Green Baby

    Your Baby's Skin: Clean, soft, and chemical-free

    There's nothing sweeter than the smell of a freshly washed, softly powdered baby. And there's no skin more buttery than a newborn's, especially after a gentle massage with baby oil or lotion. But recent studies have shown that some of these products may contain chemicals that could have harsh effects ranging from minor rashes to long-range reproductive disorders, as well as being damaging to the environment.The good news is that you can play safe by choosing products that are free of potentially harmful chemicals - but first you'll have to learn to translate those unpronounceable names.

    Reading product labels
    Here's what to watch out for, and why:  

    • What's it in? Used to preserve fragrance in shampoos, conditioners, lotions and other body-care products, this chemical is also used in plastic baby bottles.
    • What's the problem? Studies have shown that phthalates could cause reproductive birth defects in animals. While their use in baby bottles is being phased out (slowly), they are still used in a range of baby-care products.
        Propylene glycol
    • What's it in? Baby wipes and lotions.
    • What's the problem? An irritant that causes a skin rashes, this chemical has been found (through animal and other studies) to cause deafness, kidney damage and liver problems after long-term exposure.
        Sodium borate
    • What's it in? Baby wipes and lotions.  
    • What's the problem? This skin irritant’s effects include redness, itching and pain.
        DMDM hydantoin
    • What's it in? Used in many shampoos, this chemical releases formaldehyde into the product to help prevent natural ingredients from molding or spoiling.
    • What's the problem? It can cause dermatitis (eczema) and may be linked to cancer.
    • What’s it in? Talc is a common ingredient in the most popular baby powders.
    • What’s the problem? Inhaling it can cause babies respiratory problems, some potentially fatal.
    Next: Top tips for keeping your baby safe