Have you ever wondered about baby wipes ingredients? Are you on the hunt for the safest baby wipes? Do you want to find out which baby wipes ingredients to avoid?
If you’ve answered YES to any of these questions, you’re at the right place!
Skin is our largest organ.
Much of what we put on our skin gets absorbed into the bloodstream. Children are even more vulnerable though because they tend to absorb chemicals at a higher rate than adults do.
In addition, there isn’t a clear understanding of the effects of long-term exposure to chemicals, or their cumulative effects.
In other words, going over the ingredients of something you use daily on your child – like baby wipes – is an important step in improving your child’s health.
How “clean” are baby wipes in 2019?
From year to year (actually it’s more like month to month…), the ingredients of baby wipes change. I’m pleased to say that as of right now, baby wipes have cleaned up their ingredient game significantly!
Consumers are becoming more aware, and manufacturers are paying attention. Some baby wipes are not yet entirely free of problematic ingredients, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Here is a breakdown of baby wipes ingredients for 2019:
❶ Baby wipes ingredients that are beneficial OR of low concern
❷ Baby wipes ingredients to think about
❸ Baby wipes ingredients to avoid
Pay attention to the ingredients printed in RED – these are the baby wipes ingredients to AVOID.
Some ingredients in BLUE might not be ideal, or at least not for everyone, but they aren’t necessarily a huge deal. I’ve also included ingredients here that aren’t harmful on their own but can be contaminated during the manufacturing process. It’s best to minimize contaminants like these.
If you scroll further down, you’ll find lists of ingredients of many baby wipes sold in 2019. I have excluded several due to the difficulty of obtaining up-to-date ingredients, but most commonly sold baby wipes should be included in this post plus several extras that are best found online.
BEFORE you jump to the individual ingredient lists to identify the safest baby wipes of 2019, I highly suggest you read about WHY some of the baby wipes ingredients landed in the blue or red zone.
I’ll try to make this as quick and simple as possible.
No drama, no fearmongering, just scientific data…
❶ Baby wipes ingredients that are beneficial OR of low concern
Ingredients left in black are generally beneficial or not considered all that problematic, but two things come to mind here.
The purity of some ingredients (like essential oils, aloe vera, or even plain water) may be concerning to some, so I’ll leave this one up to you.
Also, glycerin is somewhat of a hot topic among some parents, and many baby wipes do contain this ingredient.
When it comes to glycerin, it can either come from natural sources (both plants and animals), or it can be made synthetically (derived from petroleum).
Either type is generally considered safe, but some parents or caregivers may have a preference. If you care for one over the other, you should know you’ll need to do some digging since labels don’t generally specify which type of glycerin is used in baby wipes.
❷ Baby wipes ingredients to think about
— Malic Acid
Malic acid is known for its ability to exfoliate skin and appears to be generally safe when used topically and in small concentrations.
It can, however, cause skin irritation in individuals with sensitive skin and can increase sensitivity to sunlight.
If you use baby wipes to wipe your child’s face often, or if your child’s skin is very sensitive, I’d personally try to avoid Malic Acid in baby wipes. Admittedly, it might just be me. Do what feels right to you!
— Lactic Acid
Much like malic acid, lactic acid is another exfoliant that can increase sensitivity to sunlight and can cause skin irritation.
Phenoxyethanol is a fairly common preservative used by the cosmetic industry these days, though I’ve seen a few brands steering away from it.
There are some potential red flags to it, but more studies are needed.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) rates phenoxyethanol as a risk level 4 (out of 10) which puts phenoxyethanol close to the moderate risk threshold.
Just for a reference, both sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate – other commonly used preservatives in baby wipes that are often the point of a safe/unsafe debate – score as 3. Potassium sorbate isn’t strong enough of a preservative to be used on its own, so it’s always used together with another preservative, usually sodium benzoate.
Because water creates a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. Baby wipes are a water-based product, so all disposable baby wipes need to contain some type of a preservative. Unless you’re a fan of bad bugs and mold…
Phenoxyethanol is generally considered safe when used in low concentrations in cosmetic products, but reactions even at low doses have been registered. ALSO:
Another reason I’m a bit cautious about phenoxyethanol in baby wipes is because of a warning issued by the FDA in 2008. The FDA warned consumers back then that ingestion of phenoxyethanol may be harmful and toxic to infants.
