Monday, July 6, 2009

Why you shouldn't use baby shampoo to clean brushes

..or on babies, for that matter. It seems that everyone on blogs and You Tube like to clean their brushes with baby shampoo because they believe it's gentle. I keep preaching that liquid castille soap is the best and safest product to use to clean brushes - and yourself.

While Johnson's is bold enough to put 3 Parabens in their baby lotion, they did not put any of my big list in their shampoo, or so I thought. I ran across an interesting press release from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics about how they are pushing Johnson's to clean up their act in the States. Sorry, but there is no excuse for putting chemicals like this in baby products.

Now remember, the FDA does not regulate the cosmetics industry, they are self-regulating. Take a moment and think on that. Some of the cringe-worthy highlights:

"The chemicals in question are 1,4-dioxane, a byproduct of the manufacturing process, and the preservative formaldehyde, which is slowly released by a chemical called Quaternium-15 to kill bacteria. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde both are probable human carcinogens; formaldehyde also is a skin, eye and respiratory irritant."

"Tests by an independent laboratory commissioned by the campaign, Analytical Sciences of Petaluma, Calif., found Johnson's baby shampoo had 210 parts per million of formaldehyde, and about two dozen other products out of 48 tested had similar or higher levels.

Johnson's baby shampoo also had a low level of 1,4-dioxane, a chemical banned by the European Union that was also found in three Aveeno baby wash products made by J&J, Johnson's moisture care and oatmeal baby washes, and about 25 baby and personal care products made by other companies."

"Last month, Sen. Kerstin Gillebrand, D-N.Y., introduced a bill directing the FDA to regulate such products made for children."

"The campaign's letter to Weldon states that other companies make similar products "by using ingredients that do not have contamination concerns." The letter also notes J&J products in Japan do not release formaldehyde because it is banned in products there."

That last bit is my favorite out of the entire article. Johnson's doesn't use dangerous chemicals in their products sold in Japan and the European Union because those governments have tougher regulations and standards. Meanwhile, back in the United States, we have to look after ourselves.


  1. In the UK we are encouraged by Health Visitors, etc. NOT to use Johnson's products on baby skin - water and olive oil for the first few months, then start exploring various other solutions.

    This is despite the fact that you get given loads of samples, and if you have your baby bathed in hospital (lesson for first time mummmys!) they use the Johnsons stuff with abandon (although you can of course request water only).

    I just miss the smell that I associate with my baby-sitting days! Not that babies don't smell lovely all by themselves, but there's something in the Johnson's smell that triggers some kind of sense of clean warm soft baby!!

  2. I really enjoyed the article posted regarding harmful ingredients in personal care products. It was very informative, and I believe you are absolutely correct about the negative impact that these chemicals can have on our bodies. I have discovered several amazing reports to validate your position, and I think you would find the information fascinating. I would love to discuss this further with you. Please email me at your earliest convenience at One report in particular is very serious in nature and was documented on CNN. I’ll send you a link.

  3. Ack! I'm so glad to know this. I have used baby shampoo as makeup remover and brush cleanser in the past. Currently I use NYX's lip and eye makeup remover on my face, and I use Dr. Bronner's pure castile soap on my brushes.

  4. Is it ok to use castille soap to my daughter?

  5. Yes, you can use Castille Soap on babies. Bronner's even makes a special baby soap.

  6. I wish the USA had more regulations. It's not right to poison babies