You Deserve Better
It doesn’t matter how long you stand in the Target aisle squinting at labels, it’s nearly impossible to understand what’s in most baby products. Part of the problem is that the FDA doesn’t require manufacturers to tell you very much. But we think you deserve better.
You won’t find us hiding behind misleading labels or confusing ingredient lists. Here’s a complete list of exactly what’s in our products—plus a list of all the yucky stuff we’ve banned for your little one’s safety and your peace of mind.
Here’s a list of the good stuff that makes up our 100% plant-based hair paste. And you don’t have to take our word for it—each ingredient clears the high standards set by Whole Foods Body Care and The Cosmetics Ingredient Review and scores a 1 on EWG’s skin deep database. (Psst: That’s the best possible score!)
Our first ingredient is good ole fashioned water… you know, that stuff we all need to stay alive? We use it as a transporter for ingredients in our products.
Vegetable glycerin is a clear, odorless liquid produced from plant oils like palm, soy, or coconut. We add it to our products because it hydrates baby’s skin and helps them hold on to moisture naturally.
Glyceryl stearate is a waxy substance derived from palm kernel, olives, or coconuts. It pulls water from the environment to hydrate skin and hair. We love it because it keeps kissable baby skin hydrated, soft, and supple. Added bonus: Using this ingredient ensures our products never feel greasy!
Tapioca starch is derived from the edible cassava root, a plant native to Brazil. We use it as a green alternative to the synthetic chemicals other companies use as thickeners and viscosity enhancers.
Cetearyl alcohol is a combination of cetyl and stearyl alcohols, which occur naturally in plants. Cetyl and stearyl alcohols are typically derived from palm, palm kernel, or coconut oil. This ingredient serves as an emulsifier and moisturizer and gives our products their ahh-that’s-nice texture.
Caprylyl glycol is a natural fatty acid found in palm and coconut oils. Ours is naturally derived from coconut. It’s an effective conditioner and moisturizer and, even better, serves as a safe plant-based alternative to icky formaldehyde preservatives.
Cocos nucifera is a plant-derived fatty acid oil extracted from the rich white lining of coconuts. So safe you can eat it (and you should—it’s great for you!), coconut oil is high in antioxidants, vitamins, and fatty acids.
The shea tree in Africa produces a fruit called the shea nut. And the shea nut is used to make shea butter or, as the scientists like to call it, Butyrospermum parkii. That’s a mouthful, we know, but we love putting this in our products because it softens skin, conditions hair, and contains vitamin E.
Sunflower seed oil comes from sunflower seeds. It is extracted using a cold-press expeller method, a fancy way of saying we press the sunflower seeds until oil comes out. That oil has a high concentration of vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps fight free radicals, and we’re proud to put it in our products.
Cocoa butter is extracted from the roasted seeds of Theobroma cacao, a tree native to the Americas. Cocoa seed butter contains high concentrations of plant flavonoids and good-for-you polyphenols. Plus, it makes baby’s skin feel great!
Guar hydroxypropyl trimonium chloride is a long name with a simple definition: it’s a fine powder derived from guar beans. It serves as a natural anti-static agent and hair detangler and increases viscosity so our products don’t get runny.
Caprylhydroxamic acid is a plant-based amino acid derived from raw virgin coconut oil. It’s a moisturizer but also a gentle preservative that ensures product safety and longevity. (Did you know? Preservatives are especially difficult to formulate in plant-based products because they have to be strong enough to kill bacteria yet can’t impact the performance of other ingredients. We searched high and low until we found a chemist who could pull it off!)
If you’ve ever baked a cake or made french toast, you’ve probably used Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract. Yep, it’s plain ole vanilla extract! We knew we wanted to use one of the planet’s most beloved naturally-derived scents in some of our products. But while many manufacturers opt for artificial vanilla to lower costs, we always spring for the real deal—pure vanilla extract.
Banned for Good
While some nations have restricted or banned more than 1,400 chemicals from cosmetic products, U.S. regulation lags far behind with just nine chemicals restricted for safety reasons. We’re raising the standard and work closely with a chemist and research and development team to compile and update this list of icky ingredients we promise to ban for good—for everyone’s good.
You won’t find 1,4-dioxane on ingredient labels because it’s a byproduct generated through a standard chemical process. That’s unfortunate, since 1,4-dioxane is considered a probable human carcinogen and skin irritant. We steer clear of the ingredients most likely to be contaminated, like sodium laureth sulfate and chemicals that include the clauses xynol, oleth, polysorbate-20, 60, 80 and ceteareth 20, 25.
Ethanolamines are ammonia compounds frequently used in skincare as emulsifiers or foaming agents. They reduce the surface tension of liquids so water-soluble and oil-soluble ingredients can mix. They're also used to control the pH levels in products. We’ve banned ethanolamines because they can be absorbed through the skin and have been classified as probable carcinogens and hormone disrupters.
Parabens are inexpensive preservatives that prevent the growth of mold and bacteria that could spoil products. But these endocrine-disrupting chemicals can also be absorbed through your skin, blood or digestive system. According to research conducted at Cornell University, parabens mimic estrogen, which can cause an increase in the incidence of breast cancer. In fact, a 2004 study found that 19 out of 20 patients who were tested had some type of paraben in their breast cancer tissues. So you’ll never find parabens on our ingredients lists.
In skincare, phthalates are used to help other ingredients adhere to a particular surface, like helping a fragrance cling to your skin. They’re also used as solvents, which are chemicals that dissolve other ingredients. We don’t use phthalates because they’ve been classified as “endocrine disruptors,” chemicals that have the potential to interfere with the body’s hormone system. They can produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects, so we’ve banned them from our products.
The word "fragrance" or "parfum" on a product label represents an undisclosed mixture of various scent chemicals and other ingredients that don’t legally have to be disclosed. This is so companies can protect their “trade secrets.” But studies have shown that fragrance blends are often created with over 600 ingredients, most of them chemicals you’d never want to ingest. Fragrance mixes have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress, and potential effects on the reproductive system. We don’t hide behind legal loopholes, and you won’t find these on our ingredient lists.
Formaldehyde is used in many personal care products to prevent microbes from growing in water-based products. But they’re carcinogenic and can cause irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, and throat… and they can be absorbed through the skin! We say “thanks but no thanks” to this industry favorite to help you better protect your little one.
Don’t let the term “baby oil” fool you. It’s really just petroleum jelly, a byproduct of the oil industry and the result of the distillation of a waxy petroleum material. It could clog pores, cause skin irritation, slow natural cell renewal, and cause dermatitis, so you won’t find any in our products.
PEG compounds are industry favorites because they can serve as emollients, emulsifiers, or vehicles that deliver other ingredients deeper into the skin. But they often contain small amounts of ethylene oxide. Ethylene oxide is highly toxic—even in small doses. Exposure to ethylene glycol during its production, processing, and clinical use has been linked to increased incidents of leukemia and other cancers. So we’ve banned it for good!