Better Skincare Choices, Chemicals in Skincare, Healthy Body, Skincare, Uncategorized

Baby Wipes

Baby Wipes

Today’s spotlight is on baby wipes.  Wow!  There are a lot of different brands out there and whilst I set out on this discovery mission intending to cover them all I soon worked out that I’d be here till next week trying.  My criteria is strict and I say, ‘Rightly so!’  These wipes will be used all through the day and night on your baby’s bum (and precious skin too).

I have a problem with any skin product that contains toxins, and there are lots!

The next time you’re shopping for baby wipes don’t be fooled into thinking that the healthy claims on the packaging follow through to the product inside.  Don’t look at the gorgeous giggling baby models and think they are a healthy glowing product of using these wipes… well, certainly not all of them anyway.  To my horror (and surprise) I thought anything that could be produced for babies MUST be safe… Right?  WRONG!  When you see the breakdown of chemicals within most of them you’ll probably be a little shocked, and think very differently about products like these.  In short it’s SO worth looking at the labels.

The list of ingredients to avoid is way too long to remember but you can remember a few important things:

1) Don’t touch anything with lots of ingredients named with long scientific words and numbers.

2) Don’t touch anything with fragrance or parfum.

3) Don’t believe ‘healthy’ front packaging claims, the truth lies in the ingredients.

4) Don’t buy anything that does not list ingredients. What are they hiding?!

5) If you don’t recognise any ingredients, choose something else.

Though even the worst products listed below probably will not visibly hurt your baby with only one use my preference is to not invite a chemical build-up with many repeated uses.  Why give your baby’s body more jobs to do in cleaning out the toxins?  The environment presents enough challenges to our immune systems without layering up in toxic ‘other stuff’ found in food, skincare, house cleaning products, pollution and the environment.  Does that make sense?  Aim to keep it simple.

If I’ve just accidentally bought a chemical laden brand (after falling victim to fabulous marketing on packaging, yes, I’m a sucker too) I’ll make a better choice the next time I need to buy – if I’m really upset by it I’ll either return it for a refund or throw it in the bin. It’s your right as the consumer and it’s definitely your right to keep your family safe.

To cut to the chase,

In my opinion the best wipes (of the featured brands below) are ‘Water Wipes’.

Why?  Because they contain only 2 ingredients; water and grapefruit seed extract.  That’s it!  Back to basics.

What else?  They work!  I use them myself.  They withstand the inevitable, fateful and horrible, ‘Whoops, I got shit on my finger’ test.  (Don’t pretend you haven’t been there!).

And?  They are available at some (not all) mainstream, big name supermarkets.  I get mine at the big Coles down the road.  You can also order them online.  Just follow the links, admittedly sometimes you might need to look a little further than your normal local supermarket, but hopefully not far.  If you ask your local supermarket to stock them you’ll probably find they’ll assist, if not find a place that does, or buy online and stock up.

The downside?  They cost more than other popular (but chemical laden) brands.  At $7.69 for a pack of 60 ($0.13 per wipe) they’re not cheap.  The way around this is to get the big bits off with toilet paper and finish the job with water wipes.  The other slight downside for me is they are not as luxurious to use as some of the other brands in that they’re less cushioned and grippy (like say, Huggies) but rather more silky (and hence slippery) to use.  Like anything, you get used to using them a certain way (if that makes sense?!)…  For their benefits I say work with them (fold in half and prepare for the silky slip) and you can be assured that you’re not putting toxic stuff on your baby’s butt.

Read on for a chemical breakdown of some of the most common brands:


WaterWipes

Price: $7.69 / 60 Pack

Water Wipes

Purified Water:  99.9%

Citrus Grandis Seed Extract (Grapefruit Seed Extract):  Used as a skin conditioning, toner, and astringent.


Huggies Baby Wipes

Price: $5.49 / 80 Pack

Huggies Wipes

Water:  98%

Phenoxyethanol:  Petroleum derived.  Absorbed via the skin, effects from exposure may include eye irritation, headache, tremors, central nervous system depression, mild irritation on sensitive skin. Safe as used up to 5% (personally I just want ‘safe’, no percentages). Suspected reproductive and developmental toxicity. Toxic to the kidneys, the nervous system and the liver.  On the Huggies website this ingredient ‘helps keeps wipes fresh’. (and I don’t want to see ‘toxic’ either!  Ugh!)

Amodimethicone:  Synthetically derived silicone.  Used as an antistatic, hair conditioning.  Environmental hazard. Safe as used up to 3%. On the Huggies website this ingredient ‘helps keep skin soft and smooth’. (NO ‘hazards’ is my preference, how ’bout you?)

