‘Do It Your Way’

By Colleen M. Rocafort, Sam Naggiar, Anja Stork, Petra Schulte & Ashish Taneja, PhD, BASF Corporation | September 4, 2012

Developing personal care wipes products to meet tomorrow’s needs.

The wipes market is continuously growing and baby wipes, as a category, continues to be well positioned. Based on Euro­monitor International data from 2010, global growth for baby wipes is forecasted with a CAGR of 3.5% until 2015, led by growth in emerging markets. General purpose and intimate wash wipes are expected to have the highest relative growth in value until 2015 with an estimated CAGR of 4.6% and 6.5%, respectively. Private label is also significantly gaining market share.

North America and Western Europe continue to dominate the wipes market with around 60% of the total personal care wet wipes retail market, but this growth can be attributed to diversification and segmentation and not necessarily market growth. Products are being segmented for different application areas (e.g., feminine hygiene, kids, family and men’s care, patient/medical care, flushable and pet care) and product forms, delivering extra benefits and active performance. There is also an increasing demand for natural concepts for both the fabric substrate and the lotion.


Based on an analysis of global new product launches in 2011, the trends for personal care wipes can be categorized as emerging, growing, consolidated and interesting-new. Table 1 provides an overview mapping trends with new product launches.


Botanical/herbal claims are reported in the majority of new product launches. Natural and eco-friendly claims are becoming more frequent. Free-from claims are expanding from alcohol-free, fragrance-free and colorant-free to additional free-from categories. 

Convenience is still a key driver for wet wipes, strongly linked to the quick and easy usage and the “on-the-go” benefit, which can be seen by extended applications such as deodorants, face care, intimate, family, hand and body, antibacterial, etc. Moisturizing/hydrating and cleansing claims are frequently seen on facial care wipes. Cleansing claims are also often related to waterproof make-up removal. Generally, all claims can be further classified into the following key claim sub-categories: mildness, natural, care, softness, cleansing, task specific and convenience.

Doing it ‘Your Way’

In developing wipes products to meet tomorrow’s needs, some basic questions need to be asked. For example:

• Develop an economical or premium product?
• An all-purpose product or task specific?
• Provide basic cleansing or added value?
• Will it deliver extra benefits, active performance, new application areas and product forms or be a product for a specific wipes sub-segment?
• Contain natural additives or be up to 100% natural?
• Are you working on an individual concept or a universal solution?
• What claims and concepts do you want to deliver?

BASF has developed a Personal Care Technology Matrix to help companies choose the appropriate ingredients for a specific personal care wipes formulation to allow you to “do it your way.”  

The matrix is broken up into several sections. In one part you can choose from the key claim categories and concepts (i.e., mildness, natural, care, softness, cleansing and task specific) that you desire. The other part of the matrix offers you selected BASF technologies chosen and recommended for wipes applications that address these key trends and claims. For each technology described in this tool, possible claim and concept applications are given. Additionally, special benefits of each product are highlighted to offer you even further possibilities for added value products and differentiation.

A Natural Concept

For example, if you want to develop a new personal care wipes product with a “natural” claim, then you could utilize the Personal Care Technology Matrix tool for your development efforts. In the claims & concepts section, select the natural category. The tool will immediately offer the selection of BASF technologies that can be considered to fulfill the demand of natural-based wet wipes formulations.  

The high concentrated micro­emulsion, for example, based on the composition of an effective cleansing emulsifying system, with moisturizing natural lipids and vegetable oil, might be the perfect choice for your natural-based wipes formulation. The INCI name for the material is: vegetable oil (and) glycerin (and) lauryl glucoside (and) polyglyceryl-2 dipolyhydroxystearate (and) glyceryl oleate (and) dicaprylyl carbonate. It is approved for cosmetics according to Natural & Organic Ecocert standards. In a moisturizing study conducted by an independent external testing lab, 3% of the concentrated microemulsion in a baby care wet wipe formulation was found to have a better moisturizing effect on the skin versus selected commercial benchmark baby products.

For sulfate-free systems, alkyl polyglucosides could also be chosen for a natural concept. BASF APG technology is made from 100% renewable feedstock. There are three non-ionic variants to choose from based on the carbon chain length (coco, lauryl and decyl), foam characteristics desired, solubilizing and emulsifying requirements. They are all extremely mild and safe for babies and sensitive skin, have good cleansing power and provide deep-pore cleansing.

The blend of lauryl glucoside carboxylate (and) lauryl glucoside is an enhanced alkyl glucoside technology. An environmentally friendly surfactant, it provides generous, creamy soft foam; has superior skin compatibility and provides improved sensorial (soft feel) effects on the skin. It is an Ecocert-approved material.

For extremely gentle cleansing formulations, a new natural tear-free surfactant blend based on APG technology is recommended. The blend is composed of decyl glucoside (and) polyglyceryl-10 caprylate/caprate (and) coco glucoside (and) glyceryl oleate. It is an ideal ingredient for baby care products and is often used in applications requiring mildness (i.e., sensitive skin formulations, facial cleansers). The natural blend provides effective cleansing properties and exhibits excellent foaming and sensory properties. The product is approved by the Natural Products Association (NPA).

A blend of lauryl glucoside (and) polyglyceryl-2 dipolyhydroxystearate (and) glycerin might be another choice for natural concepts. It is a cold processable 100% naturally based emulsifier, Ecocert-approved, and preservative–free. It has excellent emulsification capability of additional oils, so it is very effective for makeup removal and premium cleansing. It also provides a good sensorial behavior with respect to skin comfort and skin feeling.

See Tables 2-4 for several natural concept prototype formulations.


The wipes market is predicted to grow in certain sub-segments. In North America, this growth will be attributed to diversification and segmentation. In an effort to help formulators “do it their way” as they develop new personal care wipes products to meet consumers’ needs for the future, BASF has developed a Personal Care Technology Matrix as an effective tool to help formulators choose the appropriate technologies for specific claims and concepts.

Offering alternatives and choices is about providing solutions for the market demand; and BASF offers solutions for the entire personal care market. For natural concepts, BASF offers a comprehensive range of ingredients, which are approved by the NPA, NSF/ANSI 305: Personal Care Products Containing Organic Ingredients, and approved or certified by Ecocert for Natural & Organic Cosmetics.