Saturday, August 25, 2012

More Petroleum Jelly Alternatives

The second most common use for petroleum jelly is as a barrier on our precious infant's bottoms. For babies, any toxic overload is magnified, because of their small size. Children are more vulnerable to the effects of toxic chemicals than adults. Their immune systems and central nervous system are immature and still developing, which means their bodies are generally less capable of eliminating toxins. As well, children have roughly double the skin surface of adults per unit of body weight, so a child can absorb proportionally more chemicals.

Well, one possible alternative is to do nothing. This is actually a fine plan. Washing baby well with each change, and changing baby as quickly as possibly when needed, may actually be a great way to avoid diaper rash.

However, some babies just seem to rash even with the best of care. When choosing an alternative product, take your handy list of "the toxic ten" with you and verify that your chosen product is free from all of them. Again, it all comes down to taking the time to read the label. Harmful ingredients include:  PEG, TEA, DMDM hydantoin, quaternium-15, parabens,  1,4-dioxane, fragrance, petroleum jelly, coal tar colours, ammonia, propylene glycol, mineral oil, sodium lauryl sulfate. There is no need for a scented product, so, I would avoid all added scents.

You might try using a natural oil, or blend of oils, such as sweet almond, peach kernel, grapeseed, or coconut. Preferably, you would use a certified organic oil. This will leave a thin film of protection between baby and diaper contents. These oils are also nutritious for skin.

My personal favorite is to use organic shea butter. In it's natural state, shea butter has the consistency of cottage cheese. It melts at body temperature. If the weather or room it is stored in is cool, it will be harder. Regardless, a small scoop in the hands, when rubbed together, will melt the shea and it can be applied to baby. It forms a water resistant film, yet allows the skin to breathe. It is very moisturizing, and is renowned for its skin softening properties. Shea is virtually unscented. For infants, even essential oils are unnecessary, and, should be avoided in all infant products.
eScential Wellness is currently developing a Baby Bum Butter, a vegan product made with organic coconut oil, organic cocoa butter and organic shea butter. There may be a faint coconut odor, but, this is inherent in organic virgin coconut oil and/or a faint chocolate aroma from the cocoa butter. These are not added fragrances. Look for it soon on the website,

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