Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes Ingredients: Safe or Toxic?

posted in: Baby, Baby Wipes, Safe or Toxic? | 27

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Last updated on June 22nd, 2017

Before we talk about Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes ingredients, let me tell you something.  One day about a year ago, I was taking a walk with my husband. I had just started this blog and probably had no more than 50 subscribers. We had put on sunscreen to protect us during the walk. While we were walking, it suddenly hit me. I knew that whatever we put on our skin gets absorbed into our body. I thought, “What if I get a conventional medicine MD (who is not focused on the environmental causes of illness) to confirm that.

Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes Ingredients


We found an internal medicine practitioner. He confirmed this principle (you can read his post here).  Whatever we put on our skin bypassed the digestive system, and those chemicals can be absorbed directly into your tissues and organs. If the chemical reaches our blood, it would potentially be metabolized and /or filtered by liver and kidneys but how well that works, it would depend on a person, a chemical, and the amount of the chemical.


Since then I’ve tried my best not to put anything on my skin or my baby’s skin that I would not eat. And we eat 100% organic, at least at home.


With this introduction, let’s talk about Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes ingredients. By the way, I don’t use any baby wipes on my son because I have not found any certified organic baby wipes. I believe due to the nature of the beast it is impossible to make them fully organic. But I know many of us are not as crazy as I am and use baby wipes. I love the fact that you want to know what the wipes you use are made of. So for as long as you keep asking questions about baby wipes, I will keep blogging about them.


Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes ingredients are advertised as being safe for even the most sensitive skin. So without further ado, let’s look at the actual ingredients and see for ourselves if they are suitable for a baby’s sensitive skin.


By the way, the Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes ingredients are not available on the Pampers website. You have to make a phone call. A customer representative might direct you to the Procter & Gamble website that is supposed to retrieve ingredients of all products the company makes. However, the search engine on the website does not work properly. So do not waste your time on it. I based my review of Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes ingredients that a company representative emailed me.


List of Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes Ingredients


Water/Agua/Eau, Citric Acid, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Benzoate, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Bis-PEG/PPG-16/16 PEG/PPG-16/16 Dimethicone, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexyglycerin, Bisabolol, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Polypropylene, Rayon, Lyocell


Let me group Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes Ingredients for better understanding.


Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes Ingredients with Contamination Concerns


The following ingredients may not be harmful in and of themselves, but if extreme caution is not taken with them during the manufacturing process, they can become contaminated. Therefore, it is best to avoid them if possible because the only way to be certain they have not become contaminated during the manufacturing process would be to send the wipes you just bought to a testing laboratory, after which they would not be usable as wipes (even if you could afford to pay to have them tested). Obviously, this is not practical, so just try to avoid the altogether.


PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Bis-PEG/PPG-16/16 PEG/PPG-16/16 Dimethicone


The word “PEG” with a number associated with it is an indication that the ingredient may be contaminated with a very potent carcinogen – 1,4-Dioxane (read my “1,4-Dioxane in Cosmetics and Personal Care and Cleaning Products” post on how to avoid the contaminated products). The reason there is a danger of contamination is that these synthetic ingredients were produced with the help of ethylene oxide.  The by-product of this chemical reaction is 1,4-Dioxane.  Not every company makes an effort to remove 1,4-dioxane from the products we consume.  And there is no way to know whether the removal process has taken place except by contacting the manufacturer, and even then you have to take their word that it was done correctly every time.  I personally do not want to take this chance.


To be fair, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics tested Pampers Baby Wipes – the Fresh and Calming formulation, not the Sensitive style – and did not find any 1,4-dioxane. However, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics warns us that there is no guarantee that other samples of the same product are not contaminated. I contacted the company about 1,4-dioxane. Once I receive a response, I will update this post.


Even if the Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes ingredients do not contain 1,4-dioxane (P&G states that none of their wipes contain 1,4-dioxane), I am not going to be satisfied. I do not believe that baby products should be made from petroleum derivatives using chemicals that are toxic to the environment and industry workers, such as ethylene oxide. In addition, do we really have to rely unsustainable oil to make baby wipes?


