Bathing your baby can be a precious moment or a scary one. One moment your baby is giggling, the next they are screaming their lungs out. To avoid situations like this, you probably have stocks of no-tears shampoo in your baby products shelf. But, how sure are you that these products are gentle for your baby?
No tears shampoo does not mean gentle and safe shampoo. The shampoo may not irritate your baby’s eyes but it doesn’t mean it’s gentle on their scalp. Unlike adults, a baby’s scalp is still very sensitive. Their skin doesn’t have a natural protective barrier yet. Find out which ingredients to avoid so you can enjoy a tear-free bath time.
Are No Tears Shampoo Gentle for Babies?
Years of marketing made it sound like no tears shampoo are the best choice for your baby. Regular shampoos are just too harsh and can cause irritation when they get to eyes. No tears shampoos claim to have gentle and safe formulas not only for babies’ eyes but for their skin as well.
Many baby products are sold as “safe” and “gentle” nowadays. However, a decade ago, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics released a report that shows most baby products still contain traces of toxic chemicals. Around 61% of tested products contain formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane. These chemicals are some of the most harmful ingredients for babies and kids. They can cause health concerns ranging from allergies to cancer.
While no tears shampoo does not irritate skin or eyes, it doesn’t mean that the product is safe to use. Moms know best, but not always. If you don’t know which shampoo is good for your baby, don’t worry. Motherhood is a learning experience and we’re here to share useful information. Read on to discover which ingredients you should look for when choosing baby shampoo.
Beware of These Ingredients
Moms, avoid using regular shampoos on your baby’s scalp. Regular shampoos contain harmful chemicals that are not good for your child. Some of the ingredients found in regular shampoos are too harsh on a baby’s skin. They can also cause health concerns.
The shampoo you apply to your baby’s scalp contain substances that can absorb into their skin. These substances can enter their bloodstream and cause allergic reactions or health concerns. We listed the most common harmful ingredients used in shampoos for babies:
- Parabens – Paraben is a preservative used in various bath and body products. It is very cheap and effective, which is why many companies still use it. Parabens are very toxic and can put your health at risk. They can irritate your baby’s skin and scalp too.
- Formaldehyde – Formaldehyde is also another chemical used as preservative in baby shampoos. There are studies showing that it can trigger the development of cancer and leukemia.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or SLS is a detergent that makes shampoo produce foam. SLS is very drying for skin and scalp. If used on a baby’s scalp, it can cause dryness, irritation, and rashes.
Most chemicals can irritate your baby’s scalp and harm their body. This is why you should not buy a shampoo with ingredients you don’t know about. Avoid shampoos that contain chemicals or synthetic ingredients. It is scary to think that one ingredient can be harmful to your baby. Not knowing about these ingredients puts your child at risk.
Look for These Ingredients
When it comes to your baby, you only want what is best and safe. Gentle shampoos may be hard to come by, but there are now more brands that create natural and safe shampoos. Most of these shampoos contain natural and organic ingredients. They are much safer and gentler for your baby. To help you find the best shampoo for your baby, here are some ingredients you should look for:
Skip chemical surfactants. You can use natural foaming agents instead. Other than being gentler for your baby’s scalp, these ingredients have soothing effects too. You can still bathe your baby with a luxurious foamy shampoo.
These natural saponins are gentle on baby’s scalp. They cleanse gently and does not cause dryness or irritation. Below are some of the natural surfactants that you should look for:
- Castile Soap – Castile soap is made of purely vegetable oils. The most common ingredient of castile soap is olive oil. Today, you can use various oils to make this soap. Back then, castile soap was considered as the “soap of royalty” because it produces thick lather and cleanses skin gently.
- Yucca Extract – Yucca extract is rich in saponins, making it a great alternative for harsh detergents. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe itchy and irritated scalp too. The extract is very gentle even for baby’s sensitive scalp.
- Soapwort – Soapwort is a foaming agent that cleanses skin and scalp effectively. It is gentle enough that it doesn’t irritate a baby’s skin. Most organic and herbal shampoos use soapwort because it has medicinal benefits.
- Quillaia Bark Extract – Quillaia has great amounts of saponins. It helps create thick lather that is not harmful to babies. A small amount of this extract can make your shampoo produce froth.
- Vegetable Glycerin – Vegetable glycerin is also a natural surfactant derived from coconut oil or palm oil. It helps cleanse scalp and hair without making them too dry.
Shampoo does not only cleanse hair and scalp. It provides nourishment and moisture to hair too. Even your baby’s shampoo contains moisturizers and nourishing ingredients. These substances help keep hair soft and shiny. They also nourish your baby’s scalp to help stimulate hair growth.
There are chemicals used as moisturizers and humectants in baby shampoo. They might make hair shiny and soft, but they can clog hair follicles. This leads to stunted hair growth and product buildup. Dandruff can happen because of this. A gentle baby shampoo contains natural moisturizers that have great benefits for baby’s scalp too. Here are some of them:
- Organic Oils – Carrier oils like jojoba oil and coconut oil have moisturizing properties for hair and scalp. Organic oils are rich in essential fatty acids and nutrients that can nourish a baby’s scalp. These oils resemble the natural oil produced by scalp. They absorb into hair and scalp and do not clog hair follicles.
- Natural Plant Butters – Natural plant butters help retain moisture to hair and scalp. They are very thick and can provide hydration better to hair. Choose from various kinds of plant butters like shea butter, mango butter, and cocoa butter.
Shampoos contain preservatives to prevent contamination and the spread of bacteria. They help prolong a product’s shelf life as well. However, these preservatives are irritants that can make your baby’s scalp extremely itchy and sensitive. Most preservatives used to create shampoos are chemicals. You can look for these natural preservatives instead:
- Grapefruit Seed Extract – This ingredient works as a preservative because it has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.
- Castor Oil – Castor oil has powerful antibacterial properties, making it a great alternative to preservatives.
Botanical ingredients are rich in nutrients good for your baby’s scalp. Botanical ingredients can come from different parts of a plant. The leaves, fruits, seeds, roots, herbs, bark, and even the flowers can be used as ingredients in baby shampoos. As long as your baby is not allergic to these substances, they are safe to use on hair and scalp.
Organic Essential Oils
Organic essential oils can give baby shampoos scent instead of synthetic fragrances. These oils may help soothe irritation and itchiness as well. Their soothing properties can help reduce scalp conditions such as cradle cap, eczema, and psoriasis. Keep in mind that not all essential oils are safe for your baby. Avoid potent oils like tea tree oil and bergamot oil.
Baby shampoos contain food as ingredients too. Food like fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients that help improve scalp health. Avocado and oats are two products often used in baby shampoos. Oats have soothing and anti-inflammatory properties that can help with itchy scalp. Avocado, on the other hand, has great moisturizing effects.
Bathing your baby is the perfect time to bond with your baby. Just make sure that you are not hurting your baby’s scalp. Keep in mind that less is more. The fewer ingredients there are in your baby’s shampoo, the better. Choose safe and gentle shampoos made of natural ingredients for a healthier, happier baby.