Natural And Organic In The World Of Personal Care Products
In the personal care industry, the government has no regulatory standards. This allows many manufacturers to label products including laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent, hand wash, hand sanitizers, organic nipple cream and hand lotion as “natural”.
However, natural ingredients may be changed or essentially destroyed through the manufacturing process. Products like hand sanitizers often use alcohol and other harsh chemicals which can cause dry skin depending on the user’s skin type. Those with dry sensitive skin can experience skin irritation and discomfort.
When looking at products that a newborn will come in contact with, parents should explore beyond the terms, natural and organic. Check out the ingredients and certifications that the manufacturers have voluntarily chosen to go through to let consumers know that their products are indeed certified organic.
Parents should familiarize themselves with the ingredients listed on the containers of baby products, including those marked natural and organic. Avoid ingredients that have proved harmful.
Ingredients That May Be Harmful
Talcum powder is still found in baby powders today. Talc is added to keep the skin of a baby soft and smooth and increase moisture absorbency. It is derived from talc. Talc is also known as soapstone. It is the softest natural mineral. The problem is that asbestos is a natural component of talc. When processed to a very fine powder, asbestos can be inhaled, and lung damage may result .
The parabens that are added to most cosmetics and baby products work as preservatives to prolong shelf life. Parabens works very similar to estrogen. In clinical testing, they created abnormal effects on rodents, especially among male subjects, and it resulted in decreased testosterone levels .
Parabens can potentially turn on the growth of hormone-receptor-positive breast tissue and many studies are currently being conducted on this issue .
Another possibly harmful component that is often added to baby products is synthetic fragrance. Scent may make soap smell good, but many of the formulas for these fragrances are deemed “trade secrets.” This means there is no disclosure of what chemicals create the scent.
Sodium lauryl sulfate
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is often found in beauty products such as shampoos. The chemical is one of many surfactants which helps the individual components combine and creates the foaming effect. However, SLS is a skin irritant.
The use of SLS can be harmful as it can easily penetrate into the body. Because of the presence of formaldehyde in certain SLS solutions, rashes, skin irritations and eczema may develop .
SLS is often noted as an organic ingredient because it is a known derivative of coconut oil. The United States does allow limited use of this product.
The skin is the largest organ of the body, and a newborn’s skin is especially fragile. It is crucial that parents take proper care of it. Do not be fooled by the terms natural and organic. Organic products should be identified by their certifications, not empty claims.
Parents should purchase products that have undergone safety testing and gained specific certifications. Here are a few to consider:
NSF Organic Standard for personal care products containing organic ingredients
This certification covers both production and labeling requirements for personal care products that use organic ingredients. Products that meet the NSF Organic Standard Certification undergo a thorough review by an accredited organic certifying organization that verifies that at least 70% of the content is organic by weight.
Furthermore, all organic ingredients, materials, processes and production specifications must fulfill specific requirements.
Environmental Working Group (EWG)
This group tracts explicitly chemical safety in consumer products. Products must not use any ingredients that the EWG has associated with health, ecotoxicity and contamination concerns to receive this certification.
Also, all ingredients must be revealed (including fragrance) to allow scrutinization by EWG epidemiologists, toxicologists, chemists and scientists.
The United States Department of Agriculture manages this program. Its goal is to increase the purchase and use of products derived from plants and other renewable agriculture, marine and forestry materials.
Their goal is to reduce the United States’ dependence on petroleum, reduce adverse environmental and health impacts, and increase the use of renewable agricultural resources.
MADE OF has set a new standard for transparency. The company documents each product’s ingredients including their origins, product certifications, independent laboratory test results and where the product is manufactured. Check out the MADE OF website for this information.
Other Important Certifications
There are no animal products or byproducts in vegan certified products. Furthermore, none of the products that contain this certification have been tested on animals.
Also, manufacturers must submit for approval any methods that are used to clean and sanitize all surfaces, utensils, containers and machinery between vegan and non-vegan production cycles.
This logo was created after eight national animal protection groups came together to form the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC). The CCIC make shopping for animal-friendly products easier and more trustworthy. Leaping Bunny sets the “gold standard” for cruelty-free shopping.
Homemade Organic Hand Soap
It all comes down to the organic ingredients. Various organic hand soap recipes can be found online for both liquid hand soap or bar soap. Also, some all-purpose cleaners and a homemade dish soap for the dishwasher can be made. Some of the simple ingredients you may already have at home.
Vinegar is an excellent fabric softener, and once it dries, there is no smell. Also, vinegar is an excellent product to cut through grease.
