Contaminants in Kids’ Personal Care Industry

I’ve recently been doing a deep dive refresher course into the KIDS personal care industry, and honestly…

it has had me in a total funk.


It truly breaks my heart what our little ones are exposed to. It makes me angry. It’s not fair, right, or acceptable in any way. 

Children are especially vulnerable to the effects of chemicals, and preventing early-life exposures to harmful chemicals can help prevent health problems throughout their lives…
…But there is NO governing body overseeing the safety of what lines the shelves of stores everywhere, falsely marketed as “safe and gentle” or “pediatrician recommended”.

(Deep breath)
Nothing about what I’ll be sharing over the next few weeks is going to be fun… but it’s vital that we learn about it, so that we can choose to do BETTER. Our kids deserve that.


Let’s start by talking about contaminants…

What are contaminants?
They are toxic byproducts of chemical manufacturing and product formulation. So you won’t find them on on the label as an ingredient, but they ARE in the product.

What’s the big deal?
This is incredibly frightening because, just like heavy metals in makeup, contaminants are the WORST type of ingredients… the ones known to cause cancer, skin allergies, and create confusion and imbalance in a childs developing hormonal system.

How do we know this?
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics independently tested 48 popular children’s products marketed as “safe and gentle”, and shared their findings in this 32 page report:

What kind of brands did they test?
Johnson & Johnson, Baby Magic, Aveeno, American Girl, CVS, L’Oreal, Suave, Mustela, Equate, Huggies, Barbie, Sesame Street, Pampers, Kirkland and more… I think we can all identify at least one of those that we’re familiar with, right?

What did they find?
Devastatingly, 61% of the children’s products tested contained BOTH formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane. Known carcinogens. These ingredients are banned in other countries, and immediately recalled if found contaminated. Not in the Unites States.
23 out of 28 products tested (82%) contained formaldehyde.
32 out of 48 products tested (67%) contained 1,4-dioxane.

What type of ingredients are most often contaminated?
Thankfully, ingredients that I have educated on ways to avoid since the start of LWM…
Ethoxylated compounds like: Peg-100 stearate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Polyethylene, Ceteareth-20
Formaldehyde releasers like: Quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate Diazolidinyl Urea, Imidazolidinyl Urea

How can this be allowed?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees the safety of personal care products in the U.S., but lacks basic authority needed to ensure that products are actually safe. The FDA cannot require companies to test products for safety before they are sold, does not systematically review the safety of ingredients and does not set limits for common, harmful contaminants in products. The FDA also does not require contaminants to be listed on product ingredient labels.


Can you see why I am FIRED UP yet?

I know it’s uncomfortable… but I hope that you’ll continue to tune in to this group while I share more stats, ingredient education, things to look out for, and of course… safe solutions for our babies over the next few weeks.