Natural, Hypoallergenic, Herbal, Organic,they all sound like exactly what any parent would want to apply to their child’s delicate skin, but while these terms are tempting product descriptions, don’t judge the book by its cover. Currently, there is only one clear-cut hallmark of safety and that is the USDA Certified Organic seal. This seal is the only one that has defined standards and is actually regulated.
Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of Certified Organic body care products available and those that are cost much more than most families can afford. You can still make safer choices, but you have to be a savvy consumer. Use these two label decoding tips to help you find the safest products:
1. Read the actual ingredients list. Even though marketing claims are largely unregulated, manufacturers are required to list the actual ingredients of products in order of volume. Still, reading product ingredients is like reading another language. Here are the top toxic ten to try to avoid and why:
2. Go fragrance-free. The one loop-hole in ingredients lists is “fragrance” (aka “parfum”). Fragrances of products are considered industry secrets and that single component can actually be made up of over a hundred other ingredients that do not need to be spelled out in the ingredients list. Play it safe by avoiding it. And, again, it does not matter if the label says “unscented” or “fragrance-free.” Read the ingredients to ensure that this suspect element is not present.
Worried you won’t remember what to watch for? Go to Healthy Child Healthy World to print a pocket guide to keep with you when you’re shopping.