BCAM supports the ban of wet wipes

11 May 2018

Earlier this week, it was revealed that wet wipes could be non-existent over the next few decades as part of the UK government’s plan to eliminate plastic waste.

Following this, the British College of Aesthetic Medicine (BCAM) spokesperson and director of London Aesthetic Clinic, Dr Uliana Gout provided research supporting that not only does she believe that wet wipes pollute the earth, but they could also be responsible for a rise in specific skin conditions.

She explained, “I believe there is definitely a link between certain skin conditions being aggravated when using certain wet wipes, particularly in patients with rosacea and eczema. This has been evidenced by numerous recent studies. Furthermore, although many wipes contain the same ingredients as cleansers including surfactants, solublisers and emulsifiers, the mechanical rubbing process without rinsing means that you are redistributing the make-up or dirt elsewhere on the face and only achieving a partial cleanse. I think there is somewhat of a misconception that one is actually cleaning your face fully.”

Gout also went on to say, “Importantly, we have to note the affects some non-biodegradable wipes have on our environment in relation to plastic pollution and sewage blockages. Even wipes labelled as 'flushable' can contain plastics and as such they may not fully biodegrade. I would advise as an industry we review our daily practices and take note of the concerns arising from the use of facial/body wet wipes which have become the norm for much of the global population.”

BCAM president, Dr Paul Charlson added to this stating, "Some wet wipes can damage the skin's natural lipid layer leading to irritant dermatitis whilst others contain potential allergens such as Methylsothiazoline which can lead to contact dermatitis. Apart from the environmental aspect of reducing wet wipe use it would seem sensible to do reduce their use for clinical reasons."


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