Background: Allergic contact dermatitis commonly occurs on the face. Facial cleansing wipes may be an underrecognized source of allergens.
Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of potentially allergenic ingredients in facial wet wipes.
Methods: Ingredient lists from name brand and generic facial wipes from 4 large retailers were analyzed.
Results: 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%).
Conclusions: Many potential allergens are present in facial wet wipes, including fragrances, preservatives, botanicals, glucosides, and propylene glycol.