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TIPS-tested baby wipes 2009

Baby wipes were the first products tested under the TIPS Award Scheme launched in March 2007. Since then we have completed eight standard trials and six one-off trials (covering 26 categories of products), and allocated 172 TIPS awards. Only products that comply with our strict criteria can be submitted for a TIPS trial – this is part of our robust selection process explained in the ‘Methodology and criteria’ section below. This means that any product accepted to go through to the testing programme is already a winner.

Over 600 Parent Testers have joined the TIPS online community. When selected for a trial, volunteer Parent Testers receive products to test and asked to provide their comments using a questionnaire. Testers’ feedback is collated, evaluated and reviewed by Sharon Trotter. On completion of the judging process, awards are confirmed and the results are published on the TIPS website.

The following 12 awards have been allocated
(click on one of the links below to find out more):

Best of the best & Best eco-friendly
Jackson Reece soothing herbal baby wipes

Best unscented
Jackson Reece natural unscented baby wipes 

 

Best eco-friendly & Clever idea
Jackson Reece Saline Nose Nuzzles wipes

Best washable
Softbots WipeBots luxury bamboo washable baby wipe

Best organic
Natracare organic cotton baby wipe

Must-have
Milton antibacterial fabric solution

Innovative
Organic Babies - Sticky Hand Sanitiser

Highly commended
Nature Babycare Eco lightly scented baby wipes

Highly commended
Nature Babycare Eco sensitive fragrance free baby wipes

Highly commended
Earth Friendly Baby Eco baby wipes

Highly commended
bumGenius washable baby wipes

TIPS to go- follow this link to download a summary of the awards

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You can also find out more about the testing process in the following sections:



Reviews

 


Jackson Reece soothing herbal baby wipes

Jackson Reece soothing herbal baby wipes
RRP: £1.99 for 72 wipes
Supplied by www.jacksonreece.com
Tested July-August 2009
Price per change (2 wipes): 5.5p

Award: Best of the best and Best eco-friendly



Jackson Reece’s new soothing herbal baby wipes are the gentlest and most environmentally friendly baby wipes available on the market today. It is refreshing to know that each stage of the development process has been carefully and responsibly overseen by the dedicated team at Jackson Reece. Production has been moved to the UK (ensuring an excellent carbon footprint); compostable and chlorine-free biodegradable cloth, also suitable for septic tanks, has been sourced; eco-friendly degradable packaging introduced and the mildest ingredients possible have been used for these new wipes. This attention to detail not only gives these baby wipes the greenest credentials possible but also sets a new standard for others to follow. The favourite feature, by far, was the wetness of these wipes which made light work of the dirtiest nappy.

Testers enjoyed the wipes ‘fresh and clean’ scent, although this is quite different to the usual smell of baby wipes. Testers agreed the wipes were very effective for cleaning hands, faces, bottoms and ideal for removing make-up no matter how sensitive your skin type .

This is what some of the Testers said:

  • Perfect – lovely and wet which meant you used less to get the job done!
  • My husband kept commenting on the lovely scent
  • Degradable, no harsh ingredients but most importantly they are kind to the skin
  • I usually avoid scented wipes because my son has sensitive skin but he was fine with these
  • It makes me feel confident I am not putting rubbish on my face
  • I am so impressed with these wipes and so is my childminder!
  • I have recommended them to all my mates
  • They are the best wipe I have ever used

Jackson Reece wipes have been trialled by more TIPS Testers than any other wipe. Feedback from all trials has consistently been overwhelmingly positive. With 100% of Testers happy to recommend and buy these wipes we are delighted to give the Jackson Reece baby wipe not one but two awards in the 2009 trial.

