To be perfectly honest, I never really gave hair and skin products much thought until I had children. I was always aware of how my body would be affected by the foods I ate, but not by the shampoo or moisturizer that I used. Then along came my preemies, one with eczema, and so the research began and I was shocked to learn that cosmetics industry (that includes everything from shampoo to toothpaste and makeup) is largely unregulated. Many of the products we use contain known carcinogens and toxins, but unfortunately there is no governmental review of the safety of these products before they enter the market. There’s a laundry list of ingredients you should avoid, especially for children since their bodies are still developing and some of these chemicals are neurotoxins, but they are too long to remember and it is too arduous a task to review the ingredient list of every product in your bathroom. To make our lives a little easier, the Environmental Working Group developed a Skin Deep Cosmetics Database where you can simply enter the name of the product and it will rank it from 0-10 (low to high hazard) and provide a detailed explanation of the worrisome ingredients. You’ll be surprised to learn that some of the most trusted names in baby and child bath and body products are the worst offenders. Considering our skin is our largest organ, we should be more aware of what we are exposing our bodies to on a regular basis.
The EWG site can be found here.