Cocamidopropyl Betaine:  A synthetic surfactant, has been associated with irritation and allergic contact dermatitis.  Determined safe for use in cosmetics, subject to concentration and use limitations. According to Huggies this ingredient ‘helps clean skin’.

Malic Acid:  Derived from petroleum or  by microbial fermentation of fumaric acid.  Used for pH Balance.

Sodium Citrate:  May be derived from genetically modified corn, bacteria or plant. Used for buffering and chelating, anti-aging, body wash, conditioner, cleanser, moisturiser and shampoo.  According to Huggies, ‘helps stabilize solution’.

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract:  Extract from the leaves of the aloe vera plant.  Can cause allergic or hyper-sensitive reactions.  Used as an emollient.

Tocopheryl Acetate:  Synthetically derived. Vitamin E.


Natracare Organic Cotton Baby Wipes

Price: $4.88 / 50 Pack

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Water:  Water

Olus:  Other wise known as vegetable oil.  Used as an emollient.  Plant derived.

Glycerin:  Glycerin is a byproduct of soap manufacture.  Glycerol maybe genetically modified, animal or palm oil derived.  Used as a humectant, solvent and denaturant.  May irritate sensitive skin.

Lauryl Glucoside:  May be palm oil or plant derived.  Used as a cleanser and surfactant.

Polyglyceryl-2 Dipolyhydroxystearate:  A synthetic ester of Polyglyceryl-2 and Stearic acid, generally used as an emulsifier.  According to the Good Guide is no health concern.

Prunus armeniaca (organic apricot oil):  Plant derived.

Levulinic acid:  It is not on any of GoodGuide’s lists of toxic chemicals which cause suspected or recognized health effects. It has not been detected in human tissue or urine.

Parfum: Individual ingredients that make up fragrance are not identified.  Used as a deodorant and masking agent.  Allergic reactions, asthma, suspected immuno and neurotoxicity. (Parfums are often hormone disruptors and carcinogens too, why risk it?)

Sodium levulinate:  Used as a preservative and skin conditioner.  It is considered a low hazard ingredient.   According to the cosmetics database it is considered an irritant even at low doses.  

Terpineol:  Derived from pine oil, however can be synthetically produced.  Used as an antioxidant and solvent.

Limonene:  Obtained from citrus peels and pulp.  Plant derived.  Used for masking.  Can cause skin, eye and lung irritation.  

Linalool:  Plant or synthetically derived from geraniol. Used as a deodorant and fragrance.  Can cause allergic reactions.

Geraniol:  A terpene alcohol.  Used as a tonic.  Can cause contact dermatitis and irritate the eyes.

Chamomilla recutita (organic chamomile):  Extracted from German chamomile.  Plant derived.  Used as an emollient.  Considered safe.

Maltodextrin:  Maybe be GMO derived, obtained from the hydrolysis of starch.  Used as a skin conditioner.  Considered safe. 

Tilia cordata (organic linden):  Plant derived from the Linden tree.  Used as an antioxidant and astringent.  Considered safe.

Tocopherol:  May be plant, GMO or synthetically derived.  Vitamin E.  Used as an antioxidant and skin conditioner.  Can cause contact dermatitis.  Considered safe.  

Potassium Sorbate:  Petroleum derived.  Used as a preservative.  Contact dermatitis, may cause mild skin and eye irritation.

Glyceryl oleate:  May be plant, GM or animal derived.  Used as an emollient.  May cause irritation to skin, eyes and lungs.

Dicaprylyl carbonate:  Plant derived.  Used as a skin conditioner and emollient.  It is not on any of GoodGuide’s lists of toxic chemicals which cause suspected or recognized health effects. It has not been detected in human tissue or urine.

  Sodium citrate:  May be GM, bacteria or plant derived.  Used as a buffer.  Considered safe.


Johnson’s Baby Skincare Wipes

Price: $6.93 / 80 Pack

Johnsons Baby Wipes

Water: Water

Glycerin:  Glycerin is a byproduct of soap manufacture.  Glycerol maybe genetically modified, animal or palm oil derived.  Used as a humectant, solvent and denaturant.  May irritate sensitive skin.

Glyceryl Polyacrylate:  Functions as a film former.  A skin irritant.  Enhanced skin absorption.

Coco-Glucoside:  Made from the condensation of coconut alcohol with glucose.  Functions include foaming and surfactant (a surfactant is a chemical agent capable of reducing the surface tension of a liquid in which is is dissolved).

Glyceryl Oleate:  May be GM, animal derived or palm oil derived.  Used as an emollient and emulsifier.  May cause irritation to skin, eyes, or lungs.  Safe as used up to 5%.

Lauryl Glucoside:  May be palm oil or plant derived.  Used as a cleanser and surfactant.  

