Bath soaps for adults often contain harsh synthetic ingredients. But that’s not true for children’s bath products, is it?

Unfortunately, it is. You’d think companies would be careful of the ingredients they use in products for babies and children. But that’s not always the case.

baby soap and baby wash

The Environmental Working Group says that every day the average child is exposed via body care products to 27 chemicals that have not been tested for children. You may find these chemicals in baby soap, body wash, shampoo, lotion, and other personal care products for children. Many of these chemicals have known links to cancer, hormone disruption, brain damage, and allergies.

How safe is your baby soap and baby wash?

Baby soap and baby washes are rinse off products. So you’d think that they’re not an issue, right?

While baby soap and baby wash are “rinse off” products and (ideally) don’t stay on bub’s skin too long, there are other ways by which ingredients in these products can enter the body.

When you give baby a bath, the warm water opens up her pores. If there are toxic ingredients in the baby body wash, they enter the skin faster, your baby’s largest organ.

Aside from that, the warmth of the bath vaporises many chemicals. And your baby breathes them in. Babies and toddlers like to put their hands in their mouths, so it’s easy for them to swallow these ingredients. It also gets in their eyes.Best Baby Soap & Baby Wash Cheat Sheet

What’s in baby soap and baby wash?

Most baby wash and liquid baby soaps have water acting as the solvent for the other ingredients.

There are emulsifiers that increase the product’s foaming action, make it thicker, and help the oils and water mix properly.

You’ll also find detergents, which do the actual cleaning, and surfactants, which make bubbles.

When the main ingredient is water, it’s a perfect breeding ground for mould and harmful bacteria. Preservatives protect the product and stop it going off.

Finally, there are often fragrances that help the product smell nice (and hide smells from some of the other ingredients).

Ingredients to avoid in baby soap and baby wash

Some ingredients can potentially cause health problems. So read your labels! And avoid baby bath products that contain any of these:


Emulsifiers and others




Synthetic colours and dyes are only there to make the baby bath products look more appealing. They aren’t necessary and they can contain heavy metals and cause allergic reactions.

How to avoid the toxic stuff

With so many natural baby products available these days, there’s really no reason to stick with toxic brands.

I know the sheer number of options can be overwhelming. Doing your own research on which baby soaps and washes are best takes a lot of time. So we’ve done the work for you.

Check out our handpicked selection of baby bath products at Hello Charlie and grab our new Safer Baby Soap & Baby Wash Cheat Sheet.

Main image credit: Deposit Photos

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Toxic Living: Baby Soap And Baby Wash

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