Sunday, December 8, 2013

Homemade Baby Wipes

 
 
For so long I thought, "why make them when they are so easy to buy and I really do not need to add one more thing to my list".  Well I finally did it months ago and I am so glad that I did, we will never go back to store bought wipes.  They are so cheap and easy to make, in fact I still have the original ingredients that I purchased to make these wipes.  I am only now about to reorder.  The best part about it....I know exactly what is going on my children's skin.
 
As always, when researching something I was stunned at the REAL ingredients .  Why would I assume that this would be any different?  When doing my research I found it very difficult to find out what all of the ingredients in wipes are.  The harder it is to find ingredients on something the more suspicious I get.  I looked and looked and looked and could not find where Huggies disclosed what all of the ingredients are in their wipes.  I could find some ingredients online, only the ones that we all know are good though.  They did not mind disclosing aloe, cotton, and vitamin E, unfortunately they do spin the other ingredients as many companies do.   Finally I had to turn to the box and another mother who researched the same subject.
 
All baby wipes contain water, skin conditioners, product enhancers, synthetic cleansers and synthetic preservatives (to prevent the growth of bacteria).  In each ingredient category, ingredients vary on the scale of toxicity. As Irina Webb, writer of "I Read Labels For You" states, "All baby wipes use synthetic cleansers and most of them (even plant-based ones) use toxic chemicals in their manufacture.  Product enhancing ingredients are relatively ok, although some of them may be quite toxic.  As for preservatives (and they have to be used in baby wipes because a moist environment is a breeding ground for bacteria), they are the most problematic group in baby wipes.  There are no synthetic preservatives that are absolutely free of any concerns."  Again, it is a matter of toxicity degree.

 

Huggies Baby Wipes
 
Huggies describes their baby wipes as “Natural Care” baby wipes.  But what do they mean by “Natural?”  Let’s take a look at Huggies baby wipes ingredients and see for ourselves if they are truly natural and if their manufacturer made choices that are in the best interests of babies.  Apparently, there are a few different formulations.  And from what Irina Webb discovered, this formulation is not the most toxic.

 

Huggies Baby Wipes Cleansers

There are two synthetic cleansers in the Huggies baby wipes, which are potassium laureth phosphate and polysorbate-20.  These cleansers have something in common.  To produce them, a carcinogenic chemical, ethylene oxide, is used to make harsh petrochemicals less irritating to the skin.  There are three problems with that: 1. The manufacturing process is toxic; 2. The cleansers remain irritating to the skin; 3. Ethylene oxide produces carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane that may remain in the final product (for more information see Irina's post ”1,4-Dioxane in Cosmetics and Personal Care and Cleaning Products” post).  Often manufacturers do not make an effort to remove 1,4-dioxane from the final products, even though it is not expensive to do. According to a 2008 Organic Consumer Association and EWG study, 46% of personal care products and 57 percent of baby soaps are contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, and not much has been done since then to fix this situation (http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/726331/1,4-DIOXANE/).
 

 

Huggies Baby Wipes Preservatives

There are two preservatives used in Huggies baby wipes, which are methylisothiazolinone and methylparaben,  Baby wipes are a breeding ground for bacteria because of their moist environment, this is why the preservatives are added.  Why so many companies refuse to use essential oils that serve the same purpose is infuriating to me, especially when it is a product for our babies.  There are no absolutely non-toxic synthetic preservatives; however, some preservatives are more toxic than others. Methylisothiazolinone and methylparaben are potent toxins. Methylisothiazolinone may cause an allergic skin reaction and lab studies in mice suggest that it may be toxic to brain cells (http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/703935/METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE/). The major concern about methylparaben is that it mimics estrogen and disrupts the function of the hormone system (http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/703937/METHYLPARABEN/#).

 

Huggies Baby Wipes Enhancers

Tetrasodium EDTA and malic acid are two ingredients used to help Huggies baby wipes do their work. Tetrasodium EDTA is a chelating agent and malic acid is a ph-adjuster.  The EWG gives a favorable rating for Tetrasodium EDTA of only 2 out 10, with 10 being the most toxic (http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/706510/TETRASODIUM_EDTA/).  However, there are other sources on the Internet that consider it much more toxic.  Irina looked at the Tetrasodium EDTA MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) and what stood out for her the most was as follows, “The toxicological properties of this substance have not been fully investigated.” (http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9923980).  As for malic acid, its main concern is that it may cause skin irritation (http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/703723/MALIC_ACID/).

 

Huggies Baby Wipes Skin Conditioners

Lastly, there are a few ingredients in Huggies Baby Wipes that are actually good for the skin, such as glycerin, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, and tocopheryl acetate.  All of them have skin conditioning properties.  There are two things I want to say here.  One is that tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), if derived synthetically, might be contaminated with carcinogenic hydroquinone (http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/706569/TOCOPHERYL_ACETATE/).  And the second thing is that given the concerns I have mentioned above, any benefit is outweighed by the potential harm.

 

Here is more information about baby wipes and their ingredients at http://www.ireadlabelsforyou.com/hidden-ingredients-in-baby-wipes/.
 
 
Now on with our recipe for wipes.
 
Ingredients:
 
1 roll of heavy duty paper towel (I recommend Bounty)
Container for wipes
1 Tablespoon pure aloe vera-we use Mountain Rose Herbs
1Tablespoon pure Witch Hazel-again we use Mountain Rose
2 Tablespoons liquid Castille Soap-we use Dr. Bronner's
1 teaspoon of Vitamin E (optional)
1 Tablespoon almond oil (optional)
1 3/4 cups boiled water-cool a little
Essential oil of choice

First put water on to boil.
 
 
Next, using a good serrated knife cut the paper towels in half.

 
Then either you or your assistant can put one half in container, with cut side down.
 
 
Add witch hazel, vitamin E, aloe, oil and soap and stir carefully.
 
 
 
Have your assistant add desired essential oils and stir.
This time we used lavender. eucalyptus and lemon.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pour mixture over paper towels.
 
 
Let sit for a few minutes then pull cardboard piece out of middle.

 
And here is the final product.

 
They smell wonderful and are safe.


Enjoy

 
 
For further information regarding essential oils please visit Baker's Guide to Essential Oils.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this recipe! We are going to try it this weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comes very handy when she pees or potties. Baby wipes have prevented rashes that might have caused if dry tissues or clothes were used.

    ReplyDelete
  3. my kids will love this recipe, i will try it tonight, thanks for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete