It's easy to become persuaded by the advertising of baby powders, creams and lotions. However, some of the best personal care products for babies are simple, non-conventional and eco-friendly. The key to being green and safe in these products is to keep it as natural, organic and fragrance-free as possible.
Fragrances are a major area to remain aware of when buying baby care accessories. A loophole in federal law doesn't require companies to declare any of the toxic chemicals that a single product's fragrance mixture may contain. Artificial fragrances, which frequently contain phthalates, can also trigger allergic reactions and other health problems. If you are purchasing a product with a fragrance, make sure it only uses essential oils for the smell.
Avoiding petrochemicals is also important in baby care. Petrochemicals are often used to make emollients for creams. However, petroleum byproducts can be contaminated by cancer-containing impurities. It is also a non-renewable and environmentally-unfriendly resource. Petroleum is already a non-renewable substance that has carcinogens in it. It definitely doesn't belong on a baby's skin. If there is mineral oil, paraffin or petrolatum and similar ingredients, this is a warning that those are actually petrochemical products.
Talcum powder contains a substance similar in composition to asbestos, and some studies have linked the use of talcum powder to certain cancers and endocrine problems. Accidentally inhaling it can lead to serious respiratory problems. It is far better to use cornstarch powders or even make your own from a recipe, many of which can be found online.
Organic ingredients are those grown without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, which is healthier for the planet and healthier for our bodies. Better yet are botanicals grown using biodynamic farming methods, which goes beyond organic. These are products that have a more holistic relationship between the soil, plants and animals. The USDA National Organic Program has been certifying personal-care products and now there are increasing selections of organic skin care products that bear the USDA organic seal. To determine if a product is truly sustainable, check for Demeter U.S.A.'s certification on the label.
The best baby lotion is plain olive oil. It is safe, perfume-free, inexpensive and easy to get. It is what Mediterranean cultures have used for thousands of years for soft, supple skin. It is used by gently rubbing it in your hands until it is almost absorbed and then spreading it onto the baby's skin. You may even benefit from it yourself as well.
EnviroCitizen.org has found that green baby care products are easy to find if you follow those basic rules. National Geographic's Planet Green Network has a great section on green baby products. There are numerous other websites devoted to green baby products and reviews. Check out EnviroCitizen.org's selection of green baby products.