It is barely March, and not even Spring yet, but there must be something in the water around here; because I know so many ladies in my area who are either expecting, or who have just birthed a new little one in the last year. So, as most women know, with babies comes baby showers! And as a veteran mom, my favorite gift to give is always diapers and wipes. For the diapers, that’s a given: New parents are going to need them for sure! But if they are not the right size or brand, or if the new parents are Super Parents who have chosen to use cloth diapers (More power to them! We tried this with Sprout… It did not bode well for us), disposable diapers are a gift they might want or need to return. Wipes on the other hand, are the most versatile baby product you can purchase because they can be used for everyone in the household; even those who are in cloth diapers, or those who aren’t in diapers at all. Baby wipes can be used for the obvious, but they can also be used: to clean messy faces after meals, sticky hands after playing, cleaning up all manner of spills, removing make up, and for other bathroom uses…the possibilities are endless! For this reason, I’ve always kept baby wipes on hand, even the years before our girls were born. But how does one know which are the best ones to give, especially if you are giving to a first time mom or dad who doesn’t yet have a preference?
Your best bet, in my experience, is to go with something that is fragrance free and hypoallergenic, because you never know how a baby’s skin will react. Everyone is different. Luckily, there are more and more products coming out on the market which are for sensitive skin, so your choices aren’t as limited as they were in the past.
For this blog post, I have chosen to review 3 brands of baby wipes made for sensitive skin: Seventh Generation Baby, Simple Truth, and Member’s Mark. All of these wipes were made/manufactured in the USA, and they all contain added vitamin E as well. Disclaimer: I did not receive any free products at this time in order to write these reviews. These are all my own opinions for products that I purchased myself.
Method: I will test each one first on my face. I do this because I have eczema on my cheeks and the skin is very sensitive (which is why I rarely wear makeup). So if my skin reacts, I know it will be irritating to my baby’s sensitive diaper area and therefore I can save my little one the unnecessary discomfort of trial-and-error. Next, a new wipe will be used to wipe up a messy toddler’s face and hands. Lastly, a new wipe will be used to clean up a sticky spill or mess on a counter top or table or wall in my home (Lord knows we have had a lot of those occurrences around here lately). Each brand will then be graded on sensitivity, durability, and price/value. Let the testing begin!!!
**Seventh Generation Free & Clear Wipes: These wipes were actually the inspiration for this blog post. My second mission for the Generation Good forum group that I joined was supposed to be to try and review Seventh Generation’s new Free & Clear baby wipes. I was supposed to receive a FREE sample pack of 2 wipes, with an extra sample pack to pass on to a friend. It’s been several weeks however, but they haven’t made it here yet… so I decided to take matters in to my own hands.
The 64 count soft packs of Seventh Generation wipes regularly sell at Kroger stores for $4.59, which even if they are of the highest quality, this seems very steep to me. Luckily, they have them regularly priced at Babies R Us for $2.99 a pack, and they are currently on sale for 2/$5.oo in our town. This makes them roughly 3.9 cents a wipe at the sale price. The ingredients list states they are free of fragrances, dyes, parabens, and pthalates, and lists them as hypoallergenic. They do however contain Aloe/aloe barbadensis. The first thing I noticed when pulling them out of the pack was that these wipes are thick…almost opaque. As for softness, they are gentle to the touch, but also durable. They don’t fall apart easily with messy jobs. Honestly, I really like these wipes. They are mild and non-irritating on my sensitive skin, and they are thick to clean sticky messes. The price however can be a factor if I can’t find them on sale or have a coupon. Overall Grade: A- for quality and durability, but slightly downgraded for price (Hint hint, Kroger stores!).
**Simple Truth Fragrance Free Baby Wipes: These wipes are sold exclusively at Kroger and Kroger affiliate stores as part of their upscale “Simple Truth” product line.
These wipes also come in a 64 count soft pack regularly priced at $2.99. They happened to be on sale this week for $2.49, and with a 75 cents off e-coupon loaded to my shopper’s card makes them an even better bargain! That works out to be roughly 2.7 cents per wipe (with sale and coupon)!!! The Simple Truth wipes also claim to be hypoallergenic, but do contain cucumber, marshmallow, aloe, oat, and chamomile extracts. They also state their wipes are free of dyes, parabens, phthalates, and alcohol. Good news for the environment, and for those with sensitive skin.
When first opening up the pack, I noticed it does not have a re-closable hard plastic lid like the other soft packs do. It does have a re-closable flap, but over time this sticks less and less well, and the wipes do not stay as moist. Pulling the wipes out of the pack, it was also hard to pull just one out. They all wanted to bunch together. The next thing I noticed is that they are individually very thin. Consequently, they didn’t stand up as well to messier jobs, but they were still pretty durable. The cool thing about them is that they are made with 100% “Lyocell fiber”, which is a wood fiber and it’s supposed to make these wipes compostable. Score one for the environment! They were also pretty soft. However, when I tried them on my face, they started to burn. My face turned slightly red, but thankfully I didn’t develop a rash. These wipes were definitely irritating to my sensitive skin though. I’m not sure if it was from one of the plant extracts that it was made with, or the fact that they contain the preservative Phenoxyethanol…which, news flash: IS AN ALCOHOL…. It is even classified as an allergen and irritant according to the Environmental Working Group. This newly discovered fact really irritates me…and on levels that go beyond my sensitive skin. Why be deceptive, Kroger? Why say hypoallergenic and alcohol free when you’re clearly putting an allergenic/alcohol substance in your product? Not cool. But probably why there is a disclaimer on the package to “discontinue use if signs of irritation or rash appear”? I will be contacting the company and returning this product to the store. Overall Grade: F (I don’t give this grade out. Ever. But I feel like I was lied to. And that makes me madder than a hornet. And it is pretty sad, because for price and quality, and the fact that it is compostable and biodegradable, this product would have garnered at least a C+ ). I do not recommend this product based on the fact that it is listed as hypoallergenic, but contains a known allergen/irritant that I personally had a reaction to. My husband also said they were a little irritating to him as well, and he does not have sensitive skin. Your results may vary however, so try at your own risk.
**Member’s Mark Premium Wipes: These wipes are sold exclusively by Sam’s Club.
Member’s Mark wipes are sold only by the case. The case is a box of 10 soft packs of 100 wipes each, and they sell for roughly $17.98 a box. I however was lucky enough to pick these up when they had a $3 instant rebate going, and was able to purchase them for $14.98/box for 1000 wipes!!! I’m not sure how often Sam’s club does their instant rebate sales though. The non-sale price of these wipes makes them only 1.8 cents per wipe, which is amazing!!!
As you can see, these wipes are thinner, even though they state they are “three layer thick”. This however does not affect their durability. They do tend to create a little lint when used on softer surfaces such as clothing, upholstery or carpet, but this doesn’t affect the overall use and durability of the wipe. They are listed as hypoallergenic, and claim to be fragrance, latex and alcohol free. They do contain aloe and chamomile extracts, but I had no skin reactions to these wipes whatsoever. I did notice they were a little wetter than other wipes, so the skin took a little longer to dry after use. Overall Grade: A for quality, sensitivity, and price. These wipes are soft, strong, and work very well at an awesome value! I think I’m going to start buying boxes of these for baby shower gifts from now on!
I hope these reviews were helpful. Happy wiping, everyone!