Recently on Facebook, I came across an article stating that Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo contained formaldehyde, an ingredient that is not necessary in any of our personal care products. J&J has since changed their ways, but I am still not convinced that using even their “Naturals Baby Shampoo” line is the best thing. The ingredient list is posted below. Pay particular attention to the bolded ingredient at the bottom:
Water, Decyl Glucoside (Source: Coconut, Palm Kernel, Corn), Cocoglycerides (Source: Coconut, Palm Kernel), Sodium Coco-Sulfate (Source: Coconut, Palm), Coco-Glucoside (Source: Coconut, Palm Kernel), Glyceryl Oleate (Source: Sunflower), Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate (Source: Coconut, Palm, Soybean), Glycerin (Source: Coconut, Palm, Soybean), Xanthan Gum (Source: Soy, Corn), Sodium Benzoate (Source: *), Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose (Source: Plant, Mineral), Citric Acid (Source: *), Sodium Hydroxide (Source: *), Parfum (Source: Plant), * The remaining ingredients are essential to blend the product together and maintain effectiveness.
First, what are “the remaining ingredients that are essential to blend the product together and maintain effectiveness,” as is stated in the last sentence? I would sure like to know – I mean, if they are natural, why not include them on the label?
Second, why does a “natural” shampoo need all of those extra ingredients? There are cleansers that are all natural, and don’t have a bunch of stuff added to them. I understand many of their ingredients act as emollients, and help soften/moisturize skin, but they are not necessary. All-natural oils, such as sweet almond oil, or jojoba oil, are a better substitute for retaining moisture in the skin, and can be added to a homemade shampoo for it’s added benefits.
The main reason I posted that listing is the bolded ingredient Sodium Hydroxide. Why is Sodium Hydroxide concerning? Because the New Jersey Department of Health has a “Hazardous Substance Facts Sheet” for this chemical, which is posted in industrial facilities so that workers know how dangerous it is:
Sure this fact sheet is for factory workers who are dealing with the concentrated chemical in it’s purest form, but even a tiny amount of a toxic chemical has no place in a baby shampoo. In my honest opinion.
Here is another clip from that same Fact Sheet:
Billion dollar product companies like J&J claim that the actual amount of an otherwise toxic chemical is not actually toxic when a minimal amount is used in personal care products. This may be true, but the question begging to be asked is – why is it used at all when there are more natural options out there?
Why do we blindly accept everything at the grocery store as safe, or even good, for us? Does a product with pretty packaging, and the word “Natural” printed on it makes it actually good? Not necessarily.
We are living in a time where we cannot trust multi-billions dollar corporations to have our children’s best interests at heart. We are their advocates, nurturers, caretakers, etc., and need to be aware of these things.
By no means am I a vigilant “crunchy” person in all aspects of life, but I do try and cut out unnecessary toxins from my personal care, medication and cleaning products. Every product that I make has a natural base (i.e., apple cider vinegar, or sweet almond oil, etc.) and then I add essential oils to it for its potent health benefits or cleansing properties.
Here is my proposition: If you have the ability to make your own all-natural personal care and cleaning products for you and your family, then do it. You will not regret it.
I don’t know about you, but when I make something in my own home, from all-natural ingredients that I choose, I know that my family is getting the best of the best. Making your own personal products is not complicated, nor does it take up much of your time. And it saves you money in the long run. It takes minutes, sometimes only seconds, to make something natural and cheap that you would otherwise buy at the store (but overpriced and laden with unnecessary chemicals!).
So, back to the babes. Below is a super easy homemade baby shampoo recipe, that can also be used on their hair and body, and on yours too! The base soap is an all natural botanical soap called Botanic Gold, that can be used for just about everything: skin care, brushing teeth, household cleaner, baby care, fruit/veggie washing, cleaning your toilet (!) and so much more.
There are actually over 200 uses for this Botanic Gold all-natural soap. I pick mine up at Amazon. It is super concentrated, so it will last a very long time. While it may be $99 for a gallon, one part soap mixed with 10 parts water usually can replace all of your cleaning and skin care products…for possibly a year or more. (No, I am not paid by Botanic Gold to say this – this soap just excites me that much).
It looks like this:
The ingredients in this soap are:
Purified water, fatty acids, folic acid, organic alcohol (derived from sugarcane), minerals and enzymes derived from edible and seed bearing plants.
THAT’S IT! Muuuuch better than the J&J, right? I love how safe it is, and how much money it will save me.
Homemade Baby Shampoo Recipe:
– Plastic shampoo bottle
– Small amount Botanic Gold soap (see bottle for measurements)
1 Tbs of a carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil, fractionated coconut oil or jojoba oil
– (see below for amounts) 100% pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils per ounce of soap mixture
Combine ingredients together in a plastic shampoo bottle, shake and you’re done.
Essential Oil Options:
Babies 3+ months (2-3 drops oil per ounce soap): lavender, roman chamomile, frankincense
Babies 6+ months. (3-5 drops oil per ounce soap): tea tree, bergamot, tangerine, sandalwood, geranium, helichrysum, cypress, cedarwood
Children 2+ years (not more than 20 drops per ounce soap): basil, clary sage, ginger, juniper berry, lemongrass, lime, myrrh, parchouli, ylang ylang.
Essential oils are not only added for their scent, but a slew of health benefits. While certain oils would be added for their cleansing properties, others can aid in relaxation/sleep, calming, skin irritations, etc.
Not all essential oils are created equal, and some brands are so impure that you cannot even be put it on your skin! What is the point of that?! The oils I use are highly-regarded in the essential oils world, and I trust them completely due to their rigorous testing and purity.
Please email me for more info on the specific essential oils that I use in all of my recipes, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or email me with any questions.