Mother Earth Living

Natural Baby Products: Johnson’s Natural Head-To-Toe Foaming Baby Wash

By Staff

A certain air of nostalgia surrounds baby’s first bath. Finding the best, mildest wash for baby’s delicate skin is a top priority–one that should go hand-in-hand with finding the most natural blend of ingredients.

Johnson’s Natural Head-To-Toe Foaming Baby Wash has an impressive blend of low-hazard ingredients, 98 percent of which are derived from coconut, palm and sugarcane, to keep bath time simple and sweet. Johnson’s Natural Head-To-Toe Foaming Baby Wash lathers gently and rinses off easily, and the product is housed in a convenient, number 2 HDPE, 60 percent post-consumer recycled content bottle.

Johnson’s Natural Head-To-Toe Foaming Baby Wash suggested retail cost is $4.59 for 9 ounces and $6.49 for 18 ounces. Photo Courtesy Johnson’s Natural.

Check out the ingredients list (which is listed in full on the product label) and each ingredient’s corresponding toxicity rating, according to the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database. The ingredients are listed in the order in which they appear on the label. A general rule to remember is the first few ingredients of a product is what the bulk of the product consists of; the last few ingredients are usually present in trace amounts (though that is not to say that their presence should go unnoticed!).

Johnson’s Natural Head-To-Toe Foaming Baby Wash

• Water (0)
• Decyl Glucoside (0)
• Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate (0)
• Cocogylcerides (0)
• Sodium Coco-Sulfate (0)
• Coco-Glucoside (0)
• Glyceryl Oleate (1)
• Sodium Benzoate (2)
• Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose (0)
• Xanthan Gum (0)
• Fragrance (8)
• Citric Acid (2)
• Sodium Hydroxide (3)

We’re becoming savvier about what kinds of ingredients lurk in our everyday personal-care products. Of the ones that Johnson’s uses in its Natural Head-To-Toe Foaming Baby Wash, the one you and I are most concerned about is “fragrance,” which we know means nothing yet means everything. Fragrance, unless specifically listed as “certified organic fragrance from pure essential oils” is a catch-all phrase that can include traces of lab-created, petroleum-derived ingredients.

In Johnson’s case, fragrance could refer to the company’s patented ALLERFREE allergen-free fragrance, which the company says is created from naturally derived components. Johnson’s developed ALLERFREE fragrance to be absent of irritants. Johnson’s opted not to use essential oils (and promotes this on the Johnson’s Natural labeling, alongside the phrases “paraben-free,” “dye-free” and “allergy tested”) because of the concentrated nature of essential oils. Pure, undiluted essential oils can be extremely harsh on the skin and can cause allergic reactions and irritation (I have had a few painful experiences with peppermint oil on freshly tweezed eyebrows!); imagine this level of power on fragile baby skin. To dilute essential oils, a solvent–such as alcohol (a no-no for delicate skin as it is very drying) or oils (coconut, jojoba and olive are all great, natural oils to use with essential oils)–is necessary. But, if offering a small amount of a diluted essential oil alleviates Johnson’s Natural Head-To-Toe Foaming Baby Wash from having any ingredients that fall into the Environmental Working Group’s “high hazard” toxicity level while maintaining Johnson’s standards of using ingredients that cause zero reactions, it could be worth the research dollars and time for Johnson’s to invest–and please both “light green” moms and “dark green” moms.

What do you think about the ingredients in Johnson’s Natural Head-To-Toe Foaming Baby Wash? How closely do you screen personal- and baby-care product ingredients before purchasing them? Leave me a comment and let me know!

  • Published on Jul 14, 2010
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