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So you’re on the hunt for the safest baby wipes. But you’re overwhelmed and inundated with choice. Well look no further! I’ve scoured dozens and dozens of wipe brands, sifted through the ingredients, and compiled my findings to make it easier for you.
I first want to remind you, that there is no such thing as ‘perfect’ when it comes to any product. We all have different budgets and different levels of comfort when it comes to what we allow in the home. I’m merely here to give you choices. To share information on how we make purchasing decisions, so you can spend your dollars wisely.
So here we go!
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There are two major things to consider:
On the back of every packet you’ll find a list of ingredients. They’re typically comprised of
Here’s a cheat sheet of some common ingredients found in baby wipes that we consider to be red flags. These ingredients have been red-flagged for their carcinogenity, developmental & reproductive toxicity, allergenicity, or immunotoxicity. This is not a complete list, however after scanning close to 50 different packs of wipes I was able to compile some of the most common red-flag ingredients here:
The following list contains wipes that have one, or a combination of red-flag ingredients. And it’s not, by any means, an exhaustive list. It would take me weeks to list every product out there. If you’re wanting my feedback on any other brand not listed here, please first take a peek at the red flag ingredients above and compare it to the ingredients in your brand of wipe!
I’d consider the wipes on this list to be better than most, but they don’t quite make the safest swap list. Their ingredients typically checkout clean, but the wipe itself is made from a synthetic material (or undisclosed). If the ingredients are squeaky clean, but the wipe material is a polypropylene or polyester blend… then doesn’t that defeat the purpose of choosing clean ingredients? The concerns over these synthetic textiles are that they’re a form of plastic and it’s not ideal to be wiping delicate bottoms with petroleum-derived materials. On top of that, they take hundreds of years to decompose and are littering our landfills and shedding microplastics into the ocean.
To make the safest swap list, the wipe formula must not include any of my red-flag ingredients. They utilise a gentle preservation system (yes, a preservative IS necessary in a wipe — poopy hands reaching into a water-based packet = recipe for bacterial disaster). And lastly, the material of the wipe must contain 0% plastic. They’re typically made with a renewable, responsibly sourced wood pulp or other plant-based fibres.
Of the safest baby wipes in the roundup, I have separated them into two lists. The A list uses sodium benzoate as a preservative. I’m personally comfortable with sodium benzoate as a preservative in topical products, but some parents might want to avoid it. And so the A+ list of wipes do not use sodium benzoate as a preservative.
In no particular order, this list includes:
Absolutely. As much as the idea of a ‘preservative-free’ formula sounds appealing… a packet that’s primarily water mixed with poopy hands reaching in for wipes = a recipe for bacterial disaster. But the problem with preservatives is they’re lab made, often through chemical reactions that result in trace amounts of contamination with one or more chemicals. Take phenoxyethanol for example. It’s made by combining carcinogenic ethylene oxide with highly corrosive phenol. And the final product can contain trace amounts of unreacted chemical causing skin irritations. The American Contact Dermatitis Society lists phenoxyethanol as one of its core allergens. And it’s a preservative that we choose to avoid whenever possible.
So when we’re looking at preservatives, we’re forced to choose the lesser of all evils. Our preferred preservatives in baby wipes include one or a combination of: sodium citrate, sodium benzoate (benzoic acid), potassium sorbate (sorbic acid), or silver citrate.
So that’s our roundup, hope you guys found it helpful! Be sure to share with any mama friends who might be on the hunt for a safer wipe for their littles.
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