Ah, Johnson's Baby Oil.
It's iconic script and scent are what memories are made of. I remember when my nephew, Shane, was born. His skin had the distinct smell of baby oil and the silky softness, no doubt from the baby oil his Mama and my mother who often watched him applied to his wiggly body after a bath. Johnson's baby powder along with a good schmear of Vaseline was the routine of my aunt and my mother. No doubt, what her mother has done and her mother before her. It's what we always do and like many things we used to do, it turns out it's not so great for us.
Let's start with Johnson & Johnson's Baby Powder. The ingredients seem simple and straight forward: Talc and Fragrance.The fragrance is made with almost 100 different chemicals which often include phthalates, a human carcinogen that may adversely affect human reproduction and development.
Next up, Talc. According to the American Cancer Society Talcum powder is made from talc, a mineral made up of mainly the elements of magnesium, silicon and oxygen....In it's natural form, some talc may contain asbestos, a substance known to cause cancers in and around the lungs when inhaled.
Next up? Baby Oil and Vaseline
Baby Oil: again the ingredients are seemingly simple; Mineral Oil and Fragrance.
Mineral Oil -Most often, mineral oil is a liquid by-product of the distillation of petroleum to produce gasoline and other petroleum-based products from crude oil.
And Petroleum Jelly is simply Petroleum Jelly.
Petroleum jelly is a byproduct of oil drilling, and when you spread it on your lips, you end up eating it, which is essentially the same as drinking gasoline. Add up the amount of lip-gloss the average woman uses (and consumes) over a decade, and it equals 7 pounds. The European Union has banned many petroleum jelly products, and experts are concerned they could be linked to cancer. Women with breast cancer have twice the levels of hydrocarbons (substances found in petroleum jelly) in their breasts than women who haven’t had breast cancer. Steer clear of any products that list petroleum jelly or mineral oil on the ingredient list. ~~~Dr. Oz
As my partner and I plan and prepare for our own TTC journey I've been doing some digging into the major products that usually find their way onto baby shower registries and in the rooms of littles to see what's out there and try to figure out what I can do to make our house safer.
It's honestly how I started creating the products I already make-find ways to make the stuff that we normally reach for without parabens, artificial fragrances and synthetic ingredients.
I'm partnering with a friend to create some salves and have been researching petroleum jelly alternatives and baby powder alternatives that are made with everyday, natural ingredients-that work just as well.
Of course there are a lot of amazing products out there, with ingredients that you can read and understand so buy those instead of J&J!
Check out this blog entry for a list of ingredients another blogger found for her and her family. It also has a simple recipe for petroleum-jelly-free vaseline.
For the past few months I've been playing around with salve recipes and have finally come up with one that has the texture of Vaseline! Stay posted, it will be on my Etsy store soon.
Hi there! I'm Erika Davis and I'm a doula working in the Seattle and South Puget Sound area.
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