We're going to start a new series here at Framing Cali called "Clean It Up Wednesday". It'll be a post where I take one item I'm currently using in our household and research all of the ingredients to ensure it's safety for my family. If I deem it not worthy, I'll find an alternative.
I'm a big advocate for policing what goes into our bodies. We are given one chance at this life and I think it's a sacrifice we are called to make as Christians to take care of this gift God has given us. He has blessed us with life and bodies and to treat them like trash is a sin, I believe. That's why the Bible continuously talks about self-control, gluttony, and our bodies being a temple.
And if you're not a Christian, I still believe that what goes into our bodies has a HUGE effect on our health and well-being. How we feel, our actions, our hormones, our longevity, our stress levels, our memory, our ability to avoid certain diseases - I believe all of this can be effected by outside variables that enter our systems through food, chemicals, and day to day contact.
Ok. I'm off my soapbox for the day. Let's get down to business.
Today's Clean It Up item is something I use daily - multiple times a day - on both Cali and myself:
BabyGanics Smooth Moves Lotion
Did you know that our skin is the largest organ of our body? I've read a lot of studies on skin absorption and experts tend to disagree on how much of what touches the skin is actually absorbed - they range from 23% - 72%. I happen to think that our skin was designed very smartly and made to protect us from harmful things. That being said, I do think that certain products can penetrate our skin and how it effects us is largely unknown. It's a whole complicated mumbo jumbo of scientific terms (which I've never been good with) that explains how the chemical makeup of products changes once it passes through the epidermis. Basically, no one is 100% sure of how exactly these things effect us but it's not something that I, personally, am willing to test on myself or my family. So I try to keep it as clean as possible.
At my baby showers I naturally received a ton of Johnson & Johnson products. If you haven't heard the hoopla surrounding these items, here is a good Q&A to give you some answers. Basically, in 2011 it was discovered that certain ingredients in Johnson & Johnson products were being linked to cancer. The company committed to phasing out these ingredients by the end of 2013 for their baby products and 2015 for their adult products. I obviously don't want to use them now so I originally chose BabyGanics thinking that it was the better choice.
Let's look at the ingredients as listen on BabyGanics website:
Water, Propanediol, Sorbitan Stearate, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cetyl Alcohol, Corn Starch Modified, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Olive Oil PEG-7 Esters, Canola Oil, Hexyldecanol, Hexyldecyl Laurate, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance*
*Cucumber Aloe Scent Only
A quick search of these ingredients turned up mostly OK. There were only a couple that worried me. The first being Propanediol. This is apparently a controversial chemical and no one can seem to agree on whether or not it's ok. According to the testing done on rats, it's OK to inhale.
Not that that actually alleviates my fears.
The next red flag was Sodium Hydroxide. This one is kind of a doozy. It's used in tissue digestion and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry says this about the chemical:
Exposure to sodium hydroxide solid or solution can cause skin and eye irritation. Direct contact with the solid or with concentrated solutions causes thermal and chemical burns leading to deep-tissue injuries. Very strong solutions of sodium hydroxide can hydrolyze proteins in the eyes, leading to severe burns and eye damage or, in extreme cases, blindness.
Children are more vulnerable to toxicants affecting the skin because of their relatively larger surface area: body weight ratio.
You can go to their website here to read more about the substance. Obviously the levels of this used in the lotion aren't great enough to cause immediate damage but do I really want something that has the ability to cause harm touching my child's skin?
The next worrisome ingredient is Sorbic Acid. The National Library of Medicine deems this substance a primary irritant and can cause severe allergic reactions.
Finally, my biggest concern of all, is Phenoxyethanol.
There is a huge debate in the organic world over this chemical right now but the NCBI says that it is considered "toxic by all routes (inhalation, ingestion, and dermal contact)". ECOCERT - which certifies products as organic or not - no longer allows this product to be used in products that want to be considered organic. If you want to know more, do a quick Google search but this one is definitely a little scary.
So my overall opinion?
I'll find a new lotion for Cali pronto.
For now I'll go back to using coconut oil and I'll update when I've found a safer alternative!