Preservatives in Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes Ingredients


One of the reasons I do not use baby wipes is because of preservatives. All baby wipes have to contain preservatives due to the high content of water in them, which creates a breeding ground for bacteria and mold.


The good news is that the preservatives used in Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes are not the worst. (The worst kind either releases carcinogenic formaldehyde or interferes with the normal function of the hormone system.)


The problem with the preservative Pampers uses is that the preservatives may potentially irritate the skin, or cause contact dermatitis (eczema) after prolonged application.


Benzyl Alcohol: rated 5 by the Skin Deep database; it has been associated with contact allergy.


Phenoxyethanol: rated 4; skin irritation is high concern ( for more information, visit here and here)


Sodium Benzoate: This one is okay.  It is permitted for use in natural and organic products by EcoCert.


Ethylhexyglycerin: linked with skin irritation or contact dermatitis (see here and here)


Disodium EDTA: is okay, but just okay. What I do not like about it is that it improves skin absorption, so if there are any other potentially harmful ingredients, it will help them be absorbed more easily (more info here).


Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes Ingredients of Low Concern


The following ingredients are of some concern, but are not the most problematic:


Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Xanthan Gum, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Bisabolol, Water


These ingredients do not raise high concerns; however, they are not certified organic either, which means that they may have undisclosed contaminants.


Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes Fabric


The fabric is made of the following material: Polypropylene, Rayon, and Lyocell.


Baby Wipes I recommend are made of organic cotton or other biodegradable material. These are not. Polypropylene means plastic with recycle code 5. While it is one of the safest types of plastic, I am not a big fan of it. First, it is not biodegradable. Second, recent studies have shown that any plastic may contain estrogen-mimicking chemicals.


Rayon and Lyocell are made from wood pulp. The process of conversion of the material from wood to cloth involves solvents that may be potentially toxic to the environment. While a less toxic solvent is used to make lyocell, the environmental impact of the manufacturing process, called nanotechnology, is not yet fully understood. My advice in these matters is that it is better to be safe now than to be sorry later, and so I recommend avoiding lyocell.


Conclusion About Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes Ingredients


While there are some improvements in the formulation of Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes ingredients, I do not recommend them mainly due to the risk of carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane contamination, petroleum ingredients, and the risk of developing contact dermatitis.


Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes

If you would like to more about baby wipes, you can read the following posts:

Hidden Ingredients in Baby Wipes

Huggies Baby Wipes – Safe or Toxic?

Joonya Eco Wipes Review

Kirkland Signature Baby Wipes and Others

Products I Like – Biodegradable Baby Wipes

Products I Like – Toxin-Free Baby Wipes Not Made in China

Are WaterWipes Baby Wipes Natural and Safe?

Naty Baby Wipes – Organic or Toxic?

Baby Wipes Rating List 





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27 Responses

  1. Rebekah B.

    So there are no baby wiped out there that you would recommend?

  2. Teresa

    Never thought about the wipes well not true we buy BJ’s brand of natural ones for messes and the occasion when we use sposies but we cloth diaper our kids. So I make my own wipes solution with water, squirt or Dr. Bronner’s soap and olive oil or organic canola (not the best but it’s cheaper) on my cloth wipes. Or I just use plain water.

  3. Christine

    Thanks for looking into these wipes more specifically, Irina! Onwards with Honest wipes it is. I like the idea of going cloth/water, but that’s not practical for our limited set-up… Cloth diapering is enough of an adventure for me to handle at the moment. 🙂

    • Irina Webb

      Which cloth diapers are you using? I am curious because I think I found cloth diapers that are very easy to use (still finalizing my research).

      • Christine

        I use gDiapers. I know they aren’t the cheapest system, or necessarily the most simple, but I like the option to go with cloth or compostable/biodegradable inserts. I also like being able to break down the pieces to clean them separately. I’m curious to hear what you have found, although it also feels like we’ve already made the commitment with gDiapers, so it might be hard to switch, unless your sales pitch is incredible… 😉

        • Irina Webb

          I definitely see the convenience of gDiapers. I chose the other diapers – they are also hybrid – because the inserts are organic. I also heard gDiapers start leaking when the baby gets older. How old is your baby?