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Jackson Reece natural unscented baby wipes

Tested January 2012

 

Jackson Reece natural unscented baby wipes
RRP: £2 for 72 wipes
Supplied by www.jacksonreece.com
Tested December 2011 - January 2012
Price per change (2 wipes): 5.6p

Award: Best unscented

 

Jackson Reece wipes are the brainchild of husband and wife team Colin and Janet Cordner. Their first son Jackson suffered from sensitive skin. Having failed to find a brand of wipes that was gentle enough for his delicate skin, in spite of extensive searching, Colin and Janet decided to develop their own. When their second son Reece was born, the choice of a name for their new brand became obvious. The rest, as they say is history...

TIPS Parent Testers are already huge fans of the Jackson Reece brand: these herbal baby wipes got top marks in all previous TIPS trials and were awarded Best of the best and Best eco-friendly. So when Jackson Reece launched their unscented wipe we could not wait to send this out to our Testers. Once again the reaction was overwhelmingly positive. The new wipe is a perfect addition to the range. It is ideal for younger babies and for people who prefer unscented wipes. Like the herbal wipes, these wipes are made in the UK (ensuring an excellent carbon footprint); environmentally friendly; compostable; and made with chlorine-free biodegradable cloth (also suitable for septic tanks).


Parent Testers were impressed at how easy it was to re-seal the pack. Although these wipes are unscented Testers commented on the pleasant scent, compared with other brands of unscented wipes.

This is what some of the Testers said:

 

  • Very easy to re-seal the pack compared with other baby wipe packs I have used
  • I would definitely recommend these wipes and I wish I had come across them before now
  • I liked everything about these wipes but especially the fact that they did not smell of chemicals – they just smelt very natural...
  • My son had been suffering from a touch of nappy rash and the wipes have been gentle enough to use on his bottom and the rash has now gone
  • More cost-effective, kinder to the environment and good for mums too!

We are delighted to give the Jackson Reece unscented baby wipe our Best unscented wipe award in recognition of this excellent new product. 

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Jackson Reece Saline Nose Nuzzles wipes

Tested December 2012 - January 2013


RRP: £2.49 for 20 wipes
Supplied by www.jacksonreece.com
Tested Decenber 2012 - January 2013
Price per wipe: 12.45p

Award: Best eco-friendly and Clever idea

 

Jackson Reece wipes are the brainchild of husband and wife team Colin and Janet Cordner. Their first son Jackson suffered from sensitive skin. Having failed to find a brand of wipes that was gentle enough for his delicate skin, in spite of extensive searching, Colin and Janet decided to develop their own. When their second son Reece was born, the choice of a name for their new brand became obvious. The rest, as they say is history...

TIPS Parent Testers are already huge fans of the Jackson Reece brand. Jackson Reece achieved top marks in all previous TIPS trials of baby wipes as well as three top TIPS awards for their herbal and unscented wipes. Jackson Reece Saline Nose Nuzzles are a brand new concept. They have the same top quality formulation as the other wipes in the range, but also contain saline, aloe vera and camomile extract to help to soothe little ones' sore or stuffy noses. Ideal for use with colds but also great for hay fever sufferers.

Once again feedback from our Parent Testers has been overwhelmingly positive. Like the Jackson Reece Natural Unscented wipes Nose Nuzzles are perfume free, but it is their unique ability to soothe runny noses that makes them so special. Like other Jackson Reece wipes, the Nose Nuzzles are: made in the UK (ensuring an excellent carbon footprint); environmentally friendly; compostable; and made with chlorine-free biodegradable cloth (also suitable for septic tanks).

Parent Testers agreed these clever little wipes really do soothe stuffy noses. They also said it was easy to keep the Nose Nuzzles handy for little ones' runny noses, as the wipes come in a small pack.

 

This is what some of the Testers said:

  • I loved the size of the packet which was ideal for popping in my jacket pocket so easy to reach when needed and no need to fumble about in a bag looking for wipes.
  • My favourite feature was the small convenient packaging and my son would let me wipe his nose more readily than with normal wipes
  • My baby's nose was not sore and red after use, which is what always happens when using tissues for a runny nose.
  • They were soft and easy to remove dried hard mucus around the nose.
  • think they are quite expensive, but would be willing to pay for this to help my baby’s nose from becoming sore
  • I even allowed my friend to use a couple on her wee girl when she had a runny nose situation - she thought they were fab too.


