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Are Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes Ingredients Safe?

Are Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes Ingredients Safe?Before we talk about Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes ingredients, let me tell you something.   When I started writing this blog, 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.


We found an internal medicine practitioner. He confirmed this principle.  Whatever we put on our skin bypassed the digestive system, and those chemicals can be absorbed directly into your tissues and organs.


If a chemical reaches our blood, it would potentially be metabolized and/or filtered out by the liver and kidneys. However, how well that works, would depend on the person, the chemical, and the amount of the chemical involved.


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.


There is another reason why I am so passionate about putting pressure on the baby wipes manufacturers to produce safer baby wipes. One of the biggest problems is that synthetic surfactants and preservatives in baby wipes can irritate babies’ skin, sometimes even painfully. Babies can’t talk and when they hurt, they can’t tell us.


However, there is good news! When I first started reviewing baby wipes, many baby wipes contained formaldehyde-releasing preservatives. My heart ached to hear from parents about their babies’ painful skin rashes.


Luckily, many manufacturers have taken out formaldehyde-releasing preservatives and replaced them with phenoxyethanol, which was a big improvement. In this year’s review, I noticed that the trend is replacing phenoxyethanol, which appears to be even more good news. But our job is not done yet. We can demand even safer baby wipes!


With this introduction, let’s talk about the Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes ingredients in 2018.


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.  I call every year when I update my Baby Wipes Rating List.


List of Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes Ingredients


Water, Xanthan Gum, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Bis-PEG/PPG-16/16 PEG/PPG-16/16 Dimethicone, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Benzoate, Disodium EDTA, Sorbitan Caprylate, Polypropylene, Rayon


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 the manufacturer of the ingredient does not use the vacuum-cleaning process, they can become contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which is considered a carcinogen by some. Therefore, it is best to avoid the following ingredients 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 obviously not be usable as wipes (even if you could afford to pay to have them tested). Obviously, this is not practical, so in my opinion, I would recommend you avoid them 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 the carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane because these synthetic ingredients were produced with ethylene oxide.  The by-product of this chemical reaction is 1,4-dioxane.

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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 on unsustainable crude oil to make baby wipes?


Preservatives in Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes Ingredients


One of the reasons baby wipes may irritate the delicate skin of a baby is because of preservatives. Unfortunately, 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 have improved this year! It is so great to see consumer pressure at work!


They removed phenoxyethanol, a potential skin allergen!


Phenoxyethanol: is rated 4 in the Skin Deep database powered by the Environmental Working Group; skin irritation is of high concern (for more information, visit here).


Now they use Sodium Benzoate, which is a huge improvement. However, in 2017 Sodium Benzoate was added to the American Contact Dermatitis Society Core Allergen Series as one of the allergens. They say that it increases the risk of an allergic reaction if used over 5%.  I do not have information as to how much is used in the Pampers baby wipes.  So if you see that your baby’s skin is irritated, in my opinion, I would discontinue the use of the wipes immediately.


Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes Ingredients of Low Concern


Citric Acid and Sodium Citrate: Only a small amount of it is used to regulate the pH of baby wipes so I do not think there is a skin irritation concern here. However, most citric acid/sodium citrate used on the market is derived from GMO corn and I do not have any information as to how the citric acid in Pampers wipes is derived.


Sorbitan Caprylate: is a relatively new chemical and there is not much information on it yet. By the way, if you use the Skin Deep database for your product research, make sure to pay attention to data availability. Here are some helpful tips on how to use the Skin Deep database effectively.


Disodium EDTA: while this chemical is safe, it increases skin absorption though, which means that if there are any contaminants that we talked about earlier, their absorption will be increased.


Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes Fabric


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


Polypropylene means plastic with recycle code 5. While it is one of the safest types of plastic, I am still not a big fan of it. First, it is not biodegradable. Second, recent studies have shown that almost all plastic may contain estrogen-mimicking chemicals.


Rayon is made from wood pulp. The process of conversion of the material from wood to the fabric may involve solvents that may be potentially toxic to the environment.


Conclusion About Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes Ingredients


While there are good improvements in the formulation of Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes ingredients, I can’t recommend them mainly due to the risk of carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane contamination and the risk of skin irritation. In my 2018 Baby Wipes Rating List, there are 35 other wipes rated so you might check it out so you can choose the safest baby wipes for your baby.


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Are Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes Ingredients Safe?

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30 thoughts on “Are Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes Ingredients Safe?”

  1. 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.

  2. 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. 🙂

      1. 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… 😉

        1. 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?

          1. 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.

  3. 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!

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

    1. Hi Ines, I do not see the ingredients listed on the company’s website. So I emailed the company to confirm the ingredients. I will let you know when I hear from them. Where did you find the ingredients?

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

    1. 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

  7. 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?

  8. 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!

    1. I’m in my mid 60s and I’ve tried different kinds of butt wipes and they all gave me a rash. I talked my husband into installing a bidet. If you have that option, it’s a great way to go. He even loves it. We also moved to a home with a septic tank and you cannot use wipes in them. So the bidet is great

  9. 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!!!!

  10. Citric Acid hurts chaffed skin. If you don’t believe me, try a little lemon juice on your lips the next time they are chapped. Wash clothes warm water and a little simple soap and then rinse will always win over wipes.

    1. Of course, it will. Lemon can also irritate healthy skin. It is a matter of the amounts though. I applaud you for not using baby wipes. No baby wipes are better than the safest baby wipes. I washed my baby under the running water instead. However, I can’t expect others to do the same, especially when traveling. Thank you, Marcia, for your input. ~Irina

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