Baby Shower Gel: Which Ingredients to Avoid?

Baby Shower Gel: Which Ingredients to Avoid? Baby Shower Gel: Which Ingredients to Avoid?

You always want to make the smartest, healthiest, safest choices when it comes to your baby, but that is not always an easy task. Take a look at almost any product and you will likely find a list of ingredients that, upon researching, are actually harmful to your child. One such product is shower gel. What seems so harmless can contain harmful chemicals and other ingredients that you shouldn’t be putting anywhere near your baby’s skin. These chemicals can be absorbed through the skin, which can potentially be dangerous or cause adverse reactions and things like rashes.  

You might think you are making a smart decision when buying certain products, but that is only the case if they are free from these potentially harmful ingredients:


It seems harmless to purchase a shower gel with fragrance, right? The pleasant smell of these gels is very tempting, even for the most safety conscious parents, but in reality you should away from these products. There are a few reasons why ‘fragrance’ is an ingredient you want to avoid.

baby shower gel safety

First off, the term ‘fragrance’ is so broad- you don’t even know what it is! Without knowing exactly what is in a product, it is hard to feel confident that it is safe to use with your child. Additionally, it is known that the common fragrance chemicals that are added to these products can cause all sorts of problems- including rashes, eczema, and even more serious respiratory problems and neurological conditions.

Second off, fragrance is often added to products in order to mask the smell of other less pleasant smelling chemicals in order to trick parents into thinking the product they are purchasing is fresh and clean. All in all, it is not worth the risk of purchasing a product with fragrance just to have something that smells a little nicer.  


This is a dangerous ingredient, but what makes it most risky is the fact that you won’t see it listed on an ingredients label. This is because it is not technically an actual ingredient or chemical itself, but rather, a chemical byproduct that occurs as a result of a reaction from other harmful ingredients. This byproduct is known to be a human carcinogen and should absolutely be avoided. So what ingredients should you look for that can cause this harmful byproduct? Look for, and avoid, any product that lists ethylene oxide, polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, sodium laureth sulfate, ceteareth, oleth, oxynol, or PEG.


This is a more common ingredient you have likely heard of, but that doesn’t mean it is one that isn’t dangerous. This is a very common ingredient found in shampoos, conditioners, and other bath products, including baby shower gels. Unfortunately, parabens have been linked to all sorts of issues and are considered neurotoxins. Usage of products with parabens can lead to issues like major skin irritation and rashes, reproductive issues, and even cancer.

paraben free

Thankfully, many products today are steering away from parabens, but make sure to double check when buying anything that it is completely paraben free.  


Every parent wants to protect their child and prevent them from getting sick. This often leads to the usage of soap products that are antibacterial and have an ingredient called triclosan. This seems like the responsible thing a parent should do, right? In theory, yes. No one wants their child to get sick. But in actuality, triclosan can be a dangerous ingredient for two reasons.

about triclosan

First off, the ingredient itself is known to be carcinogenic, and also harmful for the environment. For this reason alone, you shouldn’t want it anywhere near your child. However, the second reason can be just as harmful in the long run. By always exposing your child to an antibacterial product with triclosan, you are actually weakening your child’s natural immune system and ability to fight off bacteria. This can also lead to an increasing antibacterial resistance, meaning antibacterial products end up being less effective in instances where your child actually does need them.

To avoid this issue altogether, stay away from products that are labeled as being antibacterial, and check to make sure what you do select doesn’t have any triclosan. You are helping out your child, the environment, and other children as well by avoiding this harmful ingredient.


Yikes! Believe it or not, formaldehyde is an ingredient that can be found in shower gels and other products. As you can guess, it is used as a preservative. However, this is an incredibly dangerous ingredient that you should absolutely avoid in any product you use. Formaldehyde has been linked to all sorts of problems and is another known carcinogen. Using products with this ingredient can cause all sorts of issues, including rashes, breathing issues, and nausea.

Wrapping Up

There you have it. When choosing a shower gel product for your baby, be sure to take a close look at the ingredients list. A product may appear healthy and natural at first glance, but in actuality can be very dangerous. This is especially true if you already have a child that has sensitive skin or other sensitivities, such as asthma.

child ensitive skin

When in doubt, you should never use a product that contains ingredients that you do not recognize, that are not proven to be safe, or that are hidden (such as the broad ‘fragrance’ example). Nothing is worth risking your baby’s safety, so you should always be on the side of caution and take the time to find a product that is truly all natural and free of chemicals. Or, you can even consider making your own products from natural ingredients that will keep your child clean, and healthy!

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