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Softbots WipeBots luxury bamboo washable baby wipes (three layer fabric)

RRP:
15 wipes and a wet bag: £14.90
10 wipes and a wet bag: £10.90
10 bags without wet bag: £7.90
Wet wipes bag only: £3.90
Supplied by www.softbots.co.uk
Tested July-August 2009

Award: Best washable


With green issues being ever more topical we could not consider doing a baby wipes trial without including the latest washable wipes on the market. As well as being eco-friendly, washable wipes can be more cost-effective than disposable wipes. Washable wipes can be used with plain water, a water spray or a number of washable wipe solutions which are listed on the excellent leaflet supplied with the Softbots washable wipes.

Testers were asked to trial a pack of ten wipes supplied with one wet bag. All Testers agreed that they would need more wipes if they were going to use these regularly, especially in the early days when babies have many nappy changes per day. Testers also said it would be a good idea to have two wet bags; one for clean wipes and one for soiled wipes to use when out and about. Testers found the wipes a bit small, although they did not shrink when washed. Testers just loved the wonderful softness and extra absorbency provided by the 100% bamboo fabric. Whether used for hands, faces, bottoms or by mummy for make-up removal, these wipes were easy to wet and wring out.

The wipes were very easy to wash and dry - they dried quickly without losing any of their softness. The wipes could also be used straight from the washing machine. All Testers received a bottle of Milton fabric solution to launder their wipes (see review of this product below). This worked well and gave them peace of mind. This product is also ideal for washable nappies. A useful solution to keep washable wipes together in the washing machine would be to use a mesh bag.

Most Testers said they were happy to use these wipes whether at home or out and about, but others prefer to use disposable wipes when away from home. Using this green alternative to disposable wipes and limiting damage to the environment, made Testers feel very good about themselves too.

This is what some of the Testers said:

  • Incredibly soft and very absorbent – fantastic for use on a baby’s bottom
  • Very soft, my son sometimes suffers from sore bottoms and the softness helped
  • I would substitute these for my children’s usual facecloth
  • I have continued to use them after the test period because I like them so much
  • Even cleaned sticky finger prints off my leather sofa!
  • I was sceptical at first but in the end I really liked using them
  • Nice material in a handy sized bag would be useful for short trips out and about
  • When I realised how much I spent on disposable wipes in a year, these wipes are very reasonably priced!

With 100 per cent of Testers commenting that the Softbots wipes had exceeded their expectations we decided to award this lovely wipe ‘Best washable’!

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Natracare organic cotton baby wipes

RRP: £3.39 for 50 wipes
Supplied by www.natracare.co.uk
Tested July-August 2009
Price per change (2 wipes): 13.56p

Award: Best organic

With excellent eco-friendly credentials these baby wipes were highly praised by Testers for their strength, effectiveness and softness. The only wipe to be made from 100% organic chlorine-free compostable cotton fabric, they coped with any cleaning job no matter how messy. Testers also liked the ‘fresh’ scent – a welcome alternative to that of other wipes. Ideal for babies, these wipes were equally enjoyed by mums for removing make-up no matter how sensitive their skin type.

Natracare products are biodegradable and contain only organic and natural ingredients sourced from sustainable, renewable and ecologically managed producers. Natracare does not use any animal ingredients nor test on animals, so these wipes are suitable for vegans.

The higher price was a concern for some Testers, but they agreed that where purity is an issue, especially for babies with sensitive skin, these wipes are well worth the extra cost.

