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Vol. 96. Núm. 6.
Páginas 774-776 (01 Novembro 2021)
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Vol. 96. Núm. 6.
Páginas 774-776 (01 Novembro 2021)
Research Letter
Open Access
Analysis of the components and pH of a sample of wet wipers used for the hygiene of newborns and infants
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Rosana Lazzarinia,b,
Autor para correspondência
rosana.fototerapia@gmail.com

Corresponding author.
, Mariana de Figueiredo Silva Hafnera, Carolina Contin Proençaa, Luciana Rodino Lemesc, Ana Carolina Rodriguesb, Danielle Vieira Sobralb
a Dermatology Clinic, Santa Casa de Misericórdia de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
b Faculty of Medical Sciences, Santa Casa de Misericórdia São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
c Hospital Pedro Ernesto, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
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Tabelas (4)
Table 1. pH measurements of the evaluated wet wipers.
Table 2. Surfactants found on the labels of evaluated products.
Table 3. Preservatives found on the labels of evaluated products.
Table 4. Fragrances found on the labels of evaluated products.
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Dear Editor,

Newborns and infants are susceptible to the occurrence of contact dermatitis in the diaper area, both in the irritative (ICD) and allergic (ACD) forms, due to constant exposure to their fecal waste, urine, and hygiene products.1

In this context, the use of wet wipers allows the cleaning of children regardless of the circumstances, speeding up and facilitating its practice in any location. These products consist of pieces of fabric soaked in an aqueous emulsion or oily lotion. Their use, however, can lead to adverse events and, therefore, care should be taken regarding their composition.2

The aim of the present work was to evaluate the characteristics of wet wipes commercialized in the city of São Paulo, Brazil, through the analysis of their pH values and composition.

Forty-two samples of wet wipers were acquired (from different locations and at variable prices) and cataloged. Each brand was analyzed separately in a reference laboratory.

Centrifuge tubes with 14 mL filters (Amicon™ Ultra-4 Centrifugal Filters) were used. The wipers of each brand were cut and positioned in a porous membrane filter with ultrafiltration capacity, in order to fill it completely. Each tube was identified and centrifuged (Eppendorf Centrifuge 5810 R™) for 30 minutes at 4,000 rotations per minute, which was repeated five times. At the end of the process, the amount of 2 mL of the aqueous solution was obtained from each wet wipe, which was then submitted to pH analysis using an appropriately calibrated benchtop pH meter (QUIMIS™ - Q400AS).3

The obtained pH measurements ranged from 3.53 to 7.43 (Table 1). Values ​​between 5.5 and 7.0 were found in 18 products (43%), a range considered to be ideal, close to the pH of the skin. However, more than half of the samples (54.7%) showed values ​​below this level, and one sample was >7.0. Products with a pH different from that of the skin can cause changes in the skin barrier functions: the lower ones act as irritants, and the higher ones inhibit the activity of proteases, making lipid synthesis difficult.4

Table 1.

pH measurements of the evaluated wet wipers.

Commercial brand  pH after centrifuging 
Baby Ever Care lavender-scented  6.90 
Baby Ever Care fragrance-free  4.54 
Baby Ever Care with aloe vera  4.81 
Be better baby with aloe vera  5.05 
Baby ever care with chamomile (yellow color)  5.89 
Be better baby fragrance-free for sensitive skin  5.20 
Bebê Natureza  5.07 
Baby Wipes  5.65 
Baby sec super premium Galinha Pintadinha  6.45 
Baby sec ultrafresh Galinha Pintadinha  4.63 
Bummis Capricho  5.77 
Cotton Line Bichos  6.62 
Dove Baby  4.54 
Dove Baby Sensitive  4.63 
Dry baby plus  5.70 
Enxutita by Capricho  6.20 
Feel clean  6.28 
Giovanna Baby  4.84 
Granado  5.33 
Huggies pure care  5.58 
Huggies supreme care  5.54 
Huggies one & done  6.02 
Huggies classic  5.50 
Johnson’s (orange color)  4.76 
Johnson’s bedtime  4.72 
Johnson’s newborn  5.18 
Johnson’s fresh touch (green color)  5.53 
Johnson’s skin protection (pink color)  5.33 
Johnson’s baby time to play (blue color)  5.26 
Johnson’s newborn hypoallergenic  5.11 
Meu bebê ultra  5.76 
Mustela  4.62 
Natural baby  5.39 
Natura  6.14 
Needs  7.43 
Pampers fresh clean  3.56 
Pampers sensitive  3.98 
Personalidade baby  4.70 
Petty baby  5.65 
Piquitucho  5.28 
Qualitá  5.03 
Vic baby  5.93 

The packaging of the products was also analyzed to verify the composition described on the labels by the manufacturers, specifying surfactants, preservatives, and fragrances (Table 2, 3 and 4).

Table 2.

Surfactants found on the labels of evaluated products.

