[Review] Organic personal care products for your children

Friday, January 13, 2017

Your child's shampoo has run out and the next bath is just a few hours away. You get to the usual aisle of your supermarket and grab hold of that familiar bottle of shampoo. But wait.

When was the last time you took a closer look at the list of ingredients stated on the label? How do you decide if that shampoo is most suitable for your kids? Are all kids' personal care products equivalent in terms of quality and function?

As parents, we probably go for hypoallergenic baby care products and avoid ingredients like fragrances, parabens, preservatives and the more well-known Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or its lesser evil cousin - Sodium Laureth Sulfate - which act to create lather that we all love.

But there are others, like dioxane and triclosan, in many of our children's (and adults') personal care products. According to a study done by the California-based Center for Environmental Health in 2013, it states that a cancer-causing chemical has been found in hundreds of popular brand shampoos. That culprit is "Cocamide DEA". In another report recently released (Oct 2016) by the Breast Cancer Fund's Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, it reveals the widespread presence of toxic chemicals in children's hair products, lip balms, makeup kits, face paints and nail products.

Labels revealed chemicals of concern in products marketed to children, including endocrine disrupting compounds, chemicals linked to organ toxicity and neurological damage, and ingredients that can be contaminated with carcinogens. - report by Breast Cancer Fund
Cost aside, is one shampoo or body wash, therefore, as good as another? Of course not!

Why expose your child to more hazardous chemicals if there is an alternative?

The good news is, there are many companies that are making safer personal care products for our children, using ingredients that are natural instead of synthetic ones that might have some harmful effects on our bodies. My kids have been using certified organic products from Mambino Organics and Cottoncubs to protect their dry and slightly sensitive skin. They love it and so do I. Here's why.

* Mambino Organics *

Mambino Organics baby care products - Made in USA
Co-founded in 2006 by Ms Maki Maodus, a passionate and ecological-conscious aesthetician who has worked in the natural skin and body care products for over a decade, Mambino Organics is a brand well-known for eczema, cradle cap, diaper care and scar repair. Every product uses pure and certified organic plant oils, herb and flower extracts in its products, and they disclose all the ingredients they put into each bottle, giving the assurance and relief for green-minded parents. The products are handmade (no mass production) without any severe heating or hydrogenating processes in order to ensure the nutritional content and potency of the natural ingredients used. Mambino Organics is USDA Organics certified.
Mambino Soothe Me Body Wash & Shampoo (170 ml)
The first thing I noticed about Mambino's Soothe Me Baby-Kids Body Wash & Shampoo is its ingenious self-foaming pump. Because there are no foaming agents used, the pump makes the oh-so-lovely foam for easy washing. The gentle head-to-toe baby wash protects even the most delicate skin and washes off so easily. Ch noticed that the body wash stings when it came into contact with her eyes, and that is only because the product doesn't contain numbing agents (additional chemicals). Although not overpowering, the smell needs some time to get used to, especially if you are not used to the smell of coconut oil on your hair/body product - but once dry, it smells good. Hair does not entangle much after wash. The body wash is effective for cradle cap.

How to Use
Massage one or two pumps onto damp face, body and hair, avoiding eye area, then rinse thoroughly.

Ingredients (INCI)
Saponified Cocos nucifera (organic coconut) oil, Saponified Olea europaea (organic olive) oil, Saponified Simmondsia chinensis (organic jojoba) oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Aloe barbadensis (organic aloe) leaf juice, Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) leaf extract, Lavandula angustifolia (organic lavender) oil.
Mambino Baby's Best Daily Essential Lotion (146ml) 
The sweet tangy orange smell of the Mambino Baby's Best Daily Essential Lotion reminds me of an orange smoothie drink which I love. It leaves a non-greasy feel and is absorbed into the skin very quickly. We find the lotion very effective at keeping the skin moisturised and soothing to L's dry itchy skin.

How to Use
Apply small amount of lotion and gentle massage over face and body right after bath or shower. For best results, use daily.

Ingredients (INCI) 
Aloe barbadensis (organic aloe) juice, Cocos nucifera (organic coconut) oil, Camellia sinensis (organic green tea) extract, Cetearyl olivate, Sorbitan olivate, Cetyl palmitate, Sorbitan palmitate, Olea europaea (organic olive) oil, Calophyllum inophyllum (organic tamanu) oil, Palm stearic acid, Xanthan gum (polysaccharide gum), Aurantium dulcis (organic sweet orange) essential oil, Anthemis nobilis (organic chamomile) flower oil.

Where to Buy
Available at Mummytoon website and at major specialty and department stores like Kiddy Palace, 1010 Mother & Child Essentials, Robinsons and Metro (Mummytoon is currently hosting a sale for Mambino Organics products on its website.)

