Even Safe-for-Kids Makeup Isn't 'Safe' At All

Say What!? 50

little girl
Keep those chemicals away from me!
I'm starting to get nervous every time a gift-giving occasion crops up. Is my daughter going to get another piece of toxic crap from a well-meaning but absolutely clueless friend of the family? First it was the cheap jewelry coated in lead and cadmium. Now that she's officially a "big kid," we've moved onto creepy cosmetics territory.

We're far from mascara and eye liner stage (thank God). But there's just something about little girls that makes people want to buy them cute little bottles of nail polish and sweet tubes of barely there lip gloss. This past Christmas she even got a gift pack full of so many bottles of bubble bath she could start her own spa. And every one had something awful inside.

Parabens. Polyethylene glycol. Diethyl phthalate. And the list goes on and on. Some of these are in products that are cute and little, and really nice people bought them out of the kindness of their hearts because they thought they'd be just perfect. Others, the ones that bother me more, actually, are made FOR kids, and yet they contain the toxic nasties that experts like the Environmental Working Group tell us to avoid at all costs when it comes to our kids.

The EWG estimates kids are exposed to an average of 27 personal care product ingredients that have not been found safe for developing bodies. And out of 1,700-some products sold "for kids," they say 77 percent of the ingredients haven't been assessed for safety.

Are you seeing why I dread all those gifts? It's not that people don't care. It's that this crap is hiding out just waiting for some person who thinks they're being nice to deliver to my kid. And that makes me the bad guy when I have to confiscate some bottle of sparkly pink nail polish because I don't want it to give her cancer. I hate to be one of those greedy controlling parents who hands out a pre-approved list of gifts for my kid, but I'm at a point where I'm wondering what else I can do. Toxic cosmetics are not the same as annoying toys -- they're putting my daughter's health at risk.

I don't know that I'll hand it out, but here are some of my go-to options:

Piggy Paint -- I first got hold of some of this nail polish in a public relations sampler, but ever since I've refused to buy anything else for Mommy/Daughter mani-pedi nights because it doesn't have most of the toxins in the stuff I put on my own toes. It's water-based, so it chips more easily, but frankly my 6-year-old tends to lose her polish in a day and a half anyway from playing hard, so that part doesn't bother me. And there are plenty of pretty colors to suit her every mood. She especially loves rainbow nails!

Little Twig -- The only bubble bath we use these days is by the company that uses natural scents like rosemary and citrus and pairs it with vitamin E and aloe vera to soothe kids' skin. What don't they use? Scary stuff like parabens, sulfates, phthalates ...

Glory for Girls -- My daughter carries a little pot of grapefruit flavored lip balm to chase the chap monster away. But the real monsters it keeps at bay are the chemicals. The main component of this stuff is beeswax.

How about you? What beauty brands do you trust using on your kids? And how do you deal with the other products that are purchased as gifts?


Image by Jeanne Sager

girls, kid health


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the4m... the4mutts

I don't check ingredients. I figure that I've used the evil chemicals my whole life, so durring pregnancy, my kids' bodies got the same as mine. If checking every label from every product works for some of y'all, well, good I guess.

But it isn't for us. Product fear takes a lot out of peoples lives in my opinion. We've been exposed to these things for years, they won't all of a sudden give someone magically appearing cancer.

Who knows? Maybe I'm wrong and will have to deal with the consequences later. But I seriously doubt it.

buffa... buffalove23

Check out lush for bath time. Their bath bombs and bubble bars are awesome.

Nicole Thomas

"We've been exposed to these things for years, they won't all of a sudden give someone magically appearing cancer."


lol... wow.

RanaA... RanaAurora

I got Piggy Paint from the company to review and do a giveaway on Daily Momtra, and I love it and won't put anything else on Aurora's nails now.
They have their adult lines and even a DOG line now too!

RanaA... RanaAurora

Oh! And if you do a coat, then blow dry it, then do another coat, and blow dry again, it lasts way longer.

Amber Windham Bonner

Cancer doesn't magically appear, you're right. It "appears" after a "lifetime" of using these harmful chemicals. All the skin cancer and breast cancer you hear about. It comes from these chemicals being put on your body daily. You hear that the sun gives skin cancer so lather up in sunblock. What a horrible lie we have told to countless many. The sun is what keeps us from cancer with all of it's wonderful vitamin D fighting cancer. The sunblock and all of the chemicals in it are what causes the cancer. Our society questions "why has this cancer happened to me/my family/my children"? But when you don't educate yourself and choose not to read labels you allow it to happen. Then you subject yourself to the hands of doctors who fill you with more poison that does not cure the cancer, but rather kills the immune system and causes more cancers over the years. We can heal ourselves from all these things naturally if we would stop allowing ourselves to be ignorant.

Kathya Briggs

Actually, most of those ingredients you have been exposed for year might be the reason there are so many people with cancer now. Even babies with cancer because they have been exposed to this since conception.
Product fear only makes you aware of what you are putting on your skin, which by the way IT IS the biggest organ in the human body. Should this be there reason why we should care even more???
We do lots of oils instead of company product even if they are organic products.
we use lots of organic coconut oil (which is also great for baking) for our body, face and lips.

Kristin McGee Gates

While I am not a fan of label checking, I do try to buy products that I know are known for being much better than the alternative. But the comment about magically appearing cancer, sweetie all cancer just magically appears, people get it out of no where with absolutely no family history just the same as someone who worked in a factory and was exposed to asbestos for 20 years. 

Jennifer DiTrapani Gimbal

Wow. No, they won't "all of a sudden" give someone cancer - it will more likely be slow and sometime down the road.
Thanks for this article, it really hit home for me, as I have 3 young daughters and have often had to be the confiscator of crappy products.
We research what the EWG has suggested, as well as using Babyganics, California Baby, and many others. I think I gave away all the horrible Johnsons and WalMart brand stuff we were given as baby gifts. I never know what to do with it.
And guess what, I actually have handed out a preapproved list of gifts to family members!

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