This claim involved a certain brand of nipple cream, and not just one but two potentially concerning ingredients the cream contained: phenoxyethanol AND chlorphenesin, thought to have caused respiratory problems, vomiting, and diarrhea in infants.
The notice has since been taken down by the FDA – republished – only to be taken down again – with ZERO clarification. As of right now, it still shows up in the FDA’s search results but leads to a blank page.
Now, obviously a product like baby wipes is not meant to be ingested, right? It is also entirely possible that the warning was made prematurely, in error, or that the two ingredients may cause the forewarned issues only when they interact. Still, to err on the side of caution, I’d personally avoid using baby wipes containing phenoxyethanol around the mouth and on the hands of babies until more information becomes available.
Plus, there are safer preservatives that can be used instead of phenoxyethanol.
— Disodium EDTA
Clinical tests have shown that low concentrations of disodium EDTA do not irritate, sensitize, or penetrate the skin. Disodium EDTA is rated as low risk by the Environmental Working Group.
However, this ingredient improves skin absorption of OTHER ingredients.
And that’s the key here.
If you see any harmful ingredients (printed in red) in the ingredient list together with disodium EDTA, it means that they’re more likely to get absorbed into your child’s skin. The same is true for any possible contaminants as well.
For example, I’d rather stay away from baby wipes containing fragrance + disodium EDTA, but the good news is that disodium EDTA seems to be slowly disappearing from the baby wipes market. Anyway, synthetic fragrances are bad on their own…more on that below!
— Hidden ingredients: contaminants in baby wipes
In addition to all disclosed ingredients, there may be unlisted impurities in the package of your baby wipes resulting from the manufacturing process of some of the listed ingredients.
The following contaminants printed in blue might not seem like a big deal on their own. If you read up on them, you’ll find out there might be some theoretical health risks associated with them, and/or data gaps, but they’re not classified as harmful. It’s mostly the contamination with other toxic ingredients that is worrisome.
Some baby wipes contain multiple contaminants. You’ll find the contaminants in the ingredient lists below written in italics. This will hopefully help you weigh the risks and benefits of using any particular brand/type of baby wipes (the less potential contaminants, the better).
Contaminants in red, on the other hand, should be avoided altogether and won’t be found in the safest baby wipes. Not only is there a possibility of contamination with harmful ingredients, there are OTHER health risks associated with these ingredients as well which is why you’ll find them down below in the ‘baby wipes ingredients to avoid’ category.
⧉ Potential contaminants: (1) Ethylene Oxide; and (2) 1,4-Dioxane
Baby wipes ingredients that may be contaminated with Ethylene Oxide, and 1,4-Dioxane are:
Ceteareth-12 (read more below)
Ceteareth-20 (read more below)
Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil
BIS-PEG/PPG-16/16 PEG/PPG-16/16 Dimethicone
Butoxy PEG-4 PG-Amodimethicone
The ingredients listed above are all produced with ethylene oxide. If extreme caution isn’t taken during the manufacturing process, these baby wipes ingredients may become contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1,4-Dioxane. (There is unfortunately no way for a consumer to know.)
Both ethylene oxide and 1,4-Dioxane are potent skin irritants and carcinogens, and regular use of baby wipes containing these contaminants might increase the risk of cancer.
That is, IF these ingredients are indeed contaminated. But, like I said, you and I don’t know.
⧉ Potential contaminant: Hydroquinone
— Tocopheryl Acetate
Note: Do not confuse TOCOPHERYL ACETATE (that may be contaminated with Hydroquinone) with TOCOPHEROL (no contamination risks).
Tocopheryl Acetate is a synthetic form of Tocopherol – the natural vitamin E. Both are beneficial for the skin, having anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Hydroquinone is essentially used as a bleaching agent in products made for reducing age spots and blemishes. It’s an ingredient that obviously wouldn’t be included in a baby wipe solution in the first place, right?
