Do you think that children’s products are appropriate for children?

As a mother I did but recent research here at Giki suggests this is not necessarily the case. We looked at over 100 children’s bathing products, which you can buy in the supermarket, and found that nearly half of them contained chemicals which carry some health risks.

Many consumers, scientists and NGOs have been raising concerns about exposure to these chemicals in everyday products for a while. And perhaps that’s no surprise when they are linked to numerous potential health issues ranging from skin irritations and allergic reactions to cancer, hormone disruption and effects on the reproductive system.

The chart below shows the chemicals we found in children’s bathing products which have potential health risks.

Understandably many of these names don’t mean much to consumers. And there are thousands of ingredients used in personal care products, so keeping on top of all of them is a pretty tough task. So here’s the low down on some of them:

  • Four in five of kids’ bath products contain Sodium Laureth Sulphate, a cleaning agent which can irritate skin, eyes and lungs.
  • One in five products contain DMDM Hydantoin, a preservative which can also act as an irritant and allergen.
  • One in ten contain Cocamide DEA or Triethanolamine. Both can cause allergic reactions, affect the immune system or may be toxic to organs and Cocamide DEA has been linked to cancer.
  • A small number also contain parabens which are hormone disruptors linked to cancer. Check out #ditchthejunk from Breast Cancer UK if you want to find out more.

The  amount of exposure, the length of exposure, other factors and uncertainty make it almost impossible to determine a direct link, but many parents decide it’s just not worth taking the risk. If that’s you then here are a few products that contain some of the chemicals you might want to avoid:

Cocamide DEA  DMDM Hydantoin  Triethanolamine 
Asda Little Angels Bubble Bath & Wash 

E45 Dermatological Junior Foaming Bath Milk  

Marvel Ultimate Spider-Man Bath and Shower Bubbles  

Nickelodeon Paw Patrol Bath & Shower Gel 

DC Superhero Girls Bubble Bath

Marvel Avengers Bath & Shower Gel

Minions Bubble Bath

Trolls Bath & Shower Gel

 

Disney Frozen Soapy Foam

Shopkins D’Lish 3D Donut Bubble Bath

However, the good news is, that more than half of the products we found in supermarkets did not contain any concerning chemicals. Brands that perform well include:

  • Bratz
  • DGJ
  • Jackson Reece
  • Professor Scrubbington
  • Schwarzkopf
  • Weleda
  • The Simpsons
  • Top Gear
  • Attitude Little Ones
  • Childs Farm
  • Good Bubble

At Giki we also look at other issues such as recyclable packaging, animal testing and greener cosmetics. Here are a few examples of products which score well across those areas too:

  No Chemicals of concern  No Animal Testing  Greener Cosmetics  Recyclable Packaging 
Sainsbury’s Little Ones Head-To-Toe Wash 
Weleda Baby & Child Calendula Cream Bath 
Professor Scrubbington’s Magically Foaming Shampoo and Conditioner 

So for all of us parents and carers, it’s about navigating the minefield of labelling, science and complexity. Hopefully our free app will make that easier. Just scan a product and, if you see chemicals you don’t want, then we’ll show you some alternatives.

The good news is that we can avoid risky chemicals if we choose to.

If you’re interested in learning more email us for the full report.

Find out more at about Prevention Week from Breast Cancer UK