When I was offered the opportunity to become a Johnson’s Baby ambassador, I’ve got to be honest, I was a little apprehensive. You see, last year I took part in Johnson’s 24-Hour Rose Test which was enormous fun and thankfully helped raise my profile through its YouTube success, but upon the campaign launching I did receive the odd negative comment regarding my decision to work with Johnson’s. The reason for said comments? Because apparently Johnson’s causes cancer. 

I was sent a YouTube video of a young lady detailing to camera how this ghastly illness is spreading around the world via Johnson’s products – I was a little shocked to say the least, but I’m digitally savvy enough to take such media with a pinch of salt and understand that not everything we see online is true – if online life was reality, then I should be permanently tanned (gotta love the Rio filter on Insta Stories). With comments dying down after the Rose Test, I didn’t think much more of it, dismissing it as internet hype… that was until a few months ago when I was asked to become an ambassador.

I spent some time thinking it over; it was clearly a fantastic opportunity to work with a huge brand for a year, and the details of the campaign were exciting compared to anything else I’d seen on social media, but my issue was the whole ‘cancer thing’. As an ambassador I’d be bound to hear even more horror stories, plus, as a vegetarian and huge animal lover, I needed to know if Johnson’s tested on animals (I was told ‘no’ before the Rose Test but sought further clarification).

With a decision needed, it would simply come down to me sounding Johnson’s out on the two issues that were holding me back: Does Johnson’s cause cancer and do Johnson’s test on animals? 

I fired off my email expecting the worse and received the following:

Animal testing:
We do not test our JOHNSON’S® baby products on animals and believe animal testing is unnecessary for cosmetic products. We are aware that a few government agencies may conduct their own testing and are actively working across the globe to gain a wider acceptance of human and alternative safety data.

Does JOHNSON’S Baby Powder cause cancer?
No, it does not. The talc in our baby powder has a long history of safe and gentle use. Billions of families have used our baby powder. And decades of safety reviews by independent researchers and scientists have shown our ingredients are safe to use. The health of your family is and will always be our number one priority. You can find more information here: http://bit.ly/J7F8D6

Do your products contain formaldehyde?
You’ll be happy to hear we don’t use that ingredient in any of our baby products. Not the lotions, the baby wash, the baby oils or anything else. We want both baby and you to rest easy when it comes to products for your family.

Are the chemical ingredients bad?
Every one of our products on the market is safe and effective when used as directed, and either meets or exceeds government standards in the countries where they are sold. For more information visit our safety and ingredients page http://www.johnsonsbaby.co.uk/baby-expertise/safety-ingredients

Is it safe to use our products?
We’re parents too, and we use JOHNSON’S® products on our own babies. We make sure our products only contain ingredients thoroughly reviewed by global health experts – and our own scientists. We have these high standards because the health and well-being of your family matters to us above all else.

Blimey! I only asked about cancer and animal testing and then found myself reading about formaldehyde – what the heck is formaldehyde? Thankfully, my mind was put at rest with the animal testing. It was reassuring to read Johnson’s don’t test on animals, and being the husband of a beauty journalist, I was already aware how some countries still insist on testing even if the brand don’t, namely China, but a lot is being done to demonstrate alternatives to them. The cancer rumours, whilst I never paid much attention to them originally, it was good to have them cleared up, but what struck me was the fact I was given additional information on other concerns, which to me demonstrated Johnson’s were serious about this campaign and were intent on removing any negativity associated with the brand.

I signed on the dotted line and was officially a Johnson’s ambassador. Formaldehyde or no formaldehyde.

Our first meet-up in London was an opportunity to hear the science behind the products, with a fascinating presentation from leading Johnson’s scientist, David Mays. We talked about the make-up of baby’s skin, the importance of protection and spent a long time focussing on product ingredients. Look at literally any product and the ingredients can be baffling and scary, including Johnson’s, but to demonstrate how a list of peculiar number formations and seemingly made-up words might frighten the life out of someone, David brilliantly presented ingredients of everyday fruits such as blueberries and compared the contents to baby products – both appeared full of weird and wonderful chemicals (that would definitely cause cancer, right?!). The point being; it’s easy to jump to conclusions when it comes to ingredients, but you’ll be glad to hear Johnson’s products are free from phthalates, parabens, and formaldehyde.  They’ve never put formaldehyde in their products. Worldwide (including the US) no Johnson’s Baby product includes phthalates, parabens or formaldehyde. 


Our time with David ended with some Q&As and I was relieved to hear that I wasn’t alone with concerns about cancer and animal testing – it was clearly everyone’s major concern when considering the campaign, but David and the rest of the Johnsons’ team were only too happy to answer our questions and put our minds at rest. And now, with our first meet-up over, our roles as ambassadors begins, where we can hopefully help debunk any myths or concerns out there. As well as being involved in the exciting things happening at Johnsons over the next year, we’re also here to show that Johnson’s is a brand with a wealth of knowledge and expertise, a brand you can trust and where babies are at the centre of everything they do… exactly the same as all us parents.