Dermatologist Review of California Baby
anonymous Verified Purchaser
California Baby is a baby and child focused manufacturer and marketer of skin and hair care products. The company was founded in Los Angeles, California by Jessica Iclisoy in 1995. California Baby’s brand concept developed as the result of a major market deficiency. In the early 1990’s, natural baby care products formulated entirely with unquestionably safe ingredients were unavailable. Ms. Iclisoy, a member of the fashion industry at the time, noticed this baby care product void while pregnant with her first son, Ian. As all devoted mothers understand, the motherly instinct is such that mothers are programmed to take good care of their children and protect them from harm. Ms. Iclisoy carefully researched the available choices in baby care products at the time of her first pregnancy and found all of them to be, at least theoretically, less than completely safe. This motivated her to develop something better for her soon to be born child and, ultimately, children around the world. California Baby wasn’t born right away, however. Ms. Iclisoy spent over three years doing mommy R & D before bringing her first product, Calming Shampoo & Bodywash, to market. Today, California Baby has become a socially responsible, award winning, multi-million dollar company with extensive world-wide distribution from its Los Angeles headquarters. California Baby’s ‘Momtra’ is ‘integrity, originality, and passion’.
California Baby’s offering is the result of a focus on development of the safest formulations possible delivered in a way that is fun and interesting. A large part of the bonding that occurs with baby products is a result of how these products smell. We all instinctively identify that ‘baby powder’ scent from our childhood and can easily re-live it today on most maternity wards. California Baby brings the scent palette of baby products to a new level. The line is rich in products that derive their unique and interesting aromas from pure essential plant oil blends. Synthetic fragrances have been consciously decided against by Ms. Iclisoy for California Baby products because some synthetic fragrances (especially the lower end variety) may be comprised of potentially unsafe chemicals or chemical breakdown products. California Baby products are paraben and formaldehyde-releaser free. Instead, they use a proprietary blend of natural preservatives. Natural preservatives are an expensive and delicate formulation alternative as their use requires great expertise in order to maintain product efficacy and elegance equivalent to what can be more easily and inexpensively achieved with synthetically preserved formulations. This quest for natural preservatives is particularly challenging in the baby care market as price points are low and the added expense associated with natural preservatives has the potential to price some naturally preserved formulations ‘out of the market’.
California Baby is a broad ranging complete baby skin, hair and bath care product line.
The California Baby product line covers virtually every skin, body and bath care product class imaginable for kids. In addition to the original Shampoo & Body Wash (which is now available in a few different scents), there are a few other hair care products including a de-tangler. Bubble baths are available with multiple scents and all are ‘non-stripping’ and thus minimize the chance of mucosal irritation and excessive skin dryness. California Baby offers a solid selection of creams and lotions designed for sensitive skin including a specially formulated diaper area cream that contains zinc oxide and ultra-purified lanolin. Sun protection products are also an integral part of the offering. Titanium dioxide is used exclusively as the sunscreen agent and this is a mixed blessing. While cosmetic grade titanium dioxide is considered safe, it can be cosmetically inelegant resulting in a whitish sheen and longer application times. Nevertheless, this is probably a fair trade for most parents given the risks inherent in excessive sun exposure of young children, particularly the fair skinned. California Baby sunscreens utilize silicone and cyclomethicone base ingredients that allow for a ‘Very Water Resistant’ rating – the best currently available. It is particularly commendable that California Baby has limited their sunscreen claims to those recommended by the FDA and shied away from the confusing and misleading language so common in mass market sunscreen products these days. These inflated sun protection claims put forth by other companies are greatly discouraged by the FDA in advance of its pending new sunscreen regulations that will finally prohibit these misleading practices. Another great SPF line extension is the Citronella Bug Blend which protects from children from the sun while naturally discouraging insect bites in a DEET-free way. California Baby has even re-invented baby powder. Gone is that typical ‘baby-powder’ artificial fragrance and gone is the worrisome inhalation concern associated with talc powder. In their place is a cornstarch based powder augmented by absorbent clay and scented with essential oils – a major step forward in baby powder.
California Baby products have some overlap with general use cosmetics. There is a wide ranging array of massage oils, for example and a selection of aromatherapy spritzers as well. California Baby’s newest product offering is designed for use during pregnancy. The Natural Pregnancy Collection consists of Nourishing Cream for the neck, décolleté and breasts and Nourishing Emulsion body lotion rich in high grade organic cocoa butter.
California Baby is packaged in recyclable plastic tubes, jars and bottles. The idea is to exert a minimal impact on the environment. As such, boxes are absent. The packaging is pleasant and consistent across the offering. California Baby products are considered on the higher range of pricing for baby care products and this is certainly due to the higher quality formulations comprised of more expensive ingredients. This expense and the need to have reasonable price points likely also partly explain the packaging’s elegant cheerful simplicity. The California Baby name and logo is ubiquitous across the brand. Package fronts are engaging and interesting. An artistic style reminiscent of the whimsical copy and images found on some Trader Joes’ products is frequently present.
California Baby has gone over the top to be a model corporate citizen via all the avenues available to a nature-focused skin care company. The company effectively utilizes social media well as well as traditional print and television PR. The net result for California Baby has been the early creation of brand legacy especially when compared to pre-existing companies in the baby care market.
In a relatively short time California Baby has become an international powerhouse baby care brand. The story is one of finding a market void, designing a superior product offering to fill that void and pricing the offering in such a way that customers will try it and ultimately return to re-purchase again and again. The California Baby story has caused corporate America to take note. California Baby has substantial corporate partners that have helped facilitate a dramatic and rapid grow in distribution and sales. These corporate partners have likely been great contributors to the success of the company.
The outlook for California Baby is excellent. Many companies of this unique quality find themselves receiving inquiries from larger companies looking to acquire or merge. Regardless of what happens at the corporate level, however, it is safe to say that California Baby has, in a relatively short time, irreversibly changed the baby skin and hair care landscape in a positive way for babies around the world.
Review posted 3/3/2011.
CommentsDermaflage by Miss Kay
I personally like the product...it covers the scar but it takes a lot of practice to get it right...the first thing I ran out of we're the mixing tips because the product dries really fast...It's really a silicone that fills in deep scars u may not get it perfect but it will look better than b4...I bought the starter kit for scars and only one of the colors matched my skin....u may want to buy more mixing tips just to practice with it....it's gonna take a formula for you to master the application on your scar; everybody is different! I'm not going to give it a high rating just yet...I'm going to have to buy one more batch of this stuff to see if I can perfect it. If I do then it's worth every penny! If it still looks less than perfect then I'll give my final review, as for now I'm working with it!
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