Welcome to my series of blog posts where I analyse ingredients of various skincare brands aimed at babies, children and pregnant/ new Mums. 

As a Mum myself, I understand that the sheer volume of products in high street shops and supermarkets can really give you a headache when choosing the best ones for our kids or for ourselves. I also know that we often rely on opinions of others as well as magazine and TV adverts so it really isn’t an easy task when there is so much choice and information around us.

However, it is so important that we are just a little bit more mindful of what we buy and what ingredients go into our products (check out my post Keep away from childrenabout ingredients which should be avoided in baby and children products and my post on how to avoid being “greenwashed” by skincare companies).


Starting with the most popular baby brand in the world, Johnson’s, I would like to show parents who previously may not have paid that much attention to ingredient lists just how crucial spending a bit of time reviewing these lists is. And what a difference our choices can make to the health of our children.

As with the previous analyses (on stretch mark productsnatural toothpastes for childrenbaby wipesbaby bath products and the Aveeno Baby range) I’m looking for feedback on how useful these analyses are so that I can improve them in the future so please leave me a comment below.

The below list is obviously not exhaustive so if there are any other products that you would like me to look at, please leave a comment below.


KEY to ingredient lists:

  • Ingredients known to have positive benefits
  • Ingredients that may cause irritation (especially to sensitive skin)
  • Ingredients considered potentially harmful/ toxic

Johnson’s Bedtime Baby Bath (200/400ml, £1.99-2.99)

Photo: Johnson’s Baby website

Product description: “We love babies. And we understand the benefits of a good night’s sleep. That’s why we developed a nightly routine that is clinically proven to help your baby sleep better. Before bed, treat your baby to a warm bath using our Baby Bedtime Bath, then gently massage skin with our Baby Bedtime Lotion. Each product contains NaturalCalm™, a patented blend of relaxing aromas. Our unique No More Tears® formula is gentle to the eyes.”

Ingredients (INCI): Aqua, Coco-Glucoside, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS), Citric Acid, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Chloride, PEG-150 Distearate, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Sodium Benzoate, Parfum.

MY VIEW:  It’s a fairly short list but the SLS is featured too high up on the list. SLS is a detergent that creates foam and bubbles, but is very drying to children’s delicate skin. The issue behind the two PEGs is that they could be contaminated with a toxic ingredient 1,4-dioxane (which Johnson’s have declared their products contain trace amounts of) and are also known allergens. Also bear in mind that ‘perfume’ as an ingredient contains tens if not hundreds of different fragrances, and these can irritate children’s skin.

Johnson’s Bedtime Baby Wash (400ml, £2.69)

Photo: Johnson’s Baby website

Product description: “We love babies. And we understand the benefits of a good night’s sleep. That’s why we developed a nightly routine that is clinically proven to help your baby sleep better. Before bed, bath your baby using JOHNSON’S®Bedtime Baby Wash then gently massage skin with JOHNSON’S® Bedtime Baby Lotion. Each product contains NaturalCalm™, a patented blend of relaxing aromas. NO MORE TEARS® formula. pH skin neutral.”

Ingredients (INCI): Aqua, Glycerin, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Coco-Glucoside, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Citric Acid, Paraffinum LiquidumPolyquaternium-7, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, PEG-150 Distearate, Sodium Chloride, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Sodium Benzoate, Parfum, CI 17200, CI 42090.

MY VIEW:  A very similar list of ingredients to the product above (including SLS and PEGs), this time with mineral oil (paraffinum liquidum) and colourants (last two ingredients) added in, so this is a no from me. More importantly though, there are contamination concerns with Polyquaternium-7 which could include Acrylamide, a toxic ingredient linked to cancer.

Johnson’s Top-to-Toe Baby Bath (500ml, £2.99)

Photo: Johnson’s Baby website

Product description: “We love babies. And we understand that baby’s skin is more delicate than adult’s: it is not fully developed which can leave it vulnerable to irritations. That’s why our TOP-TO-TOE®Baby Bath is designed to gently cleanse baby’s sensitive skin and hair. With carefully selected ingredients, it is so mild and gentle it is suitable for the first bath. In fact, a recent independent clinical trial has proven that TOP-TO-TOE®Baby Bath is as safe to use as water alone, from the very first day.”

Ingredients (INCI): Aqua, Coco-Glucoside, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Citric Acid, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Sodium Chloride, Glyceryl Oleate, p-Anisic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Parfum.

MY VIEW:  No SLS or PEGs within this particular list which is great BUT there is Cocamidopropyl Betaine and Phenoxyethanol, both of which have been linked to allergic and eczema reactions. More importantly though, oral ingestion of Phenoxyethanol (a common preservative) can affect infants’ nervous system, so the description “carefully selected ingredients” is a little ironic here since babies drink bath water all the time so how can we be certain of this product’s safety?

Johnson’s Baby Bath (500ml, £2.29)

Photo: Johnson’s Baby website

Product description: “We love babies. And we understand that babies’ skin and eyes are delicate. That’s why our gentle NO MORE TEARS® baby bath, with its unmistakable babyfresh smell, is as mild to the eyes as pure water and gentle enough to cleanse baby’s skin everyday. pH balanced Soap free.”

Ingredients (INCI): Aqua, Coco-Glucoside, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Polysorbate 20, Citric Acid, PEG-150 Distearate, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Benzoate, Parfum, CI 42090.

MY VIEW: Once again, this ingredient list is not much different from the others. SLS, PEGs, perfume and colourants: all well-known allergens.

