How to Choose and Use Cosmetic and Other Products for Children

BY Ing. Žaneta Milošová (Havírová)

Everything mentioned in the articles “How to choose and use cleaning and laundry products I and II” applies here. Concentrates are preferable (you only pay for the active ingredients, not for any extra water), choose what suits you, such as a self-made product – you know exactly what it contains, or products that are presented on the market as eco-friendly and environmentally friendly. For example, a dishwashing detergent powder or a solid bar of soap and so on. The choice is yours. In this article we’ll simply share more useful information about children and baby products.

  • Advertisements push many products onto us, even tiny babies. However, babies from 0 to about 6 months practically don’t need anything. Simply water and possibly a few drops of vegetable oil (depending on what the baby can tolerate, some of the suitable ones, although slightly more expensive, include calendula, almond and jojoba oil) are enough to wash/bathe the baby. Among the cheaper ones, which you also probably have in your kitchen, are coconut, linseed and olive oil). Oils used in the kitchen are good for your skin too. As always, organic quality is ideal. You don’t have to buy overpriced brands either. Just do an internet search for e.g. jojoba oil for cosmetics and you immediately get about 50% cheaper result of better quality too. You can also buy a smaller amount and mix two oils together, depending on what your child prefers.
  • Moisturisers after the bath aren’t entirely necessary, if you add a few drops of oil in the bath, it moisturizes the baby’s skin “just right” and you don’t have any more work to do and most importantly, as the oil is in water, the baby’s skin is lubricated evenly. You just need to dry it off lightly afterwards.

GS tip: Keep the remaining oil for yourself as a makeup remover, moisturizer, or body oil. Just pour one or a few types of oil of your choice into a clean bottle and use it as an eye makeup remover or in place of the moisturiser. For makeup removal, I recommend applying a little hot or warm water to a cotton pad and then add a few drops of oil. When using it as a moisturiser, use a little water. It is ideal to apply on a wet face, or immediately after shower on the body for example. This ensures that the product is well absorbed and the feeling of greasiness disappears in a few minutes.

GS tip: There is no need to have ten products without nice packaging when you can basically have your own ingredients of choice of ingredients in your own, nice packagings.

  • Unfortunately, there are also products that contain petroleum-derived substances. You can recognize them because they contain ingredients like propylene glycol, paraffin liquidum, paraffin, petrolatum, mineral oil etc. These are not quality oils with many benefits, as is the case with quality vegetable oils. In the picture below, the manufacturer shows his marketing skills and lists the ingredients as mineral oil and fragrance, for you to perceive the product positively. The fragrance may be a mix of different substances and petroleum derived substances – is this really the correct choice for your baby? Read more in the article: How to choose and use hair and body cosmetics.


