Euphoria’s Blog for Green Mamas

advice, news & freebies

“SafeMama Diaper Rash Cheat Sheet” August 22, 2009

Filed under: Baby & Toddler — Rachel @ 8:06 am
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Diaper rash cream – it’s got to be effective, but what about toxic?  I’ve posted before on the evils of Balmex and Desitin.  I’ve also answered one common question, “Diaper Creams: What Can You Use with Cloth Diapers?”  But, SafeMama did one better.  She created a list of safe diaper creams, even separating out those that contain zinc and those that don’t (making them safe for cloth diapers). 

So, without further ado, see if your favorite diaper rash cream makes the SafeMama Diaper Rash Cheat Sheet.  And, if it doesn’t, run – don’t’ walk – over to the Cosmetic Database on Skin Deep to see if what you’re using to treat baby’s bum is causing more problems than it’s worth.  I’ve personally used Earth Mama Angel Baby’s Angel Baby Bottom Balm, which rates a ZERO on the toxicity scale at Skin Deep, with great results.

 

Diaper Creams: What Can You Use with Cloth Diapers? May 4, 2009

Filed under: Baby & Toddler — Rachel @ 2:13 pm
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Q:  I just bought some BumGenius cloth diapers for my 13 month old son from Euphoria Baby, and I received them yesterday. I am a little concerned about not being able to use diaper creams with these diapers since my son has a sensitive little tush, and is rash-prone. I have been told I can use Vaseline to help protect his skin. Is that true?

A:  It’s true that using diaper creams will stain your diapers (best case scenario) or stick to them, causing them to leak (worst case scenario).  That’s why many manufactures, such as BumGenius, strongly discourage the use of diaper creams.  But, every baby still needs to use creams from time to time, so I recommend having liners on hand. 

A liner is a small piece of fabric that is placed inside a cloth diaper on occasions when your baby needs a diaper cream.  Apply the cream to the child, and then place the liner so that any extra cream will get on the liner, instead of the diaper.  Wash the liners with your diapers – no need to wash separately.

Some cloth diaper stores sell cloth diaper liners, but I don’t because they’re just too easy to make!  Use any old polyester fleece pjs that your child has outgrown or buy some polyester fleece from the store.  Why this fabric?  Use polyester because it will still create a stay-dry barrier for your son, and fleece because it’s not too thin that it’ll bunch up and it doesn’t require any sewing.  Cut the polyester fleece to shape to fit in the diapers.  A small rectangle will usually do.  You don’t have to sew fleece to keep it from unraveling, so this is super easy.  Voila – place them in the diaper when you need to use a diaper cream, and you’re good to go!

Oh, and I wouldn’t use Vaseline.   Because it’s petroleum based, it’s not eco-friendly and probably somewhat toxic.  I’d go for a natural, safe cream like our Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm.  Desitin, Balmex and the like are completely unsafe, containing chemicals that health organizations have declared “Not safe for use on infant skin”.  You can read more about checking the safety of your cosmetics and the evils of Balmex at  My Cosmetic Purge.  Also see Desitin – Safe or Toxic? .

 

Desitin – Safe or Toxic? November 25, 2008

Filed under: Baby & Toddler — Rachel @ 3:23 pm
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Desitin diaper cream is a classic.  Your mom used it, you got it for your baby shower, and it works.  But, have you read the ingredient list?  The ingredients in Desitin are: Zinc oxide40%, BHA, Cod Liver Oil, Fragrance, Lanolin, Methylparaben, Petrolatum, Talc.  Safe or Toxic?

The Skin Deep cosmetic safety database gives Desitin – Original Formula a score of 5 out of 10.  Desitin Creamy, another popular version, also scores a 5.  That’s NOT GOOD.  Consider this: baby’s skin is thinner than yours, so chemicals can more easily penetrate.  Plus, a baby has a much greater ratio of skin surface area to internal body mass than an adult, which translates to more concentrated chemical exposure from skin care products than an adult.  A level 5 toxicity score is bad news for any product applied to a baby’s skin.

