Preservatives are used in all processed foods to keep them from spoiling; unfortunately, most of these chemicals are extremely dangerous to our health and to the health of our children. In fact, many of the problems our society is facing today, including the high number of obese children, child diabetes and rising cancer rates, can be traced back to these artificial preservatives.
Most people will say that the preservatives keep food “fresh”; you’ll notice I didn’t use that word, because in my opinion, once you add deadly chemicals (or any chemicals for that matter) to a food, it’s no longer fresh. The word “fresh” indicates that a food is new, natural and unspoiled. Chemical preservatives being added to food to keep it “fresh” is an oxymoron, don’t you think?
Benzoic Acid is one of these preservatives that you should avoid. You’ll find Benzoic Acid in processed foods like cheeses, varying sauces as well as meats. Sadly, it’s also in cosmetic products and many pharmaceutical products, so it can be hard to avoid.
If Benzoic Acid is inhaled, it can cause damage to the nervous system. Eaten in food, it’s mildly toxic. Benzoic Acid has been linked to asthma problems and increased levels of hyperactivity in children. You know the problem our country has been having with ADHD? It’s just a made up disease; the reason all of our children are so hyperactive can be traced back to preservatives, such as Benzoic Acid, and other unnatural food additives.
To keep our children from contracting many of the problems that are plaguing our nation’s children, we should do our best to keep them away from chemical preservatives like Benzoic Acid. The hard part is that our children are not only eating this dangerous preservative, we’re also putting it on their skin.
Acne medicated face washes and creams contain benzoic acid, as do many hand and body lotions, lip glosses and lipsticks. Avon Skin-So-Soft, Avon Care Deeply Lip Balms, Avon Clearskin products, Avon Bath Time Body Paints and Aveeno Diaper Rash Cream are only a few examples of products for children that contain Benzoic Acid.
Since it’s in our foods AND in our skin care products, how are we supposed to keep it away from our kids? The best way is simply to read the labels; check the ingredients for any unhealthy or dangerous ingredients. There are also many organic options. With the increased knowledge of how unhealthy many of these chemicals are to our health, more and more companies are producing organic, all natural skin care and cleaning products.
Mineral oil has long been believed to make skin softer and healthier looking. It’s found in Baby Oil, Vaseline, numerous baby lotions and liquid baby soaps. In recent years, mineral oil has been shown to actually harm your skin and cause other health problems.
Mineral oil is derived from liquid or gelatin petroleum, AKA petroleum jelly and is found in 98% of skin care products available on the market today. Who wants to put a coal tar derivative on their FACE, let alone their hair? Not me!
Mineral oil actually clogs your pores, suffocating your skin. My hairdresser told me once that Pantene coats your hair with wax, which is why you get split ends so often when you use it. Mineral oil does essentially the same thing (only with petroleum rather than wax); it applies a coating over your skin or hair, so nothing can get in or out.
Our skin needs to be able to breathe; it’s one of the main outlets our body uses to get rid of waste. If it’s covered with a mineral oil coating, wastes can’t get out. In an infant, this can be extremely dangerous, because these wastes build up into toxins in their small bodies.
Have you noticed that many babies have dry, hard skin? This is from the mineral oils in the baby soap and baby lotions. Interesting that the very products we use on our babies to keep their tender skin moisturized are actually causing severe dry skin.
A study in the early 1980s illustrated how our skin absorbs mineral oil; once it enters through the skin, it’s filtered through the liver into our intestinal tract. There it soaks up all of our vitamins, which in babies causes serious nutritional deficiencies.
Because of what it does to our internal systems, the medical community has already deemed it unsafe to take orally and it’s been removed from all medications. Why then, since an earlier study proved that mineral oil can be absorbed through our skin, is it still approved for use in our skin care products?
It’s best to search for safer alternatives than mineral oil, especially for your babies’ sensitive skin. There are many all natural oils that are better for your babies’ skin, such as olive oil, jojoba oil, rose hip seed, grape seed oil and coconut oil.
It is so imperative that our babies receive all the vitamins and minerals that they need to grow. We don’t want to be using lotion on their skin that will soak into their bodies and absorb all of those much needed vitamins. Look for organic alternatives, or try the all natural oils I mentioned above.
A baby’s skin is tender; this is why parents use gentle care baby shampoo, baby wash and baby lotions. These products make claims to be gentle enough for baby’s tender skin, and we, as loving caring parents, believe it. After all, these products are recommended by doctors and other health professionals! Why wouldn’t we believe them?
Last year, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics tested 48 baby products, including bubble bath, baby wash and baby shampoo, including popular brands like Johnson & Johnson and Baby Magic. 23 of these contained trace amounts of formaldehyde, 32 contained trace amounts of 1,4-dioxane and 17 of them contained BOTH.
So what are 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde? According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), they are carcinogens, or cancer causing chemicals. It has been scientifically proven that our skin can absorb these harmful chemicals. How much more susceptible is the skin of a baby? Why would we want to expose our children to such dangerous chemicals on daily basis, at such a young age?
When the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics released the results of their study, Johnson & Johnson released a statement in response to the claims of carcinogens in their products:
The FDA and other government agencies around the world consider these trace levels safe, and all our products meet or exceed the regulatory requirements in every country where they are sold. We are disappointed that the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has inaccurately characterized the safety of our products, misrepresented the overwhelming consensus of scientists and government agencies that review the safety of ingredients, and unnecessarily alarmed parents.
That last part gets me: “unnecessarily alarmed parents”. I’m not so sure that it’s “unnecessary” to know that there are carcinogenic chemicals in products I’m blindly trusting are safe for my children. Especially with how “safe” so many products that the FDA has told us are safe only to find out they’re killing us…slowly but surely.
We’ve also seen that government regulations don’t seem to have the safety of its citizens as a top priority any more. Profit is the bottom line. So as far as I’m concerned, the fact that Johnson & Johnson are attempting to excuse the presence of these cancer causing chemicals by saying they operate within governmental standards doesn’t reassure me at all.
So how can we avoid bathing our children in these dangerous chemicals? There are many organic shampoos and soaps available today. Thankfully, the spreading knowledge of the dangers in our foods and skin care products have created a profitable network for safe, healthy and all-natural products, so they aren’t hard to find. Here are 10 safe, all natural alternatives to care for your baby’s skin:
Erbaorganics Baby Shampoo
Organic Blessings Baby Shampoo and Baby Wash
Nature’s Paradise Baby Shampoo and Baby Wash
Burt’s Bees Baby Shampoo Bar
Dr. Bronner’s Organic Castile Baby Soap
Nature’s Baby Organics Shampoo and Baby Wash
Angel Baby Shampoo and Body Wash
GAIA Skin Naturals Baby Shampoo
Oopsy Daisy Rinse Free Shampoo
Dermamed Baby Shampoo
At the very least, we want to make sure our children are safe, and by using these products with cancer causing chemicals, we are unknowingly hurting them.
Read the study here: http://www.safecosmetics.org/toxictub
News Article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/12/AR2009031202940_pf.html