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What is petrolatum used for in baby diapers?

What is petrolatum?

Petrolatum can sound like an unappealing name, but it is simply the technical name of commonly used ingredient in everyday lotion products, as explained by the head of Pediatric Dermatology at the CHU Hospital of Bordeaux, Dr. Alain Taïeb: “Petrolatum is nothing more than the product known under the popular brand Vaseline®, a safe, inoffensive remedy commonly used in dermatology for over 100 years”. It is a safe component used every day in the medical and pediatric world and which you can apply without any risk to delicate or damaged skin. As the former President of the European Society for Pediatric Dermatology, Dr. Daniel Hohl explains, petrolatum is “an inert component not only commonly used in cosmetics but also regularly recommended by dermatologists and pediatricians to protect babies’ skin”. It is often prescribed by dermatologists to treat diaper rash, for example.

What does it do?

Since petrolatum is a fatty substance, it helps protect the skin by creating a hydrophobic barrier to help protect against wetness. It keeps skin moisturized by keeping it from dehydrating (water loss is reduced by over 98%). This component is present in most cosmetic lotions. It is also used to treat dry skin (like lip care, for instance), irritation lesions or superficial burns. You can also find it in certain baby creams to treat diaper rash.

Why use it in baby diapers?

Petrolatum has been used for many years in lotion to protect baby’s skin. Pampers®diapers contain a small quantity on the topsheet in contact with the skin in order to protect it better.
The petrolatum we use is purified to pharmaceutical grade, fragrance-free, and is completely safe for your baby. It has several properties that are particularly important for respecting your baby’s skin and ensuring his or her comfort:

- It softens the contact between the diaper and baby’s skin and reduces the risk of redness.

- It acts as a water-repellent protective barrier, strengthening protection from moisture and irritations.

- It lets the skin breathe and keeps it soft and healthy. The quantity of lotion used forms a very fine layer that does not work as an occlusive barrier.

- It is a completely “inert” substance (it does not react with other substances) that is totally safe for the skin.

Did you know?

We use one dab of petrolatum for 10 diapers. There’s no need to use more; this is the ideal quantity to enable the lotion to spread evenly over the diaper and protect your baby’s skin while letting it breathe.

What the experts say
Physician and dermatological pediatrician, Dr. Daniel Hohl, former President of the European Society for Pediatric Dermatology, has extensively studied the safety tests performed on Pampers diapers and certifies that “these products are perfectly safe to use on baby skin. Petrolatum is an inert component that is not only commonly used in cosmetics but also regularly recommended by dermatologists and pediatricians to protect babies’ skin.”
We also asked the head of Pediatric Dermatology at the CHU Hospital of Bordeaux, Dr. Alain Taïeb, who confirms the safety of this component: “Personally, I recommend it for emollient care in children, especially to treat atopic dermatitis. It is also commonly used to reduce the risk of diaper rash in newborns.”

A safe composition, explained in full transparency

Before becoming a part of Pampers diapers, components are subject to very rigorous selection.

- Pampers® works in partnership with pediatricians, dermo-pediatricians and toxicologists to validate the safety of the components selected, as well as that of our finished baby products.

To find out more about the composition of Pampers® diapers, click here

We are constantly listening to parents: even after a product comes out of our production lines, we continue to ensure its quality and safety. If you have any comments or queries, don’t hesitate to contact us:
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