Benefits of Cloth Diapers: Natural Skincare, not Trash

January 9, 2013

Why Choose Cloth Diapers

Taking time to acknowledge that disposable diapers are basically trash that a baby is wearing, opens the mind to a benefit of cloth diapers: natural skin care!

The skin is the largest organ/organ system in the body.  It releases oxygen.  It absorbs moisture.  It secretes.

That means what is on a person’s skin is important.

A grown person would not walk around daily in disposable clothing for several reasons.  It is not comfortable.  It is not responsible for the environment.  It is rough on the skin.  It looks unattractive.   It affects an organ system.  Overall, it is not a healthy choice.

The fabric against our skin is actually a part of our skin care.  It is common knowledge that a person can have an allergic reaction or irritation due to chemicals used in clothing (whether from packaging or laundry detergent) and that’s because our skin comes in contact with and absorbs some of the chemicals in the fabric.

The same is true of disposable and cloth diapers.  Whatever is in the diaper gets on the baby’s skin.  It is absorbed, either a little or a lot, because the skin naturally absorbs that which it touches.

That means ingredients in skin care are important.

It is prudent of a consumer to check ingredient lists for items used on the skin.  Most people will not volunteer to put trash on their skin, but that is what disposable diapers are!

What makes a disposable diaper trash?

They are chemically treated paper, filled with chemically created absorbent materials.  Nothing in them is a benefit for the skin. Nothing in them is something an adult would desire to put on their skin repeatedly.

When a baby wears a disposable diaper, their skin is exposed to fifteen different chemicals. (1)   Fifteen!  Some of these chemicals actually cause emissions, which have been known to produce adverse respirator y reactions, and to which the baby’s skin is exposed.

Dioxin is one ingredient that disposable diapers contain.  Certain dioxins are known to affect the immune and reproductive systems and have been shown to be carcinogens.  Some disposable diaper companies have stopped using dioxins in their products, but not enough.  Research does not support the idea that exposure to the toxins at such low levels is hazardous, but no long term data is available to describe low level dioxin exposure.  Dioxin is not an ingredient that makes for good skin care.

Another important ingredient that should be avoided for skin care is Polyacrylic acid.  This ingredient is not meant for skin contact.  Since it is used inside the diaper as the polymer that absorbs thirty times its weight, the intent is that it not come in contact with the baby’s skin. (2)   Side effects of polyacrylic acid are blurred vision and burning. (3)  However true this intent might be, when a diaper is full to capacity, the polymers expand and there is a risk of diaper rupture, therefore exposing baby and diaper changer to these chemicals.

Just as choosing healthy ingredients for skin care products such as lotion, body wash, soap, and moisturizer is important, so is the ingredient list for diapers.  Thinking beyond the commonly warned of chemicals is prudent because the entire ingredient list of disposable diapers is not something beneficial to skin care.

Diapers cover an area of skin that should be even more protected.  Skin care at a moisture rich point on the body is important because of the added risk of skin breakage and then infection.  Choosing to use a product that is gentle and helpful to the skin is wise.

Cloth diapers provide this wonderful option for skin care.  No harmful chemicals being absorbed constantly by an organ system.  No damaging ingredients next to a fully secreting organ.  No trash on the baby’s breathing skin.

Choosing cloth diapers as a part of healthy skin care habit is a very smart choice.


Related Posts:

Are Disposable Diapers Really That Bad?

Why Choose Cloth Diapers: Health Reasons

Your Baby’s Safe…Are You?

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About Autumn Beck

Autumn is a wife, mother, homeschool teacher, friend and most important a follower of Christ. She began cloth diapering in 2005 and has experienced many joys and trials throughout the years. You can read more from Autumn over at

View all posts by Autumn Beck

4 Responses to “Benefits of Cloth Diapers: Natural Skincare, not Trash”

  1. Anna Says:

    I started using cloth to save money, but I also love how cute and how simple they are (no guessing if she’s ready for the next size, and wasting the previous size that we didn’t get to finish). An unexpected benefit is that my LO doesn’t need any sort of cream when wearing them! We had to put rash cream on her at every disposable change (not healthy, time consuming, and expensive) and we don’t have to worry about that with cloth except for once in every 20-30 changes maybe! Love it.


  2. Tabitha Dencklau Says:

    Interesting article. Before I had a baby I didn’t think much of diapers, and nothing of cloth diapers in particular. Now when I see a baby in disposables it is such an eye sore. It really does look like trash, especially in comparison to the comfortable look of cloth.


  3. Tara A. Says:

    Great post, Autumn! This is exactly why I chose cloth! When I’ve mentioned to other moms that I chose cloth because of chemical exposure, they look at me like I’m crazy! This is a great post to be able to share with moms so they can quickly read it see how much healthier cloth can be. :)


  4. Terri Says:

    Ty for this. I just hung up the phone with my mom. She was asking what causes the paper in the diapers to hold so much wetness. I couldn’t tell her the exact name. Forwarding this immediately.


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