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What’s On Your Baby’s Skin?

admin April 28, 2015

Do you know what’s on your baby’s skin?

When my oldest was a baby, I trusted the products available at the store.  I bought the store-brand “good night” lotion, thinking it was gentle and natural.  After all, it was made for babies, right?  And it contained lavender, which I know is safe!

Imagine my surprise when, one night after her bath, I rubbed the lotion on her skin and watched it turn a bright, angry red!  That was the last time I ever used that lotion, or any commercial lotion, on one of my children.  I realized that just because something is marketed “for babies” (or even on the shelves at all) doesn’t make it safe.

Did you know that?

The ingredients in mainstream products are not necessarily safe or beneficial at all!  This is even more true for babies, whose skin is so new and sensitive and absorbent.  When it comes to skincare, there are so many 100% natural products that are safe and beneficial (stuff so safe you could eat it, really) that I don’t even trust brands that use “safe chemicals.”  Why not just stick with the whole plants instead?

Before we talk about the ingredients you do want to see in your products, let’s take a look at the dangers of ingredients that you don’t want to see (but which are commonly used).

What’s In Your Products?

Let’s take a look at Johnson’s Bedtime Lotion as an example — since that’s what caused the reaction for my daughter.

  • Fragrance — can cause irritation, allergic reactions, organ system toxicity
  • Propylparaben — can cause reproductive toxicity, endocrine disruption, allergies
  • Methylparaben — can cause cellular changes, endocrine disruption, and allergies
  • Mineral oil — can cause organ system toxicity (this is what “baby oil” is)

In the “Skin Deep” database, this product has an overall rating of 5, which is considered a moderate threat.  The ingredients above are mostly rated 7 – 8 (except mineral oil, which I still wouldn’t put on my skin or my baby’s skin, as it’s derived from petroleum).

Of course, you may be aware that Johnson’s has been in trouble lately for their unsafe, cancer-causing products, so this may not surprise you.

What about a similar product by Aveeno?  A calming lavender lotion.

  • Fragrance — can cause irritation, allergic reactions, organ system toxicity
  • Benzyl alcohol — can cause allergies, organ system toxicity

Overall, it’s a 4, which is slightly better than the Johnson’s product, but…do you want that on your baby’s skin?  Anything that contains fragrance and mineral oil is a no-go in my book.

You can look up whatever product you’re currently using in the Skin Deep database to see what’s in it.  Don’t just look at the overall rating, check the ingredients.  Personally, even if a product had a “good” rating, if it included one or two “high risk” ingredients I would not use it.

But honestly…when there are so many healthier, safer, more natural options…why even bother with one of these mainstream brands?

Taking Care of Baby’s Skin Naturally

Every night, I put magnesium lotion on my kids.  It helps them sleep, and it’s made with 100% plant-based oils (and water, magnesium chloride, and beeswax).  I don’t have to worry about what their skin is absorbing when I put that on them — I know it’s safe.

As-needed, I use diaper rash salve on my 2-year-old.  Again, it’s plant-based oils and beeswax, so I know it’s safe.

One solution is to DIY everything you make.  Of course, that may not be something that’s up your alley — or you may not have the time to do it, or the money to initially invest in ingredients.

When that’s the case, I like to turn to small businesses.  These businesses are run by mothers who share the same concerns you do, and who only use ingredients they’re comfortable having on their own baby’s skin.  Plus, they tell you — proudly — exactly what they put in their products.  Isn’t that the kind of company you want to be working with?

Meet Banjorganics

Banjorganics1 edit

I was introduced recently to Banjorganics, just such a company.  I really love working with these small businesses, because I like to support a fellow WAHM and because I know their products are truly safe.  I’ve run into plenty of “small companies” that are really not so small, and not so natural.  That’s frustrating.  But Banjorganics is truly natural, and their product line is pretty extensive.

You can read their story right here.  Nicole is a mother who’s passionate about natural products because her son’s health was struggling — until she made the switch.  Her story is not unlike mine — unlike many of ours.  How many of us became interested in more natural living because of health concerns we had for ourselves or our children that were being ignored or even worsened by mainstream care?

Unlike a lot of companies, Banjorganics actually offers custom-made products.  That is, if you struggle to find products that work for you because they don’t offer the scents you like, or because your skin is very sensitive to even natural oils, Nicole will custom-create a product for you using the ingredients that really work for you.  Check out that offer here.  (I think that’s really neat!  That’s what I do in my own home often — modify existing recipes or create new ones based on our current needs or sometimes a friend’s requests.  But there aren’t really any businesses that will do that for you!)

They offer:

  • Baby soap
  • Baby oil ( olive oil with calendula and chamomile — no “mineral oil” here!)
  • Baby lotion
  • Diaper cream
  • Teething oil (it’s really similar to my teething tincture, which is my *favorite* teething remedy)
  • Body butter
  • Bedtime massage oil
  • Body wash
  • Face wash (which I’ve tried)
  • Foaming hand soap
  • Magnesium lotion
  • …and a ton more

It’s pretty much everything could need or want for a baby (or yourself) — and they’re open to special requests, too!

All the ingredients are organic.  Scents are created with essential oils.  There are no preservatives or weird chemical ingredients.  It’s all truly natural skin care — as natural as I’d make for my own family.

I’ve used the face wash and it was very interesting.  My skin is really sensitive right now but the face wash didn’t seem to make things worse (which is about the best I can get right now — even my homemade stuff is making things worse).  The magnesium lotion is really similar to mine, and as I mentioned, it’s something I use daily on my kids!  (And theirs is a way better price than you’d pay from a bigger brand.  Way.  It’s $11 for almost 5 oz., while the brands I’ve seen are around $30 for 8 oz.)

If you want to be sure you’re only putting the safest, most natural stuff on your baby’s skin, then this is what you want.  And it really does work better.  My mom used the diaper cream on my son while we were out of town for a few days recently and said how well it worked — and I grew up with “the white stuff.”  If she’s impressed — someone who doesn’t use many natural products — then you know it’s good.

Make sure to pay them a visit…and then pop over here to enter a giveaway to try their products!

What do you use on your baby’s skin?

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1 Comment

  1. My 8 month old daughter has only ever had coconut oil, olive oil and Burts Bee’s baby body wash on her skin her whole life!

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I’m Kate, mama to 5 and wife to Ben.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  I’m also a big fan of “fancy” drinks (anything but plain water counts as ‘fancy’ in my world!) and I can’t stop myself from DIY-ing everything.  I sure hope you’ll stick around so I can get to know you better!

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