Toddler skin is still soft and sensitive, much like it was when they were babies. Surprisingly, many moisturizing lotions on the market for children are made with ingredients that are potentially unsafe -- so it's important to be a savvy mama when shopping for your little one. GoodGuide, an organization that helps consumers find healthy, green and socially responsible products, explains what to look for when looking for a moisturizer -- and their top picks for young skin overall, based on scientific research.
Unfortunately, the phrase "natural baby product" doesn't hold much weight, GoodGuide says. It's not a regulated claim, so it can be applied to virtually any product. Consumer Reports notes that many moisturizers contain ingredients that are potentially harmful. The biggest offenders are lactic acid, methylparaben, farnesol and retinyl palmitate. Lactic acid can be irritating and increase UV sensitivity, and parabens are preservatives that can mimic the effects of estrogen. Farnesol is a fragrance ingredient is classified as an allergen by the European Union, and retinyl palmitate has been linked to increased risk of birth defects and skin cancer in animal studies. Try to avoid choosing moisturizers with these ingredients for your tot.
Seventh Generation Baby Lotion
Rated 8.6 out of 10 by GoodGuide (based on health, environment and society measures), Seventh Generation Baby Lotion is the best of almost 200 tested moisturizers formulated for babies and young children. Made with extra-virgin olive oil and earth-friendly, plant-derived ingredients, this lotion has a light scent that won't overwhelm toddlers. It's USDA certified as 95 percent BioBased, and has zero parabens, phthalates, or synthetic fragrances. It's also hypoallergenic and gluten free.
Dr. Bronner's Baby Mild Body/Tattoo Balm
Dr. Bronner's Baby Mild Body/Tattoo Balm is rated 8.5 by GoodGuide, coming in as the second best tested overall. This moisturizing balm is certified to the same USDA National Organic Standards that certify foods. Made with organic jojoba and beeswax, and avocado and hemp oils, it's also free of petrochemically modified ingredients.
Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Baby Blossom Lip and Cheek Balm
Rated 8.2 by GoodGuide, Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Baby Blossom Lip and Cheek Balm is infused with shea butter and beeswax, dermatologist-tested, and safe for both face and body. Especially effective for chapped skin and lips in the winter months, this balm can be used all over the body to soothe and relieve dry patches. It's also aroma-therapeutic, and made with organic essential oils from spring windflowers, butterfly violets, honeysuckle and mint.
Aubrey Organics Natural Baby and Kids Body Lotion
Given a 7.7 overall score by GoodGuide, Aubrey Organics Natural Baby and Kids Body Lotion is made with sunflower seed oil, cinnamon leaf oil, orange oil, rosewood oil, vanilla oil, lavender and carrot root extract. Other key ingredients include organic evening primrose oil, which soothes stressed skin, organic aloe vera to restore moisture, and wheat germ oil for nourishment and protection.
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