Despite increasing concern about what we put on our skin, organic certification for beauty products is still less tough than it could be. ECOCERT for example, allows products with only 10 per cent chemical-free ingredients to bill themselves as ‘organic’, while the Soil Association offers two levels of certification – one for products containing 75 per cent organic ingredients and one for products with 95 per cent. In both cases, brands can market these products as ‘organic.’
While the odd non-organic ingredient isn’t too worrying for adults; for children it’s a different story. Baby skin is five times thinner and more absorbent than our own and is a less effective barrier to toxins. Add to this the fact that a certain amount of any product that you use on your baby is also likely to end up in their mouths and the need to be on the lookout for harmful substances becomes apparent. So which baby creams, lotions and potions should you be using? We rounded up five chemical-free products to start you off.
Neal’s Yard Remedies Baby Powder, £4.70
Although parents happily used talcum powder on their children 20 years ago, we now know that, if inhaled, it can cause respiratory illness and its use has also been linked to ovarian cancer. Neal’s Yard Remedies use organic cornstarch as the main ingredient for their baby powder, along with bee propolis – a natural antiseptic that can help get rid of nappy rash. The powder is made from 91 per cent organic ingredients and comes in a recyclable glass bottle. www.nealsyardremedies.com
Green People Organic Babies No Scent Baby Wash and Shampoo, £6.89
Winner of the Trotters Independent Publishing Services [TIPS] eco-friendly shampoo award last year, Green People’s unscented shampoo can be used for bathing as well as shampooing, which helps to reduce the amount of products your child is exposed to. Along with potentially allergenic fragrances, the shampoo is also free from sodium laureth sulphate – a detergent present in most shampoos and largely responsible for causing the dreaded tears at bath time.
Available at www.greenpeople.co.uk
Bentley Organic Baby Soap, £2.99
One of the few baby soaps to shun irritating chemicals such as triclosan, Bentley Organic’s soap is 72 per cent organic and contains soothing herbs that won’t damage your baby’s skin. The soap also contains aloe vera, which helps to restore moisture to skin, and chamomile, which can help to get rid of cradle cap and soothe teething pains. www.bentleyorganic.com
Green Baby Baby Oil, £7.50
Every ingredient in this soothing oil is certified organic. Rather than being made from crude oil by-products (commonly listed in ingredients lists as ‘mineral oil’), this oil is made from a combination of chamomile and sunflower oils, so is the ideal natural alternative. As with many Green Baby products, this oil works just as well for adults with sensitive skin.
Available at www.greenbaby.com
Pure Beginnings Baby Bum Cream, £10.15
The South African brand uses Baobab fruit in its baby products, which gives them an added shot of vitamin C and antioxidants – both of which are brilliant at soothing itchy, irritated skin. Although there is a fairly lengthy list of intimidating-sounding ingredients, the Pure Beginnings website features full details of every ingredient used, including what they are and where they come from. www.purebeginnings.co.za
Available from John Lewis
Review: Grateful Body
With greener-than-grass credentials and created by a man with a lifetime’s worth of herbal lore in his head, Grateful Body’s eco-conscious range is a good choice for those with sensitive skin, says Ruth Styles
Beauty supplements: are they worth it?
Supplement is the latest beauty industry buzzword but just how effective are beauty power pills? And just how green? Robert Phillips takes a closer look
Natural anti-ageing: Melvita versus Tata Harper
Claiming to combine anti-ageing efficacy with green credentials is nothing new but in the case of Melvita and Tata Harper, those claims could be justified. Ruth Styles put them to the test
How to beat stress naturally
Stressed? Tired? Don’t turn to medical anti-depressants. As Phoebe Doyle discovered, natural stress-busters can be just as effective
Five of the best... eco-friendly sun creams
With April temperatures hitting record highs, it pays to invest in a decent sunscreen. Ruth Styles rounds up some of the greenest