Wet wipes ingredients are essential factors that create a completed formula. Knowing the substances in these wipes would tell you whether they are safe for use. Moreover, you can verify hidden ingredients in some poor-quality wipes; hence avoid buying them. Continue reading to learn the truth about wet tissues in this article.
Learn more: The leading & trusted wet wipes manufacturer in the market
Wet wipes are made up of various ingredients, but there are 3 main ingredients that must have in any kind of wipes: Cloth, water and preservatives.
Nowadays, most manufacturers use nonwoven fabric to produce wet wipes. Nonwoven fabric is defined as sheet or web structures bonded together by chemical, mechanical, heat, or solvent treatment, which are neither woven nor knitted. Based on the production method, nonwoven fabric is made from 3 main types of fibers:
It is recommended that you choose wipes that contains high concentration of natural plant and animal fibers rather than synthetic or plastic fibers. This is because they are soft, smooth, skin-friendly, even baby skin. In contrast, synthetic fibers are produced from chemical materials obtained from coal and petroleum,… They may have a high potential to cause skin irritation and difficult to degrade in the natural environment.
Because of the above characteristics and properties, wet wipes with non-woven fabrics contain more natural or selected artificial fibers, such as viscose/rayon, which is softer and safer for the skin.
Water is an indispensable ingredient, and accounts for 90% of wet wipes. Water acts as a solvent to dissolve other substances and keep the moisture balance in the wipes. The water in wet wipes must be processed to remove all impurities and harmful bacteria. Currently, manufacturers often use RO water purification technology (reverse osmosis technology) to filter contaminants, metals, and bacteria with petite sizes (<0.001 micrometers). However, there is still 0.2 – 2% of small-sized single ions after RO filtration, therefore it has yet to remove harmful components.
Many manufacturers have applied a more modern, quality water purification technology – EDI technology to solve that problem. Its operation mechanism uses electric currents to exchange and separate impurity ions from the water source. It does not use chemicals such as acid and caustic soda to regenerate. EDI or ultra-pure water has a safe pH of about 4.5 – 5.5. Thanks to that, the nutrients are easily absorbed into the wipes, increasing skincare effectiveness. More importantly, this water is safe and gentle on even super-sensitive skin like baby skin.
In addition to cloth and water, preservatives are often added in wet wipes to prevent and eliminate dirty fungi and harmful microorganisms, thereby extending their shelf life and quality. Paraben, Phenoxyl Ethanol, Benzoyl Peroxide, MethylParaben, Formaldehyde, MIT/MIT, (Methylisothiazolinone), Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Chlorhexidine Gluconate Solution… are common preservatives found in wipes. However, not all of them are safe and non-toxic ingredients. Many studies indicated that some adverse preservatives such as Parabens, Formaldehyde, and methylisothiazolinone (MIT),… may cause health problems and skin irritation, especially in babies’ sensitive skin. Therefore, you should find and buy wet wipes that do not contain such preservatives to ensure the health of yourself and your family.
Read more: 9 harmful ingredients in wet wipes & Label reading guide (latest updated)
In addition to the antibacterial agent (also known as the preservative), manufacturers now add antibacterial agents with other specialized uses such as anti-inflammation, anti-itching agents like Coco phosphatidyl PG-Dimonium Chloride,…).
The completed formula contains not only these components but also various optional ingredients in wet wipes. Depending on the intended use, they are added by the manufacturers to achieve a particular function of wipes.
Surfactants are used in wet wipes with a cleaning effect. Surfactants contain both hydrophilic and hydrophobic radicals. The hydrophobic radicals will bind with sebum on the skin’s surface to remove them. However, this process can lead to removing liquids from the skin and damaging the skin barrier. This effect is worsened by high concentrations of surfactants in wet wipes—exceeding 1% can be dangerous. Therefore, it is better to use surfactants that do not remove liquids from the skin and only remove oil particles.
Surfactants are generally classified into anionic (negatively charged), cationic (positively charged), and non-ionic (no net charge). Among them, non-ionic surfactants are the most gentle on the skin. Some active substances we often encounter include Coco-glucoside, Decyl glucoside, Lauryl glucoside, and Coco-betaine,…
Discover now: Wet facial tissues | Benefits & Tips to choose the right one for skin
In addition, fragrances are included in the ingredients list of some tissue wipes. It makes wet wipes smell nice and easily attract users. Furthermore, the fragrance also contributes to removing unwanted scents during manufacturing because their original smell is pungent and offensive to the user.
Fragrances used in wet wipes include 2 types: natural fragrance and synthetic fragrance:
However, using products containing synthetic fragrances, in the long-term, can lead to skin irritation. Therefore, you should use unscented products to ensure the skin’s safety. If you prefer scented wipes, you should choose ones that contain natural fragrances as they are less likely to cause skin irritation or related skin problems. In particular, if you have sensitive skin, you should use sample products or small packages to test how your skin reacts to the product before applying directly.
The formulation also includes PH adjusters such as Citric Acid or Sodium Citrate. They are added to serve two critical purposes – to match the pH of the surface of the skin and to prevent the growth of microorganisms in the formulation. The pH is set around 4.5 -5.0 which is close to that of healthy skin.
Most ingredients will be clearly stated on the product label so that users can learn carefully before buying. However, some ingredients are not listed on the label, leading to many users accidentally buying products that are harmful to health, especially babies. Those can be as below:
Formaldehyde is one of the hidden ingredients in wet wipes. This substance acts as a preservative that inhibits, and eliminates bacteria growth and increases the product’s shelf life. However, The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and The International Agency for Research on Cancer have reported that Formaldehyde is a potentially carcinogenic substance. In addition, The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep gave Formaldehyde the highest score on a scale of 1 – 10 for adverse health effects. Moreover, in 2015 The American Contact Dermatitis Society named Formaldehyde as the Allergen of the Year 2015.
Therefore, wet wipes that include Formaldehyde can cause symptoms such as itching, allergy, swollen, red skin, or dry and bumpy skin. Over time, the skin can darken and become leathery. These symptoms are likely more severe for thin, sensitive skin. Therefore, to avoid buying such products, you can carefully read the ingredient list to see if any of the following are available:
Another hidden ingredient in wet wipes is ethylene oxide. This substance is used to reduce skin irritation when using the product. However, during processing, this substance also creates a by-product called 1,4-dioxane. Both substances are classified as possible carcinogens. The Environmental Working Group has given ethylene oxide a rating of 8-10. If you use wet wipes containing ethylene oxide, it can irritate the skin, seriously on the baby’s skin. When buying wet wipes, you need to avoid those that contain the following ingredients to avoid ethylene oxide:
Phthalates are another ingredient that is often hidden from the ingredient list in wet wipes. It acts as a fragrance agent in wet wipes. However, according to EWG, this substance is often associated with endocrine disorders and related to problems such as allergies, dermatitis, and respiratory failure, … if used for a long time. Therefore, you are better off buying wet wipes that are unscented or contain scents of natural origin.
Helpful information about wet wipes production:
Wet wipes are now commonly used in daily activities, especially for babies. When choosing, you should consider wet wipes ingredients. It’s better to buy products containing safe ingredients, derived from nature to ensure the health of your child and family. However, there are some harmful ingredients that are hidden under other names so you should read the information carefully. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us by following information Website: https://dhti.vn/en/