What’s Wrong with Baby Wipes?

Of course moms want what is best for their little ones. Of course they trust companies to put only safe ingredients in the products they sell for babies. But in the case of baby wipes, it is a good idea to stop and consider whether or not they are the best thing to use.

Questionable, often Unpronounceable Chemicals

Most major brand of baby wipes contain what many companies consider “safe” amounts of chemicals. Once you investigate the ingredients listed on a baby wipes package, however, the supposed safety of many of the ingredients is questionable. Here is a list of some of the ingredients that have been or are currently being used in baby wipes and problems associated with them:
methylchloroisothiazolinone — this is one of the most controversial ingredients in baby wipes and has been discontinued in most if not all brands after causing serious allergic reactions that were often misdiagnosed as eczema or psoriasis. CBS news even did a story on the problems with this chemical.
methylparaben — a preservative; parabens have been linked to disruption in the endocrine system (hormones) and an increased risk of cancer.
iodopropynyl butylcarbamate (IPBC) — This water-based preservative was originally used in the wood and paint industries. It has been recalled in New Zealand and some other countries as well.
polysorbate 20 — considered “moderately” toxic, it can irritate eyes, mucous membranes, and even skin.
sodium benzoate — Another preservative, it is considered safe in small quantities but should not be combined with Vitamin E, which is exactly what has been done in some diaper wipes.

What Does an Independent, Non-Profit Company Have to Say?
The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database rated a major brand of diaper wipes as a “moderate” hazard based on the ingredients listed on the label. I think most parents would agree that they are not comfortable with a “moderate” level of hazard when it comes to their child.

How Do Baby Wipes Affect the Environment?
Baby’s safety is the most important but not the only issue involved with the decision whether or not to use baby wipes. Most baby wipes take several hundred years to break down. The total number of wipes used over a baby’s life has been estimated at 5,000 – A LOT of landfill waste. This is another good reason NOT to use them.

What’s a Mom to DO?
Several websites and blogs offer “recipes” for natural baby wipes. This, however, can be difficult and time consuming. Another option is Lovey’s Tushi Wash Spray .It is a completely natural spray that is designed to be used with re-usable washcloths or biodegradable wipes. Here is the list of all-natural ingredients: Water, Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Decyl Glucoside & Coco Glucoside (natural surfactant from corn, wheat, coconut oil), Proprietary blend of essential oils, Potassium Sorbate, Witch Hazel, Floral Extracts. No trying to track down ingredients to make your own wipes. It is also affordable and easily available on Amazon.


When it comes to our children, “better safe than sorry” is more than a cliché. There is no need to take the chance that those chemicals in major brand baby wipes may or may not be safe.

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