Do you know which cosmetics are safe during pregnancy? Do you know which skin care products are safe for your baby? What you don’t know can hurt you and your baby.
When I was reading materials for my post last week on Mother-made Baby Care Cosmetics, I found a fascinating statement.
All Earth Mama Angel Baby products are now rated “zero” on the Skin Deep database, a guide to cosmetics and personal care products from the Environmental Working Group. “We know of no other company that manufactures products for pregnancy or baby with an entire product line rated zero,” said Melinda Olson, CEO and founder.
“Earth Mama Angel Baby Rated Zero on Skin Deep Database,” Organic Products Retailer, September 2009.
It is extremely helpful to parents and parents-to-be to see all ingredients and all concerns, even minor concerns, listed in one place. Seeing a whole line of products with green zeroes is very reassuring.
The Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database is a project of the Environmental Working Group. I follow a lot of the good work they are doing to compile data that helps consumers make informed choices. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the Skin Deep Database cover just one of their areas of research. Their goal is simple. They want to eliminate “the use of chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, and other health problems.”
Which companies are making safe cosmetics and baby care products? They list companies that have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, pledging to meet strict standards. They go through a few clear steps to be sure that you know the ingredients in their products.
What’s the Problem?
Because of the levels of environmental toxins, we are exposed to toxic chemicals through the air and water. We also, mostly unknowingly, bring toxic chemicals into our homes through nearly every consumer product, including those that we put directly on our skin. We can’t always avoid the air and water, but we can make informed choices about cosmetics and other consumer products.
It helps to know the chemicals of concern and check labels. Only today I found myself buying a major brand cosmetic (deodorant!) for my son rather than the eco healthy brand because only the plain jane big name did not have one of the ingredients I was trying to avoid. We didn’t get antiperspirant, just deodorant, hoping that would avoid some problems. I wish I’d checked the database before I went because the eco healthy brand got a score of 2 in the database, and the big name clean as a whistle brand got a score of 6. Now I wish I had just worked harder to convince him to use a crystal. Lesson learned: check the database while you are in the store if you are mobile.
In pregnancy, the chemicals that have been absorbed by the body of the mother will be passed on to the developing fetus. That is an unfortunate and unavoidable fact. We as mothers can at least avoid adding to that chemical load during the delicate time of development.
Avoid in particular
- parabens because they are oestrogen mimics
- phthalates because of potential premature birth
- ultrafine particles because they can enter the lymphatic system
- accutane or retinoic acid because of potential heart defects
- high-dose vitamin A (anti-aging) because of potential birth defects
Keep in mind that I’m referring to cosmetics in this post, but any toxic chemicals in cleaning products, paint, air fresheners, and on and on can still cause problems. Without panicking or becoming paranoid, become aware of your choices and the ingredients most important to avoid.
With babies, the issue is again development as well as avoidance of the toxic tipping point that could cause “serious diseases and conditions from childhood cancer to autism, ADHD, learning deficits, infertility and birth defects.”
The list of chemicals that can be harmful to babies and children is at least several hundred long. Browse the Skin Deep baby care section for a long, long read. Once you see all of the alarming toxic ingredients in so many baby products, recall the zero rating of Earth Mama Angel Baby products
With babies, just stick with brands that have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics or check each product for toxic chemicals before you commit and buy. Do the research first, and you will have a much better chance of helping your child avoid adding to the toxins they carry just by living in a toxic industrial world.