So if you thought babies had flawless skin, you’re probably feeling a little distraught! Since newborn skin is especially fragile, parents are quick to seek the best products to “treat” these small skin problems. But what exactly does your child need? How can you choose the best products for your little one? And most importantly, what can we really find in the formulas of baby products available on the market? Discover our three tips.
1. Read the label (using tools that can help)
Given the incredible number of creams, lotions and specialized body care products for babies on the market, it can be very hard to choose! Not to mention that the ingredient list is incomprehensible to most parents. When you’re exhausted and overwhelmed, with a crying baby in your arms, you need simple and practical tools to rely on. This is why the Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database exists.
The EWG’s Skin Deep ® Cosmetic Database analyzes and assesses the safety of over 70,000 skin care products sold under nearly 2,000 brands. The data is based on the research the EWG has conducted to establish the ingredients’ effects on health and the environment.
The search tool shows the results for each ingredient found in body care products, helping you choose what is best for your child. It even mentions possible manufacturing residues and contaminants associated with certain raw materials.
This database is an excellent tool to find out what may be lurking behind the label! The site also contains a list of baby care products. Lotions, shampoos, soaps, diaper creams, baby wipes and more are listed in order of safety to help you choose the best ones according to the EWG’s standards. If you have any doubts about a product, simply enter its name and brand in the search box to see its score, from 1 (safest) to 10 (least safe).
2. Look for safety seals
EWG VERIFIED™ SEAL
The EWG VERIFIED™ seal identifies products and brands whose ingredients meet EWG’s stringent health and safety criteria. For a product to be certified EWG VERIFIED™, the manufacturer has to provide all the details of the ingredients used, including ingredients not listed on the label (very small quantities). They must also be completely transparent and certify that their products do not contain any carcinogenic contaminants, endocrine disruptors, mutagens and other synthetic and polluting chemical substances.
NEA SEAL OF ACCEPTANCE™ The National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance certifies that the body care products for babies that bear this seal do not contain any ingredients known to be unsuitable for people with eczema or sensitive skin.
3. Be on the lookout for allergens and irritants
- Avoid essential oils. They are extracted or distilled from the volatile molecules of aromatic plants The extracted essence has a high concentration of powerful active ingredients. Some essential oils are rich in highly irritating ketones (neurotoxic in high doses) or phenols (anti-infectious molecules). It is therefore not advised to use essential oils on children under three years of age.
- To prevent allergic reactions, avoid products containing methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone, two known contact allergens (they often replace parabens).
- Avoid products containing perfumes and alcohol since they can irritate the skin. Watch out for “fragrance-free” products since odour-masking agents are sometimes used. If so, you will see “Parfum-Fragrance” (INCI) on the list of ingredients. For more information, read our latest article on the subject.
Products that are good for your baby and the planet: what to buy for your little one’s routine?
Opt for these body care essentials for your baby:
- A hypoallergenic moisturizing lotion or cream
- A gentle and hypoallergenic shampoo or body wash. The 2-in-1 version is practical for baby’s bathtime
- Zinc diaper cream to help repel dampness that leads to diaper rash
- A soothing chamomile hypoallergenic face and body cream or natural repairing cream for especially dry and sensitive skin
- Non-nano zinc mineral sunscreen (do not use before six months of age)
- Natural, biodegradable baby wipes
Are you pregnant or planning to be? Read our article on which ingredients to avoid in personal care products when pregnant.
*ATTITUDE baby lotion analysis. The chemists and engineers in our laboratory analyzed a sample of ten conventional baby lotions, natural lotions and lotions for sensitive skin. The brands are not named for confidentiality reasons.