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“Natural” Baby Product Claims Are Misleading Parents

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With all the talk about toxins and chemicals in baby products lately, more and more parents are looking for products that are healthier and safer for their children. But parents who aren’t careful can get duped into buying products that, despite marketing claims, are anything but natural. Many popular brand name products use marketing terms and advertising that imply a “natural” product, but are they really safer?

Johnson’s & Johnson’s Soothing Naturals
Marketing: “Johnson’s® Soothing NaturalsTM Nourishing Lotion is made with PUR-E, a unique form of pure Vitamin E blended with plant extract and minerals.”

What They Don’t Tell You: J&J’s Soothing Naturals line does contain vitamin E and natural botanicals like olive oil and aloe, which is great, but it also contains potentially toxic and irritating chemicals like propylene glycol, parabens, and artificial fragrance. The term “fragrance” on an ingredient list can mean that the product contains dozens of toxic chemicals, including pthalates, which have recently been implicated as hormone disrupting chemicals.

Huggies Natural Care Wipes
Marketing: “Natural Care® Baby Wipes thoroughly clean to help maintain your baby’s naturally healthy skin. Plus, HUGGIES Natural Care® Baby Wipes contain Vitamin E and Aloe.”

What They Don’t Tell You: The wipes do contain Vitmain E and Aloe, and they also contain methylparaben and DMDM HYDANTOIN, a known human immune system toxicant and skin irritant.

Aveeno Baby
Marketing: “Discover nature’s secret for baby’s healthy skin” and “This fast-absorbing formula contains no drying alcohols.”

What They Don’t Tell You: Aveeno is a brand that consistently markets their products as being “all natural” and containing “active naturals,” so it’s interesting that their baby products contain some of the Environmental Working Group’s most serious warnings. Despite the claim that the baby lotion contains no “drying alcohols,” benzyl alcohol is listed as an ingredient, which has a known neurotoxic effect in human beings.

Want to check your favorite skincare and cosmetics products for toxic chemicals? Visit Skin Deep, the Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetic Safety Database. From the Web site: “Skin Deep pairs ingredients in more than 25,000 products against fifty definitive toxicity and regulatory databases, making it the largest integrated data resource of its kind. Why did a small nonprofit take on such a big project? Because the FDA doesn’t require companies to test their own products for safety.”

With environmental health concerns on the rise, more and more companies are creating safer, truly all natural products that are safe for babies. Popular brands include Avalon Organics, Dr. Bronner’s, Seventh Generation, and Tushies.

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