  • A little baby doesn’t need shampoos, shower gels or other personal care products until about 6 months old. Once they start rolling around and patting everything on themselves (food), it is sometimes necessary to reach for a shampoo and wash their hair. Even so, unless absolutely necessary, wash the hair once a week at most. Shower gels are not necessary during this period. Even afterwards, “scrub” the baby only as needed, otherwise plain water or water with a little bit of oil is enough. More about products for babies in an interview with pharmacist and lactation consultant Jana Boleková.
  • Hand soap – not necessary until the baby is crawling on all fours, drawing with paints, playing with food, etc. Even then, it is good to choose a soap without unnecessary ingredients… for example a simple soap made of olive (or other oil), water, and if it says Sodium Hydroxide on the package, don’t worry. That is only used in the manufacturing process, you won’t find it in the final product in this form. It is an environmentally friendly product and gentle to the baby’s skin. Beware of dyes. smile
  • Always wash private parts with water after a number two, it’s practical, quick and saves you money. No need to use wipes where there’s running water. Sure, if you’re somewhere where that’s not an option, then wet wipes are the obvious and practical choice. There’s also a lot of options here. What you can tell right away is whether the wipes are with or without plastic. The ideal wipes are the ones without plastic, which break down faster and also contain more than 99% water (although you’re paying for the water).
    Alternatively, you can have perlan or other 100% viscose non-woven cloth or other natural fibres, which break down fairly quickly. The advantage of this is mainly saving money. You buy a big pack, which you can cut and dampen at will. Just keep the cut pieces in a smaller container of some sort and add a little water to keep them wet. Then add the dry ones as needed or after washing the container so that bacteria doesn’t proliferate there. It’s more labour intensive, but the baby’s private parts (or even yours) will appreciate it. It is a pure product with no irritants or allergens.
  • A quality detergent for washing clothes and diapers. Wash clothes and nappies ideally in soap and soda-based products (you can also buy a bar of soap and grate it, or grate a larger amount, mix with baking soda and dose accordingly – more here). It breaks down easily in nature, and if you choose an eco soap, you save the environment in every way (it contains little to no water, so shipping is not burdened by a large packaging; paper packaging is usually used). The soap lasts a long time, breaks down easily and is also gentle on the skin.
  • Do babies and older children (or adults) really need fabric softener? Not at all. It dulls their sense of smell. There is scented powder, scented fabric softener, scented shampoo, etc. Scents are truly almost everywhere these days. You know it. You spray yourself with perfume and in an hour you can’t smell it anymore, while your surroundings can smell you from miles away. Plus, fabric softeners and other fragrances can contain allergens, irritants, carcinogens and the like. The fact that something keeps the scent for a long time can also be a sign of phthalates (toxic substances that disrupt the hormonal system, can cause organ damage, cancer, birth defects, behaviour defects, problems with fertility, etc. – more about phthalates here). One of the jobs of phthalates is to slowly release the scent. So watch out for what smells for a long time!
  • The fact that a product is pink, blue, red, etc. is a sign that it contains dyes. If it’s natural (like beetroot, raspberries, blueberries…) the manufacturer will be happy to boast about that, otherwise the products may contain synthetic dyes or the dye carmine, which is obtained by killing and crushing small beetles.
  • Sanitizers for toys. There are manufacturers who directly produce sanitizers for toys. Be sure to be careful not to use aggressive products with chlorine and the like on surfaces that children, dogs and cats can lick. Soap is sufficient. It doesn’t even have to be a sanitizer. Studies have shown that regular soap has excellent disinfecting properties on its own [1]. What’s more, solid soaps are both eco-friendly and high quality. Natural soap can be found for a few bucks. And, as mentioned in the article “How to choose and use cleaning and laundry products II”, you need to expose yourself to “healthy dirt”. Especially kids! What does it matter if they bite a twig, or taste dirt or sand, or eat things from the ground (with reason of course smile ) [2]. No need to ban everything, ask your grandparents what they did as children.

Source: GreenScan

Decorative cosmetics for children are appealing to many children and parents. Again, the ingredients can be a problem. When my daughter saw her grandmother’s nail polish, she immediately wanted it, even though she was just over 2 years old. I’ve looked at children’s cosmetics at the drugstore and honestly, I wouldn’t buy it for myself either.

The price wasn’t too friendly, let alone the ingredients. Maybe there is a manufacturer targeting such little beauties and their parents, but I personally don’t know about anything. So back to the topic, I decided not to buy the polish or anything else and that I will delay this “beautification” as much as I can. Even eyeshadows, lipsticks and other makeup products didn’t turn out any better after “dissecting” the ingredients. Lots of dyes, azo dyes, petroleum derived substances, parabens, microplastics in the form of glitter, and so on.

Face paints, paints for finger painting and the like. I started to wonder about this topic recently, because we have a children’s corner at the seminars, which we wanted to liven up with face painting and finger painting on paper. However, I got over it immediately. Some brands claim to be non-toxic, dermatologically tested, and so on, but these claims don’t carry any weight. Dermatologically tested can mean, for example, that 5 people used the paints and in 10 minutes no one got sick, and if I overstate it, no one died, so good. smile

But a formula full of petroleum, parabens, azo dyes and such didn’t sound very appealing. If the formula was even written somewhere at all. I didn’t find any that I wasn’t worried about. While I don’t forbid my daughter from using these paints at daycare, I really don’t want them at home. Of course, it’s up to you if it’s a one-off, there’s no need to panic, but having the option to use a quality product based on natural oils and waxes with dyes like beetroot or spinach is a better option.

Now some advice would be nice, wouldn’t it? Well, try to push artificial “beautification” as far as you can. If you can’t, then choose makeup that’s at least certified. Better yet, makeup that declares that all ingredients are 100% “natural”. Make sure everything is explained on the box or the retailer’s/manufacturer’s website, including colorants and acceptable preservatives (e.g. Vitamin E – Tocopherol). This is even if it involves adult makeup. Again, be wary of small items that a child may swallow or inhale. It will be better to assist the children with doing their makeup. 🙂

Finally, we need to mention that legislation will hopefully become stricter over time, at least in relation to children’s products. Fortunately, we can make what we need ourselves or find suitable products on the market. 🙂


  • Ing. Žaneta Milošová (Havírová)

    She does what she enjoys – works as CEO of GreenScan. She studied at Technical University of Ostrava, where she got a master’s degree in Environmental engineering. She always cared about nature and things around it. She loves mountains, forests, animals and embraces modernity as well. That’s why she tries to look for a balance between nature and modern world.


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