Causing a stink … are scented wipes bad for babies’ skin?

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Your baby certainly won’t give a fig about their bottom smelling of summer meadows but, to you, fragranced baby wipes may somehow smell fresher - while the neutral aroma of a natural, unscented product may at first seem unappealing.

But if you understood how babies’ sensitive skin can be affected by artificial fragrances, you may become a tad less sniffy about the fragrance-free options…

Wake up and smell the chemicals

Most companies understand the allure of sweet-smelling products and therefore fragrance is liberally added to everything from baby wipes to bin bags.

While this enhances some products, behind these pleasant aromas often sit ingredients which can cause of certain types of eczema and skin sensitivity in children and babies.  

This is because babies’ skin barrier is up to 30% thinner than adults, meaning it can lose moisture twice as quick and therefore can be more susceptible to dryness and irritation.

So, the bottom line is, the more natural the product, the better for babies’ skin.

However, throwing you off the scent, fragrances are sometimes simply labelled as the innocent sounding “parfum” on the ingredients list.

But as an article by consumer choice group Which (discussing chemicals triggering food allergies in children) outlines, parfum can actually refer to “undisclosed mixtures of various scent chemicals”.

There are approximately 2,000 fragranced chemicals for manufacturers to choose from, according to the article, which also cautions, “Be warned, sometimes fragrance chemicals can be used as preservatives and may not be labelled as ‘parfum’ on the ingredients list”.

Rather than try to decipher the ingredient list, it’s better to opt for a natural product that you can trust to contain no skin irritants.

A breath of fresh air

Though they don’t literally come up smelling of roses, Pura wipes contain no added fragrance, either as a scent or preservative, making them safe to use on the most sensitive of skins and providing the healthiest start for your baby.

Skin benefits aside, unscented wipes can take a bit of getting used to. Imagine if you’d only ever drunk artificially flavoured banana milkshake and never tried the actual fruit. The taste of a real banana would be somewhat different! 

But the more you use unscented products, the more accustomed you become to them. Over time, if you then go back to fragranced products, the aroma can often be cloying and overpowering!

The bottom line is, when it comes to baby wipes, to avoid aggravating your baby’s delicate skin, the purer, the better. 

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