Simply soak a wash rag or sponge, and it will clean the grease (and grime) off non-porous surfaces such as metal or glass. Take care not to use vinegar on marble, wood or porous tiles, as white vinegar is an acid.
Mix castile soap with a few drops of your favorite essential oils. Castile soap is a gentle soap made of olive oil and sodium hydroxide. The soap is used in everything from hand soap refill to a shower scrub. Castile soap is well-known for its moisturizing properties.
Popular essential oils that are used for homemade soap include organic lavender. Keep in mind that only certain oils are safe for babies. Do not use essential oils on infants younger than 3 months.
There is some distinction between making a bar or homemade liquid soap. While both use lye, potassium hydroxide is used in liquid soaps while sodium hydroxide is used to create bar soap.
The former type of lye helps form the foaming aspect of the soap. Be careful when adding the lye to the water, as you must be careful never add water to the lye. While making organic hand soap for the first time or an organic hand soap refill, it does take time and effort.
Benefits Of Organic Hand Soaps
A baby has sensitive skin, so an organic hand soap is an excellent choice. Wash their hands and keep their fingers clean from what they touch and what they may absorb through the skin.
Organic, all natural hand soap is gentle and hypoallergenic, a perfect combination for sensitive skin. Check to make sure that hand soaps use ingredients such as coconut oil, aloe vera, pure vegetable oils and glycerin.
Often, a vitamin or two (such as vitamin E) and essential oils are typically added. One good example of this is castile soap. Castile soap is made from vegetable oils. Always check with your pediatrician before using an essential oil or vitamin E for your baby.
Wash your hands
Parents do a lot of washing your hands when they have a new baby. This is just one more reason why hand soap ingredients should be free of harsh chemicals that can dry the skin.
Here are some times to practice good hand washing skills:
- After changing diapers
- After using the toilet
- After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing (or helping your child)
- Before, during and after food preparation
- Prior to eating
- While caring for someone who is sick
- When caring for an open wound
- Before handling a newborn baby
Regardless of whether you use homemade liquid hand soap or soap flakes, thoroughly scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds including between the fingers and underneath the fingernails. Wet the hands well with water, lather, scrub well, rinse with water, and dry.
When dealing with new babies, we put a lot of emphasis on the importance of organic hand soap. However, soaps used for parents should also be of great quality, even when used to wash your hands or to wash dirty dishes. Dishwasher soap that is used to wash greasy dishes can be laden with chemicals.
Ensure that all soap, whether it is natural dishwasher soap or a commercial brand, is free from harsh chemicals like phosphates. When hand washing dishes, plenty of soapy water should be used. All bottles and dishware should be washed and thoroughly rinsed.
Why MADE OF Is The Best Choice
With MADE OF products, the time spent worrying or homemaking soap is saved and spent with your baby. The MADE OF manufacturers use organic, natural ingredients and believe in transparency.
They provide detailed information about their ingredients and where they are sourced. The following are some of the ingredients used in MADE OF products:
This vegetable glycerin serves as a moisturizer.
Aloe vera – Aloe vera gel is used as both an anti-inflammatory and moisturizer. Aloe, especially, organic aloe, has been used for centuries for its healing powers.
The oil is derived from cold pressing the oil from the seeds of the sunflower plant. The oil does not feel greasy and absorbs quickly.
Organic coconut oil moisturizes the skin and acts as a natural emulsifier and surfactant.
European olive oil
The olive oil used in MADE OF Foaming Baby Hand Soap is derived from an evergreen tree native to the Mediterranean. Its high content of fatty acids hydrates and provides antioxidant properties to the skin.
Rosemary serves as a wonderful fragrance with its woodsy scent. In addition, it helps with cleansing and moisturizing.
MADE OF Foaming Organic Baby Hand Soap is a great addition to a baby’s daily skin care regimen. Using the right kind of hand soap helps ensure the harmful ingredients found in many cleaning and beauty products are avoided.
Organic liquid hand soap is an excellent choice to fight germs and bacteria. At the same time, this liquid hand soap keeps the skin healthy and babies safe from health hazards and harsh chemicals. The use of organic products also benefits the environment.
The MADE OF manufacturers believe in transparency and giving consumers peace of mind. Visit their website to see exactly what ingredients are included in their products and from where they are sourced.
Familiarize yourself with their many certifications for peace of mind before you purchase.
Organic Hand Soap Resources Asbestos; Mesothelioma Causes & Risk Factors, April 01, 2019.
 Breast Cancer; Exposure to Chemicals in Cosmetics, 2019.
 United States Department Of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration; Methylene Chloride, 2003.
 International Journal Of Toxicology; 7 Final Report on the Safety Assessment of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, December 01, 1983.