It’s time for my weekly analysis of ingredients. This week, I’m looking at five sets of baby wet wipes of the most popular brands.

Many parents opt for the convenience of using wet wipes on their babies, either as part of a regular nappy changing routine or when out and about. As this type of product comes so close to baby’s delicate skin, it is important to be aware of what actually goes into these seemingly innocent wet wipes. You can read more on which ingredients should be avoided in children’s skincare products in my earlier post Keep away from children: Ingredients to avoid in baby products.

As with my previous analyses, I’m looking for feedback on how useful these analyses are so that I can improve them in the future so please leave me a comment or get in touch with me. I don’t claim to be an expert on chemical ingredients – as with all of my other analyses I’ve spent hours and hours researching each ingredient and questioning its use. These reviews are not intended to replace professional or medical advice. They’re intended to make you a bit more conscious about the choices you make when shopping for skincare products and to make you ask questions, just as I ask them every time I buy a skincare product.

The below list is obviously not exhaustive so if there are any other baby wipes that you would like me to look at, please leave a comment below.

baby-wipes-final


Key to ingredient lists:

  • Ingredients known to have positive benefits
  • Ingredients that may cause irritation (especially to sensitive skin)
  • Ingredients considered potentially harmful/ toxic


Brand: Jackson Reece10221019

Product: Kinder by Nature Unscented Wipes

Size: 56 wipes

Price: £2.00


Product description:

“Made from natural aloe vera and purified water they don’t contain any alcohol, parabens, lanolin,SLS, SLES, petrochemicals, phenoxyethanol, benzoates or anything that might harm your baby’s delicate skin. That’s why they’re ‘kinder by nature’. Soothing certified organic aloe vera. More than 99% naturally derived ingredients from renewable vegetable or plant extracts. No nasty chemicals, alcohol or paragons. 100% unscented, fragrance and perfume free. pH balanced, hypoallergenic and dermatologically approved. Not tested on animals. Biodegradable, compostable and chlorine free cloth.”

Ingredients (INCI):

NB – all descriptions of each ingredient have been taken from Jackson Reece’s website – I have verified all of them.

  • Aqua (purified and deionised water)
  • *Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Aloe Vera leaf juice, moisturiser and cleanser)
  • Betaine (humectant derived from vegetable, to help moisturise the skin)
  • Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside (derived from vegetable, gentle cleansing agent)
  • Levulinic Acid (vegetable derived preservative)
  • Sodium Levulinate (vegetable derived preservative)
  • Glycerin (vegetable based preservative carrier)
  • Potassium Sorbate (preservative)
  • Sodium Citrate (pH adjuster derived from sugar beet).

*Certified Organic Ingredients
*Aloe Vera Certified Organic by Mayacert

My view and rating: ★★★

This is a very good list, with aloe vera right after water and there are absolutely no nasties. What I also really like is that the wipes are biodegradable – brilliant! Not much more to add so a big thumb up!



Brand: Johnson’s320160011_1_640x640
Product: Gentle All Over Baby Wipes
Size:  56 wipes
Price: £1.29

 Product description:

“Our essential multi-tasking, do it all wipe effectively cleans everything from wet bottoms to sticky fingers and delicate faces. Made with soft fabric enriched with a JOHNSON’S® Lotion to leave skin feeling soft and cared for. Perfect to use all over your baby’s body. Alcohol & Soap free. Hypoallergenic*. Cotton soft fabric for delicate skin. Lotion made with 97% pure water. Proven gentle, mild & effective.

*Formulated to minimise the risk of allergies”

Ingredients (INCI):

