Why I'll never use Johnson's baby products

Growing up I always thought that J&J (Johnson & Johnson) baby products were the best and most trusted brand out there. It would always warm heart to see their sweet commercials on tv with the adorable babies, so imagine my surprise when I found out how untrustworthy they really are. Before I even got pregnant I kept hearing negative press about J&J baby products. I paid attention to it because I've bought a lot of their products as gifts for new parents. I definitely didn't want to be giving people a bad product to use on their child! Before I heard all the details of the negative press they were receiving, I was sympathetic, because I really like J&J and I felt that they were just being victims to the new "everything-is-unsafe" trend. These days people seem to want to label everything as harmful; even 100% juice and water is supposedly unsafe these days.  I somtimes wonder is there anything that isn't contaminated? It seems as though the only way to be truly safe is to live in a bubble, and not eat or drink or even breathe. But anyway I  started paying closer attention to the J&J issue and I was dismayed  by what I learnt. Basically most of their baby products contain known carcinogens; i.e. cancer causing substances. It was discovered that one of the preservatives they were using (quaternium-15) was actually releasing formaldehyde which is a known carcinogen. The products also contain the by product 1,4-dioxane, also a known carcinogen.

I waited for J&J's response to this. To see if they would have a good explanation for it and then immediately seek to rectify the problem. They did not. Aside from hiding behind their "good name" and the years of trust that people have in them, they said they would work to remove the contaminants from their baby products but it would take years to do so. As if they had to spend years figuring out how to recreate the formula without those contaminants.  To make matters worse it was discovered that J&J already had the safer formula which they were marketing in other countries like Sweden, South Africa and Japan. But here in America they were saying it would take several years to phase out the harmful chemicals.  But then they stated in their own press release that you could get the safer formula by paying extra for their natural line which is supposedly 98 -99% natural. This is the excerpt from the press release dated Oct 2011 -"We have introduced new product formulations to meet consumer needs, such as Johnson’s Natural, a line that is 98% natural, and contains no formaldehyde releasing preservatives or traces of 1,4 dioxane. Johnson’s Natural is priced considerably below the “boutique” natural baby products, and puts an all-natural line within the budget of most consumers."

So lets get this straight. They were already aware that their product contained these cancer causing chemicals, and they already had the safer formula which they were selling in other countries, they also had a safer formula here in America but they were marketing it as a different product at a higher price. So basically the only reason they were not immediately removing the contaminated product off the shelf is because they want to sell everything they have already produced to maximize profits. Once they have sold all of the unsafe formula then they will sell the new safe formula at the regular price. Notice the highlighted part of the statement? They are drawing attention to the fact that their natural product is cheaper than other natural baby products, What has that got to do with anything? I guess we should be overcome with gratitude that they have generously decided to provide a safe product at a higher price, all because theirs is slightly cheaper than other natural products. Meanwhile bear in mind that theirs is not 100% natural or organic like the other brands they are comparing it to.

Why on earth,  would I buy baby products from this company? We are talking about sweet little innocent babies who are getting bathed daily in this substandard product because people trust the J&J name.  Completely unaware that they are slathering their baby in harsh chemicals. Meanwhile these products have the  "No Tears" stamp which J&J defined as being "as mild to a baby's eyes as pure water"  Really?... 
They concluded their press release with the statement "Our goal is to provide parents and their babies with safe, gentle, mild products that they can trust and use with confidence."  I. DON'T. GET. IT.  If you want to provide a safe, gentle and mild product then why don't you pull the contaminated products off the shelves and replace it immediately with something safer??

 They were first notified of the harsh chemicals in 2009, they recently announced that they will have all the contaminants out of their baby products by 2013 and all of their adult products by 2015. To me that is totally unacceptable. If it takes them 4 years  to clean up their act for baby products and 6 years to clean up the adult products, then I guess they deserve to wait a lifetime for me to never buy another baby product made by them.

