Aren’t you tired of the unpronounceable ingredients in baby wipes?
Don’t you just want to use baby wipes without getting a degree in chemistry?
Let me provide you with a quick summary of the Huggies baby wipes so you can make an informed decision about which baby wipes to buy for your baby.
There are many different types of Huggies baby wipes, and their ingredients differ. As you may know, I have compiled a list of baby wipes and ranked each according to my opinions as to their relative safety. These are the Huggies baby wipes that are included in my Baby Wipes Rating List that can help you choose the best baby wipes for your baby easily:
- Huggies One & Done Refreshing Wipes
- Huggies Simply Clean Wipes
- Huggies Simply Clean Fresh Wipes
- Huggies Natural Care
- Natural Care Plus Wipes
- Huggies Natural Care® Extra Sensitive Wipes
From year to year, ingredients change. That’s why I check back every year with the manufacturers for new developments and report my findings to you.
Since I first started deciphering every ingredient in baby wipes in 2013, I noticed that Huggies baby wipes have become much safer. For example, the problematic preservatives, methylparaben, and methylisothiazolinone, were gone in 2014. And in 2017, Huggies baby wipes did not contain the preservative phenoxyethanol anymore.
Is it mere coincidence that manufacturers are starting to make their wipes safer after I have publicized the ingredients in their products? Perhaps, but I’d like to think that our consumer pressure had something to do with it. So let’s keep paying attention to the ingredients and asking questions of manufacturers! (And I hope you will consider downloading my Baby Wipes Rating List that includes 36 baby wipes; the small fee helps to finance my efforts of pressuring the baby wipes industry to protect your baby from potential endocrine disruptors, carcinogens, irritants, and allergens.)
With that said, in this post, we are going to go over the ingredients of the Huggies baby wipes that scored the worst among 6 different Huggies baby wipes that are listed above. They are called Huggies® One & Done® Refreshing Wipes.
Huggies® One & Done® Refreshing Wipes Ingredients
Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Malic Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Citrate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Polysorbate 20, Coco-Betaine, Fragrance, Glycerin, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, polypropylene, wood pulp
I accessed these Huggies baby wipes ingredients here on March 3, 2018.
Water: all wet wipes contain water, which also means that they need at least one preservative to prevent bacteria and mold contamination.
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract: a really good skin conditioner. I wish it were organic though.
Caprylyl Glycol: an ingredient that helps make the Huggies baby wipes moist. It has mild antimicrobial properties so it is used as a part of the preservation system. It is rated 1 (on a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being the least toxic) and as not being known to raise any health concerns in the Skin Deep database.
Malic Acid: is used in tiny quantities to adjust the acidity of these baby wet wipes. Malic acid is naturally occurring in many sour or acidic foods. While the Skin Deep databases raises concerns over skin irritation, I believe that concern is applicable to higher concentrations.
Sodium Benzoate: a common preservative used in food. Many baby wipes manufacturers have switched to it from phenoxyethanol or benzyl alcohol or parabens. In 2017, Huggies removed phenoxyethanol from Huggies baby wipes and substituted sodium benzoate instead. This is a big improvement. However, also in 2017, sodium benzoate was added to the American Contact Dermatitis Society Core Allergen Series as one of the allergens. They say that it increases the risk of an allergic reaction if used in concentrations of 5% and over, while phenoxyethanol can be allergenic in concentration as low as 1%. I do not have information as to how much is used in the Huggies baby wipes. So if you see that your baby’s skin is irritated, in my opinion, I would discontinue the use of the wipes immediately.
Sodium Citrate: another ingredient used to adjust the acidity of the Huggies baby wipes to make them more in line with skin pH.
Tocopheryl Acetate: a compound consisting of acetic acid and tocopherol (vitamin E). Tocopheryl Acetate is beneficial for the skin as it has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. However, Tocopheryl Acetate is often produced synthetically using hydroquinone. If a manufacturer does not clean up a product, trace amounts of hydroquinone may remain in the baby wipes. In a way, hydroquinone can be a hidden ingredient. I do not have any information as to whether hydroquinone is present in the Huggies baby wipes. Hydroquinone is rated 9 out 10 (10 being most toxic) in the Skin Deep database as it is linked to allergy and limited evidence of cancer.
Polysorbate 20: an emulsifier that keeps ingredients from separating. Unfortunately, I often see this ingredient, even in products marketed as “organic” or “natural.” It is produced by using carcinogenic ethylene oxide, which may contaminate the final product with carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane. Manufacturers should remove any 1,4-dioxane using what is called a vacuum-stripping process. However, we as consumers have no way of knowing whether the manufacturer used the vacuum stripping process here. 1,4-dioxane is one of those chemicals that we want to avoid at all costs. Please learn how to spot ingredients that may be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane here.
Coco-Betaine: a cleansing agent in the Huggies baby wipes. Unlike cocamidopropyl betaine, it is not associated with irritation or allergic contact dermatitis. It is rated 1 in the Skin Deep database.
Fragrance: fragrance is created by combining different ingredients. The FDA allows companies to not list fragrance ingredients so they can be protected as a trade secret. Unfortunately, fragrances can contain some pretty nasty ingredients. Fragrance mixes can contain diethyl phthalate, which is associated with hormone disruption. Fragrance mixes have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress, and potential effects on the reproductive system. I highly recommend avoiding fragrances, especially in baby products, and choose synthetic fragrance-free products. Of course, we have no idea whether the fragrance in these baby wipes contains harmful chemicals, but if you’re reading this far, I bet you are like me and don’t want to take the chance with any products with unlisted fragrance ingredients.
Glycerin: a lubricant and skin conditioner and helps keep the baby wipes moist. It is often used in baby wipes with no known negative effects.
Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract: a great skin conditioner
Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract: a great skin conditioner
Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract: a great skin conditioner
And finally, the wipes themselves are made of a blend of polypropylene (a type of plastic of recycle code #5) and chlorine-free wood pulp. Polypropylene is a type of plastic made from crude oil, natural gas, and coal and its ingredients are undisclosed. In my opinion, wood pulp would be a better choice than polypropylene, but even it is not ideal because, in order to go from wood pulp to a soft fabric, a manufacturing process takes place which includes solvents.
The bottom line: Huggies baby wipes are moving in the right direction, but there is still some ground to cover. The main concern I have is fragrance. I recommend choosing fragrance-free baby wipes for your baby. (Is it really necessary for your baby’s bottom to smell like rose hips?) Not all Huggies baby wipes contain fragrance.
And here’s a revolutionary thought: keep in mind that washing your baby with organic cloth and soapy water is always the best choice. Let me know in the comments if you are interested in learning more about that.
Again, to see a comparative analysis of 36 baby wipes so you can choose the best baby wipes for your baby easily, please visit here.
To read more about baby wipes, visit here:
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