What is Really in Your Baby’s Shampoo

What is Really in Your Baby’s Shampoo

You expect that the products being used on your baby are safe and gentle. Your baby’s sensitive skin needs to be protected. But have you ever actually read the label on your baby’s shampoo (or other products)? Unfortunately, companies are hiding some pretty nasty chemicals under names you couldn’t possibly understand. Here are some of the top harmful chemicals commonly found in baby shampoo.

Remember: many of these chemicals hide under different names! Do your research or download the Think Dirty App to be sure.


This toxin is commonly added to prevent mold in water-based products like shampoo. No one wants mold in their products, but formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen. There are also countless studies linking this chemical to respiratory problems, nausea, and headaches. You definitely want to look for shampoos formulated with organic preservatives for your little one.

Phthalates and Parabens

Knowledge about the danger of parabens has recently become more widespread, with countless brands boasting that they are paraben-free. With this newfound awareness you may assume that they would also be removed from your baby’s shampoo but many brands have yet to make the change. These two chemicals are used to preserve many products but phthalates have been linked to endocrine disruption, allergies, asthma, and cancer. Parabens are also tied to reproductive problems, developmental disorders, endometriosis, skin irritation and cancer. Be careful to check all your products because these chemicals are also commonly found in lotions.

1,4 dioxane

If you have never head of 1,4-dioxane, you are not alone. 1,4-dioxane is not an ingredient you will find listed on a label, it is a chemical byproduct. You may be more familiar with sodium laureth sulfate which is a common chemical in bath products. It is also one of the ingredients that produces 1,4-dioxane. This chemical byproduct is a possible human carcinogen, and is linked to organ toxicity and skin allergies.


Fragrance is a catch-all term that many companies use to hide a variety of other harmful chemicals. Chances are, that the amazing coconut smell of your baby’s shampoo contains absolutely zero coconut. Be wary of any products that don’t say ‘organic fragrance’ or specifically list all the fragrances used.

If you want to learn more about these chemicals or are concerned about your baby’s products the Think Dirty App is a great way to check them. It can also help you discover healthier alternatives to the products.