Toxic Trinket or Toy?

My 4 year old was at a classmates party recently and received the cutest little bauble as a giveaway. A brightly coloured ball on a keychain. Cute, cute, cute. But reading the ingredients inside the fancy pink ball made this mom squirm.

The product called Twist and Pout is a lip balm with SPF.  The package itself listed the active ingredients which did include 7.5% octinoxate and 4.5% oxybenzone. Both are commonly used synthetic sunscreen ingredients with oxybenzone being THE most controversial sunscreen chemical of the bunch. With health concerns that include endocrine disruption, oxybenzone certainly deserves a controversial billing.

I continued to check on-line for the remainder of the ingredients.  The company’s website sadly, did not list the ingredients.  After searching other websites that sell the product, I found the rest of the ingredients.

The fancy pink ball also contained retinyl palmitate. I had read recently that Health Canada is looking to put a warning on sunscreen products containing retinyl palmitate. It is suspected that retinol or its derivative retinyl palmitate breaks down in sunlight potentially causing cellular level damage. Yikes! The ingredients were beginning to sound more and more dastardly and far from being a suitable child’s toy.

I read lots of reviews of the Twist and Pout product on line.  Many blogs touted its natural ingredients and one even made mention of the products all ‘organic’ ingredients.  Huh?? Nary a mention of the unsavoury very synthetic ingredients. People seemed to love the feel of the product on their lips and of course the packaging was a huge hit.  The do-gooder manufacturer even offers 5% of sales of ‘Pink Ribbon’ balls to Breast Cancer-based work. Are people choosing this product without focusing on what toxins are lurking inside?

It made me realize how ever-important it is to research your own products and ensure you are comfortable with the ingredients.  In this case, I definitely say ‘toxic trinket’ not suitable as a giveaway for wee kids.

The manufacturer of Twist and Pout has loads of opportunity to improve on their cute product. Take out the synthetics (including the fragrance of unknown origin) and more people ( including me) may be touting it’s complete and utter fabulousness.

Recently at my eldest daughter’s birthday party, I chose to giveaway Keeki Pure & Simple products and Clinical Luxury’s LipStuff. The kids loved them AND both lines contain only the most natural ingredients with not one suspected toxin. To me these nicely fit the bill for young girls who wanted to look and feel fancy without their parents having to worry about any associated risks.

***  I have never received compensation of ANY sort from any company whose product I gush about.  I like to think of myself as a cheerleader for companies making a difference by offering ALL NATURAL, safe products and simply love to write about them.


I Was Feeding My Kids Butylparaben!

Butylparaben is a controversial but still widely used preservative.  As cough-medicine-babiesstrong evidence exists suggesting that this preservative is a human endocrine disruptor, people have opted to avoid it in droves with concerned parents leading the way.

I am on board having read details of the effects of butylparabens (and the closely related propylparabens) on the male reproductive system and the suspected link with parabens and breast cancer.  Ever since I found all of this out, I read labels and shun anything containing any sort of parabens in my family’s products. Sunscreen, shampoo, baby wipes, body wash and even bubble bath containing parabens that inadvertently made it into my home, were tossed out long ago.

So I was quite gobsmacked really to find that there was one place butylparabens were hiding out in my home…in my medicine cabinet.

After watching a segment of the Morning Show recently, which alerted parents as to where to check for toxins hiding out in their homes, I checked my kids Children’s Tylenol Fever and Pain meds. I was shocked to find the dastardly preservative had indeed eluded me!

How ironic is it that a medicine supposed to help kids get healthier and to feel better also contains something considered such a health-related issue that it has already been banned for use in young kids products in Denmark? Sadly no regulatory body has followed suit on this side of the pond so many wee North American kids are being fed a dose of potentially endocrine-disrupting preservatives every time they have a fever, a cold or teething pain.

I researched and found that there are a few big brand children’s cough/cold/fever/pain meds out there that DO NOT contain parabens. Much better choices if you too, wish to avoid controversial preservatives are Children’s Advil and Children’s Motrin as neither contains ANY sort of parabens.

Kudos to the manufacturers who figure out that parents prefer the less controversial variety of preservatives in their kids products. Even a link to ill health is not something most parents are good with when it comes to their tots. Needless to say, I know which way my dollar will be spent next time I shop for pain meds for my kids.

Please feel free to let me know if you knew this information already or if like me, you were surprised and will be making a change.