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Since the attention phthalates got in the media the last week or two, I’ve gotten a few emails from moms wondering “What products are safe?“.  I’ve been religious about what products I use on my kid and the things I’ve read regarding parabens and phthalates have prompted me to change and inspect every product we use. For the tired moms who don’t have time to research and just need to know what products are paraben and phthtalate free, here is a quick list of companies.

UPDATE: Since the generation of this list, we’ve gone through each company and verified whether they contain parabens, phthalates, sodium laureth sulfates (SLS), 1,4 dioxane, PEG’s and/or Propylene Glycols. (See Glossary for why these things are something you may want to avoid). We also cross checked each product the the Skin Deep database to obtain any available hazard rating.

Download our extensive report / cheat sheet to see how products ranked. (Note: Version 2.0 coming this summer….we hope.)

Last Updated: June 22, 2009

SafeMama Top Picks

Paraben, Phthalate, PEG Free Baby Products


Read labels carefully. This article from The Daily Green is a great intro to helping you identify and avoid phthalates in your products. Beware of -paraben, fragrance, PEG, propylene glycol,

Shopping at a “natural” store doesn’t mean everything is paraben and phthalate free. Read labels, know how to decipher the ingredients and don’t be fooled by the word “natural”  or “organic” on the label.

Be wary of the term “fragrance”. Synthetic fragrances are a phthalate culprit so if you can, try to use products with organic or natural fragrances or <strike>choose “unscented”</strike>. Unscented products can also contain phthalates (darn it!)! EWG says,

“Fragrance-free” or “unscented” means a product has no odor, but synthetic ingredients are often added to mask odors. Products without the word “fragrance” on their label should be OK.

Thank you to my friends at Itsabelly for bringing this to our attention!

Use less products. This seems like a no-brainer but many people use way more than they need. Babies are born with the most perfect skin (usually) and it will never again be as perfect as it is when they’re babies. They don’t need to be slathered in lotions and powders. A little warm water and a washcloth is all they really need. When kids get older and grimier (like mine) a little soap and warm water does the trick and spot treat any dry skin problems or rashes.

Posted by: SafeMama Kathy on February 10, 2008


28 Responses to “Cheat Sheet: Paraben and Phthalate Free Baby Products”

  1. I’ve had it up to here. « ALL THE BUZZ on February 10th, 2008 5:17 pm

    […] Mama has a great post today regarding this very subject.  Head on over there to read her cheat sheet on paraben and phthalate free baby products.  As a result of reading this information, I think I might try me some California Baby […]

  2. Paraben & Phthalate Free Baby Products « ALL THE BUZZ on February 10th, 2008 5:23 pm

    […] and behold, today Safe Mama has a great post on this particular subject!  Head on over to read her cheat sheet on paraben and phthalate free baby products.  As a result of reading this information, I think I might try me some California Baby […]

  3. Lill Hawkins on February 11th, 2008 1:33 am

    And let’s not forget that some of the best moisturizers come from nature. Olive oil, especially organic extra virgin unfiltered olive oil, has antibacterial properties as well as being a good moisturizer. And if baby licks it off her skin, it’s not poisonous and won’t make her sick.

    Also, organic virgin coconut oil is wicked good for moisturizing red, raw diaper areas. I used to use it on my little ones when they came in with chapped red cheeks and hands also.

    And when my middle guy had cradle cap, I slathered his head with coconut oil, waited about ten minutes and then washed his hair with mild, organic baby shampoo and the flakes rinsed right off.

    It was no more expensive than the high-priced processed stuff and in a pinch I could use it for cooking too. Now, that’s something you can’t say about most baby products.

    Shine On,

  4. Kathy on February 11th, 2008 2:14 am

    That’s an excellent point. Thanks for mentioning it!

  5. JP on February 12th, 2008 10:34 pm

    Do you know if anyone has looked into the safety of the actual containers that these products come in? I have been reading about how the unhealthy substances / chemicals can leach into the products from the containers. Just wondering. Thanks.

  6. Kristen on February 13th, 2008 12:44 am

    Great wrap up on phthlates!!

    With all of the recent publicity, we’ve been double checking all of the products we carry. You can add Nature’s Baby Organics, Little Twig, Mama Rose’s Naturals (great line out of Oregon!), and Mei Mei (from New Zealand) to your list. It’s great to see so many companies are keeping it safe and clean!

  7. soapchix on February 14th, 2008 10:22 pm

    Thanks for this great article on phthalates! It’s exciting to see so many moms becoming informed about what exactly the cosmetic industry is up to with baby products. It isn’t pretty!

    I’d like to add my company to your paraben and phthalate free baby products. I first started the business as a way to make safe baby soaps, and now offer that same assurance to other moms out there. You can find my baby products here:

    I also talk a lot about phthalates and other chemicals in baby products on my blog, here:

  8. Parent Cheat Sheet on February 17th, 2008 5:36 pm

    […] is a regular fixture here if I need to quickly figure out if I should use something or not. Safe Mama has compiled a quick reference guide for Paraben and Phthalate free personal care products for […]

  9. Paraben & Phthalate Free Baby Products « on February 27th, 2008 8:29 pm

    […] February 10, 2008 in Bath Products by Shoppin’ Momma I wrote last week about how baby products were making the news again…and not in a good way.  And so I began the quest to find safer bath products for Miss Busy Bee.  Lo and behold, today Safe Mama has a great post on this particular subject!  Head on over to read her cheat sheet on paraben and phthalate free baby products.  […]

  10. Geofeat- Roger on March 6th, 2008 9:27 am

    Interesting article.
    We have recently reviewed a range of organic baby care products that are Paraben free and Phthalate free from Love Me baby Me (also recently reviewed on the Montel Williams Show)). More info:

  11. cheryl on March 11th, 2008 7:11 pm

    re: Paraben & Phthalate Free Baby Products:

    i love the burt’s bees line of products and have used the baby bee products on my son since his birth. i have yet to find any product that has parabens and their web site claims they will use no phthalate’s. you mention that some, but not all of their products are paraben & phthalate free . which burt’s bees products contain paraben’s or phthalate’s?