  • Aqua
  • Glycerin – may be of animal or vegetable origin as it is found in every fat; humectant (i.e. a substance used to reduce the loss of moisture), skin conditioning function as it is softening and smoothing on the skin.
  • Polyglyceryl-2 Dipolyhydroxystearate – skin conditioning agent.
  • Carbomer – emulsion stabilising agent.
  • Coco-Glucoside – surfactant – cleansing/ foaming function
  • Lauryl Glucoside – surfactant – cleansing function
  • Glyceryl Oleate – composed of glycerin and oleic acid, a naturally occurring fatty acid; skin conditioning and emulsifying function.
  • Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides Citrate – skin conditioning agent.
  • Glyceryl Polyacrylate – film forming agent; can be an irritant. 
  • p-Anisic Acid – fragrance ingredient.
  • Citric Acid – alpha hydroxy acid used to adjust the acidity/ pH
  • Sodium Hydroxide – a highly caustic and reactive inorganic base; denaturant/ pH adjuster; can be an irritant.
  • Tocopherol – a class of naturally occurring chemical compounds related to Vitamin E, antioxidant and skin conditioning function, fragrance ingredient
  • Phenoxyethanol – a preservative; it has been linked to allergic reactions whereas infant oral exposure to phenoxyethanol is also said to acutely affect nervous system function
  • Sodium Benzoate – fragrance ingredient, preservative
  • Parfum – an undisclosed mixture of various fragrance chemicals and ingredients; can cause irritation.
My view and rating: ☆☆
No stars awarded as, in my opinion, there are just too many potential irritants and that dreaded phenoxyethanol – there’s just too much risk of an allergic reaction as far as I am concerned.


Brand: Johnson’sjohnsons-extra-sensitive-wipes
Product: Extra Sensitive Baby Wipes
Size:  56 wipes
Price: £1.29

Product description:
“Our extra sensitive wipes have been independently proven as safe & gentle as water alone through one of the largest ever clinical trials* for baby wipes. Perfect to use all over newborn babies skin, including bottoms, hands and delicate faces. Alcohol & Soap free. Hypoallergenic**. Fragrance free. Cotton soft fabric for delicate skin. Lotion made with 97% pure water. Proven gentle, mild & effective.

*Lavender T et al. BMC Pediatrics 2012, 12:59
**Formulated to minimise the risk of allergies”

Ingredients (INCI):

  • Aqua
  • Glycerin – may be of animal or vegetable origin as it is found in every fat; humectant (i.e. a substance used to reduce the loss of moisture), skin conditioning function as it is softening and smoothing on the skin.
  • Coco-Glucoside – surfactant – cleansing/ foaming function
  • Glyceryl Oleate – composed of glycerin and oleic acid, a naturally occurring fatty acid; skin conditioning and emulsifying function.
  • Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides Citrate – skin conditioning agent.
  • Glyceryl Polyacrylate – film forming agent; can be an irritant. 
  • Carbomer – emulsion stabilising agent.
  • Lauryl Glucoside – surfactant – cleansing function
  • Polyglyceryl-2 Dipolyhydroxystearate – skin conditioning agent.
  • Citric Acid – alpha hydroxy acid used to adjust the acidity/ pH
  • Sodium Hydroxide – a highly caustic and reactive inorganic base; denaturant/ pH adjuster; can be an irritant.
  • p-Anisic Acid – fragrance ingredient.
  • Tocopherol – a class of naturally occurring chemical compounds related to Vitamin E, antioxidant and skin conditioning function, fragrance ingredient
  • Phenoxyethanol – a preservative; it has been linked to allergic reactions whereas infant oral exposure to phenoxyethanol is also said to acutely affect nervous system function
  • Sodium Benzoate – fragrance ingredient, preservative

My view and rating: 

This ingredient list is exactly the same as for the other Johnson’s wipes, except for the perfume, however there are still a few ingredients likely to cause an allergic reaction, so no stars here either.



Brand: Pampers10169477
Product: Fresh Clean Baby Wipes
Size: 64 wipes
Price: £1.25

