Updated: Jul 15, 2021
Finding the root cause of my baby's eczema left me feeling like Erin Brockovich, there should have been a knighting or ceremony in my honor... something, it was tedious, unrelenting digging, and a lot of frustration.
Like you, I reached out to other moms, via text and Facebook groups, I talked to our pediatrician and a dermatologist. I received all of the advice and endless options all based on hypotheticals.
So, I did what any mom with a background in clinical trials and research would do. A deep dive into every product that came in contact with my kiddo. His eczema was on his torso, and the culprit was hiding in his baby wipes.
Phenoxyethanol, make sure this ingredient isn't in anything you use. It's a super mild preservative used in a ton of products, most frustratingly, in sensitive-skin products. It was in our sensitive baby wipes, once I removed that we have been eczema-free for almost 3 years! Turns out, I'm sensitive to it too... mine shows up with what looks like pimples only on one side of my face.
*Phenoxyethanol is used as a preservative in cosmetic products and also as a stabilizer in perfumes and soaps. Exposure to phenoxyethanol has been linked to reactions ranging from eczema to severe, life-threatening allergic reactions. Infant oral exposure to phenoxyethanol can acutely affect nervous system function.
FOUND IN: Moisturizer, eye shadow, foundation, sunscreen, conditioner, mascara, eye liner, shampoo, lip gloss, concealer, body wash, hand cream, blush, hair color, hair spray, lip balm, lotion, nail polish, baby wipes, baby lotions and soaps, soap (liquid and bar), shaving cream, deodorant, toothpaste, fragrance, hair removal waxes, hand sanitizer and ultrasound gel.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR ON THE LABEL: Phenoxyethanol, 2-Phenoxyethanol, Euxyl K® 400 (mixture of Phenoxyethanol and 1,2-dibromo-2,4-dicyanobutane), PhE
Products I love that are Phenoxyethanol free:
Shea Moisture Baby body wash & lotion - the body wash is great for bubble baths
Honest Company Laundry detergent - we use white vinegar for the softener, I promise you won't smell like a salad, it works great without any of the awful ingredients hiding in "fragrance".
May your journey be a simple fix, without dietary changes and steroid treatments. Fingers crossed and all the happy mama vibes headed your way. * Information from Safe Cosmetics