Personal Care Wipes Market

By Tara Olivo, Associate Editor | February 2, 2017

Specialized wipes continue to emerge in this growing segment.

When it excludes the baby wipes category, the personal care wipes market may be the smallest portion of the overall wipes market, but it is among the fastest growing segments.

According to a recent report from Smithers Pira, the personal care wipes market was expected to generate roughly $2.8 billion in sales and consume over 88,000 tons of nonwovens by the end of 2016. The market researcher estimated that sales would increase to $4.1 billion and over 133,000 tons of consumed nonwovens by 2021.

Covering moist toilet tissue/flushable wipes, feminine hygiene wipes, adult incontinence/bathing wipes and other niche wipes including bug repellent and tanning wipes, cosmetic/facial wipes is the largest sub-segment of the personal care wipes market and are, on average, the highest priced in the category.

According to Svetlana Uduslivaia, head of Industry Research at market tracker Euromonitor International, sales of wipes are still mostly concentrated in developed markets, since high unit price it a key deterrent to consumers in developing regions, among other factors.

Although in developed markets, where consumers typically have higher disposable incomes, pricing can still be a challenge.

Acknowledging that consumers in developed markets are not necessarily willing to pay a premium for wipes, Uduslivaia says baby wipes—the largest category—often serve as a “pricing benchmark” for shoppers looking at other personal care wipes. “We had seen a number of new launches in the past two to three years come out with a price point of over $10 (U.S. dollars) for a pack of 48, just to come down to less than $5 once the products hit mass retail in the U.S., for instance. This attests to consumer sensitivity to pricing in wipes.”

In addition to cosmetic facial wipes, moist toilet wipes, or flushable wipes, are also performing well, according to Uduslivaia. “Product development encourages the demand,” she explains. “In case of moist toilet wipes, it is still a relatively small category. Even in some developed markets the category is relatively new and underdeveloped. This creates a basis for further growth. In both U.S. and Canada, for instance, most toilet wipes see positive growth; promotional activity and more investment in advertising help support the category sales.” 

Despite the category being blamed for backing up pipes and wastewater treatment systems, Uduslivaia isn’t seeing a dramatic effect from all the negative headlines. “Investment in product development continues,” she says. “However, it all really depends on how successful the industry is going to be in addressing and reversing a growing movement on the part of the local/city authorities to impose strict guidelines for wipe claims and potential ban altogether (as some are still contemplating).”

Face Time
In the growing facial care wipes category, where a plethora of makeup removal and cleansing wipes are available everywhere from drugstores to high-end make up counters, wipes brands are distinguishing themselves with unique formulations.

A “little black wipe” is the latest addition to Pasadena, CA-based Yes To’s line of fruit and vegetable-infused personal care products. New Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Facial Wipes are formulated with charcoal, a natural detoxifier that cleanses, removes impurities and provides anti-bacterial and anti-infammatory benefits without over-drying the skin by drawing bacteria, dirt and chemicals to the surface.

The brand also recently added an oil-infused line which includes Yes To Argan Oil 2-in-1 Cleansing + Moisturizing Facial Wipes and Yes To PrimRose Oil 2-in-1- Cleansing + Moisturizing Facial Wipes. Derived from kernels of argan trees native to Morocco, argan oil serves as a moisturizer that leaves skin looking bright while enhancing tone, texture and elasticity. The PrimRose oil-laced wipes provide a natural source of Omega 6 fatty acids and Vitamins E and C, which decrease inflammation and redness of the skin. Both wipes are lightly fragranced and made with compostable, natural FSC fabric, according to the brand.

Last month the brand introduced Yes To Cotton Comforting Facial Wipes. Partially made from cotton T-shirt manufacturing scraps, the wipes save energy and water, preserve land and save greenhouse gas emissions, the brand claims. Featuring cotton extract and cottonseed oil, the soft, lightly fragranced wipes gently cleanse ultra-sensitive, allergy-prone skin, leaving it nourished, hydrated, smooth and protected.