However, when Tocopheryl Acetate is synthetically produced using methylhydroquinone, it may become contaminated with hydroquinone.
Hydroquinone has been shown to be carcinogenic in some animal studies. Hydroquinone can also make skin more sensitive to sunlight and may act as a skin sensitizer.
I think we’re done with this category.
Now, let’s move on to the worst offenders of them all – baby wipes ingredients to avoid.
❸ Baby wipes ingredients to avoid
A pleasantly-smelling baby wipe has the potential to make even the dirtiest job slightly more feasible, right?
But the truth is not as innocent as it smells.
Fragrances are basically mixtures of undisclosed ingredients, many of which can act as allergens and hormone disruptors. In reality, just ONE synthetic aroma may contain hundreds of different chemicals. If you’re shaking your head in disgust, I’m right there with ya.
The vast majority of fragrances are derived from petroleum and can contain phthalates, parabens, VOCs, and other harmful chemicals and irritants. I won’t go into detail about these since I promised to keep this brief, but feel free to look these nasties up.
The good news is, unscented baby wipes work just as well!
With that said, don’t just settle for a “no scent” wipe the next time you’re shopping for baby wipes. Some products can contain harsh masking agents to cover strong or unpleasant scents of other ingredients, though this appears to be an issue of the past. A masking agent is not an ingredient that can slip by though – it would be listed on the label.
— Ceteareth-12; and Ceteareth-20
Ceteareth ingredients have ended up in the ‘baby wipes ingredients to avoid’ category for the following reasons:
- They enhance skin absorption, allowing other, possibly toxic substances to penetrate deeper into the skin. This would of course relate not just to baby wipes but anything else you may be using on your child’s skin as well.
- Available data indicate that ceteareth ingredients shouldn’t be used on irritated or injured skin (which would include diaper rash!).
- These ingredients may be contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1,4-Dioxane. (See above under Hidden ingredients: contaminants in baby wipes.)
EARTH’S BEST was the brand using these ingredients until they very recently reformulated their baby wipes. NONE of the baby wipes that I have listed in this post contain either ceteareth ingredient at this point, but I’m leaving both of these here as a heads-up because these ingredients might be used by some brands not included in this post.
— Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate
Iodopropynyl butylcarbamate is a preservative that I only saw one brand using in baby wipes during my latest review (CUTIES). Even though iodopropynyl butylcarbamate has been recognized as safe when used in low concentrations (except for oral hygiene products and lip care, as well as aerosolized products), there are two reasons I would rather avoid this ingredient in baby wipes.
For one thing, iodopropynyl butylcarbamate is toxic when inhaled and shouldn’t be ingested (hence the restrictions). In my opinion it’s not the best idea to use baby wipes containing iodopropynyl butylcarbamate on the hands and around the faces of babies and small children – which is a common practice.
In addition, iodopropynyl butylcarbamate can act as a skin sensitizer which can – over time – lead to allergic contact dermatitis. This is yet another reason I would steer clear of iodopropynyl butylcarbamate in a baby care product.
(Just for a reference, the EWG rates iodopropynyl butylcarbamate as 3-6.)
In my opinion, these are the four ingredients in baby wipes to avoid, especially since we’re talking about a product that’s used on a daily basis for years.
Now that we’re done with this part, are you ready to find out which are the safest baby wipes in 2019?
SAFEST BABY WIPES – 2019
(Baby wipes brands in alphabetical order.)
If you scrolled straight down here, you might want to skim the paragraphs above to read up on why some ingredients look different in the ingredient lists below and whether YOU want to avoid them or make peace with them.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Product links as well as image links lead to Amazon unless posted otherwise.
— AMAZON ELEMENTS FRESH SCENT BABY WIPES
Ingredients of Amazon Elements Fresh Scent Baby Wipes: Purified Water, Phenoxyethanol, Decyl Glucoside, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Sodium Bicarbonate, Glycerin, Fragrance, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Cellulose Gum.
— AMAZON ELEMENTS SENSITIVE BABY WIPES
Ingredients of Amazon Elements Sensitive Baby Wipes: Purified Water, Phenoxyethanol, Decyl Glucoside, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Sodium Bicarbonate, Glycerin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Cellulose Gum, Xanthan Gum.
