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Last updated on March 9th, 2018
The first time I wrote about Kirkland Signature Baby Wipes was in 2013. At the time, I did not recommend them. They even had formaldehyde in them!
I published a post about them, and attracted over 1,000 readers to that post alone, each day! And the post came up in Google searches on the first page, even before Costco’s page. If you’re reading this post, perhaps that’s how you found my blog.
I have a feeling that you want to make sure that the baby wipes you use on your baby are safe but do not have the time to research all these unpronounceable ingredients. I get it. I was in your shoes once.
When I started researching baby wipes over 5 years ago, the only thing I knew was that I needed to find baby wipes that are alcohol-free.
Since then, label reading has become my full-time occupation and calling. I created the Baby Wipes Rating List, in which I rank 36 baby wipes, according to my opinions, from the safest to the east safe among them. And I update this list every year.
And manufacturers take notice of my blog. Kirkland Signature Baby Wipes were reformulated in 2014, and a formaldehyde-releasing preservative was taken out. But there is more to the story. Read this post to find out what actually happened and how it may affect you and your baby.
And now, let’s talk about Kirkland’s Signature Baby Wipes as they are currently formulated.
2017 Kirkland Signature Baby Wipes Ingredients
Purified Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Decyl Glucoside, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Glycerin (Source)
The analysis of Kirkland Signature Baby Wipes Ingredients
There are big improvements in the new formula over the old one – no more carcinogenic formaldehyde, less potential exposure to carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane, and no more potentially skin irritating propylene glycol. While I am happy about these major improvements, Kirkland Signature Baby Wipes are not at the top of the list of baby wipes I recommend, just yet. Let’s go over each ingredient to see why.
Purified Water: innocuous but because there is water in the formulation, broad spectrum preservative(s) have to be used to prevent bacteria and mold contamination before and after the baby wipes package is opened. As noted below, the Kirkland Signature Baby Wipes do contain preservatives.
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract: a great skin-healing ingredient and I see it in a lot of baby wipes; would be better if it were organic.
Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract: another great skin healing ingredient.
Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract: another great skin healing ingredient.
Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract: another great skin healing ingredient.
Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract: another anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredient.
Decyl Glucoside: an ingredient called a surfactant that cleanses the skin, it is among the safest surfactants and is widely used in baby products. It is biodegradable and not known to contain petroleum contaminants. Decyl glucoside is one of the surfactants that are least likely to cause contact allergy. However, some babies may still have a skin reaction to it and hence it was added to the list of allergens by American Contact Dermatitis Society.
Phenoxyethanol: a broad-spectrum preservative used in the Kirkland Signature Baby wipes to prevent mold and bacteria growth. I think it is a big improvement over formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, which the Kirkland Signature baby wipes used to have, and I received a lot of comments (which you can see below the posts) reporting allergic reactions. It is not carcinogenic or an endocrine disruptor or a frequent allergen. However, it is not ideal. It is made by reacting ethylene oxide with phenol, both of which are carcinogens. And some babies may have a skin reaction to it, even in amounts as low as 1%. It is also on the list of allergens maintained by the American Contact Dermatitis Society. I do not have information as to how much phenoxyethanol is used in the Kirkland Signature Baby Wipes. So if your baby gets a diaper rash, I suggest you discontinue using the Kirkland baby wipes.
Sodium Benzoate: another preservative. It is a common preservative used in natural baby wipes and personal care products. However, 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 over 5%. I do not have information as to how much is used in the Kirkland baby wipes. So if you see that your baby’s skin is irritated after using these formaldehyde-free baby wipes, in my opinion, I would discontinue the use of the wipes immediately and refer to my Baby Wipes Rating List for baby wipes devoid of phenoxyethanol and sodium benzoate.
Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate: a chelating ingredient, which means that it cleanses the baby wipes. There is no safety data yet, so, as is true with the majority of chemicals, we do not know if it is safe for your baby’s skin.
Citric Acid: a very common ingredient in baby wipes. It is used to adjust the acidity of the baby wipes. In bigger quantities, it can be irritating to the skin but I do not think that applies here.
Sodium Citrate: a very common ingredient used baby wipes to adjust the acidity of baby wipes to make them more compatible with the baby’s skin.
Sodium Bicarbonate: another name for baking soda. There are no concerns here. Note that it is a base, and affects the pH of the baby wipes, necessitating the use of citric acid and sodium citrate.
Glycerin: a byproduct of soap making and commonly used as a moisturizer. In the Skin Deep database, it is rated 2 with a good amount of data available. It is generally considered safe in skin care products.
In conclusion, the Kirkland Signature baby wipes ingredients have improved. However, they still contain ingredients that can irritate the baby’s gentle skin. If your baby experiences discomfort, stop using these baby wipes and consider switching to a different brand. Keep in mind that organic cloth and plain soap are the safest choices for a baby. You might want to check out my Baby Wipes Rating List to find out which baby wipes, in my opinion, use better ingredients.
Costco also carries Moist Flushable Wipes
They were reformulated in 2015 to remove a formaldehyde-releasing preservative. The ingredient that I am most concerned about is fragrance.
Here is a new list of ingredients of the Kirkland Moist Flushable Wipes as of March 4, 2018:
Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Tocopheryl Acetate, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Polysorbate 20, Fragrance, Citric Acid, Disodium Phosphate, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate (Source)
Note that 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-Diol, a formaldehyde-releasing preservative was replaced (Yay!!!) with Phenoxyethanol and Sodium Benzoate. You can see the discussion of these two preservatives above when we talked about Kirkland baby wipes.
Fragrance: A big no-no
There is fragrance, which is a big no-no, too. In the US, there is no regulation requiring that companies disclose the ingredients of the fragrance mixes they use. (Companies don’t disclose them, either, as being trade secrets.) Independent researchers have concluded that fragrance mixes, among other toxic chemicals, normally contain diethyl phthalate, a chemical that may disrupt the normal function of the hormone system. Again, tiny amounts here and there do add up. And babies are vulnerable. Their detox system is not yet fully developed.
Fragrance mixes have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential harms to the reproductive system.
So please, Costco, if you’re reading this, please don’t use fragrance in your wipes (or anything else).
In conclusion, Costco continues to make improvements to its wipes, but there is still some work to do, in my opinion.
Final Words About Kirkland Signature Baby Wipes
A lot of baby wipes include chemicals to which you would not want to expose your baby on a daily basis multiple times. Tiny amounts accumulate. A lot of chemicals are not tested for safety and chemical interactions or are not tested at all. I’ve read the ingredients of almost all baby wipes on the market and concluded that there is not anything better than organic cotton cloth, water, and castile soap. That saves a lot of money too! However, I do understand that sometimes we have to use disposable baby wipes, especially when away from home, and that’s why I created the Baby Wipes Rating List so you can make an informed decision about which the best baby wipes for your baby without becoming overwhelmed.
Here is a list of my other baby wipes posts
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