While deodorant and body cleansing wipes are nothing new, more and more skincare and personal care brands realize they are an important complement to their full product lines that may also include solid deodorants, liquid cleansers and lotions.
Last year smaller brands like EO and Pacifica launched their own versions to accompany their ranges of natural skincare products, but this year major players like Procter & Gamble and Unilever got into the game with their own well-known brands.
Although a number of new products have launched in the last year, the overall global retail sales of deodorant wipes still remains quite small, to the total of USD$211 million in 2018, according to Euromonitor International.
Svetlana Uduslivaia, head of Home & Tech Americas at Euromonitor, says the majority of these sales are coming from Japan, where the demand is driven by a number of factors, including the rise in concept of sumehara, or ‘smell harassment,’ which implies that body odor causes distress to other people. “The same very concept helps support demand for deodorants, including a convenient wipe format that can be used on-the-go,” she says.
In other markets, deodorant wipes are far less popular and have been tried on and off for years, with the additional challenge of competition from baby wipes, Uduslivaia points out.
According to Euromonitor, deodorant wipes usually retail at about 20 cents/wipe versus baby wipes at 3-5 cents/wipe (5 cents usually being the range of products in “natural” segment). “Baby wipes can generally perform the same function at a lower cost,” she says. “Marketing activity behind deodorant wipes in markets outside of Japan is generally pretty limited, even when new products come out.”
Despite any challenges in this category, wipes manufacturers are betting that consumers will look to these task-specific solutions to freshen up during busy days or a weekend spent camping in the great outdoors.
Procter & Gamble’s popular antiperspirant brand Secret launched Secret Body Cleansing Wipes in February. These single-use, alcohol-free and individually packaged cleansing wipes enable convenient removal of any odor-causing sweat and residue – for underarms and all over the body.
According to a Secret Deodorant representative, Secret’s Body Cleansing Wipes were added to its portfolio to offer women an on-the-go solution when they don’t have time or access to a shower, or when they are just in need of a quick refresh before reapplying more product.
“Wipes are a product that we found women have a need for. One third of women reapply their antiperspirant/deodorant throughout the day and many don’t just reapply – 50% opt for a quick ‘wipe-down’ before reapplying in order to feel fresh,” according to the Secret Deodorant representative.
Global consumer goods company Unilever also launched its own version of deodorant wipes last month. With 24-hour odor protection, the new wipes are available from five Unilever brands—Dove, Dove Men+Care, Degree Women, Degree Men and AXE. Ideal for discreet touch-ups to freshen underarms, neck and chest, Unilever's Deodorant Wipes are pre-moistened, alcohol-free and come packaged with built-in lids to ensure freshness down to the last wipe.
"Our research shows that nearly 50% of people are applying their deodorant multiple times every single day," says Dawn Hedgepeth, general manager and vice president of Unilever Deodorants, Men's Grooming and Hand and Body Lotion. "Our new Deodorant Wipes provide an easy-to-use format for wiping away sweat and freshening up. There are countless moments where these wipes can provide a fresh re-set – activities like working out, before a big meeting, during travel, on the way to meet up with friends or just running around the house."
The wipes are also ideal for waterless activities like camping and hiking. They can be used alone or as a complement to one's antiperspirant or deodorant of choice.
Meanwhile, Carpe, a smaller brand that makes lotions for excessively sweaty armpits, hands and feet, recently introduced antiperspirant wipes. The company believes that the cloth applicator format will provide powerful on-the-go relief for those suffering from excessive sweating.
"We're excited to be able to deliver powerful sweat protection in a new, convenient format," says David Spratte, CEO of Carpe. "The antiperspirant wipes provide portable and versatile relief, and align with our goal to provide antiperspirant solutions for the whole body, because people don't just sweat under their arms.”
The wipes, which are sized at 10.5x9 in., deliver a generous dose of Carpe's pamplemousse scented antiperspirant formula.
Carpe was founded by Spratte and Kasper Kubica—then college roommates—when the duo realized that there were no effective over-the-counter options manage their sweaty hands caused by hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis, from which they both suffer, is marked by excessive sweating. The condition impacts roughly 15 million Americans, according to the company.
“Although we founded Carpe to create a solution for hyperhidrosis patients, we've since built a broad and diverse fan base,” Spratte says. “Today our products are enjoyed by business professionals, tennis players, joggers, and more. We hope that our antiperspirant wipes provide one more way for all kinds of users to enjoy refreshing and reliable sweat protection."