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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Ingredients lists

We'd be fools to not start with the list on the back of the products... which we nearly didn't do!

As mentioned in the previous post, the Auckland Zoo website has a great 'shopping guide' to help you find non palm oil products. At the very end of the list they have a section designed to help you look at ingredients lists on products to find what is palm oil by a different name:
"Palm oil kernel, anything containing the words “Palmitate” or “Palmate”, Elaeis gunieensis (taxonomic name for palm oil), Hydrated Palm Gylcerides, Hexadecanoic or Palmitic Acid."

 They also list ingredients which might be palm oil:

"Vegetable oil, Anything containing the words “stearate, stearyl”, Anything containing the words “cetyl, cetearyl”, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulphate, Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate (SDS or NaDS), Sodium or Calcium Stearoyl Lactylate, Steareth -2 and Steareth -20, Emulsifier 422, 430-36, 465-67, 470-8, 481-483, 493-5, 570"

To be honest, its a little scary reading the back of these products. They seem more like a chemistry textbook than something you'd put in your hair (Pantene), wash your clothes with (Dynamo) or even scarier, wipe your babies bum with (Huggies). We realise that these are mostly just fancy names for some pretty standard ingredients, but still!

Pantene: Ammonium laureth sulfate can be derived from coconut oil or palm oil, so we will be writing to the manufacturer to clarify which one.

Huggies wipes: It looks like Huggies wipes are palm oil free, Potassium Laureth Phosphate could be a problem but to be sure we will email the company.

Dynamo: New Zealand's labelling laws mean that if a product isn't used on the body or consumed, a company does not legally need to list the ingredients on the bottle. We did find this online though, thanks to the website listed on the bottle itself! Here is the link for your reference: nothing seems to contain palm oil, but we will write to the manufacturer to be sure. Good on Colgate-Palmolive PTY LTD. for providing more information than legally required to.

We will email these three companies and let you all know how we get on. If there are any products which anyone wants us to look into, please let us know and we'll do our very best!



  1. First email sent off to Huggies! I am questioning whether we should continue using these though as they are made from "A stretchy non-woven fabric called Coform. Coform is made from a combination of microscopic and continuous plastic fibres and wood pulp (cellulose) fibres that provide gentle care to baby’s skin."
    AND "All Huggies Baby Wipes will begin to breakdown over a long period of time."


  2. Hi Kelvin and Emma,

    I'm Heather, married to Martin from Emma's old work.

    If you want an alternative to Huggies wipes, rather than other disposables what several of my friends with babies do is use chux cloths (the kind that come in a roll and have little holes in them - you get them from places that do bulk stuff). You make up a wipe solution (or just plain water), cut the cloths in half and then either put the cloths in a water-tight container (such as a takeaways container) and pour in a bit of solution, or put the solution in a spray bottle and spray them just before using them.

    There are loads of wipes recipes on the internet. The one I use (as you probably know, I'm mostly bed-bound and so I need wipes for my hands if they get yucky) is:

    put 1/3 cup shampoo in a 2L milk bottle
    add 1-2 cups water and swirl till mixed (don't shake or you'll get heaps of bubbles and that's a pain!)
    add 2-3T vinegar (it's antifungal - good if the wipes are going to sit around for a bit as mine sometimes do - it stops them getting smelly)
    fill to the top with more water.

    There's another recipe on this page, too, as well as other eco-friendly baby recipes:

    Kia kaha!

    --Heather :-)

  3. Thanks for this Heather! Very much appreciated!