”.  
Seek and avoid: Formaldehyde, quaternium-15, dimethyl-dimethyl (DMDM) hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bromopol).

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