— AMAZON ELEMENTS UNSCENTED BABY WIPES
Ingredients of Amazon Elements Unscented Baby Wipes: Purified Water, Phenoxyethanol, Decyl Glucoside, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Sodium Bicarbonate, Glycerin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Cellulose Gum.
The following ingredients are no longer on the ingredient list of either of AMAZON ELEMENTS baby wipes: Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Polysorbate 20 (a possible contaminant), Disodium Phosphate, and Disodium EDTA (not a high concern ingredient but one that can improve absorption of other ingredients which is concerning when questionable ingredients are present in the wipe solution).
— ATTITUDE BABY WIPES
Ingredients: Aqua, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Glycerin, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Citric Acid.
ATTITUDE baby wipes are one of the safest baby wipes but you’ll need to make sure you’re getting the current version as opposed to any previous ones (I’d be especially cautious of benzyl alcohol ATTITUDE baby wipes used to contain). Unfortunately, ATTITUDE and other sellers don’t disclose ingredients of ATTITUDE baby wipes on Amazon (with one exception that states the OLD ingredients) so I can’t share any links at this moment. Here’s ATTITUDE’s website though.
— BABYGANICS FACE, HAND & BABY WIPES
Ingredients of Babyganics Face, Hand & Baby Wipes: Water, Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract, Vegetable Oil, Glycerin, Lauryl Glucoside, Polyglyceryl-2-Dipolyhydroxystearate, Glyceryl Oleate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus(Sunflower) Seed Oil, Vaccinnium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Nigella Sativa (Black Cumin) Seed Oil, Rubus Idaeus (Red Raspberry) Seed Oil.
BABYGANICS BABY WIPES have been redesigned in 2018. They’re now called BABYGANICS FACE, HAND & BABY WIPES.
The NEW formulation contains vegetable oil (GMO-status and which type of oil not specified), Polyglyceryl-2-Dipolyhydroxystearate (safe, vegetable-based emulsifier), Dicaprylyl Carbonate (safe, plant-derived moisturizer), and (plant-based) glycerin for skin protection.
Taken out from the OLD formulation of BABYGANICS BABY WIPES was olive oil, avocado oil, calendula extract, and aloe leaf extract.
The new BABYGANICS wipes are still some of the safest baby wipes out there in my opinion (with no blue or red ingredients), but I have to say I personally preferred the previous version.
— BAMBO NATURE TIDY BOTTOMS BABY WIPES
Ingredients of Bambo Nature Tidy Bottoms Baby Wipes: Water, Glycerin, Sodium Laureth-11 Carboxylate, Laureth-10, Sodium Benzoate, Lactic Acid, Glycereth-17 Cocoate, Potassium Sorbate, Allantoin.
— CABOO TREE-FREE BAMBOO BABY WIPES
Ingredients of Caboo Tree-Free Bamboo Baby Wipes: Aqua, Glycerin, Geogard Ultra (Gluconolactone & Sodium Benzoate), Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Tocopherol (Vitamin E).
Geogard Ultra that CABOO utilizes is a non-sensitizing broad spectrum preservative with a safe profile, acceptable in both rinse-off and leave-on applications. Another unique thing about CABOO baby wipes is that they are made with Oeko-Tex certified bamboo spunlace.
In my opinion, CABOO baby wipes are also some of the safest baby wipes one can find these days.
— CUTIES BABY WIPES UNSCENTED
Ingredients of Cuties Baby Wipes Unscented: Water, Propylene Glycol, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Polysorbate 20, Disodium EDTA, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Disodium Phosphate, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Phenoxyethanol, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide, Citric Acid.
— EARTH’S BEST PREMIUM BABY WIPES
Ingredients of Earth’s Best Premium Baby Wipes: Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Oryza Sativa Rice Extract, Sodium Cocoyl Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Tocopherol, Glycerin, Citric Acid, Dimethicone Copolyol, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate.