Product description:
“Every little miracle deserves gentle cleaning. Thanks to Pampers’ unique Soft Grip TextureTM, Pampers® Fresh Clean Wipes are soft and strong to offer gentle cleaning for your baby’s delicate skin. Unique soft grip – designed to clean delicate skin gently. Soft and strong. Dermatologically tested – to be gentle on your baby’s delicate skin. Refreshing Scent – to enjoy change times. Helps maintain skins Natural PH – restore your baby’s skin to a natural pH.”
Ingredients (INCI):
  • Aqua
  • Citric Acid – alpha hydroxy acid used to adjust the acidity/ pH adjuster.
  • PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil – emulsifying agent, may be contaminated with potentially toxic impurities such as 1,4-dioxane.
  • Benzyl alcohol – naturally occurring and synthetic ingredient used as a solvent and preservative; has been associated with contact allergy.
  • Sodium Citrate – pH adjuster/ binding agent.
  • Phenoxyethanol – a preservative; it has been linked to allergic reactions whereas infant oral exposure to phenoxyethanol is also said to acutely affect nervous system function
  • Xanthan Gum – sugar based, natural thickener for emulsions and cleansing systems; binding function
  • Sodium Benzoate – fragrance ingredient, preservative
  • Disodium EDTA – chelating agent.
  • Bis-PEG/PPG-16/16 PEG/PPG-16/16 Dimethicone – skin conditioning/ chelating agent; may be contaminated with potentially toxic impurities such as 1,4-dioxane.
  • Parfum – an undisclosed mixture of various fragrance chemicals and ingredients; can cause irritation.
  • Ethylhexyglycerin – preservative, skin conditioning agent.
  • Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride – fragrance ingredient.
  • Maltodextrin – binder/ film former.
  • Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice – extract obtained from the leaves of aloe vera; aloe vera is well-known for its caring properties and helping sooth irritation.
  • Tocopherol – a class of naturally occurring chemical compounds related to Vitamin E, antioxidant and skin conditioning function, fragrance ingredient

My view and rating: 

Again, similar to the other wipes – there are just too many irritants, in my view.


Brand: Water Wipesproduct-1
Product: Water Wipes
Size: 60 wipes
Price: £2.49

Product description:
“A baby’s skin is much more delicate than your own. So it should be cleaned with only the gentlest and purest elements possible. WaterWipes are the only wipes made with just two ingredients water, specially purified and softened, and a tiny drop of grapefruit seed extract. A suitable alternative to cotton wool and water. WaterWipes have been carefully designed to be gentle on babies’ sensitive skin. They are the only wipes that contain absolutely no chemicals, just 99.9% water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract – a natural skin conditioner.

They don’t irritate the skin; instead, they may help avoid nappy rash and other skin conditions. WaterWipes are the only baby wipe to ever be approved by Allergy UK. Because of this, 97% of midwives believe that WaterWipes are suitable to be used on the skin of newborn babies.”

Ingredients: 
  • Aqua
  • Grapefruit seed extract (GSE)- used in cosmetics as a skin conditioning agent and a preservative as it is believed to have antimicrobial properties, therefore preserving the shelf-life of products; can be an irritant. Some research (can be found here and here) suggests that for GSE to have antimicrobial properties, synthetic preservatives (such as triclosan or methyl paraben) are required. 
My view and rating: 
I’ve been using these wipes myself for the past few weeks since my newborn baby arrived (as the natural ingredients obviously appealed to me!) but for the purpose of this analysis, I have delved into the GSE which may not be as innocent as one might think. I came across an interesting blog post about these wipes (which you can find here), in which the blogger questioned (quite rightly!) GSE’s possible contamination of synthetic preservatives. She received a response from the manufacturer who claims that “GSE used in the WaterWipes baby wipes contains only three components: dried grapefruit seed/pulp, vegetable glycerin, and ascorbic acid”, however this raises a question how the wipes are preserved (which they need to be as all water-based products should!) in order to prevent the growth of mould and bacteria. The manufacturer also provided a response, claiming the wipes are preserved with a “patented preservation system that results in a sterile product before the wipe pack is opened”. However, once the pack is opened, it will not be sterile therefore there is a risk of the growth of mould and bacteria which I believe some people have experienced with those wipes. Overall, I cannot really conclude if I am satisfied with the explanation given by the manufacturer about the preservation methods used, however I am happy to know that no synthetic preservatives have been used. It may just be a good idea to follow some of the basic hygiene guidelines mentioned in the blog above to prevent the growth of mould and bacteria.



OVERALL COMPARISON AND VERDICT:

It’s quite obvious from the analysis that Kinder by Nature wipes and Water Wipes have the best set of ingredients out of all the wipes analysed here (although a bit of caution needs to be taken with Water Wipes, as far as I am concerned). 

There are certainly more ‘versions’ of wipes from each of the three brands, as well as other brands, so if you are interested in any other kind that you are using, please comment below if you would like me to review their ingredients.


ethannevelyn.com
You Baby Me Mummy

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