If my post on Calpol, my ritual ranting about Sodium Lauryl Sulphate or my reasons for choosing cloth nappies hadn’t made it clear enough yet, I’ll spell it out for you: I don’t like a lot of the products that come with a smiling little baby on the packaging.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times. Just because there’s a happy baby on the cover does not mean it’s actually good for your baby. And one of my main bugbears is baby wipes. For the most part, they contain SLS, the product found in many baby products and most bath products since it causes the foam we all love. What really puts me off SLS is the fact that it was designed in the 1800’s as an industrial engine cleaner. How can that not be too harsh for a baby’s delicate skin?
What really got me going on the whole SLS thing was the fact that my daughter would break out in a rash every time I tried to wipe her face with baby wipes. I know many people use reusable wipes, and that was looking more and more like our future, when I was given a pack of Jackson Reece Natural Herbal Baby Wipes.
Sceptical at first, I was pleased to see the ‘No alcohol, parabens, SLS or SLES’ announcement on the packaging. I was reserving excitement for the list of ingredients, and wasn’t disappointed. Not only do they list all the components, but also provide an explanation of what they are. Although the list is still a little longer than I would like to see, you can’t have convenience and completely chemical free in the same package, it seems, and these are definitely better than mainstream alternatives.
Not only are Jackson Reece’s wipes free from harmful chemicals, but they also have added aloe ( a natural healer), lavender (a natural disinfectant) and tea tree oil â€“ also a natural disinfectant and a very useful cleaning agent. Taking an individual look at each of the ingredients, I am happy to report that with a slight caution for the Sodium Levulinate that can cause skin and eye irritation in anyone allergic to it, I did not find anything that made me uncomfortable.
So then it was on to the acid test: using it. I opened the packet to be met by a very distinct tea tree smell, and a definite hint of lavender â€“ much preferable to the chemical smell of many other wipes. I wiped my daughter’s face with it, and it cleaned perfectly and most importantly, even after a week of usage has not once caused her a rash.
For dirty bums they work perfectly too. By using Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside â€“ derived from cane sugar and coconut â€“ instead of SLS they still get the foamy/soapy kind of cleaner. Although the wipes do feel quite soapy, they do not leave a residue, but cut through dirt as well as any chemical cleaner, leaving the bum soft and clean and cared for.
The Jackson Reece wipes I sampled are bio-degradable, and they also now sell a flushable wipe, which breaks down in water within eight days.
As with all things natural and good for you, these are slightly more expensive than the major brands you might find in your local supermarket, coming in at RRP Â£1.99 for 72 wipes. That said, I find myself using one or two wipes at a time instead of the usual three or four. Factor this into the equation and natural wipes actually work out cheaper than many of the mainstream brands.
Give them a try when you next buy baby wipes â€“ they come highly recommended.
In the meantime, I have five packs of wipes and five packs of flushable wipes to give to five lovely readers. To enter leave a comment below saying why you would like these natural wipes, and I will randomly draw 5 winners using random.org on the 14th of June.
Competition closes at 12 noon and is open to UK residents only.
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