* Cottoncubs *

Cottoncubs baby care products - Made in Australia
It all started with a mother's love for her son who was suffering from eczema then. Staying in Sydney, Australia, Ms Bilyana Di Costanzo could not find any suitable cool clothing for her son under the extreme Australian summer heat, and decided to make him some apparel using ultra-light cotton voile. And Cottoncubs was born since 2008.

Now, Cottoncubs also has its own organic baby care range of products, specially formulated with the finest natural and certified organic ingredients from plant extracts and pure essential oils, to help babies, toddlers and young kids with sensitive skin. Recognised and certified by Australian Certified Organic (ACO), you can be assured of Cottoncubs' quality. (Do note that Cottoncubs products contain Parfum in their ingredient list.)

Cottoncubs Baby Shampoo (250ml)
Cottoncubs Baby Shampoo is a clear liquid which produces a small amount of lather after it's gently massaged on the scalp. It washes off quite easily and is soap and sulfate-free. We like the clean smell that lingers on the hair after a wash. Ch smeared some of the lather on her eyes and it does not sting.

How to Use
Wet the scalp/hair of your baby/toddler before use. Apply a small amount on the scalp/hair and gently massage into a lather. Rinse off thoroughly and dry with a soft bath towel.

Ingredients
Organic Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) juice, Purified water (Aqua), Coco glucoside, Organic Guar Gum (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba), Citric Acid, Organic Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil, Parfum, Organic glycerine, Organic Lemon Myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) essential oil, Potassium sorbate, Organic Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) extract, Organic Avocado (Pesea gratissima) oil, Organic Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) oil, Organic Olive Leaf (Olea europaea) extract, Organic Calendula (Calendula officinalis) extract, Organic Chamomile (Chamomilla recutita) extract, Rosehip (Rosa rubiginosa) extract.

Cottoncubs Baby Body Wash (250ml)
Gentle on the skin, Cottoncubs Baby Body Wash has a lovely lavender fragrance which also provides relief for skin irritations. Evening primrose oil helps to restore dry flaky skin conditions as it has a high amount of essential fatty acids. We find that the gel leaves a smooth film on the skin after rinsing.

How to Use
Dispense a small amount into a running bath for babies or simply apply directly onto your child's wet body and massage the gel into a mild lather. Rinse off thoroughly and dry with a soft bath towel

Ingredients
Organic Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) juice, Purified water (Aqua), Coco glucoside, Organic Guar Gum (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba), Citric Acid, Organic Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil, Potassium sorbate, Parfum, Organic glycerine, Organic Lemon Myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) essential oil, Organic Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) extract, Organic Avocado (Pesea gratissima) oil, Organic Evening Primrose (Oenothera Biennis) oil, Organic Olive Leaf (Olea europaea) extract, Organic Calendula (Calendula officinalis) extract, Organic Chamomile (Chamomilla recutita) extract, Rosehip (Rosa rubiginosa) extract.

Cottoncubs The Skin Soother (60ml)
This Skin Soother saved Ch's sun-burnt face when we spent a hot afternoon at the Siloso Beach in December. Her cheeks and forehead were red and hot when we came home. After one application of the Cottoncubs Skin Soother, the skin healed. This cream also helps to repair and soothe any skin conditions caused by eczema, diaper rash, mild insect bites etc. It contains organic Calendula and Paw Paw extracts to alleviate the itchiness and irritations while providing a gentle cooling relief to the skin while repairing it. 

How to Use
Apply to affected areas after cleansing and drying.

Ingredients
Purified water (Aqua), Organic Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) juice, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Organic Shea (Butyrospermum parkii) butter, Organic Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) oil, Calendula (Calendula officinalis) infused oil, Organic Coconut (Cocos nucifera) oil, Organic Rosehip (Rosa canina) oil, Carrot (Daucus carota sativa) oil, Organic glycerine, Organic Avocado (Pesea gratissima) oil, Organic Papaya (Carica papaya) extract, Clove bud (Eugenia caroyphyllus) essential oil, Xanthan Gum, Parfum, Organic Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil, Organic Arnica (Arnica montana) infused oil, Potassium sorbate, Organic Calendula (Calendula officinalis) extract, Natural Vitamin E (Tocopherol), Citric Acid, Organic Chamomile (Chamomillia recutita) essential oil, Organic Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) essential oil, Kakadul Plum (Terminalia ferdinandiana) extract.

Where to Buy
My First Shoots website 


As the main person deciding on the types of products we use at home, I am mindful of the family's safety and consciously seek safer food and food packaging, as well as safer cleaning products and toys. Knowing that the kids' personal care products are not laden with harmful chemicals, it gives me a peace of mind when they bathe.

*INCI refers to the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients; is a system of names for ingredients of soap, cosmetics etc, and is largely based on scientific names.

Disclaimer: We were given the products mentioned in this post for the purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was given and all opinion are ours.

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