This is what some of the Testers said:

  • The re-seal feature was very good
  • Really easy to dispense, much better than my usual brand
  • The wipes were soft and wet enough to clean effectively
  • My daughter has eczema and the wipes were fine on her skin
  • Better quality than the ones I usually use
  • My son had sensitive skin but he had no adverse reaction to these wipes at all
  • My favourite feature was the wipes were made from cotton
  • The scent was nice and delicate

Natracare products are sold all over the world, and founder Susie Hewson is committed to providing organic and natural personal care products that leave a soft footprint on the earth. We are delighted to recognize this excellent product.
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Milton antibacterial fabric solution
RRP: £5.49 for 1 litre
Supplied by: www.milton-tm.com
Manufacturer: www.labo-rivadis.fr and www.rivadis.com
Tested July-August 2009

Award: Must-have

20 Testers selected to test washable baby wipes also received a bottle of Milton antibacterial fabric solution to try. This product is proven to kill all germs, bacteria, and fungi in the laundry - leaving clothes hygienically clean. This bleach-free product can be used on all the family’s laundry, even silks and wool. Adding Milton antibacterial fabric solution to the wash ensures that all laundered items are left 100% germ-free. It is effective even at low temperatures (as low as 15 degrees). 20ml of Milton antibacterial fabric solution should be added to the normal wash (along with your washing powder and fabric softener) whether hand or machine washing.

Some Testers were initially unsure what the product was for and suggested pictures on the front of the bottle might make this clearer. They were reassured by this recognisable and trusted brand.
Testers found the instructions easy to follow and praised the innovative dispensing cap for its ability to measure the perfect amount of product for each wash. This avoids any wastage and ensures that the bottle does provide 50 doses. This maximises the cost-effectiveness of the product. Ideal for use with washable nappies and wipes, Milton antibacterial fabric solution left items smelling fresh. Using this product reassured Testers that their washing was germ-free.

This is what some of the Testers said:
  • The bottle was cleverly designed and the dispensing mechanism was particularly effective
  • You can’t go wrong with the easy to measure attachment
  • The Milton brand gave me the reassurance I needed
  • Very pleased with the results on my nappies – they looked like new!
  • You knew exactly how much to use and it smelled really fresh too
  • Good value for 50 washes
  • I liked the way the washing smelled
  • Peace of mind that all germs are killed in the wash-cycle, even at low temperatures
Testers were so impressed they voted overwhelmingly to give this new product the very first TIPS ‘Must-have’ award.


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Organic Babies – Sticky Hand Sanitiser 
(previously called Foaming Baby Cleanser)

(Green People)
RRP: £9.95 for 100mls - giving 200 squirts! 
Supplied by: www.organicbabies.com
Tested July-August 2009

Award: Innovative

A multipurpose product, Organic Babies foaming baby cleanser provides an innovative alternative to baby wipes. Backed up by over ten years of research its safe formulation is over 96% organic, suitable for vegetarians and certified by the Organic Food Federation. All products in the Organic Babies range are handmade in small batches using the most natural and organic ingredients. This makes them ideal for even the most sensitive skin types.

Ideal for hands, faces, and bottoms, the cleanser can be squirted directly onto the skin, used with a washable wipe or natural sponge. It is also great for cleaning highchairs, change-mats and toys.

Testers loved the light consistency of the foam which was easy to dispense even with one hand (very handy with a wriggly baby to deal with).

The even distribution of the foam avoids the need to use product in a concentrated form. Testers also liked the fact that the cleanser dried quickly leaving the skin lovely soft and moisturised.

The price tag is a little high, but a little does go a long way and with so many uses the Organic Babies foaming baby cleanser really is a handy addition to a baby bag. One Tester suggested using washable wipes with plain water to clean the nappy area and finishing off with a squirt of the foam.

This is what some of the Testers said:

  • Knowing the ingredients were pure and free from harmful ingredients
  • It is effective without being harsh
  • Very easy to use with one hand because of the pump dispenser
  • Lovely! Soft, smooth dries quickly and leaves skin soft, no residue
  • It didn’t bother his skin and he is prone to nappy rash
  • I didn’t think it would work so well on nappy changes so I was very pleased
  • Me and my partner used it on our hands and found it very good
  • Far and away exceeded my expectations, am impressed with its cleansing powers!

