Label Detective: What Scary Ingredients Are Hiding in Your Baby’s Products?

Label Detective: What Scary Ingredients Are Hiding in Your Baby’s Products? 2

What you put on your skin is just as important as the food you put into your body. Did you know it only takes 26 seconds for skincare/topical products to get absorbed into your bloodstream? Some say it’s even faster on a baby’s soft, delicate skin.

Knowing you should use all natural skin care and baby products might be easy, but reading and deciphering labels can be hard. There could be chemicals and artificial ingredients in your baby products without you even knowing. But don’t worry, mom, we’ve got your back.

Here are ingredients you should look out for and avoid in baby products:

1. Menthol. Often found in chest rubs, mouth washes and other cough and cold products, menthol is not recommended for use in children under 2. It may cause children to produce excess mucus which could obstruct their airways. Menthol can be found on labels as: Menthol, Mentha Piperita, Methyl salicylate and any word containing ‘menthol’ or ‘methan’.

2. Hydrogenated Oils. These are chemically altered versions of natural oils. Manufacturers use these because they are less expensive and easier to work with. After oils go through the hydrogenation process they are actually only 1 molecule away from having the same chemical structure as plastic! To identify hydrogenated oils in products, look for the word ‘hydrogenated’ before the oil on any label (example: Hydrogenated coconut oil).

3. Petroleum. Petroleum based products may contain carcinogenic contaminants and can seal dirt and bacteria into the skin. Petroleum can be found on labels as: Petroleum, Petrolatum, Petroleum Jelly & more. Also beware of the following petrochemicals that can be lurking on labels: Paraffin wax, Mineral oil, Toluene, Benzene, Phenozyethanol, anything ending in ‘eth’, Butanol and anything ending in ‘butyl’, Ethanol and anything ending in ‘ethyl’, any word with ‘propyl’, Methanal and any word with ‘methyl’. A good rule of thumb: if you can’t pronounce it, it’s probably not natural.

4. Fragrances and Flavors. Most of the time it’s unknown what goes into a fragrance or artificial flavor. Sometime upwards of 100’s of ingredients can be used to make one fragrance/flavor. Fragrances can be found on labels as: Fragrance, Perfume, Parfum, Aroma and flavors are called either natural or artificial flavor.

Read More About Why Fragrances Stink

5. Sulfates. These are common in personal care products and are often the ingredients that makes foam in soaps and shampoos. Sulfates can be found on labels as: Sulfates, Sodium dodecyl sulfate, Sulfuric acid, Monododecyl ester, Sodium salt, Sodium salt sulfuric acid, Sodium dodecyl sulfate, Aquarex me or Aquarex methyl.

6. Parabens. Paragons are artificial preservatives that have been linked to hormone disruption. These are often easier to find on labels as they are words that end with ‘paraben’.

7. Artificial Colors and Dyes. Studies have linked these to cancers, allergies and hyperactivity in children. They can be identified on labels by finding the name of the color coupled with a number (example: FD&C Red 40).

8. Mineral Oils. Mineral oils are derived from petroleum. They can be found on labels as: Eobase; Heavy Mineral Oil; Light Mineral Oil; Liquid Paraffin; Liquid Petrolatum; Paraffin Oil(s); Paraffinum Liquidum; Petroleum White Mineral Oil; Prolatum Oil; White Mineral Oil; or Petroleum.

9. Phthalates. Often used as a fragrance ingredient, phthalates have been classified as reproductive and developmental toxicants. The European Union has banned the used of phthalates in personal care products and cosmetics. Look for phthalates on ingredient labels as: 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic Acid, Dibutyl Ester, Butyl Phthalate; DBP,  DI-N-Butylphthalate; Dibutyl 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylate; Dibutyl Ester 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic Acid; Dibutyl Phthalate(s); Benzene-O-Dicarboxylic Acid DI-N-Butyl Ester; Celluflex DPB; DBP (Ester).

See Why Phthalates are so Dangerous

Our partner, Maty’s Healthy Products, prides themselves on only using the purest natural and organic ingredients in their baby products. Maty’s products were made by a mom who knew the importance of using safe and effective ingredients. Maty’s All Natural Baby Chest Rub (safe for ages 3 months+) is a great option for baby’s stuffy nose and congestion. Plus, when you read their ingredient label, you’ll know & recognize every ingredient they use!

Maty’s All Natural Baby Chest Rub: Sunflower Wax, Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, Sunflower Oil, Vitamin E, and essential oils of: Chamomile, Lavender, Dill Weed, Patchouli, Coriander and Eucalyptus Radiata. You can find Maty’s Baby Chest Rub at Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid, Kroger, Amazon, and your neighborhood grocery store.

See our comparison of Maty’s All Natural Chest Rub with a Conventional Brand

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