NOTE: Recently, Ceteareth-20 and Ceteareth-12 have been removed from the EARTH’S BEST wipe solution which makes EARTH’S BEST wipes much safer to use on babies and small kids. Another change is that EARTH’S BEST SENSITIVE baby wipes (purple stripe on packaging) have been discontinued. I like that EARTH’S BEST baby wipes are now made with Tocopherol (derived from coconut oil) as opposed to potentially contaminated Tocopheryl Acetate.
The OLD formulation (which may still be sold at this point) was: Purified Water, Cetearyl Isononanoate, Ceteareth-20, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin, Ceteareth-12, Cetyl Palmitate, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate.
— EVERYONE BABY WIPES
Ingredients of Everyone Baby Wipes: Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Sodium Laurylglucosides Hydroxypropylsulfonate, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Althaea Officinalis Root Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract, Tocopherol, Phytic Acid, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Chloride, Gluconic Acid, Sodium Benzoate.
I never realized that EVERYONE makes baby wipes, too. I buy their hand soap all the time. If you click on the link you’ll see that EVERYONE also makes chamomile/lavender scented baby wipes as well. In my opinion, EVERYONE baby wipes are also one of the safest baby wipes.
— HONEST BABY WIPES
Ingredients of Honest Baby Wipes: Water, Glycerin, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Prunica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Peucedanum Ostruthium (Masterwort) Leaf Extract, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Silver Citrate.
No fishy ingredients here either – HONEST baby wipes earn their spot as one of the safest baby wipes out there as well. I like that HONEST wipes contain silver citrate as opposed to other commonly used preservatives with a worse safety profile.
This is one of the brands of wipes we frequently bring on family trips since Target stocks small packages of HONEST baby wipes, perfect for hiking or air travel. — We have no more babies at our house, but our kids create PLENTY of messes to be cleaned…
— HUGGIES NATURAL CARE BABY WIPES
Ingredients of Huggies Natural Care Baby Wipes: Water, Butoxy PEG-4 PG-Amodimethicone, Coco-Glucoside, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Caprylyl Glycol, Malic Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Citrate, Tocopheryl Acetate.
HUGGIES also carries NATURAL CARE PLUS BABY WIPES which are thicker (yet still soft) than HUGGIES NATURAL CARE baby wipes. The ingredients of both are identical.
— HUGGIES ONE AND DONE REFRESHING BABY WIPES – CUCUMBER & GREEN TEA SCENT
Ingredients of Huggies One And Done Refreshing Baby Wipes: Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Polysorbate 20, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Benzoate, Coco-Betaine, Malic Acid, Fragrance/Parfum, Glycerin, Sodium Citrate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract.
— HUGGIES SIMPLY CLEAN FRAGRANCE-FREE BABY WIPES
Ingredients of Huggies Simply Clean Fragrance-Free Baby Wipes: Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Benzoate, Coco-Betaine, Polysorbate 20, Malic Acid, Sodium Citrate, Tocopheryl Acetate.
— HUGGIES SIMPLY CLEAN FRESH SCENTED BABY WIPES
Ingredients of Huggies Simply Clean Fresh Scented Baby Wipes: Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Polysorbate 20, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Benzoate, Coco-Betaine, Malic Acid, Fragrance/Parfum, Sodium Citrate, Tocopheryl Acetate.
— JACKSON REECE KINDER BY NATURE UNSCENTED BABY WIPES
Ingredients of Jackson Reece Kinder By Nature Unscented Baby Wipes: Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Betaine, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Levulinic Acid, Sodium Levulinate, Glycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Citrate.
JACKSON REECE is a small family business based in the U.K. that makes baby wipes that are also some of the safest baby wipes in my opinion.
JACKSON REECE baby wipes are made with 100% wood pulp – they’re biodegradable and compostable – though under today’s landfill management, these wipes will not biodegrade, at least not anytime soon.
— JOONYA BABY WIPES
Ingredients of Joonya Baby Wipes: Purified Water, Jojoba Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract, Silver Dihydrogen Citrate, Citric Acid, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Citrate.
JOONYA baby wipes – also one of the safest baby wipes out there – are becoming more available and known these days, though I’m not sure about in-store availability yet here in the U.S.