The Green People Company is known for its green credentials and ethical trading – they donate 10% of their profits to ‘green and environmental charities’.

All Testers agreed this is indeed a useful product for babies, toddlers and children. Its antibacterial properties give added peace of mind.


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Nature Babycare Eco lightly scented baby wipes
RRP: £2.49 for 70 wipes
Supplied by: www.naty.com
Tested July-August 2009
Cost per change (2 wipes): 7.1p

Award: Highly commended

Manufactured by the Swedish company Naty AB under the Nature Babycare brand name, these baby wipes are part of a range of eco-friendly products which includes nappies, toddler pants, bibs, breast pads (see our Editor’s choice in the Breast pads section of our website) baby skincare products, sanitary pads and nappy bags. Testers loved the relaxed design of the packaging. This features gorgeous images of babies and toddlers - making them more appealing to older children who prefer big kid wipes to baby wipes!

Testers praised these wipes for their strength, effectiveness and the lovely light scent (see also the review for Nature Babycare fragrance free wipes). Manufactured using quality cloth that is biodegradable and chlorine free, these wipes are also environmentally friendly.

Some Testers did have a problem with dispensing these wipes as the hole in the top of the pack is quite small. However, the re-sealable tab was excellent and kept the wipes fresh until the end of the pack.

This is what some of the Testers said:

  • It was nice to see an image of a toddler rather than a baby
  • They smelt lovely – like new babies!
  • No soreness for my son who, trust me, reacts to the best, so a huge thumbs up!
  • I would definitely buy them again
  • They smelt lovely and were environmentally sound
  • They are great for people who like scented wipes but without being irritating
  • The re-sealable tab was far better than most
  • Good quality thicker wipe which did not fall apart unlike others

This company is a refreshing addition to the mother and baby sector with a novel approach to marketing that involves ‘word-of-mouth’ recommendation through their Ambassador Programme. The full Nature Babycare range is now widely available in UK supermarkets with further information available on their international website.


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Nature Babycare Eco sensitive fragrance free baby wipes
RRP: £2.49 for 70 wipes
Supplied by: www.naty.com
Tested July-August 2009
Cost per change (2 wipes): 7.1p

Award: Highly commended

Manufactured by the Swedish company Naty AB under the Nature Babycare brand name, these baby wipes are part of a range of eco-friendly products which includes nappies, toddler pants, bibs, breast pads (see our Editor’s choice in the Breast pads section of our website) baby skincare products, sanitary pads and nappy bags. Testers loved the relaxed design of the packaging. This features gorgeous images of babies and toddlers - making them more appealing to older children who prefer big kid wipes to baby wipes!

Testers praised these wipes for their strength and effectiveness. They liked the fact that a fragrance-free variety for those with extra sensitive skin types was available (see the review for Nature Babycare Eco lightly scented wipes). Manufactured using quality cloth that is biodegradable and chlorine free, these wipes are also environmentally friendly.

Some Testers did have a problem with dispensing these wipes as the hole in the top of the pack is quite small. However, the excellent re-sealable tab kept the wipes fresh until the end of the pack.

This is what some of the Testers said:

  • The graphics gave the impression of nature and peace
  • Much better than other wipes that claim to be fragrance free
  • The re-sealable tab kept its stickiness so I was pleasantly surprised on this count
  • They were great to take my make-up off at the end of the day
  • My toddler has a habit of shredding wipes when cleaning his hands but was unable to shred these wipes so they were great for him
  • They could even be rinsed under the tap and be re-used!
  • I used a couple on my leather sofa, the ultimate test, and they were great
  • You tend to stick to what you know but having tried these wipes I now know what I have been missing – they were lovely and soft and really strong

This company is a refreshing addition to the mother and baby sector with a novel approach to marketing that involves ‘word-of-mouth’ recommendation through their Ambassador Programme. The full Nature Babycare range is now widely available in UK supermarkets with further information available on their international website.

