The Truth About Baby Wipes and the Best Ones for Your Little One’s Tush
Baby wipes are something that we need for our little ones, whether they are ones we buy from the store or ones we make ourselves. Their bums need to be wiped and we need the material to do so! Fortunately, more and more companies are recognizing the importance of what ingredients go into their products, as are more and more parents.
Before we get into which store-bought wipes are safer to buy, let’s go over the ingredients you should be avoiding like the plague. Then, let’s take a look at some of the best baby wipes you can get!
INGREDIENTS TO AVOID ALTOGETHER
1. Perfume/Parfume or Fragrance:
This ingredient is misleading because, per FDA regulations, a company does not have to share what ingredients go into their perfume/fragrance because it is considered a “trade secret”. That means that a company’s “fragrance” can have upwards of hundreds of ingredients unknown to us! This disturbs me so…
A fragrance can carry hormone disrupters and allergens, and is primarily derived from petroleum, containing harmful chemicals and irritants.
2. Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate (aka 3-Iodo-2-propynyl butylcarbamat, Troysan polyphase anti-mildew, CAS RN: 55406-53-6, Woodlife):
Though this ingredient is considered safe when used at concentrations of less than 0.1%, because of its use in so many different products (cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, hygiene and industrial products), more and more people are having reactions to this chemical. Not surprising since it is used as a preservative in water-based paints, metal-working fluids, and as a wood preservative. So why in the world are we putting it on the softest skin in the world? (Other countries have banned its use and changed their standards in an effort to combat this. Go them!)
3. Ceteareth-12 and Ceteareth-20
The purpose of these synthetic ingredients is to break down your skin’s structure to allow substances to get deep down into your skin. It’s made from Cetearyl Alcohol and can actually cause skin irritation and potential carcinogens due to ethoxylation, making it super unhelpful on your baby’s delicate backside.
4. Formaldehyde-Releasing Chemicals
These chemicals are used as preservatives in various cosmetics, soaps, cleaners, and yes, baby wipes.
- Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin
- Diazolidinyl urea
- 1,3-dimethylol-5,5-dimethylhydantoin (or DMDM hydantoin)
- Imidazolidinyl urea
- Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate
- DMDM Hydantoin
- Polyoxymethylene Urea
INGREDIENTS TO AVOID IF POSSIBLE
1. Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PEG-50 Shea Butter, Polysorbate 20 BIS-PEG/PPG-16/16 PEG/PPG-16/16 Dimethicone, Butoxy PEG-4 PG-Amodimethicone, Laureth-10
All of the above ingredients are made with ethylene oxide through ethoxylation (the very same process mentioned with the Ceteareths). Basically, if the process is not handled properly, the ethoxylation can become contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1,4-Dioxane. And now you have baby wipes with carcinogens in them. Unfortunately, there’s no way for us as consumers to tell if they’re safe from these carcinogens or not.
2. Tocopheryl Acetate (not to be confused with Tocopherol, natural vitamin E)
Tocopherly Acetate is the synthetic version of natural vitamin E. It may produce hydroquinone, which is a skin bleaching agent to prevent things like aging spots. (Why a baby needs this, I’m not sure…) It’s also been shown to cause cancer among animal studies.
3. Phenoxyethanol (aka Phenoxyethanol, 2-Phenoxyethanol, Euxyl K® 400 (mixture of Phenoxyethanol and 1,2-dibromo-2,4-dicyanobutane), PhE)
This ingredient is used in various cosmetic products to stop bacteria from growing. A noble cause right? Except for when the very ingredient included in baby wipes also causes skin irritation, ranging from eczema and hives to anaphylaxis. It also has been shown to have an acute effect on an infant’s nervous syste (depressing the central nervous system that can lead to diarrhea and nause) through a previous nipple cream for mothers who breastfed their babies.
(Sodium Benzoate may be considered an ingredient to watch out for as it may produce carcinogens. However, it has been much more favorable than the alternative, phenoxyethanol. We have listed wipes that have sodium benzoate because it is considered a better preservative. It is up to you to decide for your family.)
That’s a lot of information about the horrible things that can be hiding in wipes. Now, how about we get to the fun part? Which wipes are the best available to purchase?
THE SAFEST WIPES YOU CAN BUY
1. Made of Organic Baby Wipes–Ingredients: Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Organic Glycerin, Glyceryl Oleate, Lauryl Glucoside, Olus Oil, Organic Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera), Organic Argania Spinosa (Argan) Oil, Organic Echinacea Angustifolia (Echinacea), Organic Plantago Major (Plantian) Extract, Polyglyceryl-2-Dipolyhydroxystearate, Glyceryl Caprylate. Made in USA.
2. Hello Bello Baby Wipes–Ingredients: Water, Gluconolactone, Sodium Benzoate, Hydroxyacetophenone, Aloe Vera Extract*, Chamomile Extract*, Decyl Glucoside, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide, Ethylhexylglycerin. (*Organic). Made in China.
3. Jackson Reece (Kinder By Nature) Natural Unscented Baby Wipes–Ingredients: Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Betaine, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Levulinic Acid, Sodium Levulinate, Glycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Citrate. Made in United Kingdom.
4. Attitude Baby Wipes Natural–Ingredients: Aqua, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Citrate, Glycerin, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Citric Acid, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour. Made in Turkey.
5. Attitude Baby Wipes 100% Biodegradable–Ingredients: Aqua, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Glycerin, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Citric Acid. Made from 100% cellulose fiber (a fully biodegradable material). Made in Turkey.
6. Caboo Tree-Free Bamboo Baby Wipes–Ingredients: Aqua, Glycerin, Geogard Ultra (Gluconolactone & Sodium Benzoate), Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Tocopherol (Vitamin E). Made in China.
7. Cloud Island Baby Wipes (TARGET)–Ingredients: Water, Sodium Benzoate, Glycerin, Coconut/Cocos Nucifera Oil, Sorbitan Caprylate, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Sodium Citrate, Xanthan Gum, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Citric Acid. Made in USA.
8. Everyone Baby Wipes–Ingredients: Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Sodium Laurylglucosides Hydroxypropylsulfonate, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Althaea Officinalis Root Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract, Tocopherol, Phytic Acid, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Chloride, Gluconic Acid, Sodium Benzoate. Made in USA.
9. Honest Baby Wipes–Ingredients: Water (Aqua/Eau), Glycerin, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Prunica Granatum Juice Extract, Decyl Glucoside, Citric Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Benzoate. Made in China.
Making the right choices for your child can feel overwhelming and unnerving. We hope this information will help give you confidence and relief from doing the research on wipes, so you can spend more time enjoying your little one!
If you’d rather avoid any chance of negatively affecting your child with even these ingredients and are looking for some DIY options, click here to find an option that may work great for your family.
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