Baby wipes are something that you use an awful lot of when you have a baby. But what exactly is in those wipes? If you don’t know, how do you know what to choose?
Disposable baby wipes are basically made up of the same components.
- cleansing solution
What is the cloth made from?
The cloth can be made of bamboo fibre, cotton fibre, or what’s known in the trade as non-woven fibre. Non woven is by far the most popular, and it’s generally made from polyester, but can also be made from woodpulp.
The most eco friendly cloth is bamboo, because it’s a sustainable resource that doesn’t need fertilisers or pesticides like cotton. And like cotton or woodpulp, bamboo fibre will break down. Polyester non woven fibre is made from petrochemicals, and won’t biodegrade. So if you can find bamboo based baby wipes, or organic cotton ones, grab some of those!
What’s in the baby wipes cleansing solution?
The cleansing solution is what keeps the wipes moist. Baby wipes solutions are generally made using a combination of the following types of ingredients.
Water – is the majority of the cleansing solution. It keeps the wipes moist and helps you wipe baby’s bottom more easily. Some wipes will have aloe vera instead of water.
Surfactants – are the cleaning agents or detergents that get rid of the muck. These are ingredients like ceteareth-25 and cocamidopropyl betaine.
Preservatives – because when you’ve got water in a product, you need to make sure that it doesn’t grow mould and bacteria. You’ll can find preservatives like phenoxyethanol, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, parabens and methylisothiazolinone, to name a few. While you definitely need preservatives in baby wipes, some are better than others.
Emulsifiers – help the water based ingredients mix properly with the oil based ingredients. Polyethylene glycols (PEGs) are often used as emulsifiers.
Humectants – are used to help keep the wipes moist, and can also be used to help moisturise the skin. You’ll find humectants like propylene glycol and glycerin, as well as mineral oils, lanolin or silicones to help soften the skin. Some natural wipes use oils like jojoba or coconut instead.
Perfume – used to make the product smell nice.
Stabilisers – can help get the pH balance right, so that the formula isn’t too acidic or too alkaline for baby’s skin. Citric acid, sodium citrate and malic acid are some examples that you’ll find in baby wipes.
You can also find other ingredients that are designed to soothe, like aloe vera or oat extracts.
Choosing the best baby wipes
When you know what goes into baby wipes, you’ll have a better idea of what you should be looking for on the back of the pack.
But if you’re still not sure, why not head over to Hello Charlie’s Safer Baby Wipes Cheat Sheet for our top picks and recommendations?