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Earth Friendly Baby Eco baby wipes
RRP: £2.99 for 72 wipes
Supplied by: www.earthfriendlybaby.com
Tested July-August 2009
Cost per change (2 wipes): 8.3p

Award: Highly commended

Made in the UK by London based Healthquest Ltd, these wipes are part of a large range of baby and toddler products manufactured using safe formulations (where possible plant-derived) that are free from sulphates, parabens, artificial colours or perfumes.

Testers praised these wipes for their strength, effectiveness and delicate scent (although they are fragrance free, the wipes do contain certified organic chamomile and calendula). Manufactured using quality cloth that is biodegradable and chlorine free making these wipes environmentally friendly.

Some Testers did have a problem with dispensing these wipes as the hole in the top of the pack was quite small but the re-sealable tab was able to keep the wipes fresh until the end of the pack.


Testers were impressed at how well these wipes coped with dirty nappies but they were equally useful for faces, hands, make-up removal, high chairs and kids paint finger marks.

This is what some of the Testers said:

  • Lovely – really soft and gentle to the touch and just the right amount of moisture
  • Although described as ‘thick’, which put me off, I would actually say they were ‘just right’
  • They were wet enough, soft enough and did the job well
  • Used to remove make-up and was very effective at removing mascara leaving my face feeling really clean and fresh
  • Used to clean my daughter’s hands while outside
  • I liked the fact the wipes used organic ingredients and were biodegradable
  • Very effective with wet and dirty nappies and gentle on the skin
  • I also cleaned the highchair tray with one wipe which worked perfectly

We applaud this company’s ethical approach to business by providing high quality baby skincare products which are available at a price that everyone can afford.

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bumGenius Washable baby wipes

(unbleached Egyptian cotton flannel)
RRP: £8.00 for 12 wipes
Supplied by: www.bgnappies.com
Tested July-August 2009

Award: Highly commended

If you are looking for washable baby wipes in a variety of colours and fabrics from a company who also specialises in washable nappies, then check out the bumGenius website. Founded by an American mother, this brand is now the number 1 washable diaper company in the United States. bumGenius products are now sold in 47 countries worldwide.

The washable wipes we tested in this trial are 100% Egyptian unbleached cotton flannel and come in a variety of soft shades. Testers commented on the softness of the wipes, adding that they worked well with plain water or lotion. Travel wet bags (RRP: £7.95) are available for storing clean wipes. Testers said it would be a good idea to have two wet bags: one for clean wipes and one for soiled wipes to use when out and about.

The wipes are easy to wash and dry, although a few Testers commented that they do shrink. Using these wipes as well as washable nappies is very cost-effective and with no need to dispose of anything these products are really eco-friendly - Testers found this very reassuring.

One Tester suggested it would be good to use two different colours: one for faces and one for bottoms – this is a good idea. Washing nappies and wipes together was a concern with some Testers, but the Milton fabric solution they were given to launder the wipes (see review of this product above) worked well, and gave them peace of mind.

A useful solution to keep washable wipes together in the washing machine would be to use a mesh bag.

This is what some of the Testers said:

  • Lovely, so soft and perfect for my seven month old on his delicate bottom
  • Packaging very bright and trendy
  • I used them to remove my make-up and found them very effective
  • I liked the colours and felt very green using them!
  • I was very impressed with the wipes and will continue using them
  • Absolutely loved using these wipes and felt really good knowing they were free from waste products
  • It felt more gentle on my babies skin without any chemicals
  • They are environmentally friendly and you never run out!

Most Testers agreed that these wipes are ideal for using at home but were more reluctant to use them while out and about - when they may need to carry soiled wipes. However the overall feedback was positive and for Mums who already use washable nappies these washable wipes are the perfect product.

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Overview

At TIPS, our aim is to source the best products available and we hope you will enjoy reading about the excellent baby wipes we have selected for the 2009 trial. We tested conventional disposable baby wipes, washable wipes (with the Milton fabric solution) and an antibacterial foaming cleanser which can be used with washable wipes or directly applied on the skin (to cleanface, hands, bottom or even toys and baby furniture).