Johnson’s Baby Moisturising Bath (500ml, £2.99)

Photo: Johnson’s Baby website

“We love babies. And we understand that babies’ delicate skin can lose moisture faster than adult skin. That’s why our Moisturising Baby Bath containing baby oil gently cleanses and moisturises the skin. The unique NO MORE TEARS® formula is as gentle to the eyes as pure water. pH balanced.”

Ingredients (INCI): Aqua, Glycerin, Coco-Glucoside, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Citric Acid, Polysorbate 20, Paraffinum Liquidum, Polyquaternium-10, Polyquaternium-7, Lactic Acid, Glycol Distearate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Laureth-4PEG-150 Distearate, Sodium Chloride, PEG-80 Sorbitan LaurateSodium Benzoate, Parfum, CI 42090.

MY VIEW: Can you now spot how similar all of these ingredient lists are for yourself? Once more, here we have very similar ingredients, this time with glycerin, seemingly a ‘natural’ ingredient, thrown in. However, we still have SLS, Cocamidopropyl Betaine and PEGs, all of which can lead to allergic reactions. Also, be aware that  glycerin can be derived from plants or animals (usually their fat), but it’s unclear from the list or indeed Johnson’s website whether their products are vegan. 

Johnson’s Baby Softwash (400ml, £2.25)

Photo: Johnson’s Baby website

Product description: “We love babies. And we understand that babies’ delicate skin needs gentle care to keep it perfectly babysoft. That’s why our baby softwash™, with our NO MORE TEARS®formula with baby lotion, gently cleanses and leaves skin perfectly babysoft. Its rich lather and unmistakable baby fresh smell will surround you with softness.”

Ingredients (INCI): Aqua, Glycerin, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Coco-Glucoside, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Citric Acid, Paraffinum Liquidum, Polyquaternium-7, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, PEG-150 Distearate, Sodium Chloride, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Benzoate, Parfum, CI 17200

MY VIEW: Very similar ingredient list to the product above.


Johnson’s Bubble Baby Bath & Wash (500ml, £2.99)

Photo: Johnson’s Baby website

Product description: We love babies and we understand that babies love bubbly baths, because bubbles make those special moments even more fun. That’s why our Bubble Baby Bath & Wash is specially designed to make lots of gentle bubbles that your little ones will love. It gently cleanses baby’s skin without drying. Our unique NO MORE TEARS® formula is mild to the eyes.”

Ingredients (INCI): Aqua, Cocamidopropyl BetaineGlycerin, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Coco-Glucoside, Sodium Chloride, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Polyquaternium-7, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Benzoate, Parfum

MY VIEW: No SLS or PEGs in this bath wash which is great but there’s still other irritants (mainly Cocamidopropyl Betaine and Perfume) and Polyquarternium-7. 

Johnson’s Baby Fresh Bubble Baby Bath & Wash (500ml, £2.29)

Photo: Johnson’s Baby website

Product description: “We love babies and we understand that babies love bubbly baths, because bubbles make those special moments even more fun.  That’s why our Fresh Bubble Baby Bath and Wash combines honeysuckle extract with lots of gentle bubbles that your little ones will love. It leaves a pleasant and lasting feeling of bath-time freshness, while gently cleansing baby’s skin without drying. Our unique NO MORE TEARS®formula is mild to the eyes.”

Ingredients (INCI): Aqua, Cocamidopropyl BetaineGlycerin, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Sodium Chloride, Coco-Glucoside, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Menthyl Lactate, Lonicera Japonica Flower Extract, Polyquaternium-7, Propylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Benzoate, Parfum.

MY VIEW: Luckily there’s no SLS or PEGs but we still do have Cocamidopropyl, perfume and a couple of others which may cause irritation. Most worringly though, the formulation contains Propylene Glycol which has been linked to skin allergies and contact dermatitis. 


Johnson’s Baby Soothing Naturals™ Moisture Rich Bath (400ml, £2.25)

Photo: Johnson’s Baby website

Product description: “Replenishes dry skin. For a moisture rich bath. Contains olive leaf extract, pure vitamin E and skin essential minerals. Helps relieve dry skin from the first use. NO MORE TEARS® formula is mild to eyes.”

Ingredients (INCI): Aqua, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Coco-Glucoside, Sodium Chloride, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Citric Acid, Olea Europaea Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita Extract, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Sarcosine, Aloe Barbadenis Leaf Juice, Magnesium Asparate, Potassium Aspartate, Propylene Glycol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Polyquarternium-7, Sodium Cocoyl Amino Acids, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Sulfite, Sodium Benzoate, Parfum.

MY VIEW: Out of the nine products, this one has a few really lovely ingredients: olive oil extract, chamomile, sunflower seed oil, Vitamin E and aloe vera juice. However, what’s the point if they’re combined with allergens and potentially harmful preservatives?

OVERALL VERDICT

It really does worry me that all of these products contain either SLS, PEGs, Propylene Glycol or Phenoxyethanol, and that all their ingredients are pretty much the same with some minor differences between them. This begs a question – is there really a need for so many similar bathtime products? What should also be noted is that all of these products are very cheap and this is clearly reflected in the ingredients that have been used. 


What are your thoughts on Johnson’s bathtime products?

Disclaimer: Please note that I have taken ingredient lists directly from Johnson’s official UK website. This post contains purely my opinions, is for information purposes only and is not intended to replace professional or medical advice. I don’t claim to be an expert on chemical ingredients – as with all of my other analyses, I’ve spent hours researching each ingredient and questioning its use. This post is intended to make my readers more conscious about the choices they make when shopping for skincare products and to make them ask questions, just as I ask them every time I buy a skincare product. As always, I advise you to do your own research before you start (or stop for that matter) using a particular skincare product.

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Analysing ingredients in Johnson's bath time products

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