Tag Archives | Nayla Natural Care

Johnson & Johnson – Building A Brand With Carcinogens

It became mainstream news today that Johnson & Johnson Baby Products contain carcinogenic chemicals (formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane) in their products sold on store shelves. We’ve talked about staying clear from Johnson & Johnson products at Mommy Footprint in this article, this article, and here. Here is the scoop on what’s gone down with Johnson and Johnson in the media today.

For two years, The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has been requesting that Johnson & Johnson reformulate their flagship products….you see them at every baby shower and I’m sure they are still in hospitals and are used for a baby’s first bath:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And every time I’ve seen them at a baby shower I’ve stumbled through an awkward speech of why they shouldn’t be used on a baby.  Me “that shampoo has chemicals that really irritate baby’s skin”.  It’s an argument that really isn’t remembered by many new moms. Well thank you to mainstream media today, Forbes magazine, Healthy Child Healthy World, The Campaign For Safer Cosmetics, etc. are all writing the scary facts about these products: they contain cancer causing chemicals. And the sickest part of this is Johnson & Johnson knows how to produce formaldehyde-free products because the products they sell in many European countries, Japan, and South Africa are without these carcinogens. Yup – the formaldehyde ingredient called Quaternium-15 is found in the products sold in the U.S., Canada, China, Indonesia and Australia. So here is fact number one they know how to not manufacture not using Formaldehyde and a second chemical, 1,4-dioxane, that is considered a likely carcinogen. 1,4 in short is dioxin and a byproduct of a process for making chemicals more soluble and gentler on the skin. Fact number two that Johnson & Johnson knows how to make a product without carcinogens is their brand “Johnson’s Natural”. This more natural version of the Johnson & Johnson products don’t contain these chemicals, but the products are double in cost.

Do you know that Aveeno is manufactured by Johnson & Johnson?  This is likely the brand your family Doctor will recommend when you tell them your baby or child’s skin is inflamed or they appear to have the onset of eczema.  Brands like Oatmeal Baby Wash, Moisture Care Baby Wash and Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash also contain 1,4-dioxane. It’s terrible that a known side effect of formaldehyde is also a skin irritant. Ask around parent groups and see how many babies, toddlers, and children suffer from eczema and asthma – the numbers are out of control.  So many toxic products targeting babies and the bottom line is money. Johnson & Johnson has proved it by creating a product that doesn’t contain formaldehyde but continues to sell the products 1/2 the price of the more natural version.  It’s sick.  And even once they remove these ingredients, know that it wouldn’t have been done without the watch dog groups I’ve listed at the start of this article. It is these groups looking out for our children – not the companies.

Bottom Line?  Reward the companies that do care with your consumer dollars. Do not allow one more bottle of this sub-par product come into your home or purchased as a gift. Pull that expectant mom aside at the baby shower and quietly mention that the yellow bottle of shampoo contains cancer causing chemicals. Be blunt because words like ‘skin irritant’ and ‘product with chemicals’ doesn’t get people’s attention. Over the years, I’ve mentioned many companies that are doing the right thing by our families with producing safer skin care products for our children. Most of these companies are listed under the category called Childhood Eczema. If you don’t have time to read through the tips in these articles – here are some great places to start:

My Little Green Shop – They are offering 10% discount for Mommy Footprint readers. Just type MF10 at checkout for a discount.

Nayla Natural Care
– One stop shopping for trusted advice and products.

Saffron Rouge – Many great products and they offer low shipping and free samples.

Lalabee Bathworks
– Goat Milk and Essential Oils.

Green Beaver – Canadian made and with trusted ingredients.

There are so many  small companies that deserve and have earned your consumer dollars with their research and product knowledge. Sad that the huge companies are not looking out for customers, even though they are aware of what is going into their products. I know my site has many green minded parents that don’t find this information to be new, but check out the Facebook Fan page for Johnson & Johnson and you’ll see the connection they have with new parents, grandparents, etc.  They are a brand that is trusted and there is a tradition that comes with shopping at Johnson & Johnson..you can see it in the consumer relationships they’ve built.

So like always I struggle with the fine line of stressing out expectant or new parents with information like this – but I’d want to know. Wouldn’t you?

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Holistic Dentistry & Greener Toothbrushes

I ran across an interesting interview regarding fluoride.  Dr. Joseph Mercola is interviewing Dr. Osmunson who for the last 5 years has championed at the legislated level regarding fluoride. So many points in this interview really shocked me. If you have time, here is a link to the video interview. If not – here are the Cole’s notes (worth a look if you don’t know if your community adds fluoride to your drinking water and if you use toothpaste with fluoride):

Important to canvas your local community group to find out if fluoride is added to your drinking water. Did you know?

