Contaminants may cause harm to babies’ health – ingredients in baby care – which are harmless, which dangerous to health?
Harmful ingredients in baby care
The advertising promises only the best when care products for babies are touted. But is everything as good as the parents should be credible?
Aloe vera, chamomile, that cannot actually hurt the baby. Anyone who takes a closer look at the composition of care products, however, stumbles over numerous other substances. These may be fragrances, dyes, preservatives or artificial vitamins. A well-sounding nourishing substance may be bustling with chemicals.
Not infrequently these are carcinogenic substances, neurotoxins, growth poisons and irritants. Substances that affect hormone balance or attack DNA have also been detected. Through the pores of the skin, such toxins pass without a detour into the small organism. There they invisibly perform their unwanted service.
In the EU, manufacturers of care products have to provide the contents according to the “International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients” (INCI). The consumer should thus be made easier to make a purchase decision. Hardly anyone knows, however, what is hidden behind the strange-sounding concepts.
Mineral oils are like a supposedly protective film on the skin; it feels supple. The pores underneath, however, can not breathe, which affects the natural skin regulation and leads to dehydration. In care products, they are referred to, for example, like paraffin, silicone or Cera microcrystalline.
Natural fragrances are extracted from plants. Since this is more expensive than the synthetic production, baby care products like the latter variant are chosen. Although the harmful effect is known, it may be used as well as chemical preservatives, provided they are declared as an ingredient.
This includes diethyl phthalate (DEP). The synthetic fragrance attacks the mucous membranes and the immune system. The result can be allergies. After a two-year laboratory test with rats, the perfume was applied daily; they also suffered from liver tumors.
Chemical preservatives are suspected of sensitizing the skin and the organism in such a way that the susceptibility to allergies increases. This is especially critical for babies, as the skin is still sensitive and the immune system is unstable anyway.
As a preservative DMDM Hydantoin is used in baby care products. It is an irritant that can attack the mucous membranes and immune system. Also, he should release formaldehyde in the organism – the gas is considered carcinogenic.
Other designations for the chemical substance include Bronidox, bronopol, Diazolidinyl Urea, dimethyl, imidazolidinyl urea, hydroxymethyl, 5-Bromo-5-nitro-1,3-dioxane or 2-bedroom-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol,
Another preservative is methylparaben. Studies have shown that the substance, especially in combination with sunlight, leads to the death of skin cells. In the organism, it should have an estrogen-like effect and possibly disrupt the hormone balance in the long term.
Vitamins in care products – that sounds healthy. Balanced with food, the body also benefits from them. However, if synthetic vitamins are regularly applied to the skin and get into the organism, it can lead to an overdose.
Studies in the National Toxicology Program have also shown that it decomposes into free, carcinogenic radicals in combination with sun exposure.
Toothpaste and shampoo
In the case of toothpaste, consumer magazines warn in particular of products containing sodium sulfate or azo dyes such as azorubin or cochineal out. Sodium sulfate irritates the mucous membranes; the dyes impair the ability to concentrate in children.
Alternative: natural and organic products
If you do not want to use any harmful ingredients in baby care, this may be difficult for the uninitiated declaration of the contents. One possibility is to pay attention to the phrase “Free from …”. If the manufacturer indicates that no chemical fragrances or preservatives are included, none should be allowed.
Alternatively, you can resort to natural products. However, caution is also required here, because it is not regulated by law when a care product may be called “natural.”
There is a seal from which you can recognize pure natural products: The certificate of the “Federation of German industrial and commercial enterprises for pharmaceuticals, health food, nutritional supplements and personal care eV” (BDHI) is labeled “Controlled natural cosmetics.”
This is used to identify products for which vegetable raw materials have been used. These should come as far as possible from controlled organic farming or wild collection. The use of animal substances is prohibited as well as synthetic colors and fragrances, paraffin and other mineral oils.
For preservation, only a few nature-identical substances, for example, salicylic acid or benzoic acid are permitted, their use must be explicitly stated.
For organic products, the regulations and controls are even stricter. They are recognizable by a certified organic seal.
However, substances which irritate the tender baby skin and the mucous membranes may also be present here, for example, essential oils which are added as fragrances. In turn, various vegetable oils have nourishing properties that benefit the skin. For organic products, it is therefore recommended to look at the composition.
- Care products penetrate through the skin and mucous membranes into the organism. Contaminants may cause damage to your health, especially in developing babies. The following ingredients in baby care are questionable:
- synthetic colors and fragrances
- chemical preservatives
- mineral oils
- synthetic vitamins
- sodium sulfate