You should feel great when you shop for organic foods, especially for your baby! You are making a conscious effort to reduce exposure to pesticides and preservatives for your family and the planet. But have you looked at your personal care products lately? The products you use every day – from the polish on your toes to the conditioner in your hair – likely contain toxic ingredients that can pass into the body through the skin, potentially threatening your health.
While many parents worry about their kids’ exposure to the chemicals and pollutants found in food and the air, the absorption of toxins through the skin is a health risk that is often overlooked. Skin acts as our barrier to the environment, but it is designed to be permeable – meaning substances both healthy and unhealthy pass through the skin into the body. Health risks including increased rates of cancer, allergies, mental illness, nervous system disorders, endocrine dysfunction and many others have been unequivocally linked to the increased chemicals present in our environment. While everyone is at risk from such exposure, babies and young children pay the highest price.
Baby skin is quite different from adult skin in ways that are not immediately evident. Most parents recognize that baby skin is more sensitive to the sun. But what parents may not know is baby skin is five times thinner, and has more surface area, than adult skin. While its immune functions are under development, baby skin doesn’t produce enough oil to protect itself. Consequently, baby skin is very reactive to environmental irritants. Skin is a window into our personal health, so it is not surprising to learn that skin problems account for about 30% of unscheduled visits to the pediatrician’s office for babies.
Choosing green and all natural skin care products for your child can help reduce the incidence of worrisome rashes, hives and irritation that frequently occur in reaction to personal care products. By embracing all natural products with organic ingredients you teach your children healthy habits for both body and planet.
Certified organic ingredients are grown without chemical pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers – stuff that quite simply isn’t good for you or the environment. Many common ingredients, especially those with fatty structures, like oils, retain the residue of pesticides and fungicides used to “protect” them while they grow. These residues can be passed directly into the body. Organic ingredients are processed without chemicals in an attempt to provide manufacturers and ultimately consumers with the purest products. What’s more, organic ingredients are naturally more potent antioxidants — as much as 30% more — than non-organic ingredients. This means that products made with organic ingredients do a better job of handling the free radicals (harmful molecules that are linked to a host of chronic conditions and the aging process) our bodies are exposed to and produce daily.
Since 1990, the Department of Agriculture has regulated organic farming practices in the U.S. and set standards for organic ingredients imported from other countries. While there is room for improvement on the government’s efforts, the USDA’s certified organic label is a baseline from which consumers can reliably determine if the products they purchase benefit from organics. So look for a “certified organic” label on your produce and personal care products.
By becoming aware of the true risks in our environment and the basics of natural baby skin care you can make smart, confident decisions about your family’s health. Today, we have access to a whole new array of chemical free products that are widely available. For Episencial products, we are firmly committed to providing parents with the highest quality of all natural skin care significantly derived from organics as a means of supporting an actively healthy environment for both the body and the planet. And all it takes to advocate the same is to read the label on your personal care products and make purchasing decisions that support the health of your family and the planet.
Shopping organically helps protect our babies and children and also helps diminish the widespread and ongoing use of the toxic chemicals contained in most products. The best resources for many such products are right around the corner. Boutique children’s shops, natural markets and specialty shops will give you plenty of good advice and options. When we, as a unified and informed community, insist on pure products, we leverage a powerful influence on manufacturers. Together, it is possible to provide healthy and more effective skin care for our families and a better future for our children.