5 Harmful Chemicals in Baby Products

Did you know? The products that you’re using on your little ones could be filled with chemicals. Always be on a close lookout for chemicals and toxins on the labels of the products. Your baby’s skin is far better off with minimal intervention. The fewer soaps, shampoos, and lotions that you apply to your little one’s incredible new skin, the healthier it will be. The best option is to stick with natural, nourishing, and edible ingredients such as straight oils and fragrance-free bar soap, if you wouldn’t put it in your mouth, you wouldn’t want to use it on your baby. We’ve got a list of ingredients that should be avoided when buying baby products, here are 5 toxic chemicals that should not be in contact with your baby’s skin.


Parabens prohibit the growth of microbes and are therefore widely used as preservatives in the food and cosmetics industry. Parabens can irritate your baby’s skin. However, the biggest concern is that they are known to disrupt hormone function. An effect that is linked to increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive toxicity. Since a baby’s hormone system is not yet mature, parabens can cause irreparable damage to the developing endocrine system. Unfortunately, parabens are everywhere. They can be found in all soaps, body washes, shampoos, and moisturizers, including those marketed toward babies. Parabens are neurotoxins and are linked to reproductive toxicity, hormone disruption, and skin irritation. Stay away from anything with ‘paraben’ in its name, as well as benzoic acid and propyl ester.

Labels to look out for: Ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, other ingredients ending in –paraben


Mineral Oil

Mineral oil is a cheap petroleum by-product used is many creams, moisturizers, hair products and oils. In baby products, you may find mineral oil in diaper creams, baby wipes, oils and lotions. Big cosmetic companies like to use mineral oils as a base for their products because of the cost and it is praised for its lubricating action. Unfortunately, mineral oil acts as a coating on your skin and thereby blocks your pores and the skin’s natural breathing process. A lot of the well-known brands make baby oil from nothing more than mineral oil with synthetic fragrance, not exactly what you want to put on your baby’s skin. Baby oil is essentially made of mineral oil mixed with fragrance, which is a nasty combination. Mineral oil is a cheap byproduct of petroleum processing and acts as a plastic wrap on the skin, inhibiting the skin’s ability to release toxins. Opt instead for natural and nourishing oils such as olive, coconut, or sweet almond to massage into your bundle of joy’s skin.



Fragrance is added to countless products, either to create a particular fragrance or to mask the odour of the nasty chemicals used in production. The problem with fragrance is that it’s a catch-all term for whatever secret ingredients companies wish to add (they are not obligated to reveal what’s contained within ‘fragrance’) and are generally made of coal- and petroleum-derived synthetic chemicals. The effects of fragrance are long-lasting, lingering on the skin for hours, and can cause respiratory, neurological, skin, and eye damage. There is evidence that exposure to fragrance as a child may lead to asthma. Fragrance is added to disposable diapers (you know that strong baby powder-ish smell when you open a new package?), baby powder, baby wash and shampoo, lotions, and many other baby products. Be sure to always check the labels carefully before you buy.


Propylene Glycol


This chemical is a penetration enhancer that is easily absorbed by the skin and may be carcinogenic. Its job is basically to open up all the pores and let the other chemicals in. Propylene glycol is used in wiper fluid and to de-ice aeroplanes, and yet it is often found in baby wipes, which is not safe. Look out for polyethene glycol (PEG) and polypropylene glycol (PPG) on labels, too. Try making your own homemade disposable baby wipes, or just stick with warm water and soap on a washcloth.




This powdered mineral is added to baby powder (and many other cosmetic powders). It’s used as a drying agent, but it’s a known lung irritant and may also be carcinogenic. Ever since this news came out in the late 1990s, some companies have switched to talc-free baby powders, but there are still problems with many of the ingredients on their lists. Keep a close eye on the ingredient list before making a purchase.