Why Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo is Not for Babies

johnsonjohnson baby shampoo not for babies
An infant is the purest thing in this world, wouldn’t you agree?  Still as yet untouched by the chemicals and environment of a world we are trying to quickly destroy, a newborn baby ought to be kept clear of those products and ingredients which may lead to harm in the body sometime later in life.  You would think everyone shares this sentiment.  After-all, most people go to great lengths in order to use clean blankets and towels for their newborn as well as washing hands before holding them, limiting number of hands contacting their skin in the first month at least, as well as other ‘protective guidelines.’  You would assume that a company who makes a ‘baby shampoo’ has the baby’s best interest in mind.  You would also assume that baby shampoo was free of toxic chemicals, I mean – who would formulate an infant shampoo using harmful substances?  Here we will look at just a few reasons why Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo is not for babies – at all.  In fact, why no one should use this toxic soup of ingredients for anything other than pest control.

For more than a century, Johnson & Johnson has promoted themselves as carrying ‘the gentlest baby shampoo’ on the market.  Their website states: “For more than a hundred years, new mothers have trusted JOHNSON’S® Baby products to provide the purest, gentlest and mildest care for their babies—from the first morning cuddle to the last bedtime kiss.”  Yes, mothers have trusted them, but have they valued that trust and really provided the safest, gentlest, mildest products possible for babies?

Let’s take a look at the ingredients.  After water, the first ingredient listed is called Cocamidopropyl Betaine, voted allergen of the year in 2004 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society.  An interesting way to start an infant formula meant to go on a brand new scalp, but okay, moving on.  Ingredient number three is PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate – anyone have a clue what that is?  I didn’t know upon first glance, which is an immediate red flag for me. Upon looking it up, the first match I found was for the Environmental Working Group which lists this ingredient, on a scale of ‘over-all hazards’ as ‘moderate.’  Not mild, but moderate.  It also says there is strong evidence that this ingredient is a human skin allergen.

The next one on the list, Sodium Trideceth Sulfate.  Again, not sure what this is right off, so after looking it up I find this ingredient can also be a skin allergen and is used mainly in adult formulas.  Here’s a clincher – the ingredient 1,4-dioxane is a commonly used skin care ingredient that does not have to be listed because it is considered a contaminant produced during manufacturing, though it has been found in 57% of baby soaps according to The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.  Is it in Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo, many believe so.  When this ingredient is combined with Quaternium-15, which is the ninth item listed on Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo, formaldehyde is produced.  Tetrasodium EDTA, which is listed just before Quaternium-15 is a preservative created from formaldehyde.  Why are we using formaldehyde on babies?

We can go on to finish the ingredient list with several reportedly harmless dyes, though not food-sourced.  So, why is Johnson & Johnson creating a baby shampoo that is not sensitive in the least for newborn babies when there are so many possible safe, gentle ingredients out there?  It appears that the ingredients of choice for the past 100 years gaining time-honored respect from mothers everywhere are really just toxins and toxic by-products of other toxic ingredients.  Yes, they make bubbles, and sure do smell good – or do they?  We have so long associated that ‘clean baby smell’ with the ingredients of said product, even though they in and of themselves are not so clean.

Today, you can go into nearly any good grocers and find pure castile soap, a genuinely clean option for soap, shampoo and over-all cleaner safe enough for anyone, including babies.  There is no need to go to all the trouble of combining toxic substances and coloring them with fake dye in order to please the mothers of the world.  In fact, mothers everywhere should be outraged at this shampoo which has been freely given to them over the years as the number one choice for baby soaps this century.  Something must change.  Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo is definitely not for babies, so why not make a healthier choice that is – and stop overloading our wee ones with unneeded burdens early on?

Written by: Stasia Bliss

The Organic Conversion; The Consumerist: Baby products with Formaldehyde ; USA Today; Hub Pages; Johnsonsbaby.com; EWG’s; The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

17 Responses to "Why Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo is Not for Babies"

  1. samina   January 24, 2017 at 10:54 am

    If you have pinpointed so many damages for baby skin, can you suggest, which shampoo should be used for babies?

  2. Angel   August 24, 2015 at 6:53 am

    Shame on you Johnson and Johnson!

  3. Iza   February 9, 2015 at 11:12 am

    My baby got what looks like cradle cap after 2 washes in johnson’s baby. We were using weleda before with no issues

  4. anon   December 1, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    Soooo when I was a baby I had this baby shampoo…I guess that means my body is infected now?

    Well, at least I know not to use it for when I someday have a kid.

  5. Cakes McCain   October 6, 2014 at 6:09 am

    vindieselblog – Did you even read this article? The writer did her research.
    Why take a chance? Just because your baby doesn’t react you should still use this product? How about asbestos? Should we leave that in our homes and workplaces as well and wait till something happens? I found this article because I was searching for a possible reason why my partner at the age of 43 (uses this product religiously) now has developed a severe rash on his scalp.
    Your comments reflect an uneducated and self serving point-of-view – You do get paid via the ads on (your very poorly written) blog every time someone visits, don’t you?

  6. secretsister4u   June 16, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    As a parent and consumer, you need to educate yourself on the products that you are using on a daily basis.