Polyglyceryl-2 Dipolyhydroxystearate:  A synthetic ester of Polyglyceryl-2 and Stearic acid, generally used as an emulsifier.  According to the Good Guide is no health concern.  

Carbomer:  Petroleum derived.  Used for emulsion stabilising, gel forming and viscosity controlling.  Safe as used up to 2%.

P-Anisic Acid:  Found naturally in anise.  Has antiseptic properties.

Phenoxyethanol:  Petroleum derived.  Absorbed via the skin.  Exposure may include eye irritation, headache, tremors, and central nervous system depression.  Mild irritation on sensitive skin.  Suspected reproductive and developmental toxicity. Toxic to the kidneys, and the nervous system. (Seriously?  No thanks!)

Sodium Benzoate:  Petroleum derived.  Used as a preservative.  Contact dermatitis, suspected cardiovascular, liver, kidney and neurotoxicity.  Suspected skin or sense organ toxicity. Skin ailments eczema, dermatitis, itching, hives, rash.

Fragrance:  Individual ingredients that make up fragrance are not identified.  Used as a deodorant and masking agent.  Allergic reactions, asthma, suspected immuno and neurotoxicity.

Sodium Hydroxide:  Mineral and Synthetic derived.  Caustic soda.  Used as a denaturant and for buffering.  Can cause damage to scalp and hair, dermatitis, skin and eye irritation.  Suspected skin, sense organ and respiratory toxicity.

Citric Acid:  Plant and maybe GMO derived.  Used for buffering and chelating.  Eye irritation, skin irritation.  Those sensitive to MSG should avoid.


Naty Eco Wipes – Sensitive and Unscented 

Price: $6.50 / 70 Pack

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Water: Water

Glycerin:  Glycerin is a byproduct of soap manufacture.  Glycerol maybe genetically modified, animal or palm oil derived.  Used as a humectant, solvent and denaturant.  May irritate sensitive skin.

Benzyl Alcohol:  Petroleum derived.  Used as a masking agent, preservative and solvent.  Can cause allergic contact dermatitis.  Known to be neurotoxic to humans, suspected liver, gastrointestinal, nervous system and immuno toxicity.  Skin ailments can inlcude eczema, dermatitis, itching, hives, and rashes.

Sodium Benzoate:  Petroleum derived.  Used as a preservative.  Contact dermatitis, suspected cardiovascular, liver, kidney and neurotoxicity.  Suspected skin or sense organ toxicity. Skin ailments eczema, dermatitis, itching, hives, rash.

Propylene Glycol:  Petroleum derived.  Used for skin conditioning.  Potential effects include eczema, skin irritation, respiratory, immuno and neurotoxicity. (immuno and neurotoxicity I can do without!)

Potassium Sorbate:  Petroleum derived.  Used as a preservative.  Contact dermatitis, may cause mild skin and eye irritation.

Dehydroacetic Acid:  Is a cyclic ketone (whatever that means).  May cause skin irritation.

Decyl Glucoside:  May be GMO derived. Used as an emulsion stabiliser.  Not assessed for safety in cosmetics.

Citric Acid:  Plant and maybe GMO derived.  Used for buffering and chelating.  Eye irritation, skin irritation.  Those sensitive to MSG should avoid.

Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract:  Extracted from German chamomile.  Plant derived.  Used as an emollient.  Considered safe.

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice:  Extract from the leaves of the aloe vera plant.  Can cause allergic or hyper-sensitive reactions.  Used as an emollient.


Curash Fragrance Free Baby Wipes

Price: $10.99 / 3 packs of 80

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Water: Water

Polysorbate 20:  Used as a detergent and emulsifier (to help mix oil and water). Polysorbate all by itself is harmless however Polysorbate 20 has been treated with 20 parts ethylene oxide which means it can then become contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which is a known carcinogen and penetrates readily into the skin.

Phenoxyethanol:  Petroleum derived.  Absorbed via the skin.  exposure may include eye irritation, headache, tremors, and central nervous system depression.  Mild irritation on sensitive skin.  Suspected reproductive and developmental toxicity. Toxic to the kidneys, and the nervous system.

Methylparaben:  Petroleum derived.  Synthetically derived.   Used as a preservative.  Contact dermatitis, interferes with gene expression, skin irritation, suspected endocrine (hormone) disruption.  Eczema, dermatitis, itching, hives, rash.

Ethylparaben:  Used as a preservative.  Synthetically derived.   Hormone disruptor.  Parabens have been found in breast cancer tumors, and to minic the female hormone estrogen in the human body. (Never touch parabens!  And this product has four different types!  Definitely not worth it)

Butylparaben:  Used as a preservative.  Synthetically derived.   It has been shown that butylparaben can cross body barriers and enter the body through the lungs, GI tract and the skin.

