Healthier Home

Splish Splash, Safe and Healthy Bubble Bath

One of the things my son has enjoyed most while undergoing his cancer treatment and even know are baths. It helps him relax and makes for the perfect aid in promoting a restful sleep. Even now that he is done with his treatment, at the age of 11, he still likes to take baths. What he enjoys most though are bubble baths! I mean who doesn’t, right? Regardless of what age you are, bubble baths are totally enjoyable and relaxing!

My favorite bubble bath to use for my son Anthony, is from California Baby®. Shortly after my son was diagnosed with cancer I started researching safe, non-toxic products to use. That is when I came across California Baby® and their product line is now my absolute favorite! So much so that I am now a California Baby® Mombassador. With that said please rest assured that I will never recommend or promote any products that I have never tried or do not personally like. I have tried so many products in search of what would be best for my son and can with all honestly say their product line is my favorite.

Our skin is our largest organ and has a transdermal effect, so what we expose our skin to is just as important as what we put in it. You might not stop to think that what you or your child are using on your skin, especially soaking in, can have a negative impact on your health. California Baby® was created by a mother in search of all natural safe products to use for her first born. Their line of bubble baths are made with plant based ingredients and use essential oils for their scents. Absolutely no harsh toxic chemicals or synthetic fragrances. They also have an ingredient safety score rating of 1 from the Environmental Working Group. You can check out a list of their ingredient standards here.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that a warning label be put on all ‘foaming detergent bath products’ used for children that states “Caution –Use only as directed. Excessive use or prolonged exposure may cause irritation to skin and urinary tract. Discontinue use if rash, redness, or itching occurs. Consult your physician if irritation persists. Keep out of reach of children.” This is because there are bubble baths that are made with harsh and toxic chemicals. Check out what toxic chemicals to avoid in kids bubble bath products here.

So what can possibly make a bubble bath more fun, for kids at least ? A bubble wand of course! Not only will kids have a great time taking their bath while having fun blowing bubbles but it is also very therapeutic and actually has health benefits for any age!

Because blowing bubbles requires deep breathing and also incorporates pursed lipped breathing (exhaling through puckered lips) it increases pressure on the airways to keep them open longer and is a great method to reduce anxiety, promote relaxation and relieve stress.

With little ones, blowing bubbles are also a great way of developing visual tracking skills as babies and infants move their head and follow the bubbles with their eyes. Once they are at the age to start learning to blow bubbles it will help them strengthen the muscles of the jaw and around the mouth as well as work on fine motor skills while they hold the wand. Who thought a bubble bath could be so beneficial!

They have a wide variety of bubble baths to choose from, varying in different essential oil scents, including one that is unscented for extra sensitive skin. I would say that their CALMING™ bubble bath is great before bedtime. Among these bubble baths, is also their I Love You™ bubble bath which portion of proceeds from this line of their products is donated to the CA Breast Cancer Research Program.

You can check out their full line of products at www.californiababy.com. You can also find some of their products at Target, natural food stores and select local stores like Whole Foods or online at Amazon.

Non-Toxic Beauty Products

Cleaner and Safer Nails

One of the things that I stopped doing after my son, Anthony, was diagnosed with cancer was using nail polish on my nails. Not only did I bite them off that first night that we sat in the ED with him but since then I’ve been concerned about all the chemicals found in nail polish, as well as the risk of bacteria. Hand hygiene goes beyond just making sure to keep your hands clean, it actually extends to the nail polish we use and our nails themselves. Let’s face it, the most common way that we get sick is by the things we touch with our hands which we then transfer to our mouth, or other mucus membranes like our eyes.

Hand hygiene is of greater importance when dealing with someone who is immunocompromised, like cancer. These individuals do not have the level of immune response to fight off the simplest of germs and are therefore at higher risk for infection.

Tips to reduce the risk of bacteria related to nails:

  • Remove any chipped nail polish immediately (it can harbor bacteria in the chipped polish).
  • Avoid having nail polish worn for more than four days, it has been shown to foster the presence of microorganisms which resist removal by handwashing.
  • No artificial nails (they have a higher chance of harboring bacteria)
  • Keep natural nail tips less than ¼ inch long (long nails harbor more bacteria under nail).
  • When washing hands, making sure to clean the underside of the nails (with a scrub brush would be ideal to remove as much dirt)
  • Avoid biting or chewing on nails (our mouth is the dirtiest place on our body, believe it or not, and can leave germs on the nails or transfer germs from our nails to our mouth.
  • Make sure any nail grooming tools are clean prior to use or sterilized if sharing with others. (always a good idea to even bring your own tools to a nail salon)
  • Avoid cutting cuticles, as they act as barriers to prevent infection.
  • Never rip or bite a hangnail. Instead, clip it with a clean, sanitized nail trimmer (risk for paronychia infection)

Tips to reduce risk of exposure to toxins and increased risk for cancer:

  • Gel manicures pose an additional health risk associated with the UV radiation from the lamp used (tip: apply sunscreen on hands prior to use)
  • Avoid using toxic nail polishes and hand hygiene products (make sure to read labels and purchase products with full ingredient list disclosed)

Early on in my son’s cancer journey I started researching ways to live healthier lives, reduce our exposure to toxins and start trying out non-toxic products. This is when I came to find that there are non-toxic nail polishes out on the market. This meant that I could continue to paint my nails without having to compromise my son’s health, or my own.

I have tried several non-toxic nail polish brands at this point and I will say that the one that overall lasts the longest, has the best application, ease of removal and a wide array of over 120 colors to choose from is Côte.

If you live in the Los Angeles or New York City area they also have two nail salons where you can get a manicure and/or pedicure utilizing all clean and safe beauty products, including a choice of their entire line of non-toxic nail polishes. They even go above and beyond to offer a personalized treatment in their Los Angeles location called “personal shop box” where you get to keep all of the tools that were used on you and only you, your own bottle of Côte’s base & top treatment and couple of a polish colors.

The most important part of why I choose Côte’s nail polishes and nail care treatment products, is because they are:

  • formaldehyde free (known carcinogen and skin allergen, often used as a preservative)
  • dibutyl phthalate (DBP) free (affect the reproductive system and linked to cancer)
  • toluene free (linked to impaired human reproduction and development, impaired breathing, being harmful to the nervous system and nausea)
  • camphor free (can cause allergic reactions in large doses, cause irritation, dizziness, nausea, and headaches)
  • formaldehyde resin free (often used as a hardener and in large doses can be a skin allergen)
  • triphenyl phosphate (TPHP) free (causes changes in hormone regulation, metabolism, and reproductive systems)
  • xylene free (known allergen and a possible carcinogen)
  • ethyl tosylamide/epoxy resin free (has antibiotic properties which raises concern for antibiotic resistance)
  • paraben free (estrogen-mimicking effects which may trigger hormonal problems)
  • gluten free (allergy concern for those with gluten intolerance)
One of my favorite shades of red, is Côte’s No. 28

You can purchase Côte’s products online on their website or through any of these online or retail locations.