          • Christine

            My bigger guy who currently uses them is 19 months. My little guy who hopefully will take them through round two is almost a day old. 🙂 we occasionally have minor leaking issues, but that’s if we have left him with a cloth insert way too long (like all morning…oops!) or if he has a major blowout. But those types of leakages occur occasionally with disposables, too; I chalk them up more to user error than gDiapers failure.

  4. Gracie

    I have a question what do you use to clean your babies bottom. And when you go out what do you use?

    • Irina Webb

      Hi Gracie, when at home I washed my baby in the sink under running water with castile soap – no questionable chemicals, clean, and cheap. And when we went out, I used Honest baby wipes. Thank you for asking. ~Irina

  5. Ash

    my baby Ashton used pampers wipes and it gave him the worst rash. I literally watched the wet wipe cut up his skin as I cleaned around his butt. Little dots of blood would appear on top of his rash and it eventually caused to form a blister. My poor baby! I don’t trust manufactured baby wipes after that. I also rinse my baby boy in the sink with warm water. I use a cotton burp cloth with ho t water as a wet wipe. Water is a healer. So is air. Ever since I did this his rash decreases exponentially every single day. Be careful what you trust!

  6. Ines

    What about Bambo wet wipes? Ingredients: Aqua, Glycerin, Sodium Laureth-11 Carboxylate, Laureth-10, Sodium Benzoate, Lactic Acid, Glycereth-17 Cocoate, Potassium Sorbate, Allantoin

  7. Leith Yearwood

    Sodium Benzoate in the presence of citric acid can release benzene which is a potent carcinogen, so while citric acid and sodium benzoate are fairly harmless individually, they are much more dangerous in combination combination with each other. Just google the two names together and read the literature about their byproduct benzene.

    • Irina Webb

      Hi Leith: the carcinogen benzene may be formed when sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid react, not citric acid. Thanks! ~Irina

  8. Karine

    Has the ingredient list changed since this post? I’m trying to explain to my cousin that Pampers isn’t better than Huggies and vice versa. I thought they were equal products (not good but just as bad as one another) but these Pampers wipes are more worrisome but I also read elsewhere that in 2013-2014 most companies started to change their formulas to exclude some chemicals (one was methylisothiazolinone, Googling that is how I found the news from various countries). I assumed Pampers would also have changed their ways since I noticed the update on your Huggies wipes label read.

    • Irina Webb

      Hi, Karine: thank you for asking! Yes, you are absolutely right. You might have read this on my blog. 🙂 I noticed that in 2013-2014 a lot of baby wipe companies improved their product formulations. (Coincidently, this started happening after I had published my Baby Wipes Rating List.) Because I run the Baby Wipes Rating List, I review baby wipes ingredients every year and this post reflects the current list of ingredients (or at least it was current at the beginning of this year). I will be reviewing ingredients for changes in January of next year. ~Irina

  9. Ashley

    My daughter is two and she just started breaking out today all over from these wipes. I am afraid to use wipes now. What is the best option to clear this up besides using different wipes?

  10. Elsie Sullivan

    I am a 72 year old woman with a little bit of a butt condition lately. I recently purchased and just used Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes for this problem. On first swipe I almost fell off the seat from the unbearable stinging sensation. My first thought was… what in the world is in these things? And then…how would a baby be able to bear with this? … I would never use these things on a baby and will not be using them any more for myself!

  11. dominique

    have you tried WaterWipes??? they only have 2 ingredients! water and 0.1 percent of fruit extract!! (: we just switched bc my son got a blister that looks like a chemical burn while using pampers “sensitive” wipes!!!!

  12. Kari

    This might be silly, but do you know if there is soy oil or any type of soy in Pamper’s sensitive baby wipes?

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