Surfactants  Number 
Cocamidopropyl betaine  24  57.1 
Polysorbate 20  15  35.7 
Lauryl glucoside  07  16.6 
Coco glucoside  07  16.6 
PEG-40 castor oil  05  11.9 
Sodium laureth sulfate  04  9.5 
Bis PEG/PPG-16/16  02  4.7 
C12-13 pareth 3  01  2.3 
C12-13 pareth 23  01  2.3 
Glyceryl stearate  01  2.3 
Table 3.

Preservatives found on the labels of evaluated products.

Preservative  Number 
Phenoxyethanol  29  69.0 
Sodium benzoate  16  38.0 
Methylparaben  12  29.5 
Methylisothiazolinone (MI)  09  21.4 
Bronopol  06  14.2 
DMDM hydantoin  04  9.5 
Isobutylparaben  04  9.5 
Butylparaben  04  9.5 
Propylparaben  04  9.5 
Methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI)  03  7.1 
Potassium Sorbate  03  7.1 
Diazolidinyl urea  02  4.7 
Ethylparaben  02  4.7 
Table 4.

Fragrances found on the labels of evaluated products.

Fragrance  Number 
Perfume  29  69.0 
Coumarin  14  33.0 
Citronellol  13  30.1 
Linalool  12  28.6 
Geraniol  11  26.2 
Limonene  08  19.0 
Hexyl cinnamal  06  14.3 
Citral  03  7.1 
Hydroxycitronellal  03  7.1 
Cinnamic alcohol  03  7.1 
Eugenol  01  2.4 
d-limonene  01  2.4 

Surfactants are compounds added to hygiene products that have detergent and foaming power. The most common was cocamidopropyl betaine, present in 57.1% of the products. This is a substance with widespread use due to its low cost, good cleaning capacity, moderate antimicrobial activity, non-toxicity, and compatibility with different pHs. However, studies have demonstrated its allergenic capacity, including in children.2,5

Preservatives are added to ensure durability, avoiding contamination after the package is opened. In the analyzed products, phenoxyethanol was the most commonly used. It is a safe preservative, with a broad antimicrobial spectrum and low capacity to induce ACD, recommended for products to be used in children. On the other hand, the presence of preservatives with high allergenic capacity was observed, such as methylisothiazolinone and formaldehyde-releasing agents (Bronopol, DMDM ​​hydantoin and Diazolidinyl urea).6

The presence of parabens was observed in several of the analyzed products. Although they are controversial because of their possible relationship with breast cancer, they have a low allergenic capacity.2 Their relationship with cancer has never been clarified and their use is allowed in Europe and the USA, since their estrogenic activity seems to be very low. In Brazil, their use is authorized by the Brazilian Health Surveillance Agency (Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária – [ANVISA]) according to Resolution n. 29/2012.7,8

Fragrances are products that often cause ACD. In this evaluation, 104 fragrances were found, with an average of 2.47 per product. The designation “perfume” was found in 29 (69%) products, a term used for components that do not require discrimination on the label as they are within the limits established by ANVISA, which, however, does not eliminate the risk for ACD. Only nine products (21.4%) were considered “fragrance-free”, after the components were evaluated.2,9

Wet wipers represent a great advance as they are very practical for hygiene but they have the potential to cause adverse events. Thus, their use should be assessed, especially in atopic children or children with skin lesions in the diaper area.10

Financial support

None declared.

Authors' contributions

Rosana Lazzarini: Design and planning of the study; drafting and editing of the manuscript; collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; effective participation in research orientation; intellectual participation in the propaedeutic and/or therapeutic conduct of the studied cases; critical review of the literature; critical review of the manuscript; approval of the final version of the manuscript.

Mariana de Figueiredo Silva Hafner: Design and planning of the study; drafting and editing of the manuscript; collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; effective participation in research orientation; intellectual participation in the propaedeutic and/or therapeutic conduct of studied cases; critical review of the literature; critical review of the manuscript; approval of the final version of the manuscript.

Carolina Contin Proença: Effective participation in research orientation; intellectual participation in the propaedeutic and/or therapeutic conduct of studied cases; critical review of the literature; critical review of the manuscript; approval of the final version of the manuscript.

Luciana Rodino Lemes: Effective participation in research orientation; intellectual participation in the propaedeutic and/or therapeutic conduct of studied cases; critical review of the literature; critical review of the manuscript; approval of the final version of the manuscript.

Ana Carolina Rodrigues: Drafting and editing of the manuscript; collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; approval of the final version of the manuscript.

Danielle Vieira Sobral: Collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; approval of the final version of the manuscript.

Conflicts of interest

None declared.

References
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anvisa.gov [Internet]. Resolução da diretoria colegiada- RDC no 3, de 21 de janeiro de 2012 [cited 2020 Jul 25]. Available from: www.anvisa.gov.br/legis.
[10]
M.S. Pogačar, U. Maver, N.M. Varda, D. Mičetić-Turk.
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How to cite this article: Lazzarini R, Hafner MFS, Proença CC, Lemes LR, Rodrigues AC, Sobral DV. Analysis of the components and pH of a sample of wet wipers used for the hygiene of newborns and infants. An Bras Dermatol. 2021;96:774–6.

Study conducted at the Dermatology Clinic, Santa Casa de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.

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