We are a generation now obsessed about what we feed our kids – organic, free range, non-GM – we scrutinise & examine every pack to check for hidden nasties.
The skin our body’s biggest organ, through which we absorb vitamins and minerals from the sun, and pollutants from the atmosphere, yet we don’t spend as much time scrutinising the lotions & potions we apply to young skin, from shampoos to bottom balms.
We can give unknown ingredients a Google, but there are too many ill-informed people discrediting what are natural ingredients simply because they have a number or letter in their INCI name (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) which is on the back of the packet.
For example, below are some ingredients – good or bad?
Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid, Tocopherol Cetearyl, Alcohol, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Coco-Sulfate, Sucrose Laurate, Alcohol, Decyl Glucoside, Coco-Glucoside Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol
Lots of long words, and infact there is a ‘sulfate’ word in there – surely these are really evil things?
Infact, all these ingredients are Soil Association permitted natural ingredients. And therein lies the confusion for the majority of us.
Shampoos need some man-made elements to make them work: no point having a great smelling product that you can’t even get a comb through. But there are products on the market that balance natural and organic ingredients which truly work, and stop the battle of bath time
So, unless you are prepared to do an Open University degree in Chemistry between the broken nights and the school run (or in a moment of madness decide to set up your own toiletries company like I did!), here are some top tips for what to look for when buying potions for the young:
Cheap means exactly that – expect to pay £ 4 + for a decent natural & organic product that works.
Popular cartoon characters are designed to sell, not to care for skin
The big no-no ingredients are:
SLS’, SLES’: Foaming agents that can irritate skin
Artifical colours, which can be irritants and are simply not necessary.
Parabens – A preservative that can irrtate skin (E214, E216, E218)
Mineral Oils – these are derived from crude-oil – need I go on?
Trusted UK companies that manufacture of child friendly products include:-
The Green People Company – Organic Babies Range (from £ 6)
Neals Yard Remedies (from £4.70)
Both make an excellent and comprehensive range for babies, should you need to use products on your little ones.
Childs Farm, Caked in mud! Hair & body wash for dirty rascals (from £ 3.99). Organic sweet orange oil and all Childs Farm products are mild enough for eczema suffers.
Daniel Galvin Jnr for Kids (from £ 3.39). Great smells, good formula
Non- British favourites:
Earth Friendly Baby (from £ 4)
Gentle and kind to baby skin
Original Sprout (from £ 15)
VERY pricey, but if you have an unlimited budget, go for it!
Weleda Calendular weather protection cream (£ 4)
A fantastic product for babies and kids in cold & windy weather. Apply to exposed areas before venturing out to stop them drying. Works for skiing Mums too!