Please note that products tested by TIPS are not free or promotional products, but samples for the sole purpose of independent testing. All Testers must agree and sign a copy of the TIPS Award Scheme terms and conditions before taking part in a TIPS trial

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Methodology and criteria


81 TIPS Testers participated in this trial. They tested nine products supplied by eight companies. All babies involved in this trial were over six months of age, and each Tester received only one brand of wipe to test. This was to prevent babies being exposed to different products which may contain different ingredients. The updated TIPS criteria states that TIPS will only test skincare products free from:
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)
  • Sodium Laureth Sulphate SLES)
  • Parabens (Methyl, Propyl, Butyl and Ethyl Paraben)
  • Phthalates
  • Triclosan
  • Propylene Glycol (PG)
  • DEA (diethanolamine)
  • MEA (monoethanolamine)
  • TEA (triethanolamine)
  • Methylchloroisothiazolonone (MIT) or Methylisothiazolinone (MIT).
Products may also lose marks if they contain artificial preservatives or perfumes that have the potential to irritate young skin, even if they do not appear on the list of banned ingredients. We are confident that this new criteria has allowed us to select the best baby wipes on the market today for this trial.

Allocating the awards was done by taking into account the final scores, analysing Testers’ comments and applying the following criteria:
  • Best of the best - highest scoring product overall
  • Best eco-friendly - products manufactured by companies that: include high proportions of natural or organic ingredients in their formulation; ensure that their packaging is recyclable; and have an ethical approach to business that attempts to reduce their overall carbon footprint
  • Best unscented - overall favourite unscented wipe
  • Best organic - products certified organic in origin and made to the highest possible standards
  • Best washable - overall favourite washable wipe
  • Must have - products that have proved particularly useful
  • Innovative - products that shine due to some innovative feature that Testers universally praised
  • Highly commended - products with high scores but not best in their category.

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Guidelines

Testers received the following guidelines, which they were asked to read before testing each product:

Thank you for agreeing to take part in the 2009 TIPS baby wipes trial.

I must stress that although baby wipes can be used from one month of age, I would recommend not using them for longer than this. This is why I have decided not to test baby wipes or any baby skincare product on babies less than six months of age.

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence Postnatal Care Guidelines (NICE 2006) states “cleansing agents, lotions and medicated wipes are not recommended for bathing babies”. This is core to the advice I give in my leaflet Babycare – back to basics™ (Trotter 2009). Companies whose products are tested by TIPS must advocate the use of plain water for at least the first month of life. Whenever possible, they should include this advice in all marketing information.

I am often asked which skincare products I would recommend. It is not my role to endorse a particular brand so I decided to set up the TIPS trials. It is hoped that this fair and neutral review process will be acknowledged for its independence and impartiality. The TIPS Awards Testing Scheme was launched in March 2007, and baby wipes were the first products to be tested. The selection criteria for the baby wipes were strict: products containing alcohol, SLS, SLES, triclosan, propylene glycol, artificial perfumes or preservatives (parabens and phthalates) were excluded. When selecting wipes for the trials, consideration was also given to their durability and effectiveness when cleaning and protecting baby’s delicate skin.

The selection criteria for the 2009 baby wipes trial is even stricter (see above). This is to make sure that only the very best baby wipes are tested.

Please remember that there are no standards or definitions to regulate the use of terms such as hypoallergenic, suitable for sensitive skin, paediatrician approved and pH balanced. The basic ingredients used in the manufacture of these products are the same as for standard formulations. The only difference is in the marketing literature. This is why the TIPS criteria is so important: we only test products that meet our strict guidelines on safety.

