When I brought my son home from the hospital, there was no question as to what I would use for baths—it was Johnson’s No More Tears. Somewhat naïve, it was really the only children’s brand I was aware of. Of course, as I spent countless hours shopping in Babies “R” Us and other large stores, I became aware of other mainstream brands like Aveeno Baby and Baby Magic. Because of my own issues with Rosacea, I researched to find products that would be gentle for my skin. What I uncovered made me want to dig further—to find safer more appropriate products for my children.
One of the most helpful organizations I have come across is the Environmental Working Group (EWG). On their website, there is a section dedicated to cosmetics called Skin Deep and it’s extremely helpful when determining the safety of products for your body. I would caution you, however, that much of their data is limited. I also feel it should be taken with a grain of salt, since they seem to say that many products for children carry a risk of neurologic disorders. I don’t know that I necessarily believe that normal use will carry such a high risk. I’m most concerned with how gentle these products will be against my children’s delicate skin and hair.
My daughter suffers from the “curse of curly hair” as I like to call it. When her curls are freshly cleaned and conditioned, they look beautiful. First thing in the morning, after a nap or on a hot day, her hair resembles Albert Einstein’s. I made it my mission to find the best way to tame her crazy curls and highlight the beauty that curly hair can be.
For my daughter’s hair, I like the Curls product line. For babies, there is the line called “It’s A Curl,” which includes a tear-free shampoo, conditioner and detangler. These products are formulated with certified organic ingredients. I want to point out that “It’s A Curl” shampoo includes Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate as one of its ingredients. Although it sounds like Sodium lauryl sulfate, they are actually quite different. Since Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate is a large molecule ingredient, it’s considered to be gentle and non-irritating, and it cannot penetrate the skin. It comes from coconut and palm oils and is used to remove oil, dirt and bacteria without drying sensitive skin. You definitely do not want to confuse the two.
If you’re looking for an organic baby shampoo, then you might want to take a look at the Earth’s Best product line. That’s right, they don’t just make baby and toddler food. They offer both organic and non-organic shampoos, body washes, lotions and sun blocks. All of their products are free from Sodium lauryl sulfate, and should be gentle on your little one’s skin and hair.
Besides bath products, the only other products that come in contact with my daughter’s skin regularly are diaper creams. Since she’s cutting molars right now, she’s been especially prone to bad diaper rashes. I’ve tried several different creams-both natural and not-so-natural. I have had the best results with Boudreaux’s All Natural Butt Paste. My daughter had a bad rash for several days. The cream I was using did nothing to heal her bottom. After one application of Boudreaux’s her rash was noticeably diminished. Within a day and a half her rash was completely cleared up. Of course the main reason I like this cream is that it works. When I bought this diaper cream, I made a conscious decision to purchase the natural formulation as opposed to the regular one because I like the idea of something natural and gentle touching her skin. Made with beeswax, Peruvian balsam and other natural ingredients, I will definitely continue to use the all-natural formula.
When you’re shopping for products for your children, make sure you take a look at the label. Try to avoid ingredients like: Sodium lauryl sulfate, phthalates, corn starch, mineral oils, lanolin and talcum powder. And don’t get discouraged when it’s difficult to find products at the large superstores. Sometimes I find it much easier to shop for these products online on sites like drugstore.com, diapers.com and amazon.com. I hope you’ll be as happy with the results of these natural products on your children’s skin and hair as I have been.