By Dawn Van Osdell
Check the labels on the products you use to care for and keep kids clean and you’ll see that many are loaded with harmful toxins and chemicals. These nasty ingredients don’t just get slathered on skin and hair; they are absorbed into the body. And they may cause more problems than we ever imagined: increased susceptibility to disease, allergies, and migraines; resistance to antibiotics; and, as new research shows, possible onset of early puberty, such as breast development, in girls as young as 7—many of the toxins, like parabens, phthalates, and triclosan, mimic hormones. Early or precocious puberty can cause a host of separate social and medical problems, and also increase girls’ risk of developing diabetes and cancer later in life.
To help you limit your children’s exposure to toxins, we’ve rounded up 11 all-natural products you can feel good about using on precious skin, hair and teeth—both your kids’ and your own.
Tired of wrestling your tot to protect him from the sun? We feel your pain. At last, here’s a safe, effective sunscreen that’s easy to dispense and effortless to apply to squirmy bodies. Babyganics Mineral-Based Sunscreen Spray offers UVA/UVB protection in an SPF 50+ pump spray, and it’s water resistant for up to 80 minutes It’s also non-allergenic and tear free, so spray away! ($13.89, diapers.com).
Created by a mom looking for truly organic skincare for her baby’s sensitive skin, Shoosha Baby Calm Baby Massage Oil is made with organic food grade oils and herbs—which are held to much higher standards since they’re deemed edible—and boasts anti-inflammatory and calming properties to help your little one relax and sleep better. It’s also great for stubborn cradle cap or as soothing bath oil (even for you) ($13.99, Shooshatrue.com).
A good-for-you lotion with an oh-so-lovely natural lavender/vanilla scent—or not, if you prefer the unscented version. Earth Mama Angel Baby Calming Lavender Baby Lotion is just right for moisturizing and protecting sensitive skin. It contains rooibos for soothing eczema, skin allergies, diaper and skin rashes, making it a smart choice for many skin types and conditions ($17.99, earthmamababyangel.com).
What could be more sensitive than a baby’s bottom? The dermatologist mom who invented Baby Pibu knows the answer to that is “nothing.” Baby Pibu Bottom Balm is a natural, hypoallergenic diaper rash cream that’s effective for fighting rash and warding off irritation, and gentle enough to use with every diaper change ($16.50, babypibu.com).
Why fuss with your unhappy tyke’s hair in the tub when you can simply spray on a leave-in conditioner and let her loose? Honest Conditioning Detangler works après-shampoo, or as a spritz on unruly morning hair to easily comb out the knots, tame frizz, and flatten fly-aways ($5.95, honest.com).
Toothpaste: Kids either love it or hate it. Jack N’ Jill Natural Calendula Toothpaste has a good chance of winning over the most finicky of palates with deliciously unexpected flavors like banana, black currant (our personal favorite), and blueberry. Designed for infants and little kids, the fruity pastes are fluoride free and contain no sugar, artificial colors, or preservatives. Skip the plastic toothbrush and opt for Jack N’ Jill’s ingenious Silicone Tooth and Gum Brush. With its funny, two-sided head with nubby silicone bristles, it bears little resemblance to a toothbrush, but does one heck of a job cleaning sensitive gums and tiny teeth ($6.99 each, usa.jackandjillkids.com).
A newborn’s skin is said to be 10 times thinner than a grown-up’s, so it needs the tenderest of care. Shoosha’s Gentlest Baby Wash & Shampoo is just right for cleansing and moisturizing tiny, new bodies and hair, and also works as a body wash for kids with sensitive skin ($14.99, Shooshatrue.com).
Yikes! If your child brings home the dreaded note from school, alerting you to a lice breakout in the classroom, reach for the Lice Knowing You! Kit. This line of products is entirely chemical and pesticide-free, made with natural, organic essential oils that are specially blended to prevent and remove lice and nits. Pronto ($35.00 for the Camp Pak, liceknowingyou.com).
Just a few drops of Weleda’s Calendula Cream Bath—a rich, luxurious blend of organic herbs and oils—swirled into a bath will gently cleanse your baby and create a protective layer on his skin to lock in moisture. It leaves skin feeling so silky smooth, you’ll have a hard time limiting it to the infant in the family ($17.00, usa.weleda.com).
From the makers of the ubiquitous Sophie la Girafe teething toy comes a line of all-natural skincare products for babies and tots, including Sophie la Girafe SOS Cream for Face and Body. It’s an emollient cream you likely didn’t know you needed, but may have a hard time doing without once you see what it can do. It protects skin from harsh weather, like wind and temperature changes, and works just as a well as any diaper cream ($18.00, beautyhabit.com).
Feeling a little left out? Moms and dads need safe and healthy TLC, too, so we’ve included Davine’s MINU Hair Mask for adult color-treated hair. The thick blue goo is made with all-natural fruits, vegetables, grains, and herbs grown on a handful of small Italian farms. It’ll leave your color-treated hair soft and protect the color you’ve paid dearly. If your locks are au natural, you can choose another of the company’s lines based on your hair’s texture or condition ($32.00, usa.davines.com).