As a parent, you have a huge task at hand. We are responsible for the setting that our children grow, live and play in. We make a number of choices for them on a daily basis. We decide what they eat (to a certain extent I have a very fussy oldest boy and a defiant younger one who is trying to assert his independence), what they are washed in, wear (also to a certain extent, cue serious morning tantrums about sock choices), what medications they are given, what they sleep in, where they spend their most time. We are continuously nurturing every second, minute, hour of the day. Their health and wellbeing is very intimately connected to us, their parents or carers and the environment that they live in.
Many parents ask me ‘what I use for my kids?’, ‘how do I treat this naturally’, and want to know what I would choose for the best course of action. I actually find that most are surprised when I ask them what they think. As parents we know our children better than anybody else and it’s these answers that govern my response.
The most common question I get asked is
‘what should I avoid completely on my children’s skin?’
Children are very susceptible to chemicals. Their bodies are growing, undergoing changes and evolving, building resilience and strength. That’s why chemicals can have larger impacts on them. It’s almost like their little bodies get overloaded and bombarded with chemicals that their bodies can sometimes lose track of what it should be focusing on. I call it the Comedian Philosophy (technical term I know). Ever watched a comedian try to go through their skit, while being heckled at the same time. They can sometimes lose their focus, become muddled and ultimately screw the whole skit up. Well the body is somewhat like that comedian and the chemicals are like the heckler. We need less heckle in our children’s lives.
So when it comes to recommending what not to use on your child’s body I have a top 5 list that I say don’t go near. Some you may already know, some may seem a little far fetched for you. But I’m not here to judge, take the list and do what suits you best. So here they are:
Top 6 Chemicals to Avoid using on your child:
Highly irritating on the lungs and has been linked to some cancers, this old school product is used as a drying agent for the skin.
Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulphate/Sulfate
These bad boys you may already know about. They are known as surfactants or soaps. There are a number of soaps that are fine to use but these cause irritation to the skin especially those who suffer eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis. This is usually the first ingredients most parents remove when bubs comes along.
This is a buffering agent used in a number of cosmetics and baby body products. This ingredients can cause irritation, has been linked to cancer and can potentially cause hormone disruption. Not a nice ingredient to be using on growing babies and children and also woman trying to fall pregnant.
This is an emulsifier and surfactant and causes skin irritation. Not recommended for children prone to allergies, eczema or psoriasis.
These ingredients are used as preservatives in products and cause irritation to the skin, is toxic if ingested, has been linked to some cancers and can affect endocrine hormones.
What’s the point? Well ok I do see the point, we all love to smell amazing. But did you know that some fragrances can contain up to 46 or more chemicals in it. That’s 46 or more chemicals you expose your child to every time you apply it to their skin.
A little too farfetched? As I’ve said I’m not here to judge, you do what best for you and your family.
These are the most common ingredients you will find in a number of products. Please don’t be fooled by the use of word’s like organic and natural. There are no governing laws around the use of these words on packaging. I refuse to put them on mine for that reason, out of PURE principle that they mean absolutely nothing when put on a product. It’s marketing at it’s best.
When buying products always check the labels, look at the ingredients. Some may be hard to pronounce but remember even natural ingredients have chemical names. Just look for these 5 above and start there. If any words contain or sound like the top 5 don’t buy it.
If you want to know ways you can get your home detoxing now then head over to my other blog Your Guide to Detoxing Your Home and learn the ways you can improve your home environment today.
I'd love to know your thoughts about this blog. Comment below if you have any other chemicals you avoid or if you noticed a product containing any of the above. We love to hear from you!