Unbranded wet wipe on yellow background

Baby Wet Wipes Label Reading 101: Choose the Best Wipes for Your Baby's Skin

When it comes to reading labels on wet wipes, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Firstly, some wet wipes are classified as cosmetics while others are not. Secondly, deciphering cosmetics labeling can be challenging, so it's essential for consumers to scrutinize the label carefully.


Most baby wet wipes are considered cosmetics

Some wet wipes are cosmetics while some are not. According to the US FDA, there are four types of wet wipes, and those "intended for cleansing or moisturizing the skin, such as those for baby care, hand washing, makeup removal, washing the body when bathing is not practical, or feminine or other personal cleansing" fall into the cosmetics category. It's safe to assume that many baby wet wipes are cosmetics. However, some brands may imply that their wipes are safe for use on babies without explicitly stating so. As such, it's important to verify that the product is specifically intended for baby skin and is classified as a cosmetic.

(source: https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/cosmetic-products/disposable-wipes)


Instructions and Warnings

When it comes to cosmetics, two of the most crucial pieces of information to look out for are the instructions and warnings. While consumers may think that there isn't much to consider when using a product, manufacturers take great care to ensure that their products are used safely and effectively. Additionally, if a consumer experiences side effects from using a product without following the instructions and warnings, it may be difficult to claim compensation.


The other critical piece of information to look for is the list of ingredients. Ingredients are typically listed in order of amount, so if you have experienced an allergic reaction to a particular ingredient, be sure to check the list. It's worth noting that some extracts may be hiding information. According to the Cosmetics Labeling Guide by the US FDA, "a substance added to a cosmetic as a component of a cosmetic ingredient and having no technical or functional effect in the finished cosmetic" doesn't need to be declared. Although these hidden ingredients don't serve a functional purpose, they may cause reactions in some people. Furthermore, consumers may have the right to know all the ingredients used during manufacturing. As such, it's crucial to be aware of these potential pitfalls.


(Source: https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/cosmetics-labeling-regulations/cosmetics-labeling-guide)


Do not flush logo


Regardless of the type of cosmetic, instructions, warnings, and ingredients are all essential pieces of information to consider. However, when it comes to wet wipes, there are two additional things to look out for: flushability and fabric information.

Firstly, it's essential to note that most wet wipes aren't flushable. The term "flushability" isn't regulated, and there aren't any recognized standards provided by local authorities or the FDA. As a result, it's critical for consumers to be skeptical when they see products marketed as flushable. Not every state or country requires flushability labeling, so it's safest to assume that the wipe is not flushable if there is no sign of it. Since wet wipes can cause significant plumbing problems, it's strongly recommended not to flush them.


Pile of fabrics in various colors


Another critical aspect to scrutinize is the fabric information. The US FDA doesn't require the disclosure of fabric composition since only the liquid's ingredients are mandated to be disclosed. If there's no information about the fabric on the labeling, it's best to contact the seller to find out what the fabric is made of and what the gsm (gram per square meter) is. This information will help you find a wipe that best suits your needs.