Do Baby Wipes Have Soap?

Baby skin actually needs the oils that soap may strip away

by Coterie Team

New and experienced parents alike are often searching for better quality wipes, ensuring their baby wipes don’t contain chemicals, soaps, and fragrances that delicate infant skin reacts badly to.

Choosing clean baby wipes that are soap and alcohol-free is widely seen as the best option, particularly for newborns and babies with skin sensitivities. However, disposable wipes commonly contain alternative cleaning agents, such as cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB).

This synthetically produced detergent is found in cosmetics, cleaning products, liquid soaps, content lens solutions, and shampoos. While it is derived from coconut oil and is perceived as low-risk, CAPB and many other cleansers used in wipes are irritants that can cause contact dermatitis and different skin reactions.

Why Is Soap Harmful to Babies?

A baby's skin is far more sensitive and doesn't produce much oil and sweat–these natural processes develop as we grow. Using soap within a baby wipe, shampoo, or bath gel strips away the small amount of oil created by a baby's skin, leaving it dry, brittle, and sore.

While some babies won’t show any signs of discomfort, others will quickly begin to develop rashes, redness, swelling, cracking, and other painful skin conditions, particularly if their skin is exposed to soaps and chemical cleaners every day. The amount of wipes used for a baby varies, but newborns can require a diaper change up to seven times a day on average–which means a lot of wipes and a lot of soap buildup that progressively makes skin drier and more vulnerable.

Infants with extra-sensitive skin can experience more profound and immediate reactions to chemical soaps. Still, it is also normal for babies to develop irritations over time, resulting in persistent diaper rash and similar rashes anywhere on their body where they have been cleaned with wipes.

How Do You Keep a Baby’s Skin Clean Without Soap?

Soap is often misunderstood, and although it is often sold as gentle and skin-friendly, it isn't necessary. Your baby will remain clean, fresh, and smelling good with that beautiful infant scent!

There are several reasons you don’t need to worry about chemical cleaners and detergents during diaper changes or your baby’s bath time:

  • The low amounts of oil produced by a baby’s skin mean they simply don’t get as dirty as an older child or teen–most babies only really get dirty hands, feet, and faces, making a daily soapy bubble bath less essential.
  • Soap doesn’t remove dirt or grease from our skin; it breaks down surface oils, but water washes them away.
  • Most soaps are primarily manufactured to produce a pleasant fragrance, an ingredient pediatricians advise against. Soaps can remain on a baby’s skin as a residue long after a bath or diaper change, resulting in prolonged exposure to chemical fragrances.

Skipping the soap and using alternatives such as purified water baby wipes and gently warm bath water without any gels or soap bars will preserve your baby's delicate skin without any detrimental effects.

What Is the Alternative to a Soap-Based Baby Wipe?

The first tip is to look for baby wipes rather than wet wipes since these products have different formulations. Wet wipes are more likely to contain antibacterial soaps and detergents as a multi-purpose cleaning product that isn’t usually intended for younger infants and newborn babies.

Baby wipes can, however, contain soap, detergents, preservatives, and a long list of other chemicals that can irritate gentle skin or exacerbate diaper rash, dermatitis, and eczema.

The Wipe by Coterie was created to provide an alternative, eliminating all potentially harmful irritants and with an innovative production method that uses biodegradable plant-based and 100% plastic-free fibers that decompose naturally within about twelve weeks (or half the time of an orange peel!). Each wipe is up to 30% larger than average wipes, ensuring you need to purchase and use fewer for each diaper change or clean-up on the go.

We use 99% purified water, plus 1% skincare ingredients such as Vitamin E and moisturizing Glycerin–a simple yet soothing component used in medicines and skin health treatments. As you would expect from Coterie, there are no soap, sulfates, or other chemicals in The Wipe, making it suitable for babies right from day one and as they grow!