We all want what’s best for our children – going through great lengths to keep them out of harm’s way. However, most parents are still unable to differentiate between products that are safe for children from those that have long-term irreparable side-effects. Harmful chemicals in children’s products are far more prevalent than imaginable. This can be attributed to wrong labeling, “greenwashing”, scant regulations and more. What is a parent to do?

Knowledge is power. Educating yourself is the best way to defeat ignorance. It is pivotal to purchase products with aptingredients, not only for your child’s safety, but also for safeguarding the Earth. Remember, every step you take creates a better environment for your child and sets them up for a healthier life.

The founder of Hot Tot Haircare, Megan Gage, faced similar problems when she embarked upon the journey of motherhood. There just weren’t enough “safe”, yet stylish, products for children’s hair in the market and she wanted to change that. As such, she created Hot Tot Haircare in the US, an eight-piece haircare line for trendy and safe hairstyling, and the brand has also expanded to the GCC.

She has compiled a “Naughty List” that should NOT be a part of any products that you buy. Next time you go shopping, give products a quick ingredient-scan before picking them up.

The Naughty List – 10 Ingredients You MUST Avoid


This is a manufacturing byproduct that occurs when ingredients are processed with ethylene oxide. 1,4-dioxane is an eye and respiratory irritant and a probable human carcinogen.

Animal Fats:

Tallow (beef or mutton fat) is rendered after an animal has been killed and used as an emollient or skin conditioning agent. There are more humane alternatives to animal-derived ingredients.

Ethanolamines (MEA/DEA/TEA):

Neutralizing agents used to adjust pH. Ethanolamines can be absorbed through the skin and are associated with allergies, hormone disruption, and skin toxicity.


This is a byproduct produced when formaldehyde-releasing preservatives are combined. Formaldehyde is a carcinogen associated with developmental and neurotoxicity in addition to asthma.

Parabens (methyl-, isobutyl-, propyl- and others):

This is aclass of preservatives commonly used to extend a product’s shelf life. Parabens mimic estrogen, altering important hormonal mechanisms; they are suspected of triggering breast cancer.


This is a class of chemicals used to make products more pliable and/or aid in the presentation of fragrance. Phthalates are believed to be reproductive and developmental toxins.

Polyethylene Glycol (PEG compounds):

Widely used as solvents, softeners, moisture-carriers or thickeners. Associated with allergy related conditions such as asthma, rhinitis and eczema.

Sulfates (SLS and SLES):

Foaming agents used to create bubbles. Sulfates can cause skin irritation, trigger allergies and may be absorbed through the scalp and skin.

Mineral Oil (paraffin or petrolatum):

This is a by-product of petroleum distillation with no nutrient value. Mineral oil slows natural cell renewal and may cause dermatitis.

Synthetic Coloring:

Used to make products more visually appealing. Also known as coal tar dyes or artificial colors, these petroleum-derived substances are associated with ADHD, allergies and learning difficulties.

Fortunately, there are products in the market that don’t contain these ingredients. Hot Tot Haircare is free from all “naughty ingredients”. Let us strive to keep our eyes open and our children safe.

Read more:

Sun Savvy – British Mums Guide To Safe Sun Creams

Where To Find Organic Products in the USE

Organic Farms in the UAE

What Pregnancy Means For Your Hair

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