— KIRKLAND (COSTCO) BABY WIPES
Ingredients of Kirkland (Costco) Baby Wipes: Purified Water, Phenoxyethanol, Decyl Glucoside, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Sodium Bicarbonate, Glycerin, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Caledula Officinalis Flower Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract.
KIRKLAND baby wipes are very close to hitting the safest baby wipes spot on this list. If you don’t mind the ingredient phenoxyethanol, that is.
— MADE OF ORGANIC BABY WIPES
Ingredients of Made Of Organic Baby Wipes: Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Organic Glycerin, Glyceryl Oleate, Lauryl Glucoside, Olus Oil, Organic Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera), Organic Argania Spinosa (Argan) Oil, Organic Echinacea Angustifolia (Echinacea), Organic Plantago Major (Plantian) Extract, Polyglyceryl-2-Dipolyhydroxystearate, Glyceryl Caprylate.
Can I just say I love MADE OF baby wipes? They contain baby-friendly ingredients, organic aloe vera which reduces contamination risks, and carry NSF Organic Standard certification. Moreover, MADE OF is very transparent about all ingredients they use right on their website – which I’m sure many parents truly appreciate!
— NATY BABY WIPES
Ingredients of Naty Baby Wipes: Water, Gluconolactone, Potassium Sorbate, Propanediol, Sodium Benzoate, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Maltodextrin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Calcium Gluconate, Citric Acid.
NATY BABY WIPES are made with 100% plant-based renewable materials and are biodegradable and compostable which makes them eco-friendly though most will end up sitting in a landfill for an eternity just like conventional baby wipes.
NATY BABY WIPES are also one of the safest baby wipes out there, but they might be hard to find at stores near you so you may need to order online.
— PAMPERS AQUA PURE BABY WIPES
Ingredients of Pampers Aqua Pure Baby Wipes: Water, Citric Acid, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Citrate, Sorbitan Caprylate, Sodium Benzoate, Disodium EDTA.
PAMPERS AQUA PURE SENSITIVE is the newest addition to the PAMPERS line of diapers and wipes.
— PAMPERS COMPLETE CLEAN SCENTED BABY WIPES
Ingredients of Pampers Complete Clean Scented Baby Wipes: Water, Citric Acid, Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Citrate, Sorbitan Caprylate, Sodium Benzoate, Disodium EDTA, BIS-PEG/PPG-16/16 PEG/PPG-16 Dimethicone, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Xanthan Gum, Fragrance/Parfum/Fragrancia.
— PAMPERS SENSITIVE + PAMPERS COMPLETE CLEAN UNSCENTED (previously PAMPERS NATURAL CLEAN)
Ingredients:: Water, Citric Acid, Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Citrate, Sorbitan Caprylate, Sodium Benzoate, Disodium EDTA, BIS-PEG/PPG-16/16 PEG/PPG-16 Dimethicone, Caprylic/Capric Tryglyceride, Xanthan Gum.
Both versions have the exact same ingredient formulation at this point, unlike the previous years.
The difference between the two wipes is: (1) Pampers Sensitive wipes are 20% thicker; (2) Pampers Sensitive wipes have a soft grip texture whereas Pampers Complete Clean Unscented wipes do not have a textured pattern.
— SEVENTH GENERATION BABY WIPES
Ingredients of Seventh Generation Baby Wipes: Water, Cocamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Quillaja Saponaria Wood Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate.
Not a whole lot is known about cocamidopropyl PG-dimonium chloride phosphate. There is no indication of sensitization or irritation associated with this ingredient, but due to a large data gap it’s probably a good idea to keep a watchful eye. SEVENTH GENERATION states that cocamidopropyl PG-dimonium chloride phosphate they’re using is partially derived from plant oils and also from petroleum, in case you’re interested in the origin of this ingredient.
I wouldn’t say that SEVENTH GENERATION baby wipes are one of the safest baby wipes you can buy, but they are widely available and might still be one of the safest choices for an in-store purchase depending on what you have available.
— UP & UP (TARGET) FRAGRANCE FREE BABY WIPES (BLUE PACKAGE)
Ingredients: Water, Phenoxyethanol, Decyl Glucoside, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Sodium Bicarbonate, Glycerin, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Cellulose Gum.
