Aromatherapy charity warns of potential risks of homemade wet wipes
A charity dedicated to professional aromatherapists (The IFA) is warning new parents not to try and make homemade, DIY wet wipes using essential oils, as they could potentially harm a new baby’s delicate skin. Essential oils, known for their therapeutic and mood enhancing powers, are gaining in popularity and a brief search on the popular parenting website Mumsnet reveals that an increasing number of parents are trying to replicate reusable wet wipes, available to buy online, using a flannel and essential oils. With the rise in popularity for natural skincare, and because parents are worried that some store bought baby wipes might contain hazardous ingredients that can cause skin irritation and allergies, many parents are attempting to make their own homemade, natural baby wipes.
However, the International Federation of Aromatherapists (IFA), a UK registered charity, cautions against parents trying to copy commercial reusable wet wipes by adding essential oils, as these oils are unsuitable and potentially dangerous for a baby’s skin.
IFA Chairman, Colleen O’Flaherty-Hilder explains that while essential oils might have a pleasant odour, ‘the chemical composition of the oil could be irritating to the skin, or even become toxic, as the oils are absorbed into the blood stream of the baby via the skin’. Moreover, the NICE (National Institute For Health and Clinical Excellence) guidelines advise that baby skincare products should not be used on a new-born; instead, only plain water, and a dash of nappy cream, should be used for the first 30 days of a baby’s life.
The IFA is now urging parents who still want to make their own reusable wet wipes to consult an IFA-qualified aromatherapist for help and guidance. Liz Thompson, an IFA-trained aromatherapist and also a member of the International Association of Infant Massage says: “When a parent is interested in using essential oils with their baby, I recommend they consult a fully qualified aromatherapist with the appropriate knowledge and training to respect each baby’s individuality, sensitivity and preferences.”
For more information on aromatherapy or to contact an IFA-qualified aromatherapist near you, please visit www.ifaroma.org
Report Written by Sonam Nundoochan and Edited by Alison Jane Reid.