Here are the ingredients of concern in Desitin:

(1) BHA(level 10 toxicity). BHA is associated with cancer and hormone disruption in numerous studies. And since it carries Skin Deep’s very highest toxicity level, standing for “high hazard”, this answers the question “safe or toxic” outright.  It has been banned from cosmetics in the EU because of skin dipigmentation.

(2) Fragrance(level 8 toxicity). Fragrance is a term that designates an undisclosed combination of ingredients that purportedly give the product a smell.  As such, it can hide the existence of virtually any dangerous chemical.  We do know that synthetic fragrance contains phthalates, which are hormone disrupting chemicals that are making there way into the urine of 81% of the infants tested.

(3) Methylparaben(level 4 toxicity) . Methylparaben is one of the parabens, the most widely used preservatives in cosmetics. Parabens are hormone disruptors, also called “endocrine disruptors”.   Studies listed on Skin Deep show that methylparaben has been shown to interfere with gene expression, cause mutation in vitro, have brain and nervous system effects at moderate doses, and cause skin irritation at low doses.

(4) Sodium borate(4-6 toxicity level, based on product usage). This ingredient found only in Desitin Creamy is specifically designated as unsafe by the cosmetics industry’s own safety panel!  It states that sodium borate “should not be used on infant skin or injured skin.” (CIR, p. 228).  It has virtually all of the dangerous effects of the above ingredients combined!

What stands out to me is that these ingredients are ALL hormone disrupters.  Why would it be safe to apply hormone disrupting chemicals on a baby’s bottom parts day after day?  This is crazy!  And we wonder why infertility issues are a growing problem in our country!

I personally use Earth Mama Angel Baby’s Bottom Balm, which is available at our store at EuphoriaBaby.com.  You can do a quick search on the Skin Deep’s Cosmetic Database to see what is safe in the realm of diaper creams.  There are many options and they’re better for the earth too!  I find that Earth Mama Angel Baby’s Bottom Balm clears up issues fast.  Plus, I love the spicy, herb-infused natural scent!

 

My Cosmetic Purge January 17, 2008

Weather you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or caring for a precious new baby, I’m sure you care deeply about protecting the health and well-being of your family.  We all do.  Would it anger you to discover that some of the cosmetics you routinely use contain chemicals with confirmed links to cancer, organ damage, contamination, allergies, and more? 

I hadn’t thought much about the cosmetics we use, but a book I’m reading pointed out that the skin absorbs the products we use.  Afterall, that is how topical medications work or patches for smoking and birth control.  Lotions, serums, diaper creams, etc are designed to soak into the skin.  Come to think about it, it does make sense to use products that are safe enough to eat, if possible.  If you care about ingesting pesticides, shouldn’t you care about using chemical-laden cosmetics too?

I know that this opens up a whole can of worms, but I seem to be doing that a lot lately.  I simply don’t believe that the status quo is always best.  Nor do I trust government regulatory systems to protect my health.  It’s hard to know who to trust really.  Do you ever feel that way?  But, I digress.  At any rate, my common sense tells me that cosmetics that contain tried & true natural oils, extracts, etc are safer than the latest chemical concoctions.

My research led me to a fantastic website sponsored by the Environmental Working Group, http://www.cosmeticdatabase.com/.  You can type any ingredient and most product names into the database to receive a report on its toxicity or safety with plenty of information regarding specific risks, studies, and alternatives.  Wow!  Before long I had ALL of our household cosmetics piled up on my desk.  My “toss” pile was significantly larger than the “ok”.  And, really, none of my products were great.  Even many “natural” or “organic” skin care lines have some products that rate badly for toxicity.  You really have to know your ingredients or use a site like Skin Deep (link above) to be sure you’re making a healthy, safe choice. 

What made me most furious was that my Balmex diaper cream contains a key ingredient rated as “Not safe for use on infant skin” by an independent cosmetic review board.  That ingredient is also restricted in Canadian and European cosmetics and prohibited from food in the USA.  And I’ve been slathering this cream on my baby’s bum for how many years!?!  That’s it, we need a whole new skin care line for babies at Euphoria – pronto!  A new line called Earth Mama Angel Baby is due to arrive next week.  And that’s good, because my Balmex diaper cream and Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Nourishing Milk Lotion are already in the trash!