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Chemicals lurking in your baby wipes

Baby wipes first came onto our supermarket shelves in the 1990s, although standard wet-wipes first emerged in the 1950s. They are now used in most households for a multitude of jobs, including cleaning surfaces, appliances and house plants, removing make-up, removing stains and so on.

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They are convenient multi-purpose wipes used by millions every day, but researchers have found that, because they are made of polyester, they will take years to decompose in landfill sites. Some of these products are also full of harmful chemicals, which you would not want to put on your skin, and certainly not on the delicate skin of a small baby.


Preservative agents applied to the wipes to prevent bacterial growth, can cause skin irritation and even allergic reactions. One chemical found in a number of brands of baby wipes, phenoxyethanol, has been linked to eczema and respiratory problems. Although the quantity of this chemical is said to be at safe levels, parents should avoid using them on children with known problems, such as asthma.


Methylisothiazolinone is another chemical preservative used in baby wipes and it has been proven to cause dangerous allergic reactions in adults and children.


Ethylhexylglycerin, used as a deodorant agent, has been found to irritate skin. Babies with sensitive skin who come into contact with it may experience a form of dermatitis, and it can also irritate the eyes. Benzyl Alcohol, when mixed with sodium hydroxide, can affect the immune system and can cause burning, itching and blistering of the skin, and in some cases dermatitis.

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Parabens (anything ending in paraben) have a chemical structure that’s similar to oestrogen, which means they can mimic the effects of that hormone in your body, thus acting as hormone system disruptors. They have been linked to an increased risk of cancer, hormonal problems and infertility.

Benzoic Acid

Benzoic Acid is a harmful preservative that has been linked to asthma problems and increased levels of hyperactivity in children. It can also cause damage to the nervous system.

Check all labels for any of these harmful ingredients and choose safe products for you and your baby’s sensitive skin, like the Avene Sensitive Skin Gift Set

Don’t leave anything to chance – your children trust you and your actions. Don’t put them at risk.


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