…one man's contribution to the Weeeeerly Wild World
I’m presented with a mother tending to some crayon drawings her child had kindly blessed her wall with, and thanks to the “gentle wipes” that would clean that up without fetching the paint off the wall. Then the camera follows her over to her baby to illustrate the gentleness, but I’m thinking: “That baby is way too small to be drawing on walls yet…”
The stupidity doesn’t end there: the wipes are 99.9% water, and 0.1% “fruit extract”, so I wonder: “Who in their right/un-stupid mind pays for something that is 99.9% water when that’s available for next to nothing from a tap* (she lived in a house with a tap, I’m pretty certain of that)? (obviously people who pay for bottled water, but that’s another topic) – I’m sorry if this is you.
The point of this post? I don’t know; ask Google why it showed me the advert. “WaterWipes” lol, but lets work with it.
I went onto their website, the WaterWipes one, to find out more, and it says:
A baby’s skin is much more delicate than your own. WaterWipes are the only wipe made using just water and a drop of grapefruit seed extract. That’s why 97% of midwives believe WaterWipes are suitable for use on the skin of newborn babies.
Their research is based on a study of around 100 midwives. Of course those midwives were as immune from stupid advertising as I am (sarcasm). I wonder if 3% is an actual measure of the people in society with sense. The key word in the quote above is “believe”; I doubt any of those midwives are trained scientists, and even if they are that doesn’t make them immune from having a belief system; even scientists have a belief system, go look up Bombard’s Body Language on Youtube, her videos are very insightful, I’ve only recently discovered them; I just watched part of one about scientists working at CERN. Very telling (pun intended).
What the WaterWipes people don’t state is what the actual wipe is made out of; considering it’s a single-use affair and probably ends up down the drain, I’d raise issue with this too.
To be fair, they compare their wipes to the “other leading sensitive wipe” which one can only assume is Johnson’s, and these have a long list of scary-looking ingredients. Johnson’s claim, according to a supermarket listing for them, is that they are “Hypoallergenic: Formulated to minimise the risk of allergies” and then go on to list all these:
[PR-017123], Aqua, Glycerin, Coco-Glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides Citrate, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Carbomer, Lauryl Glucoside, Polyglyceryl-2 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, p-Anisic Acid, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate
Here though, they back up their claims by referring to a “scientific study” that found that “Baby wipes had an equivalent effect on skin hydration when compared with cotton wool and water” and “found no evidence of any adverse effects of using these wipes.” Their study lasted up to when the babies reached 4 weeks old, and this time around 250 had their nethers inspected, so a little more thorough than asking the opinions of 100 midwives.
An issue that arises from making things as harmless as possible is that one restricts the ability to build up an immunity to the harmful things. If a particular baby is showing a sensitivity to a particular product then sure, seek and consider a kinder alternative.
I was recently checking up on ingredients commonly found in deodorents and shower gels [link], and the concern here was what effect certain ingredients have on the body over the course of a lifetime; a study that lasts for 4 weeks and only looks at the skin is going to tell you Jack-poo-poo. Things get absorbed into the skin, that’s how nicotine patches work to give quitting-smokers that craved-for nicotine fix, and think how that effects their mood.
What parents and health professionals (i.e. midwives) can gain from this, the conclusion states, is reassurance. Yes, reassurance that wipes are pointless when compared to run-of-the-mill cotton and water, reassurance that they’re not throwing their money away on some branded nonsense that is harmful to their child’s health.
The thing is, once people buy into these things, and have them inflicted on themselves, (midwives inflict on the young mothers, and mothers inflict on their babies, who grow up one day to inflict on their own children, because, “that’s how it’s done…”) Okay, so wipes are “convenient”… convenient to all the corporations that dupe you into parting with a large portion of your annual salary, on something that is “convenient”… saves you time. Just think of all the extra hours you have to work to pay for the things that “save you time”.
Blame Youtube for this random insight into how my mind works.
WaterWipes are created by a company called Irish Breeze. I was actually expecting them to have trails leading back to one of the Big 10, such as Unilever who I mentioned recently, but no; they “employ [just] 45 people and trades worldwide”. Yet, the WaterWipes took “several years of development“. I’m sure if they can show their worth in selling water and cotton, they’ll soon have some offers one of this lot:
*tap = faucet