Goodbye Johnson’s Baby smell

Yesterday another friend came over to visit Keshav and Neesha. She got along some organic baby wash, shampoo and lotion made by Topfer a brand that I’d never heard of before but which is available in Mumbai at Organic Haus, Kemp’s Corner, a speciality shop selling only organic, vegetarian products.

I went on the website and was pleased to find the following information:

Babycare – natural care and protection for young skin

The skin of a baby is much thinner and more sensitive than that of an adult. Based on high-quality natural and organic flowers and plants, we have developed an extremely mild and protective skin care range that meets the wide spectrum of high demands made by the delicate skin of babies and children.
All Töpfer baby care products are produced in accordance with the stringent guidelines for Certified Natural Cosmetics under the German BDIH label; they are free of synthetic fragrances, colours and preservatives. We do not use any raw materials derived from mineral oils. No animal experiments and no harsh chemicals – only beauty from nature.
The products have been dermatologically tested (Dermatest) and have all achieved the highest possible score of “very good”.


With baby taking up most of our time, both Neesha and I have had just a few moments to scan the papers, I was unaware that Johnson’s licence for producing baby powder has been revoked. Having always associated J&J with baby smells, soft bottoms and warm milk, I was quite shattered to hear this news from our friend. As the use of baby powder has been frowned upon for many years now, I thought that Neesha would lift her ban on the powder after Keshav became a little older and had hopes of having a Johnson’s Baby albeit at the age of five. But this latest news put paid to my plans as I was told that J & J had a step in its manufacturing process that required the use of a carcinogenic substance which J&J carelessly or callously forgot to remove before packaging off the product.

So please,  those of you who are still using Johnson’s Baby Powder, please STOP.

As they say, there’s no smoke without a fire and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. While we Indians love putting powder on our children, apparently it does more harm than good and is a practice that should be stopped. It blocks up pores and causes allergies so it is best avoided. In fact all baby products should not be scented either so you can say good bye to powder Johnson’s or not.

While Topfer is expensive, there are various other alternatives in the market. But read all the labels carefully. Babies have soft and delicate skins and you never know what can trigger off allergies. It is always best to check with your pediatrician rather than your neighbourhood auntie who may well tell you that her daughter’s friend in America used such and such soap or such and such baby lotion.

Indians, as we all know, love giving advice and strangely enough a baby in your arms is like an ADVICE MAGNET. You will have all kinds of people from jhappa maids, to ward boys, even strangers on the road who will tell you how to stop that baby in your arms from bawling his head off.

At such times, just turn a deaf ear ,which shouldn’t really be that hard since baby’s screams in your ear are already drowing many other sounds, and continue dandling, cooing, rocking or whatever it is you are doing to try and soothe baby’s frayed nerves.


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