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Alternatives to Cetaphil

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
When we told our allergist today that we don't use soap in the bath, he said that we need to use something and said that that something should be the cetaphil bar.

Per the cetaphil website, here are the ingredients:
Quote:
Ingredients: Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Stearic Acid, Sodium Tallowate, Water, Sodium Stearate, Sodium Dodecylbenzene Sulfonate, Sodium Cocoate, PEG-20, Sodium Chloride, Masking Fragrance, Sodium Isethionate, Petrolatum, Sodium Isostearoyl Lactylate, Sucrose Cocoate, Titanium Dioxide, Pentasodium Penetate, Tetrasodium Etidronate. May also contain Sodium Palm Kernelate.
A. I don't know what 95% of the ingredients are or what they do.
B. I am resolutely against petroleum products.

Can anyone suggest a cetaphil alternative? I think I need a "cleanser" that is non-soap and non-irritating.

Alternatively, we use TTO & Lavender EO in the bath. Do I really *need* a "cleanser"?
post #2 of 16
Oops- I responded about Cetaphil on your other thread before I saw this one.

That's weird- I must have found a different product on their website than you did, because the liquid cleanser I saw had SLS and parabens in it too.
post #3 of 16
What was his reasoning behind using soap? And by putting it in the bath, did he mean soaking in it or just washing up with it at the end of a bath?

I don't understand why any allergist would recommend a product with 'masking fragrance', not to mention all those other ingredients. Sometimes I have to wonder if these 'experts' have any knowledge beyond what the textbooks tell them about allergies? Have they ever had to live with them? Found themselves gasping for breath because someone washed their clothes in the wrong detergent??? Very frustrating.

Personally, our girls only use California Baby Sensitive Skin. My oldest dd has eczema and my youngest dd has a wheat allergy. The middle one just uses it because that is what the others girls do. It kind of expensive but well worth it. You can see it here... http://www.californiababy.com/super-...sh-8-5-oz.html. (Can't get up to get the ingredients list as dd3 is nursing.)

Dh, ds, and I use Dr. Bronners Tea Tree Oil Soap - http://www.drbronner.com/DBMS/LS.htm. It is a liquid castille soap. I probably would not use it on small children, but for an older child or adult it works well. I have terrible chemical sensitivity and allergies and no reactions to it so far.

I would be careful with straight TTO in the tub as it can burn, especially sensitive girly parts, but should be fine if you don't use more than a couple of drops and mix it really well before getting in.

Do you need cleanser? Depends on your child I suppose. I have never bathed my children every day and they don't always use cleanser. Mostly, I think that unless there is a specific problem with small children, a once a week soap down for clean hair and other parts is good enough.
post #4 of 16
I disagree with the allergist. (Shock of all shocks, huh? )

I don't see why you need any type of cleanser, except in very unusual circumstances. I never use anything on my dd. I do put epsom salts in her bath which may help get her clean. If for some reason she needs 'freshening' I'll add a little cider vinegar to the bath, or some lavender oil. I honestly can't think of one time in the last year I've really needed to use a cleanser, except on her hands.

The cetaphil looks scary. Some doctor mentioned it to us as well, but there was no way I was putting that stuff on her. It's got one questionable ingredient after another. The fragrance alone would cause me to itch and I don't even have eczema.

If I really needed to clean her for some reason (peanut butter in hair or stepped in dog poop or something) I'd probably use California Baby cleanser or another benign product like that.
post #5 of 16
Good points fruitfulmomma. We use the Cal. Baby Sensitive Skin soap about once a week too. But really, using soap (even the sensitive skin types) are just going to strip moisture away from the skin so you're probably better off using none and just using a good moisturizer after the bath.
post #6 of 16
For allergies, my understanding is that bathing helps remove environmental allergens (dust, pollen) from the skin and hair. For the most part, I think this can be achieved by water alone. However, the friction of a soap or cleanser or bubbles may aid in the process.

Secondly, a cleanser may aid in removing bacteria from the skin. If your child has open eczema, then you may want to be careful about possible infection.

