True Cellular Formulas Team - July 03, 2023

Hidden Dangers of Baby Skin Care Products

Protecting Your Child from Harmful Chemicals

Unlathering the Facts: Why You Should Stop Using Traditional Shampoos

It is natural to believe that skincare products designed for infants would be safe. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, with numerous products containing ingredients that could potentially harm your little one. In this article, we delve into the unique vulnerability of infant skin compared to adult skin, expose the dangerous toxins found in common baby soaps, shampoos, conditioners, creams, lotions, and oils, and ultimately provide strategies to navigate the baby skincare landscape, ensuring the safety and wellbeing of your child.

Understanding the Vulnerability of Baby Skin Compared to Adult Skin

Baby skin, while similar in function to adult skin, has key differences that make it uniquely susceptible to harm from harsh ingredients found in many skin care products. Both baby and adult skin share fundamental functions such as protection against germs and UV damage, regulation of body temperature, and hormone production.[2]

However, baby skin, being underdeveloped, requires extra care. It is more permeable, allowing more allergens and harmful substances to penetrate.[3] Its inability to retain moisture as efficiently as adult skin often results in dry, rough skin.[3] Furthermore, its pH is more neutral than adult skin, making it especially vulnerable to irritation from alkaline skin care products.[3]

Dangerous Toxins in Baby Soaps

Many baby soaps contain harmful chemicals that can penetrate a baby's skin. Formaldehyde, a byproduct of certain other chemicals and a known carcinogen can be present in soaps.[4] Parabens, another common ingredient in baby soaps, are linked with endocrine system dysfunction and cancer [5]. Other harmful ingredients include synthetic fragrances known to cause allergic reactions and irritation, as well as triclosan, a potential carcinogen, endocrine disruptor, and skin irritant.[6][7]

Perils of Baby Shampoos and Conditioners

Baby shampoos and conditioners are no exception, also containing potential toxins. Cocamidopropyl betaine, a common foaming agent, can cause dermatitis and eye irritation.[8] Formaldehyde and parabens are again common culprits.[4][5] Additionally, petroleum-based softeners like polyethylene glycol (PEG) can cause skin irritation,[9] and sodium lauryl sulfate, known for causing skin rashes, has also been associated with more severe health issues like cancer.[10]

Common Toxins in Baby Creams and Lotions

Many baby creams and lotions contain harmful ingredients that can irritate the baby's skin and potentially cause health issues. For instance, 1,4-Dioxane, a probable carcinogen, can be found in up to 34% of all baby lotions.[11] Another harmful ingredient often found in baby moisturizers is DMDM Hydantoin, a formaldehyde releaser [4]. FD&C colors, petrolatum, and propylene glycol are other common harmful ingredients found in baby lotions.[12][13][14]

The Risk of Baby Oil

The seemingly innocuous "baby oil" is often synonymous with mineral oil, which is typically derived from petroleum and mixed with synthetic fragrances. Not only can it cause skin irritation and clogged pores, but if inhaled, it can also cause serious respiratory issues.[15]

How to Keep Your Baby Safe: Navigating the Baby Skin Care Landscape

Considering the long list of toxins that could potentially lurk in your baby’s skincare products, the task of protecting them can seem overwhelming. However, there are tangible steps parents can take to reduce their child's exposure to harmful substances.

In order to keep your baby safe, it's essential to read product labels and be on the lookout for harmful ingredients such as DMDM hydantoin, synthetic fragrances, FD&C colors, parabens, polyethylene glycol (PEG), petrolatum, and others mentioned earlier in this article. It's also beneficial to research brands that are committed to producing safe, non-toxic products.

Choose fragrance-free products when possible, as "fragrance" can often be a blanket term for hundreds of undisclosed chemicals. Also, choose products that are labeled "hypoallergenic" and "dermatologist-tested". Even then, it's always a good idea to do a patch test on a small area of your baby's skin before applying a new product all over their body.

Opt for organic and natural products when possible. However, be aware that not all products labeled as "natural" are necessarily free of harmful chemicals. Therefore, it's still important to read labels carefully.

Consider making homemade baby skin care products. There are numerous DIY recipes available online for baby lotions, creams, and soaps that use safe, natural ingredients. Just ensure that any homemade product is stored properly and discarded after its freshness date.

With vigilance and a bit of research, it's entirely possible to navigate the world of baby skin care products safely, ensuring that your baby's skin stays as soft and healthy as possible.

Concluding Thoughts: Protecting Your Baby's Health Starts With Their Skin

Babies skin is incredibly delicate and far more vulnerable than adults, and unfortunately, many commonly used skin care products are not as safe for them as we would like to believe. They can contain a multitude of harmful toxins that can lead to both immediate and long-term health issues.

As a parent or caregiver, you have the power to protect your child by being informed about these potential dangers and taking proactive steps to avoid them. This includes thoroughly reading product labels, opting for trusted brands that prioritize safety, choosing fragrance-free products, and whenever possible, selecting items with natural and organic ingredients.

Remember, making safer choices for your baby's skincare products isn't just about maintaining their beautiful, soft skin. It's about laying the foundation for a lifetime of good health. Your diligence today will go a long way in safeguarding your child's well-being for the future.


  1. Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. (2009). No More Toxic Tub. [PDF file]. Retrieved from []
  2. Environmental Protection Agency. (n.d). Child-Specific Exposure Factors Handbook. Retrieved from []
  3. American Academy of Dermatology Association. (n.d). How to decode sunscreen lingo. Retrieved from []
  4. Environmental Working Group. (n.d). EWG’s Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database. Retrieved from []
  5. Pan, S., Yuan, C., Tagmount, A., Rudel, R. A., Ackerman, J. M., Yaswen, P., . . . Leitman, D. C. (2016). Parabens and Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Ligands Cross-Talk in Breast Cancer Cells. Environmental health perspectives, 124(5), 563–569. []
  6. Soni, M. G., Carabin, I. G., Burdock, G. A. (2005). Safety assessment of esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid (parabens). Food and chemical toxicology, 43(7), 985–1015. []
  7. Horii, Y., Kanazawa, H., Fujimoto, Y., Yoshiike, M., Irie, M., Konishi, H., ... & Yoshioka, H. (2020). Sodium Lauryl Sulfate-induced Irritant Contact Dermatitis Causes Dermal Damage and Systemic Immune Responses in Mice. Acta Histochemica Et Cytochemica, 53(4), 53–62. []

Related Posts