Manufacturers are encouraged to:
  • submit the full International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) list of chemical ingredients for each product to TIPS Ltd before any trial (ideally this list should be posted online on the company website so it is available for anyone to refer to). Full Latin names must be used and every ingredient must be listed
  • agree to follow the TIPS principles of safe baby skincare practices. In line with the most up-to-date national guidelines, these principles are explained in the Sharon’s published work (Trotter 2008 a & b) and the Babycare-back to basics™ leaflet. This information can be accessed online and printed copies are available on request. TIPS safe baby skincare principles must be promoted in advertising and marketing material.
  • advise parents that it is safer to use plain water for baby skincare for at least the first month of life.

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Completing the questionnaire


The following topics are included in the questionnaire:

  • Design of product – did you enjoy the graphics? Was it easy to get the wipes out? Was it easy to re-seal?
  • Formulation: is this as safe as possible for the consumer? Is it kind to the environment? Does the wipe contain Phenoxyethanol, Benzoates, petrochemicals, synthetic fragrances, essential oils?
  • Information on product and online: does the manufacturer include a full list of ingredients online and on pack? Does the manufacturer give advice on using water-only for the first month in their marketing literature?
  • Packaging: is the packaging recyclable or degradable?
  • Size: if the wipes are too small you may need to use more, if they are too large there is a risk of excessive waste.
  • Feel and texture of wipes: are they soft or harsh, are they wet enough?
  • Scent: does the product smell fresh or is it unpleasant? In order to be safe products should have minimal perfumes (preferably natural or organic in origin).
  • Are the wipes flushable or biodegradable? Can they be used with septic tanks?
  • How environmentally friendly are they? are the wipes chlorine-free, biodegradable, compostable or organic? Can they be used with septic tanks?
  • Carbon footprint: are the wipes made in the UK or shipped in by air or sea? With green issues being highly topical this is becoming an important issue.
  • Durability: are they strong enough not to break up when being used?
  • Effectiveness: do they clean a dirty nappy with ease or do you need many wipes to clean the area? Are they suitable for hands and face too?
  • Price per change: by calculating the cost of each wipe using the RRP of the product then multiplying it by 2 wipes to get cost per nappy change.
  • Adverse reactions: did you notice any adverse reactions when using this product (this may include rashes, spots or red areas caused by the product you are testing).
  • Feedback: tell us about your favourite features, suggestions for modifications, and whether you would recommend this product [back to top]

As you can see, there are many aspects of design and formulation to assess when testing this seemingly simple product. A well-designed baby wipe will fulfil all the needs of parent and baby and should:

  • list all ingredients and ideally explain why these ingredients have been used – this information should be on-pack and online
  • be safe and gentle, even on delicate skin
  • not include harsh ingredients or unnecessary additives
  • be made in the UK from bio-degradable materials, and
  • be sold in recyclable and/or degradable packaging.

This can only be achieved when manufacturers pay close attention to detail at all stages of the manufacturing process.

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References:

National Institute for Clinical Excellence (2006). Routine postnatal care of women and their babies. Quick reference guide. London: NICE.
Trotter S (2009). Baby care – back to basics™ leaflet. TIPS Limited, Scotland
Trotter S (2008a). Neonatal skin & cordcare - the way forward. Nursing in Practice (January/February) Number 40 - (Dermatology): 40-45.
Trotter S (2008b). Neonatal skincare and cordcare – implications for practice. In: Examination of the newborn and neonatal health – a multidimentional approach. Churchill Livingstone, Elsevier Worldwide, Chapter 14.

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Please note that products tested by TIPS are not free or promotional products, but samples for the sole purpose of independent testing. All Testers must agree and sign a copy of the TIPS Award Scheme terms and conditions before taking part in a TIPS trial.

 

Disclaimer. TIPS Ltd is not responsible or liable for any failings of products that have been submitted for the testing programme. The responsibility remains with the individual manufacturer. Research is constantly changing and whilst every effort is made by TIPS Ltd to ensure the information contained in the guidelines is accurate and up-to-date, parent testers must still be encouraged to seek the advice of their midwife, health visitor, lactation consultant or GP if they have any concerns.

TIPS Ltd© 2008

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