Another California-based wipes company, La Fresh Group of Chino, is celebrating its 10th anniversary with the launch of its new, limited edition Waterproof Makeup Remover Wipes. Featuring a blend of sunflower seed, olive, and lavender oils, which is then combined with rice bran, sunflower, and rosemary leaf extracts, the cleansing wipes are gentle enough for many skin types and yet effective even on the most stubborn, long-lasting makeup.

Currently available at La Fresh Group’s website and on Amazon.com, each package holds 100 plant-based wipes at a suggested retail price of $20, but will be available for a discounted price of $10.99 for a limited time.

La Fresh’s sister company, wet wipe converter Diamond Wipes International, announced in the fall an expansion of its Southern California plant.

In addition to its 65,000 square-foot operation that opened in 2006 in Bucyrus, OH, two new sites in Chino, will add another 155,000 square feet of production and warehousing environment to the company’s existing, 130,000-square-foot solar-powered manufacturing plant.

“When I first moved from Taiwan to open the shop, I had one machine to make wet wipes. My factory was about the size of a two-car garage,” recalls Eve Yen, the founder and CEO of Diamond Wipes and La Fresh. “Here we are 22 years later. We have much more to achieve but we are growing fast. We are making the investment to increase our manufacturing capacity and capabilities. We are doing this to service our customers better and faster, and take on bigger contracts.”

One new capability will be viscous filling using fully customizable, shaped trial size foil sachets. “Our core strength is making wipes, but we also fill liquids for many of our beauty and personal care customers,” David Cisneros, COO, Diamond Wipes, explained at the time of the announcement. “With the facility expansion, we can look to other contract manufacturing areas for future growth, while not losing the sight of what got us here — the wipes.”

Meanwhile, taking a cue from its popular saline-infused Boogie Wipes brand for kids, Nehemiah Manufacturing Co., has come out with Saline Soothers wipes.

Citing a survey conducted on behalf of Nehemiah, the company says the vast majority of Americans (93%), think having a runny nose is annoying and 81% are annoyed by not having tissues when they need them. When tissues aren’t readily available, the survey says that 41% of Americans have wiped their noses on their sleeve and 38% have used their hand. Thus, the company launched Saline Soothers to protect clothing and provide soothing relief.

Available in fragrance-free or menthol, Saline Soothers come in re-sealable packages of 20 wipes—or multi-packs of three packages (60 wipes) that easily fit into pockets and purses. Currently they’re available in the cough/cold aisle at Walgreens and Rite Aid and are also available at Amazon.com.

Moving up the head, cleansing wipes for scalps were recently introduced by Rekze Laboratories, which makes shampoo, conditioner and serum that help stimulate scalps naturally to boost blood circulation and better nourish hair follicles. Creating optimal conditions for hair growth, while helping make hair look thicker, the ‘28’ scalp wipes combine over 28 ingredients specially chosen to help treat hair thinning and shredding hair supporting healthy hair growth.

‘28’ scalp wipes make it easy to clean the scalp and restore its natural moisture balance, as maintaining a healthy scalp is essential to optimal hair regrowth.

According to a Rekze Laboratories representative, the most important thing when it comes to the efficacy of hair loss and hair regrowth treatments is restoring the scalp’s optimal environment for hair regrowth. “Usually, pollution, germs, sweat, dust can clog the pores during the day and people don’t have access or cannot wash their hair every time is needed due to commute or a busy work schedule, to keep the scalp clean,” says the representative. “The pile-up of grease and dirt that accumulate on the scalp act like blockages and prevent the hair from a healthy growing.”

Thus the  ‘28’  scalp wipes, which debuted in October, are meant to be used in between washes, when wearing weaves, braids, twists, and other styles, and every time regular deep cleansing is less frequent, to ensure a full recovery of the optimal conditions for hair regrowth, as hair grows its best from a healthy scalp that is free from flakes, excessive yeasts, and bacteria.
Available in a packet of 15, the wipes can be purchased worldwide through www.rekze.com.

