How does a Pampers® nappy work and what is it made of?

As parents, you want a 100% safe, comfortable nappy that keeps your baby dry and lets him explore the world. Pampers® has been designing nappies for 50 years with exactly this in mind: making sure that performance and comfort go hand-in-hand with safety.

Find out everything that makes the quality and dependability of a Pampers® nappy, from the selection of our components (the ones we use and the ones we don’t use!), to how our nappies work.

A 100% safe composition, communicated in total transparency

Before they become part of a Pampers® product, the components undergo rigorous selection.

Our researchers work in collaboration with paediatricians, paediatric dermatologists and toxicologists to validate the safety of the selected components and the finished baby products.

All of the components we use are dermatologically tested and meet the evaluation criteria of the EU Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety, SCCS/1564/15.

Pampers® Baby-dry™ nappies and Pampers® Pure Protection nappies take this a step further since they are also certified to the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®, an independent certification that tests for the presence of several hundred harmful substances. This label is particularly demanding when it comes to products in contact with baby’s sensitive skin.

Did you know?

Pampers® has been communicating its list of components on its website. It is also present on packs of Baby-dry™ nappies, Baby-dry™nappy pants, Premium Protection™ new born nappies and Pure Protection nappies so that parents can make their choice in total transparency.

How does a Pampers® nappy work and what is it made of?

Each part of a Pampers® nappy has a specific role. But they all have the same purpose: to give your baby safety, comfort and performance.

Absorbent core
Stretch Fastenings
Flexible Elastics
Wetness indicator
Fun Designs

- Absorbent core: This is the core of Pampers® technology! It absorbs moisture and keeps it away from your baby’s skin to make sure it stays healthy and dry.

Here is everything contained in our absorbent core:

  • The super absorbent: it is a material common to all disposable nappies, which has the ability to absorb up to 30 times its weight! It absorbs and traps liquid in just a few seconds. These super absorbents are totally safe and chemically inert, as proven by more than 400 studies on this component (conducted on over 300,000 nappies!) and on possible contacts, in particular with the skin.
  • Cellulose: is a material of natural origin that absorbs moisture. All of the cellulose used in Pampers® is sustainably sourced. This is one way that Pampers® is committed to sustainable forest management and meets the requirements of European regulation No. 995/2010.

Pampers® has developed a unique combination of super absorbents and cellulose for high-performance nappies that help to give your baby great comfort. Finding the right balance between the use of super absorbents and cellulose ensures the nappy is neither too thick nor hinders baby’s movements (and that helps to avoid the infamous “wet bulk”!).

- Topsheet: it draws moisture to the inside of the nappy to keep your baby’s skin nice and dry. The top sheet, which comes in contact with your baby’s skin, contains polypropylene fibres to make it soft and comfortable for baby.

- Backsheet: this is the back of the nappy. It keeps moisture from transferring to the bed or baby’s clothes. It is composed of polyethylene and an inner envelope of polypropylene for softness and comfort.

- Stretch fastenings: these repositionable strips are soft and help the nappy fit perfectly on your baby. They are composed of polypropylene and polyester fibres that add softness and flexibility for even more comfort for your baby.

- Flexible elastics: they help the nappy conform to your baby’s body shape, around the legs, for added comfort and to avoid leaks. Pampers® does not use rubber or latex which could be allergenic. Instead we use elastane and polypropylene.

Adhesives: these are used to keep the components all together and avoid leakage. They do not come in contact with your baby’s skin. Pampers® uses only solvent-free adhesives.

In response to our consumers’ expectations, we have worked with our suppliers to improve the smell of some of our adhesives. These materials all undergo rigorous selection and detailed evaluation, and their usage safety has been demonstrated. They are not in contact with baby’s skin. No allergen from the EU cosmetic regulation’s list of 26 is used in any of these materials.

- Lotion*: to protect your baby’s skin and help reduce the risk of nappy rash, a patented protective balm is placed on the nappy’s topsheet. The components in this lotion comply with European regulations. It contains:

  • Petrolatum: “Petrolatum is nothing more than the popular Vaseline, a safe, inoffensive remedy commonly used in dermatology for over 100 years. (…) commonly used to reduce the risk of diaper rash in newborns.” explains Dr. Alain Taïeb, head of of Paediatric Dermatology at the CHU Hospital of Bordeaux. It undergoes pharmaceutical grade purification and is totally safe for babies.
  • Extract of Aloe barbadensis (Aloe Vera) leaf for softness.
  • Liquid paraffin which is a fatty substance used in pharmaceutics to fight dehydration.
  • For its moisturising properties, an emulsifier commonly used in pharmaceutics called stearyl alcohol.

You can read your pack to check the presence of lotion in your nappy.

- Adorable drawings: located on the outside of the nappy, they amuse both parents and babies! They contain non-sensitising pigments that are non-soluble in water (so they cannot penetrate the skin).

- Wetness indicator (only on our Premium Protection™ nappies and our Pampers® Pure Protection nappies): Soooo convenient! The strip changes colour to tell you when it’s time to change your baby! It is a yellow strip that reacts to variations in pH: it turns blue when in contact with baby’s urine.

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Elastane, polyester, polypropylene… what are they?

All of the fibres contained in Pampers® nappies could also be found in… your clothing as well as your baby’s! They are technical fibres with specific properties that contribute to the comfort and performance of Pampers® nappies.

  • Polypropylene gives softness and comfort to all parts of the nappy that are in contact with baby’s skin. It is an extremely resistant fibre; it doesn’t break so it keeps “pilling” from forming and avoids friction on the skin.
  • Polyester helps spread moisture across the entire nappy length. It is also widely used in sportswear.
  • Polyethylene film of our backsheet has two particularly important properties: it is both water-repellant and breathable. Clinically tested, it avoids leaks and helps the skin stay nice and dry thanks to its micro-aeration channels.
  • Elastane is an elastic fibre contained in many fabrics, and you probably had in your maternity wear, for example! Thanks to its elastic properties, it helps the nappy stay perfectly in place by following baby’s movements while avoiding any marks or leaks.

These fibres are cleverly combined to draw moisture to the centre of the nappy and trap it there to limit the proliferation of bacteria.

Because we want to give your baby 100% safe nappies and nappy pants, there are some things we don’t add to the composition of our products.

Pampers® does not add any toxic or dangerous substances to its products. Baby’s safety has always been our top priority.

We do NOT add the following substances in our nappies:

  • Preservatives. Pampers® does not use preservatives in its nappies, nor do we use: formaldehyde or formaldehyde generators; MIT or CMIT; parabens; phenoxyethanol; quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs); triclocarban or triclosan.
  • Bisphenol A (BPA), dioxins, dispersed colorings, elemental chlorine, ethanol, heavy metals (like lead and mercury), organotins, parabens, pesticides, phenol, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH).
  • Natural latex and rubber that can sometimes be allergenic.
  • Pampers® Baby-dry™ nappies, Baby-dry™ nappy pants, Premium protection™ new baby nappies and Pure Protection nappies do not contain any of the 26 allergens listed by the European Union’s regulatory agency.

Some of these substances are present in our environment and can therefore be found in traces in a wide variety of everyday products from nappies, to tap water, to food.

If you have any questions about Pampers® nappies, check out our FAQ page or call our Customer Service at 0800 328 3281 for UK and 1 800 535 124 for IRE (free call and service, Mondays to Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m).

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