Just how bad / toxic are synthetic baby and kids products? The short answer: very
The long answer: Do you have a lifetime to listen to our rants?
We often blog about the myriad suspect chemicals, possible carcinogens and irritant ingredients that are knowingly or unknowingly a part of the personal care pantheon designed for kids. About 10, 100 ingredients now form the master list of ingredients that go into the stuff we use to bathe, shampoo, condition and cleanse ourselves and our kids. 90% of these ingredients have never been examined, tested or even evaluated by any manner of competent authority.
It is a matter of surprise to most people when we decode their child’s synthetic shampoo for them. Somehow, mislead by all the advertising, everyone believes that a baby shampoo or the special kids bodywash is milder and healthier for children. This is why when many adults are advised to change their shampoo to a mild shampoo (especially if they have developed dermatitis, or if they are pregnant), they choose a baby shampoo. And most often they find that their symptoms do not subside, leading them to conclude rightly that the baby shampoo is just another shampoo and is not very mild.
But, the title of my post says Formulation Tuesday, so I am going to spend sometime talking about the Krya kids hairwash and not putting down a synthetic kids shampoo, atleast for now.
So when we say something is natural, how do you as a responsible parent believe what we say? This scepticism is important to have because it helps you cut through the lies, and really evaluate whether what you are putting on your child is really natural.
For starters, we ask you to read both our back of pack and the listing of ingredients on our website. We declare 100% of our ingredients (yes, you read that right, 100%), so you have a good chance to read every ingredient and do your own research or write to us to ask for information on why a certain ingredient is used, or if you have any concerns about it.
Ayurvedic points to note about children’s hair, scalp and brain and general growth
The texts state that the first 7 years of a child’s life is characterized by a very high degree of mental growth and the foundation for learning, memory and intelligence and application can be cemented through proper diet, the right regimen, and the right stimulation and through proper physical care of the child’s manasa and sharira (mind and body).
The Ayurvedic diet for a child is designed to take into account this massive growth in the brain, and to help support the child’s body through a good combination of healthy, good fat filled diet with the right medhya (intelligence)promoting herbs, tonics and supplements.
As the child grows and responds to the environment, Ayurveda says that it is important to ensure there is no vata disorder arising either from improper diet, or through improper mental stimulation. To ensure vata dosha is in balance, all Ayurvedic external products will always have warming and vata controlling herbs.
The Ayurvedic nursery is therefore also advised to be warm, sunny, with pleasant and cheerful toys and a great deal of care is taken to ensure a cosy, happy and positive atmosphere to drive away any anxiety or fear from the child.
The Ayurvedic hair care routine aims to support the child’s brain development. As the brain grows and is excited by stimulus, the pitta emanating from the scalp and eyes is constantly kept in check, and medhya and rasayana herbs are used in the child’s hair oils and hair care products to support the activity of the scalp.
Additional points Krya takes into account when formulating a child’s hair oil and hair wash:
Research also tells us that the sebaceous glands are not as fully formed as they are during puberty in children. This means that a child’s scalp can easily go dry, and easily develop contact allergies to the chemicals used. Research also tells us that a child’s blood barrier is easily breached as their microbiome is still forming and their immune systems are still not fully developed.
We keep both these important points in mid when we formulate children’s products. We limit the herbs we use to a small number of highly researched and commonly prescribed herbs for children.
To account for the under developed sebaceous glands of children, our formulation uses a much milder level of surfactants compared to our adult formulations. We make up for this by using a higher proportion of cleansing substances that cleanse by adsorption (cleansing through lifting off oil and grease, instead of working like soap).
The impact of season on Krya’s formulations:
We are beginning production of our newest batch of the Krya kid’s hairwash, and we expect to make some changes to the formulation this time. Our summer and non summer formulations are always different, because they need to be adjusted for humidity and heat levels as per the season.
Our summer formulations are adjusted to have a higher weightage of cleansing and cooling herbs. In this way, we assist the scalp and skin’s natural thermoregulatory function to help sweat out the toxins and excess dirt better. The herbs also help release excess pitta so our summer formulations always leave you feeling cool and refreshed.
As the weather transitions to autumn and winter, there is a drop in humidity levels across India. This means that the sebum production in the scalp also drops slightly, so your hair is generally less greasy and does not get as dirty as it does in summer.
For children whose sebum production is already slightly low compared to adults, this means that the scalp can get extra dry if not careful.
A drop in humidity and natural oil levels also means that the hair has less natural oils circulating through it. So children’s hair can get frizzy or extra dry, and combing can become a nightmare if your child has long hair.
So even if you haven’t been using hair oil through the year, this is a good time of the year to add good hair oil to your child’s hair routine. The Krya kids hair oil enriched with medhya and rasayana herbs like Brahmi and Amla, is a great choice to support the scalp and the hair.
To keep the frizz low in your child’s hair, we usually up our level of conditioning herbs in the Krya kids hairwash in this season. We use nutrient and mucilage rich natural herbs like fenugreek, hibiscus flower and liquorice for the Krya kids hairwash, which are soothing for the scalp and also help keep the cuticular structure in place reducing tangles.
So there you have it: that is the Krya Tuesday formulation update for this week. We have discussed how we work on the Krya kids hairwash, a product that has an extremely loyal set of parent consumers.
Our ongoing Formulation Tuesday series is designed to give you a glimpse into how we think about, research and work on our product formulations. We believe that it is imperative for companies to be transparent both about their products and their manufacturing process. This, we believe, helps consumers make better choices for themselves and be more involved in what enters their home, is applied on themselves and is released into the soil and water.
Information helps us all make better choices. We hope you found this post both interesting and relevant to read.