— UP & UP (TARGET) SENSITIVE SKIN BABY WIPES (PURPLE PACKAGE)
Ingredients: Water, Phenoxyethanol, Decyl Glucoside, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Cellulose Gum.
— UP & UP (TARGET) FRESH SCENT BABY WIPES
— UP & UP (TARGET) CUCUMBER BABY WIPES***
— UP & UP (TARGET) GREEN TEA MELON BABY WIPES
— UP & UP (TARGET) PEACHES + HONEY BABY WIPES
Ingredients: Water, Phenoxyethanol, Decyl Glucoside, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Sodium Bicarbonate, Glycerin, Fragrance, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Cellulose Gum.
***UP & UP CUCUMBER BABY WIPES also contain: Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (in addition to the above list).
TARGET’s UP & UP BABY WIPES have been reformulated in 2018, and it’s actually quite a switch.
Before the change, all UP & UP BABY WIPES had varying ingredients. As of right now (the last time I checked), all six types of UP & UP BABY WIPES are based on a similar formula, with fragrance added to scented wipes. Disodium EDTA and Polysorbate 20 have been removed from the wipe solution which I consider a good step in moving towards safest baby wipes.
Ingredients of WaterWipes: Water (99.9%), Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract (0.1%).
Right off the bat, WATERWIPES appear to be one of the safest baby wipes on the market. They ARE seemingly squeaky clean, yes, BUT I have to mention something to keep this post balanced.
You may have heard that commercially available Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) has been found to contain synthetic antibacterial and antifungal disinfectants like benzalkonium chloride, triclosan, or methylparaben, none of which are naturally found in the extract of the seeds themselves.
On that note, the GSE products that DIDN’T contain these additives appeared to have NO antibacterial, antifungal, or antiviral effects.
The researchers therefore concluded that the antimicrobial activity of GSE is not due to the extract itself but rather a result of adulteration of GSE with synthetic preservative agents.
For the longest time the WATERWIPES manufacturer claimed that the GSE they use comes from a reputable supplier and is tested for contaminants (including but not limited to the three offenders listed above) and NONE are present.
Under frequently asked questions on the WATERWIPES website and elsewhere where WATERWIPES product information is disclosed, you will now find this:
Q: What are WaterWipes made from?
A: WaterWipes are made from 99.9% water and a drop of fruit extract (contains trace of benzalkonium chloride).
What is benzalkonium chloride, exactly? Benzalkonium chloride is a biocide that is commonly used as a preservative and a surfactant in the cosmetic and medical industry. It can also be found in cleaning products and detergents.
Specifically, the content of benzalkonium chloride in WATERWIPES is 0.002%. Which is the lower end of benzalkonium chloride concentration for use as a preservative in ophthalmic, nasal, otic (ear), and dermal preparations (it is otherwise used at concentration up to 5%).
Benzalkonium chloride is a known irritant and sensitizer – but research shows that likely not in concentrations below 0.1%. There is much, much less than that in WATERWIPES. About 50 times less if I’m doing my math right. Which I guess inevitably brings me to the old adage “it’s the dose that makes the poison.”
Still, I’m on the fence with these wipes. I bought WATERWIPES a few times for our road trips, but I can’t say that benzalkonium chloride would be my choice of a preservative when there are other – safer – alternatives.
What I can say is that knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t be comfortable using WATERWIPES on a newborn’s skin. But that’s just my personal opinion, and you don’t need to feel the same way. You should decide yourself if WATERWIPES are safe for your family!
Related: Best NON-TOXIC Disposable Diapers
Phew, we’re done here! Thanks for sticking out to the end!
I hope I’ve helped you with your search for the safest baby wipes for your family.
If you have any questions about some of the baby wipes ingredients to avoid that I talked about or any baby wipes ingredients in general (or a product I haven’t listed), talk to me!
NOTE: Baby wipes ingredients CHANGE constantly. I’m doing my best trying to stay on top of editing around always changing formulations while being a mom to my two lively kiddos. If you see an ingredient list that’s not current, please don’t hesitate to let me know! THANKS!!!
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