The Wipe: A Carrier of Skin Benefits


Wet wipes in the personal care area are a relatively new and quickly developing product category. In this article, we review the functions, history and benefits of wet wipes. We also describe methods of assessing clinical benefit in two areas: gentle infant skin cleaning and sunscreen efficacy.

What Is a Wipe?

A wet wipe for personal-care use is typically constructed from a substrate material, a lotion and a container. Figure 1 demonstrates these different parts of a wipe along with their key functions. Both the substrate and lotion have changed since wet wipes were introduced more than 30 years ago (see sidebar).

Modern substrate materials are often combinations of many fiber types, including synthetic (e.g. polyolefin), viscose, cotton and cellulose, chosen to achieve desired tactile properties. Fibers are formed into strong, tear-resistant wipe substrates using a variety of technologies for non-woven materials. Chemical binder materials are sometimes included to add strength.

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