This article provides an overview of four aspects developers must consider when bringing moisturizing and lotion-based wipes to market. While not a fully complete list, these, nevertheless, have to be on the planning radar.
Why Feature Moisture-Hydration-Lotion Properties?
Moisturizers hydrate skin, especially the face, and come in a cream, gel or oil. Ingredients ranging from lotions to shea butter are part of the lineup of moisturizers. They are said to hydrate, re-hydrate, replenish, smooth, make you feel and smell good, tackle the rough spots on the skin and retain moisture.
Wet wipes falling into the moisturizing category cite closely related benefits. For example, Burt’s Bees exfoliating facial cleansing towelettes are also for dry skin, with peach and willow bark, and they are 99.2% “natural.” Burt’s Bees micellar towelettes remove makeup, contain white cypress oil…and hydrate. Clinique offers micellar towelettes for face and eyes, “perfect for gym, travel or quick makeup changes.” So, micellar is now a fashionable adjunct to cleansing and hydration, convenient for our “on the go” culture.
Encouragement to use these products at every turn, after a bath, shave, exfoliation, for home and away, maybe twice a day, adds up to more sales. With the U.S. dermatology growth rate at over 11%, skin is a health and wellness topic as well as part of the self-expression movement where care, fragrance, fruit and vegetable infusions come together for targeted trendy buyers. Brand leaders are promoting these wipes and realizing results.
What Niches Are Affected?
In personal care markets where skin is the star, there is no slowdown of wipes additive introductions. As noted, the increasing use of terms including moisturizing, hydrating and lotionizing are add-ons in many personal care segments including these which also overlap.
• Makeup removal
• Skin exfoliating
• Bathing support
• Hygiene maintenance
• Tanning and spa treatment
• Toilet towelettes
• Facial and eye care
• Skin smoothing and brightening
• Natural skin cleansers
• Calming and comfort cloths
• Tea tree and in-style infusions
• Earth-friendly selections
• Proven flushability
Choices of Ingredients and Combinations
Brand developers learn what “experiential” additives, from perfume-like fragrances, to botanicals, fruit scents and vegetable-like formulations are currently sought after. They also know what performance features are welcomed, so combinations are doubly desirable. Companies like Bio-Botanica are promoting botanical extracts including lotions, oils and extracts.
The choices are also complicated by compatibility issues. These include formula compatibilities. At one wipes manufacturer, Top Brass Inc., Brad McCay points out, “Every small change or new ingredient means all the testing begins again, for example, whether it’s potential skin irritation or FDA acceptability or shelf life assurance.” Choices of formulas, the point at which they are introduced, type of nonwoven substrate, and requirements for performance are among the factors.
Additional Hurdles to Consider
To optimize moisturizing categories, nonwovens play a key role. Wipes fabric absorbency, moisture retention, strength, linting, loft, embossing, cutting, folding, cost and other characteristics are impacts. Accompanying features like soft or scrubbing surfaces and cloth-like touch perception are affected by the substrate. Applications as coatings or spray or saturation are options. Cost of waste is also affected by the point at which ingredients are added in the conversion process. Certain additives are best applied as coatings by specialty converters, but can add cost. These are all up-front design challenges.
Like so many developments in the personal care arena, the coming-to-the-forefront of moisturizing and related lotions are bringing another level of specialty wipes and towelettes support to consumers.