That being said, we rarely use soap/cleanser. California Baby about once a week, I think. (Although the container was suspiciously low when I looked at it this morning in the shower. I think DH has been using it because his shower is out of commission with a blown light bulb.)

So, those are some things to think about. Anyone can correct me or give more information - I'm open to that.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by menomena View Post
When we told our allergist today that we don't use soap in the bath, he said that we need to use something and said that that something should be the cetaphil bar.
Cetaphil's soap bar makes me itchy and gives me horrible headaches (migraines).

I use grandpa's pine tar soap. Soothes the itchies and makes me smell like a wildfire. It's not so bad, so long as nobody sets fire to the local sawmill and the cops start sniffing out arsonists.
post #8 of 16
We use Castille Soap.
I noticed that the Cetaphil lotion has nuts in it (hazelnuts I think) which I thought was odd. I use it on my face because it's the only thing I've found that doesn't have a scent that bothers me (headaches). I don't put any lotions or anything on DD. And all three of my kids only take a bath once a week. Washclothes work fine in between.
post #9 of 16
we use california baby and dr. bronner's baby mild (both unscented).

I am super sensitive to chemicals/fragrance and have a son with eczema/allergies and both of these work well.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks ladies, for all of your opinions and experiences.

We do a bath nightly, because the kiddos like it. We don't use soap, because I thought it was drying and irritating. I can see the wisdom in using a soap to help wash off environmental allergens. Our allergens are apparently cats (which we don't have nor are we exposed to) and mold. Would soap in the nightly bath make a difference for us? We do make sure to "wash" with water... Meaning, we sort of rub water from head to toes with our hands. I will look at the California Baby ingredients next time I'm at the co-op.

Quote:
I use grandpa's pine tar soap. Soothes the itchies and makes me smell like a wildfire. It's not so bad, so long as nobody sets fire to the local sawmill and the cops start sniffing out arsonists.
Interesting. I've heard good things about pine tar soap before. Is grandpa's the brand name?
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by menomena View Post
Interesting. I've heard good things about pine tar soap before. Is grandpa's the brand name?

Yes. Grandpa's is a brand name of several "old-timey" soaps. I buy it at Whole Foods, but you can often find it in general stores in small towns or in other health food co-ops.

I have to rinse really well after using any soap. I rinse with a dilute apple cider vinegar solution. It seems to keep my most sensitive bits somewhat happier.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jocelyndale View Post
I have to rinse really well after using any soap. I rinse with a dilute apple cider vinegar solution. It seems to keep my most sensitive bits somewhat happier.
This made me think of yeast.
post #13 of 16
Castile soap. If you must use soap.

While Dr. Bronner's is nice, it's not real castile soap. It's got coconut oil (and palm oil, if I'm not mistaken) in it to improve the lather. Some people (like me) find coconut oil irritating. I can handle it when it's saponified, and in small amounts, but it dries my skin out worse than the antibacterial soap at work.

If you can find home made castile soap, which is just saponified olive oil, go for it.

If you forego the soap, try a small amount of olive oil in the bath, ground oatmeal, and chamomile tea. This worked well for my eczma prone dd#2. Castile soap was good on occasion.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parthenia View Post
If you forego the soap, try a small amount of olive oil in the bath, ground oatmeal, and chamomile tea. This worked well for my eczma prone dd#2. Castile soap was good on occasion.
Interesting. We already do put oil in the bath. Usually it's a few drops of TTO or Lavender EO or like a teaspoon of pure olive oil. How much ground oatmeal do you use? Does it make the water thick?
post #15 of 16
You don't need much oatmeal, maybe a teaspoon for a baby bath, 2 or 3 tablespoons in an adult sized bath. It's such a small amount it doesn't make the water thick. I used to grind it to a powder in a coffee/nut grinder. Aveeno makes a commercially prepared version (Colloidial oatmeal.)
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks! I will pick up some GF oats at the co-op next time I go, and then give it a try.
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