Wipe Protection
Mosquito-repellent wipes can provide one line of defense in areas of the world afflicted with mosquito- and bacteria-borne diseases such as the Zika virus in the Americas and malaria in the Africa region.

A startup based in Georgia has developed a new formulation to fight these harmful and potentially deadly diseases.

Launching next month in the Bahamas, Akiva insect repellent wipes are infused with non-toxic, DEET-free mosquito repellent, combining the chemical ingredient IR3535 with a patented micro-encapsulation technology that allows the repellent to stay on the skin where it can guard against mosquito, fly, tick and other insect bites.

Hogan Bassey, the CEO and co-founder of biotech company Livful, which makes the wipes, grew up in Nigeria where he contracted malaria several times. Bassey’s company is working to eliminate deaths from preventable illnesses and the company hopes this the wipes and repellent are the first step to meet this goal.

Available are the lightly-scented Akiva All-Day wipes that offer up to 16 hours of non-toxic protection, and feature an antiseptic agent to sanitize, aloe vera with a light lotion feel and is sweat resistant, as well as Akiva Bio-Repellent wipes made for those with active outdoor lifestyles. The non-toxic fragrance-free option offers up to eight hours of protection from mosquitos and offers a pleasant feel without excess moisture.

While Akiva was developed as a lotion, Livful considered wipes as a delivery method for the solution from the beginning. “Wipes offer distinct advantages,” Bassey says. “We know wipes are a part of the personal hygiene practice for people all over the world. People can actually see and feel them working.”

Livful plans to launch later this year in New Zealand and Brazil. The wipes will be sold in packs of 10 as well as a single sachet wipe.

This isn’t the first time mosquito repellent wipes have hit the market. SC Johnson’s OFF! brand launched OFF! Deep Woods Insect Repellent Towelettes April 2010. Available in 12 count and 20 count packages, the unscented towelettes repel mosquitoes that may carry the Zika, Dengue and West Nile viruses, while also offering protection from ticks, biting flies, gnats and chiggers. The wipes are formulated with 25% DEET, providing up to eight hours of protection.

In response to the recent Zika outbreak, SC Johnson made a universal call to action to aid in this epidemic, according to Phyliss D. Milligan, manager, Global Public Affairs – Brand, SC Johnson. “It was unlike anything we had done in our 130-year history,” she says.

Early last year the multinational committed to donating at least $15 million through 2016 to provide products to help needy families combat the mosquitoes that may carry the disease. As of August, SC Johnson had donated nearly $8 million in product, education and resources, reaching vulnerable families throughout the Americas. As part of these efforts, more than 500,000 OFF! Deep Woods Towelettes were donated to the CDC Foundation, in partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The personal insect repellent provided to the CDC Foundation were disbursed through a variety of channels, including Zika prevention kits in U.S. territories as well as through other activities and events taking place in Puerto Rico.

Educational initiatives included the launch of a global website by SC Johnson, available in 14 languages, that informed the public on how to protect their families from mosquitoes. The site provides tips and resources on protecting homes from mosquitoes, understanding DEET and proper application of insect repellent. To reach youngsters, SC Johnson partnered with Sesame Street on a fun and informative campaign—1, 2, 3 Stay Away Mosquitoes. Available in English and Spanish, characters, videos and children’s activity sheets share information on avoiding potentially disease-carrying mosquitoes, eliminating breeding grounds, and the benefits of wearing protective clothing and repellent.

Offering a different line of protection are Wet Ones, anti-bacterial hand wipes that kill 99.99% of germs when soap and water aren’t available.

In the spring, the Edgewell Personal Care brand introduced a new Wet Lock seal technology to Wet Ones’ 20-count travel packs. The improved and innovative packaging features a thin, rigid plastic closure. The technology is proven to help the wipes retain their moisture over 15% longer, ensuring they remain fresh on-the-go.

“With the new Wet Lock seal technology, parents can be sure their Wet Ones wipes are always at their freshest so they are prepared for all of those sticky, messy moments,” says Christina Saikus, Wet Ones brand manager, Edgewell Personal Care.

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