Second Chance Saturday – What’s Irritating Your Little One??

You can see the red marks around the top of her chest
* This post first appeared on Mummy’s Little Monkey in November, 2009. I’ve chosen to include it on Big Mama Cass’ Second Chance Saturday because it angers me that harsh chemicals continue to be used in child and baby products. I think it’s really important that Mums know all about their nasty side effects. So please spread the word by Tweeting this post.
Nastly, inflamed patches of eczema had suddenly appeared inside Lucia’s elbows, and behind her knees, and there was a red ring of irritated skin across the top of her chest. At night she’d scratch and scratch until her skin was raw and weeping. 
I’d recently weaned her on to bottle milk, so at first I assumed she was allergic to dairy products. So I cut out all the milk and cheese from her diet, and started paying twice as much for fancy goat milk formula. I went back and forth to the doctor, each time trying a different lotion, cream, or ointment. But the eczema just kept getting worse. 
Finally, a friend suggested I stop using the well-known brand of baby bath bubbles I was using. Sure enough, within days the angry red rash began to clear. 
Then, by a timely coincidence, Romy from Green People offered to send over a sample of their Organic Babies No Scent Hair and Body Shampoo. I ditched the equally well known brand of baby shampoo I’d been using, and gave it a try, and was thrilled when the last patches of eczema disappeared.
I thought she must have exceptionally sensitive skin, but then I spoke to lots of other mums whose little ones had the same problem. Then, I had a chance to chat to a lovely lady called Annabel, who developed the natural skincare range Rhodes to Heaven with her sister Penny. 
She explained that a particular ingredient, called sodium laureth sulfate, is added to shampoos and body washes to make it creamy and foamy. Unfortunately it can also over cleanse delicate skin, stripping the moisture, and causing dryness and irritation – such as eczema and dermatitis
Sure enough, when I checked, the old shampoo had SLS in it, while the new one didn’t. Then I did a bit of investigating, and discovered these harsh sulfates were in practically every foaming product – from dishwashing liquid, to laundry detergents, to toothpaste.
Shockingly, I even found the emollient cream prescribed by the doctor to treat Lucia’s eczema had Sodium Laureth Sulfate in it!!! And I’d been rubbing it into her raw skin for months, probably making it even worse. In fact the Daily Mail recently an a story about this which you can read HERE.
Lucia is now 2 (and a bit). We’ve continued to use the SLS free products, and her skin has remained pretty much blemish-free. The only times the eczema returned was when my partner accidentally used the old shampoo again, and some relatives unknowingly washed her clothes in the wrong brand of detergent. Almost overnight blotches appeared on her thighs and face.
It shocks me that so many manufacturers are targeting the child and baby market, while using harsh sulfates in their formulations. Lucia is certainly not the only child to be affected – surely they must know these ingredients do to soft, delicate baby skin??
I’m not a dermatologist, and I’m sure, if asked, these big companies will deny that their products are causing irrititaion. All I know is that since switching to the SLS-free organic products, my daughter’s ezcema has disappeared. When we use inadvertently use them again, it comes back.

Reach your own conclusions, but that’s proof enough for me!


  1. Emily - November 28, 2010

    I use all organic products on my son. I was outraged when it was found out that the baby bottles I fed him with contained (the name fails me now) in their plastic.

    I wish I could buy all organic food, but the budget doesn’t allow.

  2. ChiBibi - November 29, 2010

    I am having the same problem with my LO at the moment.. he has a rash on his back and his tummy constantly.. I have been putting it down to heat rash (now saying this sounds ridiculous as we are in minus figures) but reading this i am thinking maybe its his bubbles or the cream I am using?

  3. Big Mama Cass - December 2, 2010

    I am super queer about Organic stuff touching my son. Since the day he was born I am always fanatic about making sure he has the right soaps and creams. And I am so glad I did! We were staying with my mother one evening and I failed to bring his California Baby bath soap and so I had to use what she had. (he was 2.5 at the time) and he broke out all over and it was sooo horrible! I will never let that happen again. so sorry your little girl had to go through that 🙁

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