What Health Professionals say
Cotton wool and water
Midwives recommend water and cotton wool as the best way to clean a baby’s bottom. However, this isn’t always convenient. WaterWipes have been created to address concerns that health professionals have raised about commercial baby wipes.
Pure, natural and free from harmful chemicals, WaterWipes are unlike any other baby wipe on the market.
Developed after nearly 20 years of cotton wool manufacturing experience, we have been able to develop the world’s purest and mildest baby wipes, containing only 99.9% water and 0.1% fruit extract. And because our product essentially contains just ultra-purified water, it is much less likely to irritate a baby’s skin than ordinary baby wipes.
What the professionals have said about WaterWipes:
“WaterWipes from DermaH20 with their high water content (99.9%) and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract would seem to be a safe, practical, benign, mild wiping and cleansing product…that is milder and kinder to the skin than other baby wipes on the market.”
Claire M. Chambers, Consultant Toxicologist
“As a midwife, I know just how important it is that a baby’s skin is cleaned with cotton wool and water, especially in those first few weeks. But, it’s not always practical especially if you’re out with your new baby. Conventional baby wipes, because of the chemicals and preservatives in them, are simply too harsh for a new baby’s skin or for one with inflammatory skin conditions so I’m delighted that there’s now finally a genuine and convenient alternative that midwives can confidently recommend, and parents can use with peace of mind”.
Doreen Buckley, Midwife and baby care expert
“The ‘perfect’ nappy area wipe would be pure water in a non-abrasive soft but strong fabric. WaterWipes is a commercial product that takes us very close indeed to this target”
Dr. David Atherton, honorary senior lecturer in paediatric dermatology at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.
What other midwives said when asked their opinion on WaterWipes:
“It would seem to be basically the same as using cotton wool and water”
“Mums will gladly buy this product for its purity and for its convenience”
“Very much so as wipes are very convenient but all contain a lot of rubbish”
“We’ve been waiting for something like this to come on the market”
“As both a mother & a midwife I’d be happy to recommend to all women & friends”
“WaterWipes would be mild enough for child care with no irritations”
Sensitive skin – the science
There is compelling evidence about the impact ordinary baby wipes have on the onset of nappy rash, eczema and other sensitive skin conditions in babies and young children.
One in three babies will suffer a sensitive skin condition and of these, four in ten will go on to develop eczema, according to a recent independent study.
Independent studies in Britain, Australia and the US have identified the use of soaps, bath and shower gels and baby wipes as among the main factors in the increased incidence of nappy rash, eczema and other skin conditions in babies and young children.
Dr. David Atherton, honorary senior lecturer in paediatric dermatology at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, writing in Community Practitioner 2005, stated that: “Current research suggests that irritant napkin dermatitis (nappy rash) is principally a response of the skin to the assault by irritants. The worst offenders in this respect are baby-washing products. Indeed, evidence is accumulating that the rapid increase in atopic dermatitis in children is due to the parallel increase in the use of such products.”
The average baby wipe can contain numerous chemicals in the guise of surfactants (cleansers), emollients (to make skin soft), stabilisers and bufferers (to prevent the ingredients interacting), perfumes and preservatives. These chemicals include:
Methylisothiazolinone (MIT): is a powerful preservative found in shampoos and toiletries. Studies have shown it can cause allergic reactions and irritation to the skin.
Methylparaben: From the parabens family of preservatives. They mimic estrogen and can act as potential hormone (endocrine) system disruptors.
Parfum: Represents an undisclosed mixture of various scent chemicals, as well as ingredients used as fragrance dispersants (eg diethyl phthalate). These mixes have been associated with dermatitis, allergies, respiratory distress and other ailments.
PEG-40 Hydrogenated castor oil: A polyethylene derivative, may be contaminated with potentially toxic impurities eg 1,4-dioxane.
Phenoxyethanol: You will find this alcohol in many cosmetics and skin care products. Used repeatedly, it can strip the skin of its natural oils and dries it out, resulting in redness, irritation and inflammation.
Sodium Benzoate: Often used to preserve cosmetics and as an antiseptic, Benzoates are thought to intensify the symptoms of asthma.
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES): Widely used by big manufacturers as they’re cheap and effective, SLS and SLES are the most common chemicals found in children’s toiletries to make them foam and cleanse. When rinsed off, the product will have cleaned the area but will have taken moisture from the top layers of skin. In people with sensitive skin (prone to dermatitis, acne, eczema, psoriasis and chemical sensitivity), the drying property of these chemicals can cause flare-ups of skin conditions or may aggravate existing conditions.
The word “fragrance” or “parfum” on the product label represents an undisclosed mixture of various scent chemicals and ingredients used as fragrance dispersants such as diethyl phthalate. Fragrance mixes have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system.