~we are encouraged to spit out 1/4 milligram of fluoride in toothpaste but in cities that add fluoride to their water – this amount of fluoride will be ingested by drinking one glass of water.

~ China doesn’t allow fluoride in their drinking water and so they export their industrial waste to the US where the fluoride from this is added to drinking water. Crazy so I’m going to say it again!  China is shipping their waste products to the US to add to their drinking water.

~ The US needs to import China’s industrial waste (fluoride) because they don’t manufacture enough in the US. They are using up their own supply, plus need more from other countries like China.

~ This ‘waste’ that is added to drinking water is contaminated with lead, arsenic, aluminum. ** All the things we try so hard to avoid with everyday products is added to drinking water **

Fluoride in Dental Care

~ if there is a benefit to fluoride to dental health, it no longer exists because we ingest too much of it.

~ read the warning labels on toothpaste for children ingesting fluoridated toothpaste- some include warnings that include poison control.

~ most people use more than a month’s suggested toothpaste portion on their brush for a single brush. This is also advertised by toothpaste/brush companies in their advertising campaigns when they show a brush covered with toothpaste.

~ ** I found this point SO interesting ** The National Research Council says that fluoride is not beneficial over the age of 8 because our teeth have finished forming.  So as the Doctor points out,  experts agree that fluoride should not be given under the age of 1 and is no longer needed after the age of 8. So communities that add fluoride to water, etc. so people of all ages ingest it, even it’s only supposed to target children ages 1-8?

This summary takes you to about the 8 min mark of the video. The remainder of the interview focuses on brain development and the effects on the brain that fluoride has.  They also cover naturally occurring fluoride in water compared to artificial fluoride that’s added to water – super interesting stuff!

So as I wrote about last week, I’ve purchased toothpaste without fluoride for myself and children to use. I was actually feeling quite good about the changes I’ve made with more holistic practices with our dental routines and then I noticed a brief note about possible BPA in children’s toothbrushes from Dr. Mercola’s website. BPA and toothbrushes? Something I haven’t thought about.  And once I started thinking about it I became a little angry because the toothbrushes my kids are using were handed out from my dentist. The brand is GUM so I called and emailed GUM customer service and after waiting 5 days for a response, I’m done holding my breath waiting for an answer if their toothbrushes contain BPA or the answer to what kind of plastics they use. I feel pretty confident that any of the hard plastic parts are food grade #5 plastic. But there are lots of ‘cutesy’ parts on a child’s toothbrush that is rubbery and soft so I am not confident that they pieces are phthalate or plasticizer free. That would really upset me since these parts go into my child’s mouth (!!).

Thank goodness for two of my wonderful sponsors My Little Green Shop and Nayla Natural Care for the safe options they offer in their stores. I love the bamboo toothbrush offered at My Little Green Shop – you can compost this brush at the end of it’s life. Nayla Natural Care has carried the Green Beaver toothpaste brand for a long time and went as far to take a picture of the ingredients list for me to confirm this toothpaste does contain xylitol!  I couldn’t confirm this in my last article about greener dental health so thank you Gwen! I would recommend Green Beaver as a trusted brand and will be picking up this brand next to try on kids who are still adjusting to the different tastes of all natural toothpaste.

 

More to come in the ‘greener dental care’ series!   So much to learn with holistic vs. traditional dental care for myself and children.

 

Related Articles:


Xylitol – Natural Dental Care

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Sunscreen Surprising Truths Part II

In Part I of learning about safer sunscreens, we shared the latest findings on sunscreen safety from EWG (Environmental Working Group) and they are surprising!  Most of the points listed in their article about  ‘surprising truths‘ don’t need further explanation, but here is one that I’ve always struggled to understand. It’s the topic of nanoparticles and mineral (organic) sunscreens. We learned from Part I of this series that not every sunscreen (chemical sunscreen or organic sunscreen) is safe to be using, however it’s the mineral (organic) sunscreens made with zinc or titanium that receive the highest ratings for safety each year from EWG. My thanks to Gwen, owner of Nayla Natural Care for taking the time to write this great article on mineral sunscreen and the issue of nanoparticles. Take it away Gwen!

What is zinc oxide and titanium dioxide?

Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are natural minerals found in the earth. Both have many uses such as ingredients in paints, foods, vitamins, cosmetics, and of course sun block. The reason why these minerals are used in sun blocks is that they have remarkable properties that give them the ability to reflect light and this is exactly what we want our sun block to do. Both of these minerals are excellent choices for sun protection because they both provide broad UVA and UVB protection.

What are nanoparticles?

Defined, a nanoparticle is a solid particle measuring between 1 and 100 nanometers. A nanometer is equivalent to a billionth of a meter. Manufacturers using zinc oxide and titanium dioxide must break down the natural particles before adding them to the sunscreen. If they didn’t, the particles would remain large and your sunscreen would go onto your skin as a thick and very white paste. Think of the pictures of lifeguards with thick white strips of sun block on their noses and ears. Not the most visually appealing look right?  To lessen this “white” look, natural sunscreen manufacturers use a process called micronization. Micronization is the process that breaks down the particles so they are smaller and will give the sunscreen that more appealing look once applied. Natural sunscreens will still leave a whitish tinge to the skin, but because of micronization, you will not look like the lifeguards.  =)

Some sunscreen manufacturers such as Thinksport, Thinkbaby and TruKid do not use nanoparticles in their sun blocks (but use micronization). The zinc oxide and titanium dioxide particle sizes in these formulas are greater than 100nm. Badger uses particles that range from 70nm to 300nm in size, so yes, a small fraction of their zinc oxide is made up of nanoparticles, but they assure that the nanoparticles in their formulas are safe. Badger also uses a special coating process on all of their zinc oxide particles that makes the zinc oxide “less likely to generate free radicals and will be less reactive with the skin than uncoated zinc oxide.” For more information on Badger’s stance on nanoparticles and to learn all about the coating process they use, please click here.

How will I know if my sunscreen contains particles that fall within the “safe range”?

The best way to know is to visit the sun block manufacturer’s website. Most manufacturers will post the nanoparticle info in the FAQ section like Badger has done. If you cannot find the info on the company website, contact them by email or by phone. If you are buying from a retailer, contact the retailer and ask them the questions you want answered before purchasing your sunscreen. You want to be sure that you are buying the best and safest thing for your family, so spend the time doing the homework and be confident in your purchase.

Related Posts:

EWG Sunscreen Guide & Surprising Truths Parents Need To Read

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Top Organic Sunscreens for 2010 & Tips For Purchasing

Please note: In May 2010 the EWG strengthened their safe sunscreen requirements so the top list has now changed in the EWG sunscreen database. To read more on these new recommendations, please read the latest Mommy Footprint article called EWG Sunscreen Guide & Surprising Truths Parents Need To Read.

Drum roll please.  Every year we excitedly wait to see the results for top organic sunscreens recommended by EWG (Environmental Working Group).  I’ve listed the top 5 results below and asked Gwen, owner of Nayla Natural Care to put together some sunscreen tips for Mommy Footprint readers. Her online store is carrying 3 of the top 5 brands recommended by EWG which shows Gwen’s depth for sourcing great products.  Check out the Badger Sunscreen, SPF 30 and the new Thinkbaby and Thinksport SPF 30+.  Nayla Natural Care has kindly offered a prize pack of Badger products to kickoff our series of safer sunscreen (more information on the contest at end of this article).

Top 5 Beach & Sport Sunscreens EWG – Skin Deep

1. Loving Naturals Sunscreen 30+ SPF

2. Heiko Kids 40 SPF

3. Thinkbaby and Thinksport Thinkbaby Sunscreen SPF 30+

4. Badger Sunscreen SPF 30

5. Trukid Sunny Days Facestick Mineral Sunscreen UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum, SPF 30+

I link to the online store Nayla frequently because I trust Gwen’s excellent product knowledge and customer service. I’d like to thank Gwen for taking the time to write these awesome sunscreen tips – I learned a lot from her article.  I especially love the handy SPF calculator!

Tips for Purchasing Sunscreen, by Gwen Leron

It is that time of year again, when we all start to look at purchasing sun block/screen for the upcoming sunny days of summer. With all of the products on the market and the abundance of information out there, Suzanne and I thought it would be a great idea to lay out all of the things you need to know before purchasing a sun block/screen for your family.

This is Part 1 of what we have put together and here, we will present the basics on sun block/screen, and the terms you should know.

