As parents, we want to use the safest and best shampoos for babies and kids. We also want bath time to be fun, relaxing, and easy for a smooth bedtime routine.
Unfortunately, not all shampoos for babies and kids are as safe and beneficial as their manufacturers would like us to believe.
Here are a few things we think every parent should know when choosing personal care products for their babies and kids, as well as our top picks for the best products.
Is Shampoo Toxic?
Well, it can be…
Independent studies of top baby shampoo brands found that many brands in the U.S., Canada, and China contained the toxic ingredients Quaternium-15 - a formaldehyde-releasing preservative, and 1,4-Dioxane - a solvent ingredient and an unintended production contaminant that causes irritation and, over time, can damage the kidneys, liver, and nervous system.
Interestingly, none were found in brands from other countries where these chemicals are banned.
And these aren’t the only toxic ingredients used in baby shampoo products. Other ingredients of concern you want to watch out for include:
- Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate) - You might be thinking, “What’s so bad about Vitamin A?” Vitamin A Palmitate is used to soften the skin but… it can lead to developmental and reproductive toxicity and increased skin cancer risk.
- Fragrances - Used to cover odors, fragrances have been found to be hormone disruptors that cause allergies and skin irritation as well as organ system toxicity.
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate - a cleansing agent (detergent/surfactant) that can cause skin irritation, and reproductive toxicity, and there are also concerns of unintended production contamination.
How to Choose A Shampoo Without Toxic Ingredients
The easiest way to find a shampoo that is toxin free is to look for a baby shampoo that is certified by the ToxicFree Foundation.
ToxicFree certification means that the product is free from all toxic ingredients and is safe, natural, and eco-friendly. This also ensures that the facility in which the product is manufactured meets strict qualifications.
Also, watch out for ingredients that you don’t understand, including sulfates and parabens, and use the EWG Skin Deep Database to determine if they are chemicals you should avoid.
Note: Just because a product is labeled free from these ingredients does not mean that it’s toxin free.
That’s why we recommend choosing a product that has been certified toxic-free.
3 Best Non-Toxic Shampoos for Babies and Kids
Chelsey Wang Night Night Baby Wash - $13 for 3 fl. oz.
Lightly scented with lavender and chamomile oil, this baby wash and shampoo comes in a convenient 3-fluid-ounce pump bottle that creates a foam to cleanse and hydrate baby’s hair and skin.
Please note that this product contains Citric Acid, an exfoliant and antioxidant with moderate use restrictions from the EWG because of its potential to cause skin irritation, particularly for those with sensitive skin.
Earth Mama Simply Non-Scents Castile Baby Wash - $9.99 for 5.3 fl. oz.
An unscented, gentle liquid soap with soothing calendula in a self-foaming bottle can be used as a baby shampoo and for bathing.
Please note that this product IS NOT TEAR-FREE. Castile soap causes eye irritation, pain, and burning and requires cautious rinsing with water for several minutes. It can also be poisonous if accidentally ingested.
This product also contains Citric Acid, which may cause skin irritation on baby’s sensitive skin.
Raise Them Well Foaming Baby Wash N’ Shampoo - $14.50 for 7.5 fl. oz.
Lightly scented with lavender essential oil, this baby shampoo and body wash is safe, gentle, and effective on even the most sensitive skin. It comes in a convenient 7-fluid-ounce self-foaming pump bottle that makes it easy to apply.
Here’s why customers love this product:
- Certified TOXIC FREE: (see above for more information about ToxicFree Certification) That means that not only are our ingredients approved by the Toxic Free Foundation, but the facility where it is produced uses NO harmful chemicals or hormone disruptors anywhere.
- Contains just FIVE Ingredients: All of which you will likely recognize and are again 100% Toxic Free.
- TEAR FREE: No Chemicals = No screaming because of burning eyes. Also, see the eye makeup remover note below.
- No Rinse Formula: That means NO SUBMERSION required. The foam can easily be applied and wiped away with a cloth - even on baby hair!!! You know how much babies sometimes love bath time? And even more so, how much Mom or Dad loves to spend what feels like hours preparing a tiny baby for a bath? How about that toddler that is just a little dirty but doesn’t really need a full bath minutes before bedtime? This product is perfect for those situations when you need bath time to be easy because rinsing is not required! It makes a great bath foam too. Aren’t options nice?
- It’s Versatile: Our entire family uses this wash. It’s fabulous for removing make-up, facial cleansing, body wash for kids and adults of all ages (NONE of us need to be bathing in toxic bath wash), hand sanitizer, and much much more. We would love to hear about your favorite uses!!
- Kids Love It!! This might be a positive OR negative, but toddlers love this because they can pump it themselves, AND it’s foamy, and the littler babes love it because it makes foam, and foam is fun!!
It’s a great value at $14.50 per 7.5 fl. Oz. bottle. Or subscribe and save even more!
Every purchase of Raise Them Well Foaming Baby Wash N’ Shampoo benefits our favorite Children’s Charities.