Parabens, chemicals and alcoholic content in baby products can harm a baby’s skin.
By Shish Kharesiya
As parents, we all are highly concerned about what goes into our baby’s body, but are we that concerned about what goes “on” our baby’s body? The baby products market is one of the fastest growing industries in India and baby skincare products constitute a huge market. In the era of flourishing marketing, companies producing baby care products leave no stone unturned for forming an emotional connect with parents while talking about their products.
Usually, the emotional aspect of products takes over the major part of marketing, while what goes within is kept under wraps. The main reason behind this is the number of chemicals that go within these products to give them an appealing shape. The wipes that we use on our child’s skin or those lovely smelling lotions come wrapped in a lot of chemical and alcoholic content. Multiple ingredients used to control wetness, prevent bacteria and make bottoms smell more pleasant actually come with the likelihood of leaving an impact on the health of our little ones.
Researchers have found that with the lotions, shampoos, talcs and a few other personal care products, our babies are more susceptible of being exposed to one of the most harmful toxics called parabens. For those parents who are not aware of parabens, these are a type of preservatives introduced in 1950s to prolong the life of health and beauty products by preventing the growth of mould and bacteria within them.
As per an ACS journal titled Environmental Science and Technology, the substances called phthalates and parabens are widely used in a myriad of baby care products, for holding moisture and as preservatives, respectively.
The paraben family of preservatives have been identified to penetrate the skin and remain within the tissue and often lead to allergic reactions, rashes, an increased risk of cancer and hormonal problems, including infertility. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) claims: “Parabens mimic oestrogen and can act as potential hormone (endocrine) system disruptors.”
Likewise, Benzyl alcohol often used in baby care products is a neaurotoxicant which is allergic to lungs and skin, leading to itching, burning, blistering and much more. The list of chemicals that are used in baby care products is again, endless. Ethylhexylglycerin, a chemical that is widely used as a deodorant agent and to condition the skin, has been found as a skin irritant, causing dermatitis and eye irritation.
So, what is the way forward? As an informed parent, it is important to understand your child’s skin. A baby’s skin absorbs and loses moisture much easier and faster than an adult’s because it is 20 per cent to 30 per cent thinner than an adult’s skin, making it more delicate and fragile. This clearly implies that they are more likely to absorb the chemicals applied on their body and let them into their bloodstream.
Hence, the answer lies in natural, toxin and paraben free products. Our baby’s tender skin requires the best care. Mothers, too, are required to take care of their skin. When a mother is pregnant, the baby absorbs everything they do. If they use harmful chemicals on their skin, it may directly infuse the baby with chemicals.
With the rise in startup culture, there are baby product brands that are launching superior quality chemical free baby products such as water wipes, talc and food in the baby care industry with certification from world-class bodies. As an informed parent, millennials are willing to shell a little extra but they want the best products for their new born. Be it in the form of natural coconut oil or water wipes, they understand that their decision of going toxin-paraben free is going to prove beneficial to their young ones.
(The writer is Founder, Director and CEO – BEY BEE.)