  12. Jenna on March 19th, 2008 5:40 am

    I don’t like the scent of the California Baby products, and am iffy about the scent of the Earth Mama Angel Baby wash, so I’ve been on the lookout for a new one to try.

    I just cross-referenced this with the new article on 1, 4-dioxane and decided to try Aubrey Organics. They have sample sizes available (I haven’t checked the shipping prices yet, though!). You don’t have a link above, so here it is:

  13. Heather Brandt on March 24th, 2008 8:28 pm

    Do you know if Arbonne baby products are safe?

  14. Fernanda on March 30th, 2008 2:42 am

    Hi there,
    Thanks for this website! It has great information! I use a line of baby products from Brazil called Natura Baby and I have been having a hard time finding out if there are any phthalate or anything else harmful for my baby in its composition.Have you heard of their products? Do you think you can help me? Here is the composition of their shampoo. Thank you very much for your help!
    Sans PARABEN

  15. Alanna Mallon on April 1st, 2008 12:45 am

    thanks for this! i love cheat sheets..
    i saw a brand called miesscience this weekend and im wondering how they stack up. anyone know? i loved their bee lip gloss…

  16. J's mom on April 3rd, 2008 3:22 pm

    i’d like to mention that “lovemebabyme” products contain several PEG(polyethylene glycol).. PEGs are often contaminated w/ 1, 4 dioxane! their website claims that their products are safe: paraben, phthalate, gluten, propylene glycol free…
    ((i’m bringing this up because they don’t list the ingredients on their website.. i trusted it to be SAFE until i received the package and read the ingredients)).

  17. Statia on April 3rd, 2008 4:12 pm

    Hi J’s Mom. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I recently spoke with Rosemary regarding her products and she assured me that her line, which has been reformulated is free of dioxanes, as well as parabens and phthalates and SLS (and is also organic as well). I’ve got some on the way, so I will definitely post a review and will disclose any harmful ingredients. Keep in mind (and I’m not defending her, here, as I don’t have the product in my hands yet), that the smaller mom and pop shops make smaller batches and therefore their turnover is a little higher, leaving them with some older packaging to use up. I know that California Baby had that problem as well, and some of their stuff still has the old labels on it, and they’d rather use it up than toss it.

  18. laura on April 3rd, 2008 9:11 pm

    When reading ingredients looking for parabates and phthalates what should I be looking for? Will it list it out as parabates or phthalates?

    I receieved some of the Earths Best baby wash Babies R Us carries and they do say their product is parabate free however make not mention of phthalates?

  19. Statia on April 4th, 2008 2:57 am

    Hi Laura,

    That’s a good question. Parabens will be listed on the label (methylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben). Phthalates are a little harder to decipher, as they’re not blatantly listed on the label. If you see the term “fragrance”, it’s best to avoid it as most synthetic fragrances contain phthalates. You can refer to a great article at the daily green here.

  20. peeps on April 19th, 2008 5:26 pm

    hi — how can u say jason is organic? i’ve read their labels and they have SLS!!!

  21. Kathy on April 19th, 2008 5:55 pm

    peeps… We don’t say anything anywhere on this site about jason.

  22. Mandy on April 20th, 2008 10:16 pm

    Wonderful post, thank you for this info. Do you have a list of phthalate and paraben free products for adults?

  23. Molly on April 21st, 2008 12:48 am

    Also, please check out Original Little Sprouts to see if it qualifies for your list. Discovered their stuff when my daughter was about 6 mos old and have been using for the last 2.5 years. We LOVE it!
    Pthalate, SLS and paraben free.

  24. Maggie on April 21st, 2008 11:11 pm

    Nature’s Baby Organics are the best products!!! My daughter had a reaction to J&J products when she was just a few months old…they said it was eczema, but after researching natural baby products, I decided to try the NBO and within a day she was better and has not had a reaction since. We use the wash, lotion and diaper cream and they are all great!

  25. Michelle on April 23rd, 2008 2:14 pm

    So I take it because i do not see Johnson and Johnson on this list they are NOT SAFE for my child???

  26. Cari on April 23rd, 2008 6:32 pm

    After reading the praise of California Baby products I rushed out this morning and purchased the diaper rash cream, shampoo and body wash, and the Calendula cream. I was rather surprised the calendula cream is in a plastic container with the recycle #7 on it! Just wanted to let all those out there know.

  27. Erin on April 25th, 2008 3:29 pm

    Has anyone ever heard of Arbonne International products? They are supposed to be all natural. Has anyone heard otherwise? I bought the sunscreen for my son, but have not used it yet.

  28. Erin on April 25th, 2008 3:34 pm

    So Jason is not safe either! Everything is so misleading in the stores. Just because it says organic doesn’t mean it is.