 It is hard to avoid all J&J products since they make a lot of other brands such as, Band aid, Listerine, Clean & Clear,  Neutrogena, Aveeno, Neosporin, Tylenol... and the list goes on. But I definitely refuse to use any of their baby products or any of their Tylenol products.  I've honestly lost count of the number of Tylenol recalls within the last few years.  J&J prides themselves in being a family company, I really wish I could ask them how often they use their own contaminated products on their newborn babies. I suppose not at all. In which case why should I?


  1. Hi Simply Chic Momma, I work for Johnson & Johnson and we would love to talk to you directly about all the steps we take to ensure all of our products are safe. Please contact me directly at slucas12@its.jnj.com.

    In the meantime, I want to assure you, and your readers, that every beauty and baby care product from the Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies available today is safe and effective when used as directed. Below are just some of the reasons that I can make that statement with confidence.

    Like many moms, myself included, you have heard the highly-charged public discussion taking place about what ingredients should be included in personal care products. Questions about ingredients have generated enough media attention to raise questions in the minds of many parents.

    We’ve talked to thousands of consumers in different countries to understand how they view these issues. What we’ve found is that even though people understand that the products they use are safe and meet -- or in our case, often exceed -- government regulations around the world, they want more. For one, they want to know why we consider something safe, and the steps we take to ensure safety.

    To help meet that need, we recently launched a website dedicated to answering questions that consumers may have about ingredients; www.safetyandcarecommitment.com. On this site, you can learn more about the science of safety and see the extensive steps we take to ensure all of our baby and beauty products are safe.

    But what matters most isn’t what we think. It’s what you think.

    That’s why we took the unprecedented step of removing or reducing certain ingredients even though at their present levels they are safe by scientific standards and considered safe by key regulators around the world, including the EU, the U.S. and China. Ingredients including formaldehyde-releasing preservatives and parabens; these are some of the most thoroughly studied, well regulated and mildest preservatives in use today.

    We’ve been working on this global reformulation already. For example, we’ve already removed formaldehyde-releasing preservatives from more than 70% of the products they had been in, and by the end of 2013 will be out of all of our baby products worldwide.

    The reason we can’t do this instantly is because removing a host of ingredients entails developing new formulas for products in more than fifty countries around the world. Due to local tastes, regulations and availability of materials we can’t always use the same formula in different countries. Then once we have an effective formula that consumers like, we put it through our 5-level safety assurance process to make sure it meets or exceeds our rigorous safety standards – a critical process that ensures we’ve done the due diligence on the new formula and any new ingredients. Then we have to line up qualified suppliers for the new ingredients, and prepare our manufacturing lines to make the new products.

    Multiply that by hundreds of products and add in product registrations in countries around the world, and it’s a tremendous commitment of time and resources. It’s a commitment we’re happy to make, but it does take time.

    I hope that this starts to answer some of your questions. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any others. We appreciate the opportunity to provide our perspective on this important topic.

    Kind regards
    Samantha Lucas
    On behalf of the Johnson & Johnson Consumer Family of Companies

    1. Thanks for your lentghy comment. It still doesn't address the fact that you already have a safer formula here in America which you are marketing as the Johnson's Natural line. I stand by my original post, your company is not in a hurry to product a safer formula at the standard price and thus I am not in a hurry to spend a dime on your products, nor would I recommend any parent to do so.

  2. they pretty much rest behind the so called 'child friendly' name they have built so it is like they have become the go to products for babies without anyone even questioning what is in their products.

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  5. if you think that is bad - look to the ingredients in your own soaps and cosmetics that you use every day - full of carcinogens and toxins. The manufactures know that they are toxic - refuse to clean them up and even give them away "free" to breast cancer patients - for publicity -

    anything we put on our skin is in our bloodstream quickly - if we do it several times a day - look out

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  6. Johnson baby products are really amazing and therefore from the very early age we all are using Johnson baby product brand. There are several kinds of products in Johnson and usually we are looking for baby shops, lotion, hair oil, shampoo etc. Here also we can get some baby products of Johnson and I am sure this time also this brand will also provide suitable baby care facilities.

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