What is SPF? SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. The most common SPF factors are 15, 30 and 45. The SPF tells you approximately how long your sun block/screen will protect you from the sun. For example, if you normally burn after 10 minutes in the sun, multiply 10 minutes by the SPF. Therefore, an SPF15 will protect you for 150 minutes (2 hours 30 minutes) before you have to re-apply. It is important not to go exactly by the SPF calculation though. Sweating, clothing rubbing against the skin and water can all reduce the “safe time” so it is always a good idea to re-apply well before the calculated SPF time. A good rule is to apply once every hour.

What is the difference between sunscreen and sun block?

A chemical based sunscreen is known as a chemical block. These types of sunscreens do not leave a white film on the skin and rub in as a regular lotion would. The chemicals in these sunscreens filter sunlight and reduce the ultraviolet penetration to the skin. Chemical sunscreens usually contain chemical preservatives such as parabens to lengthen shelf life. It is a good idea to stay away from chemical ingredients and preservatives because they easily absorb into the skin and can cause a multitude of problems.

A sun block that is not chemical based is known as a physical block. These types of blocks contain an active natural mineral ingredient, either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. After applying, the sun block physically blocks the ultraviolet penetration to the skin and do not use any chemicals to do so. Physical blocks usually leave a whitish tinge to the skin after application and contain natural preservatives that in turn give them a shorter shelf life than their chemical based equivalents. To combat the unappealing look of the “white sunscreen” sitting on the skin, some companies turn to nano-particles in sunscreen, which we will discuss in Part 2.

What is broad spectrum? A sun block/screen is broad spectrum if it protects against Ultraviolet-A (UVA) and Ultraviolet-B (UVB) rays. UVA and UVB rays together cause skin cancer, premature aging, sunburn and more, so always be sure that the sun block/screen you choose is labeled broad spectrum.

Note: The sun also emits Ultraviolet-C (UVC) rays but they are of little concern because the majority of UVC rays are filtered by the earth’s ozone layer before it reaches us (a little bit more incentive to protect the environment).

What is the difference between water resistant and waterproof?

Water resistant means that that the sun block/screen will retain its SPF after 40 minutes of any type of moisture exposure. Keep in mind that water exposure also includes sweating.

Waterproof means that the product will retain its SPF after 80 minutes of water exposure.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this series. We will dive a bit deeper into the more technical terms that you may come across when trying to decipher sun block/screen ingredients.

If you would like to enter the Badger sunscreen contest, click onto the Nayla Natural Care site, pick your favorite product, then post that product to the Mommy Footprint fan page. The lucky winner will receive a bottle of 2.9oz of Badger SPF 30 sunscreen. If you don’t have a Facebook account, you can use our traditional method of entering a contest by using our referral form. This contest is open to all residents in North America and will close on April 17th. This prize package includes 1 Badger SPF 30 sunscreen, Badger SPF 15 lip balm, and Badger Bali Balm after sun care.

badger sunscreen SPF 30+

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Untangled Living Stainless Steel Dishware

I’m a huge fan of stainless steel dishware and it became a permanent staple when I learned all my Disney printed licensed plates were produced with polycarbonate plastic 2 years ago. I quickly decided that safety and quality needed to come first over designs with licensed friends that wanted to entertained thoughts of leaching chemicals into my children’s food.  When I saw the stainless steel dish set from Untangled Living I was so excited to review a product that was amazing quality and provided kids with a child-friendly design they would gravitate towards using. The butterfly and gecko designs beautifully etched into the cup, bowl, plate, and cutlery are awesome.  Check out both adorable designs – I always love it when a designer can take a practical item and give it a design that kids will also love without the heavy influence of commercialism.

I really recommend this for a unique baby shower or 1st birthday gift.  To really get your full value for the product – it should be started with little ones because the bowl and cup in the set are sized for very small hands and portions.  The plate and utensils are a great size for a toddler – 5 year old, but an older child will not get great use from it. The quality is wonderful because it’s 18/8 – 304 steel grade and is dishwasher friendly. I have since purchased this dishware for a gift since receiving mine to review and think the design, packaging, and set combination is good value and makes a special gift. These sets are available to purchase through the Untangled Living site or through various retail stores like our friends over at Nayla Natural Care.

With the beautiful spring weather on the West Coast slowing becoming a staple around here – my mind’s been drifting to upcoming baby showers with Spring being the magical season for celebrating new little bundles. I have a deep affection for great quality stainless steel solutions and will be featuring more products in upcoming articles and a contest will be announced shortly! Stay up to date with Mommy Footprint posts by joining our new fan page on Facebook or using the subscribe to updates option on the right sidebar of this article.

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