Isobutylparaben:  Used as a preservative.  Same as for the parabens listed above.

2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1, 3-Diol:  Used as a preservative.  Known human lung and skin toxicity.  Suspected liver and immunotoxicity. (Plus it releases formaldehyde which is a carcinogen.  Shocker!)


Gaia Bamboo Baby Wipes

Price: $5.39 / 80 Pack

original_CW

Water:  Water

Glycerin:  Glycerin is a byproduct of soap manufacture.  Glycerol maybe genetically modified, animal or palm oil derived.  Used as a humectant, solvent and denaturant.  May irritate sensitive skin.

Phenoxyethanol:  Petroleum derived.  Absorbed via the skin.  Exposure may include eye irritation, headache, tremors, and central nervous system depression.  Mild irritation on sensitive skin.  Suspected reproductive and developmental toxicity. Toxic to the kidneys, and the nervous system. (I don’t know about you but I’d rather not buy this one either!)

Didecyldimonium Chloride:  Considered no health concern as it is not on any of GoodGuide’s lists of toxic chemicals which cause suspected or recognized health effects. It has not been detected in human tissue or urine.

Alkyl Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chloride:  Suspected gastrointestinal and liver tocicant, immunotoxicant, neuro, respiratory, skin toxicant.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine:  A synthetic surfactant, has been associated with irritation and allergic contact dermatitis.  Determined safe for use in cosmetics, subject to concentration and use limitations.

Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Extract (*Certified organic):  Extract from the leaves of the aloe vera plant.  Can cause allergic or hyper-sensitive reactions.  Used as an emollient.

Lemon (Citrus Medica Limonium) Oil:  Plant derived.  Used for fragrance and masking. 

Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower (*Certified organic):  Plant derived.  Used for fragrance and masking.  Considered safe.  

Green Tea:  Plant derived. Considered safe.

Chamomilla (Anthemis Nobilis) Flower (*Certified organic):  Plant derived.  Used as an emollient.  Considered safe.

Tea Tree Extract:  Plant derived.  Considered safe.


Kirkland Baby Wipes

Price: $82.59 / 8 x Pack 0f 88

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Water: Water

Propylene Glycol:  Petroleum derived.  Used for skin conditioning.  Potential effects include eczema, skin irritation, respiratory, immuno and neurotoxicity.

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract:  Extract from the leaves of the aloe vera plant.  Can cause allergic or hyper-sensitive reactions.  Used as an emollient.

Tocopheryl Acetate:  Synthetic derived. Vitamin E.

Peg-75 Lanolin:  Animal or petroleum derived.  Used as an emollient. Not safe on injured or damaged skin.

Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate:  Organic compound.  Considered safe.

Polysorbate 20:  Used as a detergent and emulsifier (to help mix oil and water). Polysorbate all by itself is harmless however Polysorbate 20 has been treated with 20 parts ethylene oxide which means it can then become contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which is a known carcinogen and penetrates readily into the skin.

Citric Acid:  Plant and maybe GMO derived.  Used for buffering and chelating.  Eye irritation, skin irritation.  Those sensitive to MSG should avoid.

Disodium Phosphate:  Used for buffering (a buffer is an ionic compound that resists changes in pH).  Not assessed for safety in cosmetics.

Disodium EDTA:  Petroleum derived.  Used for chelating and viscosity controlling.  Possible allergic reactions, skin and mucous membrane irritation.

Ethylene Brassylate:  Petroleum derived.  Used as a masking agent and tonic. May cause irritation to sensitive people.

2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1, 3-Diol:  Used as a preservative.  Known human lung and skin toxicity.  Suspected liver and immunotoxicity. (And this preservative releases formaldehyde which is a carcinogen!  Terrible!)

Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate:  Synthetically derived.  Used as a preservative.  Lung sensitisation.  Should not be used in products to aerosolized.  Suspected liver and neurotoxicity.  Can effect gastrointestinal system and liver system.


From my perspective there’s only really one product listed that I’d trust (Water Wipes).  Every single other product has one or more preservatives, additives, or toxins that are either hormone disruptors, cause allergic reactions, skin reactions or carcinogens.  No thanks!  What about you?

Oh, one more thing…

You can make your own wipes too.  This will be something I’ll explore in a future post.  

♥ Kelly Lynne

Like this post?  Come and see me on FaceBook and share the love with a ‘like’ or a ‘share’!  Mwah!

Disclaimer.  I am not paid for my reviews.  My opinions are my own based on the research that I have conducted over many years.  I use various resources to find my information.  An excellent resource is an app called ‘Chemical Maze’, other resources include the Good Guide, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), as well as the internet.  You can find lots of information if you scratch beneath the surface.  My aims are to clean up my life and home and to share what I find with you so you can do the same if it’s that you want to do.  

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