Allergenic Ingredients in Facial Wet Wipes

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Allergic contact dermatitis commonly occurs on the face. Facial cleansing wipes may be an underrecognized source of allergens.


The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of potentially allergenic ingredients in facial wet wipes.


Ingredient lists from name brand and generic facial wipes from 4 large retailers were analyzed.


In the 178 facial wipes examined, a total of 485 ingredients were identified (average, 16.7 ingredients per wipe). Excluding botanicals, the top 15 potentially allergenic ingredients were glycerin (64.0%), fragrance (63.5%), phenoxyethanol (53.9%), citric acid (51.1%), disodium EDTA (44.4%), sorbic acid derivatives (39.3%), tocopherol derivatives (38.8%), polyethylene glycol derivatives (32.6%), glyceryl stearate (31.5%), sodium citrate (29.8%), glucosides (27.5%), cetearyl alcohol (25.8%), propylene glycol (25.3%), sodium benzoate (24.2%), and ceteareth-20 (23.6%)/parabens (23.6%). Of note, methylisothiazolinone (2.2%) and methylchloroisothiazolinone (1.1%) were uncommon. The top potential allergens of botanical origin included Aloe barbadensis (41.0%), chamomile extracts (27.0%), tea extracts (21.3%), Cucumis sativus (20.2%), and Hamamelis virginiana (10.7%).


Many potential allergens are present in facial wet wipes, including fragrances, preservatives, botanicals, glucosides, and propylene glycol.

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