The Three P’s: Parabens, Phthalates, And Petrolatum – Why You Should Keep Your Child Away From Them

As a parent or childcare providers, we are always striving to provide a safe and healthy environment for our little ones. This not only includes the things we feed children; it also includes the things we give them for personal hygiene. For example, many different types of creams and moisturizers are made by different brands. They may smell and even feel good, but are they actually good for your child’s hair and skin? Let’s explore the three p’s (parabens, phthalates, petrolatum)-which are very common chemicals in our everyday personal care items. We will also identify their purposes as well as if they are harmful to your child’s health.

Parabens are a group of chemicals most commonly used as preservatives in many cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and food items. Items like makeup, shampoos, conditioners, sauces, and soft drinks contain the chemical. Parabens stop and prevent the product from growing dangerous molds, increasing its shelf life. Studies have shown that if applied to the skin or ingested regularly, parabens cause an array of issues from skin irritation to increasing the risk of cancer. It can also cause hormonal imbalances and disruptions in the functionality of the reproductive organs. Parabens have also been known to cause environmental damage to ocean water and underwater life, with research illustrating that even just low-level amounts are enough to kill coral.

Phthalates are a group of chemicals that can be found in personal care products such as hair spray, soaps, detergent, and even foods with high-fat contents like dairy products and meats. Also known as plasticizers, their main purpose is to make plastics more durable. Some phthalates are also used to dissolve other chemicals and materials. The side effects from constant exposure (both internally and externally) to phthalates are ongoing but have been connected to an increase in acquiring chronic disease throughout life. Research through long-term studies has shown that individuals can die earlier, and phthalates tend to affect unborn and young children the most.

Lastly, we will discuss petrolatum, also known as petroleum jelly. Used by many as a moisturizer for the skin, petrolatum does not affect the health and wellness of human beings. However, studies have shown that not all petroleum is properly refined for healthy use in the United States- which is when health concerns become a factor. If not prepared properly, petrolatum is considered a carcinogen and can lead to an increased risk for cancer later in life.

So, what is the best way to avoid giving your child products that contain these possibly dangerous substances? Simply put, research the ingredients. Most foods and personal care products will list all ingredients, which will make it much easier to choose what’s best for you and your children. Going for products that include fewer ingredients, as well as more naturally occurring ingredients, also makes them a better option to use at home for multiple purposes. These methods may be a little more expensive or a bit more of a task when shopping. But the peace of mind in knowing your child is eating and using healthier products is more than worth the extra time and money spent.

Yipes! wipes are 99% plant-derived and never contain any parabens, phthalates or petrolatum. Plus they are 98% water and contain no harsh ingredients. Yipes! wipes for faces and hands are made with plant-derived ingredients that are infused onto compostable, plastic-free wipes. they are soft and gentle yet still remove dirt, grime, and all kinds of messes. Yipes! wipes are hypoallergenic, and dermatologist tested, so they are always gentle on faces and hands.