Babyganics is a very popular brand these days. You can find it on nearly any store shelf, and the brand name makes you think that it’s non-toxic and organic. But is Babyganics safe?
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We’ve talked a little bit about greenwashing in previous posts, and Babyganics is a great example of it. The name itself makes you think that it’s safe and organic, and their branding and packaging is green (which most people associate with eco-friendly products).
Babyganics is not a green brand though.
In fact, the company is very, very vague in all of their claims. They say they “look for” ingredients and packaging with their environmental impact in mind, but they don’t say that they actually use eco-friendly packaging and ingredients.
One of the questions on their website is, “Is this product safe…?” and their response is that they “create products that help parents care for their babies.” If this isn’t incredibly vague, I don’t know what is.
They also say that they use organic ingredients “when practical,” but very few of their ingredients are organic, and none of their products are. Let’s talk a bit more about their ingredients.
Harmful Ingredients in Babyganics Products
On their website, Babyganics claims to have a list of “no’s” and ingredients that they’ll never use in their products. This list is not public information though (at least not that we’ve found), so I have no idea what’s there, and Babyganics has a ton of ingredients that aren’t so great.
One look at the ingredients list of many Babyganics products, and you’ll likely be overwhelmed. Many of them have a lengthy list of chemicals that you’ve likely never heard of (and probably can’t pronounce). Here are some of the worst offenders:
This is one of my least favorite ingredients because it’s hidden in a ton of products that claim to be safe and non-toxic. It’s in the majority of Babyganics’ products too.
It’s added as a preservative, and though it’s better than some of the alternatives (like parabens), it’s still not incredibly safe. It can irritate the eyes and skin, cause dryness and cracking, and it may also have both short-term and long-term effects on the central nervous system.
You’ll find octisalate in Babyganics sunscreen (and some other brands of sunscreen as well). It’s certainly not the worst sunscreen ingredient, but there isn’t a ton of information about its safety.
The cause for concern is that it’s easily absorbed into the skin and makes its way into the bloodstream. It’s been found in blood 10-days after the product was applied! Without knowing all of the effects that it can have on us, it’s probably best to avoid octisalate when possible.
This one is possibly the worst ingredient that Babyganics adds to their products. It makes the lotions and body washes smell great, but it can have some pretty harmful effects.
Fragrance is often a mixture of ingredients, but most brands don’t disclose what those ingredients are. That’s because the FDA treats it as proprietary information. Often, companies hide some pretty toxic chemicals in their fragrances, so you should always look at the word “fragrance” as “undisclosed toxic chemicals.”
Found in Babyganics lotion and body wash, sodium hydroxide is a dangerous chemical that’s most often associated with allergic reactions and skin and eye irritation. In very high doses, it can actually act as a poison (though this isn’t a concern in beauty products because it’s such a small amount). Sodium hydroxide should still be avoided when possible, especially for children and babies with young sensitive skin.
Cetereath-20 (1,4 dioxane)
Cetereath-20 is a cleansing agent that’s often found in soaps and shampoos. It’s also in Babyganics lotion. The problem with this ingredient is actually in its by-product, which is 1,4 dioxane. You won’t see 1,4 dioxane listed on the label, but it’s a known carcinogen and should be avoided entirely, especially in products that you use on a daily basis.
I talked about polysorbates a little bit in my post about natural emulsifiers, and, basically, if a product uses polysorbates it cannot be labeled “organic.” This is because it’s treated with ethylene oxide, which is a carcinogen. This treatment can actually produce 1,4 dioxane (which we discussed in the section above).
In October of 2018, Babyganics settled a $2.2 million lawsuit for false advertising.
The lawsuit focused on their sunscreen products, which claimed to be organic and mineral-based with zinc oxide. Zinc oxide is used in many non-toxic sunscreen products because it sits on top of the skin in order to block UV rays. However, Babyganics sunscreen was using chemical ingredients that our skin absorbs.
In addition to the refunds that were sent out to customers (with proof of purchase), Babyganics also had to remove the word “natural” from their labels… but only for 3 years.
Have Babyganics Products Gotten Better Since the Lawsuit?
Looking at the two ingredients lists for Babyganics sunscreen (both the current formulation and the 2017 formulations), not much has changed.
However, the packaging has changed a bit. Most notably, it’s changed names from “mineral-based sunscreen” to simply “sunscreen lotion.”
Better Baby Products
If you’re bummed that Babyganics isn’t as great as you hoped it would be (we certainly are), here are some other baby products that we recommend:
Baby-Safe Sunscreen: Babo Botanicals
This is our personal favorite sunscreen for our kids, and I love that it’s sprayable. You still have to rub it in a bit, but it’s a great natural sunscreen with trustworthy non-toxic ingredients.
If you’re not interested in a spray-on sunscreen, Babo Botanicals also makes sunscreen lotion that will be a great option for you (and it’s pretty easy to find too).
Baby-Safe Lotion: Earth Mama Simply Non-Scents Baby Lotion
I absolutely adore Earth Mama’s products. Earth Mama makes its baby lotion with safe and natural ingredients, and it scores a 1 on the EWG’s skin deep database.
Baby-Safe Shampoo + Body Wash: Babo Botanicals
Babo Botanicals has an entire line of shampoo and body wash that’s safe, non-toxic and uses natural ingredients.
If you’d prefer to skip the combo and just get a body wash for your baby, we also love Earth Mama’s Simply Non-Scents baby wash.
If you’re looking for safe, non-toxic diapers for your little one, we’ve actually created an entire post dedicated to our favorites. View it here.