  7. D   June 7, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Thank you for the showcase. Target had these products on sale and after coupons would have been a great deal … but you know the sang, you get what you pay for.
    It is an absolute outrage that the corporations in this world run our lives daily form what we eat to what we put on our bodies. Our species needs to wake up and get back to the basics. Bathing ourselves in chemicals is not the answer. Yes, they are cheaper, but the overall costs in the end from prolonged exposure I’m sure will out weigh the savings now. My child is almost here and she will never consume things out of plastic and I most certainly would not introduce her to the chemical cocktails that exist out there like the Johnson’s lines. How people can see this extensive list of chemicals and actually belittle what you’ve said as well as continue to utilize this product line is mind boggling to me. In my opinion, these people certainly aren’t fit to be parents.

  8. mobias   April 29, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    How shocking, a corporate employee defending their employers chemical-laden products! “I also use Johnson’s Baby Shampoo and other products on my three children. They couldn’t be healthier.” HA…and how exactly do you know this? Can you PROVE that? Do you really think it’s NATURAL to rub exotic chemicals all over your or anyone’s skin and not worry about the long-term repercussions? Just wait till your kids, like a million other kids, grow up with a whole new set of allergies and cancers! I just can’t understand how people have zero conscience or personal liability when choosing to work for these big chemical companies…is it naive? Blind ignorance? Wishful thinking? Brainwashing? I bet half of what they tell their own employees is also B.S.!

  9. vindieselblog   April 24, 2014 at 12:57 am

    Johnsons baby products have been used by billions of people and not all of them found it bad on skin or baby. If you keep clean your baby nothing could harm them till they are new babies of 1 year atleast. Take a look:


  10. Anne   April 20, 2014 at 7:07 am

    It’s very interesting. I find consumers want natural products, but they don’t always want the issues that may go with a natural product. For instance, a real and natural soap or shampoo product made the old fashioned way using the cold processed method will burn your eyes. Part of the reason that Johnson’s Baby shampoo doesn’t burn is because it is not a natural product. There are some inconveniences that we must live with if we truly desire natural.
    I started making my own soap and shampoo bars around the time my granddaughter was born, and they leave her hair gorgeous. But they will burn, as soap always does, if it gets in her eyes. There are people who are willing to work around this, and then there are people who are not.
    Visit my website http://www.vitapulita.com. I have some interested medical journal articles there about the effects of parabens in our beauty products.

  11. amy   March 10, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    If baby shampoo is a silent killer, then so are: any soap, shampoo, conditioner, cookies (they have sugar or sugar substitute), gas from the car you drive your kids in, pop, candy, ince cream, fries…are you picking up what I’m putting down? Sheesh.

  12. Cyril Ng   September 30, 2013 at 9:07 am

    That doesn’t mean formaldehyde is safe does it?

  13. concerned parent   September 17, 2013 at 4:08 am

    On further reflection and reviewing Stasia Bliss’s piece on natural cures for cancer here (http://guardianlv.com/2013/09/cancer-is-not-incurable-video/) i am inclined to not take most of her comments seriously. Cancer is a HARD problem (or many hard problems), and not for nothing are people pouring lots of resources into really complex solutions. Nature probably has some underestimated options for helping the body along during the battle, but really, it’s dangerous to steer people away from treatments that have demonstrated track records in favor of those not subjected to the same rigorous testing.

    • Stasia Bliss   September 17, 2013 at 8:33 am

      I would suggest you watch the video at the close of the cancer article. I have known many people to die from medical treatments of cancer – including many in my family and to the contrary, many close personal friends heal themselves using natural methods. Do you really think the medical route has done rigorous testing using the chemicals they are exposing people to in such situations as chemotherapy? Many medical professionals have left the industry after realizing they are promoting harmful substances. The reason for the articles I write are to ask people to ask themselves deeper questions about what they are blindly trusting and taking into their bodies. If it is the choice of someone to take the medical route because they honestly resonate with and feel good about what they are doing, and are not just trusting the ‘authorities’ great – but if not, the smart thing for people to learn to do is think for themselves. So I would suggest you do the same – and whatever you decide when you do such – is perfect for you and respectable. Here is to all of us living and speaking our truths – authentically and without fear.

  14. concerned parent   September 17, 2013 at 4:04 am

    I think there’s some scare talk here, but I would consider castille soap– if it isn’t going to make my child’s eyes sting. Does it?

    • Stasia Bliss   September 17, 2013 at 8:26 am

      No it does not – especially if you get the baby formula Castile soap by Dr Bronner’s.-

  15. Mark   September 14, 2013 at 4:08 am

    In order to provide balance to this decidedly unbalanced article, a couple of things:

    1) Formaldehyde has been widely used as a preservative in personal care products. It is an organic compound that is present in all living organisms – found in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. In fact, human cells have about 3 parts-per-million (ppm) formaldehyde and it’s common in food as well – some fruits have 60 ppm.

    2) J&J takes many steps to ensure their products are safe for children and adults alike. What would be best is for readers of this piece to go to http://www.safetyandcarecommitment.com/ to read about what this company does to ensure the safety of products.

    This “oh there are harmful chemicals in baby shampoo” types of articles are tired, sensationalistic and, frankly, incorrect. Please provide balance as any good journalist should, and let your readers make their own decisions.

    Yes, I work for J&J. I also use Johnson’s Baby Shampoo and other products on my three children. They couldn’t be healthier.


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