You only want to give your baby the best. We all do! But, mamas, here’s a question: When’s the last time you really looked at the ingredient list of your baby products?
I’ll admit, when I first had Gwen, I bought the products that my mom used on me or simply relied on what others got me as baby shower gifts. I figured, if it was labeled as a product specifically for a baby, it would be safe, right?
Welp. Let’s go back to that ingredient list, shall we?
See anything like hydrogenated oils, petroleum, parabens or menthol?
Yep, it’s way common.
But those ingredients are not ideal for your baby (or you) — especially because you’re putting them directly onto your baby’s skin.
We’ll get into more on why these ingredients are scary below, but let me tell you that this is exactly why I use Maty’s all-natural products for my family. The Baby Chest Rub has nothing scary in it — it’s petroleum- and menthol-free and safe for littles as young as three months.
Made with whole-food ingredients like coconut oil, lavender, eucalyptus, vitamin E and chamomile, this rub relieves baby’s stuffiness and congestion naturally. You simply rub a little on their chest — or their feet; my daughter loved getting some on her feet — when they’ve got a cold for quick and natural relief.
They feel better. And you feel better, because you’re giving them something natural. (Note to mamas: they also have a baby ointment that’s all-natural — another must-have!)
Now, let’s go into those scary ingredients and why they’re so worrisome for your family. As you read through the below, keep in mind that it only takes 26 seconds for what you put on your skin to be absorbed into your bloodstream …
Petrolatum — which we commonly call petroleum jelly — is a byproduct of petroleum that can actually damage and suffocate your skin. On ingredient labels, you may see it listed as petrolatum, mineral oil, liquid paraffin or paraffin oil. In fact, petrolatum is actually made from a bunch of sludge from a barrel of oil that’s then distilled with very high temperatures.
Eww, right? There’s more.
Studies from Columbia University found that a petrolatum impurity is a known carcinogen — and that the process of getting petrolatum creates atmospheric pollutants known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which can contaminate petroleum jelly. PAHs are environmental pollutants and have been linked to breast cancer. PAHs are also linked to reproductive/developmental toxicity and endocrine disruption.
And if that’s not convincing enough, petroleum jelly may actually dry skin out. Yes, the opposite of what you’re going for. It’s water-repellent and not water-soluble, meaning it seals the barrier so that moisture does not leave the skin. So while it my seem like your skin is soft at first, it’s actually preventing air and moisture from getting in and drying pores out.
You’re probably already aware that hydrogenated oils — vegetable oils whose chemical structure has been altered to prevent rancidity in foods — are no bueno and not great for heart health. That’s why we recommend avoiding them in your food. But you should also avoid putting them on your skin.
Another scary fact? Hydrogenated oils are only one molecule away from plastic.
Simply put, menthol is not recommended to be used for children under 2 years old. This is because menthol actually causes the body to produce more mucus to protect the airway. For infants and young children — who have airways that are much narrower than those of adults — any increase in mucus or inflammation can narrow them even more, making it hard for them to breathe and causing distress. Which is exactly the opposite of what you’re trying to do when they’re sick.
Whew. Scary, huh? But when you know better, you can make better product choices!
Maty’s has a whole line of all-natural products, too — from babies to kids to adults. And they’re all scary ingredient-free and available at most major retailers like Target, Wal-Mart and CVS. Check them all out here! —Jenn