Thursday, 6 February 2014

Aveeno Baby

I was out shopping the other week with my toddler.  We needed a few things for our household.  One of those things was skin cream for my little girl.  The winter months are hard on her delicate little skin.  I normally get the Live Clean lotion for her.  It is a healthier choice and I can feel good about putting it one her skin.  Well I grabbed a bottle and we carried on she was getting fussy as it was getting late.  I quickly got the rest of the products that we needed and went to the check out.  I did not even notice that I grabbed Aveeno Baby Lotion instead of my Live Clean Lotion until I got home and unloaded our bags.  I figured it was too late to return it and I noticed that there was the Pediatrician Recommended stamp of approval on the bottle.  I thought what the heck and I started to use it.  The cream was not so bad, it smelled nice and was very creamy and applied well to the skin.  Her skin seemed to enjoy it as the dry spots began to slowly disappear.  When I checked out the back to read the ingredients I was not to happy to find out that they use some pretty harsh ingredients.   
I noticed that 4 out of the 11 ingredients listed are considered to be toxic.  Though I was happy to see that there were no parabens.  Now I want to get back to the part about being Pediatricians Recommended, I became curious about this and thought I would look further into what exactly this meant.  Well apparently nothing.  Its just marketing.  It turns out that very little of these products are endorsed by the AAP.  Through my research I found this article which was simple and summarised everything neatly.

Aveeno Baby Fragrance Free Daily Lotion with Natural Colloidal Oatmeal Moisturisers

Water (eau)
Disteraryldimonium Chloride
Isopropyl Palmitate 
Cetyl Alcohol 
Colloidal Oatmeal 
Benzyl Alcohol 
Sodium Chloride


  H2O, the stuff we drink.

Glycerin: is pretty benign and of low toxicity.  It is used in products mainly because it is affective at improving the smoothness of the product and is a good lubricant.  Glycerin is a byproduct of bio-diesel.  However, all you vegans take note.  This form is very expensive, therefore it is more often derived from animal fats such as beef and vegetable oils such as coconut or soy beans.  Therefore some products that list glycerin in their ingredients may not be vegan.

Disteraryldimonium Chloride: this is a quaternary ammonium salt and is used as an anti-static agent as well as a conditioning agent.  It is considered to be a human toxicant or allergen.  It is a skin, lung and eye irritant. It is also a wildlife and environmental toxin.

Petrolatum:  this is a combinations of hydrocarbons derived from petroleum.  It is used as a conditioning agent, and skin protectant. It is a controlled or restricted ingredient.  It is a known non-reproductive system organ toxin and is deemed by the EWG as being harmful. There is also concerns of contamination with other chemicals through the creation process of this ingredient.

Isopropyl Palmitate: this is an ester of isopropyl alcohol and palmitic acid.  It is used as a conditioning agent, fragrance ingredient and anti-static agent.  It appears to be fairly begin in toxicity.  

Cetyl Alcohol: Here is an interesting fact the name cetyl is derived from whale oil which was the original source of cetyl.  Now it is derived from petroleum or vegetable oils such as coconut.  It is used in personal care products as a thickening agent or in shampoos as an emulsifier.  In my research, there seemed to be very little information on the toxicity of cetyl alcohol, on either the environment, animals or humans.  The only information I found was the evidence of skin irriation and minor allergies causing rashes.  Most information seemed to deem cetyl alcohol safe to use and practically non toxic.

Dimethicone: also known as polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) which is a silicone oil.  It is used in shampoos to lubricate hair and make it easier to comb and adds shine.  In creams it acts as a skin protectant and an emulsifier.  The FDA has deemed it safe to use.  However most people have heard of the horror stories with silicone breast implants leading companies to switch to saline filled implants.  Other side effects linked to PDMS include allergic reactions from mild to severe as well as a worsening in dryness.  Although the data is limited, it appears to also cause non-reproductive toxicity as well as links to environmental toxicity due to the toxins being bioaccummulative.  This means it builds up and builds up in our soils and sediments.

Colloidal Oatmeal : this is an oatmeal that has been finely grounded.  It is used as a skin protecting agent, bulking agent adn absorbant.  It is considered to be very safe and not toxic to humans or to the environment.

Allantoin:  is a naturally occuring nirogenous compound.  It is used as a skin conditioning agent.  Vegans beware, this product may be derived from animals.  It is not considered to be toxic to humans or to the environment.

Benzyl Alcohol:  is both a naturally occuring, as well as a synthetic compound.  It is used as a preservative and a solvent.  It is considered to be a workplace hazzard, an immunotoxin, contact allergen, and an organ system toxin.  An ingredient best to avoid.

Sodium Chloride: is your everyday salt.  It is not considered to be toxic and is used as a cleansing agent as well as a thickener.



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