Sensitive Skin + Toxic Chemicals Don’t Mix

I am hyper-aware of skin these days. The colder weather brings central heat and the central heat dries out the air so that my skin is always dry and itchy. And not just mine, but my daughter’s as well. Her skin is extremely sensitive so we have to use lotion that are very pure like Aquaphor. It’s taken me a while to get used to the vaseline-like feel of it, but it actually works better than any lotion I’ve ever tried. It seals in the moisture, makes my skin soft and seems to prevent the cracks I get on my fingers when it’s this cold for more than a couple of days. Now, I buy Aquaphor for both of us.

Speaking of purity, I recently a read report about toxic chemicals in our children’s clothing. Greenpeace East Asia sampled numerous children’s apparel and footwear products from many well-known brands such as Disney, Gap, Nike, Adidas, H&M, and others. Of the 86 pieces they tested, 61% contained hazardous chemicals, and each brand had at least one item containing these chemicals. These are chemicals such as NPE’s (nonylphenol ethoxylates), which are estrogenic, meaning they can potentially disrupt a child’s developing hormone system and phthalates, which are also endocrine-disrupting and readily absorbed through the skin. NPE’s, which are found in detergents and pesticides, have been banned in Europe, are being phased out in Canada, but are not currently banned in the United States. The Consumer Products Safety Commission has banned some types of phthalates (which are used to soften plastic) in children’s toys, but they are not banned in children’s apparel. The Greenpeace study found phthalates in 94% of children’s garments printed with plasticized ink.

This is disturbing for the obvious reason that we put these clothes on our children’s bodies– and whatever chemicals are in the threads or dyes or prints can be absorbed through their skin. Less obvious, but also important, is when we launder our kids’ clothes we release these chemicals into the environment, where they can accumulate and potentially do even more damage with each glass of water.

Greenpeace has developed a program called the Detox Campaign to raise awareness of this issue and encourage apparel manufacturers and clothing brands to commit to eliminating hazardous chemicals in the global supply chain. Many brands have signed the Detox Fashion Manifesto, which commits them to eliminate toxic chemicals by 2020.

I imagine you’re thinking, as I did, my children will be nearly grown in 2020– What can I do now? The first thing is to do your homework– know where your children’s clothes are made and what standards are followed. Lucky & Me garments are made with fabric which is extensively tested and meets Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) standards. You can rest assured that there are no toxic or hazardous chemicals next to your child’s skin when you buy Lucky & Me.

Be sure to check out the Greenpeace report and share this information with your friends!

Liz Smith has worked across the globe for many of the world’s major apparel brands, including Victoria’s Secret, Chico’s, Justice, and Hanes. She has earned thousands of airline points and worn out several suitcases visiting factories in more than 20 countries to ensure that production is of the highest standard. Liz has managed all aspects of garment production, from design through fabric development to sewing and merchandising– so she knows what it takes to make high-quality apparel. Liz is thrilled to share her knowledge about clothes to help discerning customers choose the finest products.

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