Over the past decade there’s been quite the revolution on the shop shelves. Cosmetics manufacturers have become ever more eco-aware, while consumers are equally savvier than ever before.
Naturally you’d then think that all baby creams and washes were always made of the good stuff (100% of the good stuff, that is). After all, here’s some of the outtakes straight from the back of some of the world’s leading baby products…
So, as you’d expect, all baby products are utterly and completely pure, right? Actually, no – no they’re not. In fact, there are three main ingredients that sneak into the bathrooms of unsuspecting parents that could (and should) cause concern. Those three ingredients are: SLS, parabens and parfum. Let’s explore what each is and why they’re worth a second look.
Rub a dub, dub (here’s why you don’t want SLS in your tub)
Sulphates, otherwise known as Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), is the stuff that makes the bubbles in shampoos and body wash. SLS is highly corrosive – and any substance that’s corrosive is capable of removing oil and grease. Not exactly what you want for your baby’s delicate skin. Here’s what some research found about this chemical-nasty…
“[SLS has a] degenerative effect on the cell membranes because of its protein denaturing properties. The longer these ingredients stay in contact with the skin, the greater the likelihood of irritation, which may or may not be evident to the user”.
- The International Journal of Toxicology
In other research, a study found that any solution that has between 1 – 5% sodium lauryl sulphate led to the development of acne. Scary stuff indeed.
Now you may notice a little something in our shampoo called: Sodium lauryl glucose carboxylate…
Hmph - sodium lauryl sulphate and sodium lauryl glucose carboxylate?
They’re so similar, you’d probably think they were almost the same.
But actually, they’re very different. The ‘sodium’ part just denotes the use of a salt – there’s no acid to be found here (like there is with SLS). And the ‘lauryl glucose’ part simply means a type of sugar (rather than the sulfuric acid you’ll find in SLS).
Sodium lauryl glucose carboxylate features in the US’ Safe Cosmetics Database, as well as being certified for use in organic cosmetics by the Organic Food Federation and EcoCert. All in all, sodium lauryl sulphate and sodium lauryl glucose carboxylate are not alike at all.
Parabens – Are parents right to be worried?
Parabens are a type of preservative that makes a product more resistant to the growth of bacteria and mould. From a business perspective, this means that product last longer. Parabens can be found in everything from food to cosmetics and onto baby products.
Now for that all-important question – are parabens bad for baby? And the answer is a rather worrying “maybe”. Here’s what one report found…
“Of greatest concern is that parabens are known to disrupt hormone function, an effect that is linked to increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive toxicity”.
- Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC) – A Non-Profit Organisation
Given that a child’s skin is so much thinner than an adult’s, these findings get even more worrying. So want can you do if you want to avoid parabens? It’s simple, actually. Just look out for the following ingredients:
- other chemicals starting with “methyl”, “propyl”, “butyl” or “benzyl”
‘Parfum’ – The sweet smell of over 200 chemicals
Needless to say, chemicals aren’t the first thing you’d look for when shopping for baby skin care products. But, when you buy something with ‘parfum’ listed in the ingredients, that’s exactly what you’ll get.
You see ‘parfum’ covers more than 200 different chemicals, and it’s entirely legal to hide all manner of sins under this label, as the legislation behind it was put in place to protect perfumery scent formulations. Nowadays this cosmetic law is arguably abused – including by some of the biggest baby skin care brands in the world.
So that’s our two cents of three things you’ll NEVER see on our products. Now, this seems like a good time to introduce ourselves…
I’m Daniel - proud father of one sensitive-skinned baby (that would be Belle). Billy & Belle is a family company that was created from my struggles with my little one’s dry skin and eczema. If you’re wondering why Billy? Well, Billy is our pet cat and Belle’s best friend. And, of course, all our products are brimming with 100% good stuff and absolutely no nasties. They are also Vegan and we would never test on animals as Billy would not approve.