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New Spray Options for Thicker Formulas

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: February 3, 2009, from the February 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

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“The original idea for a facial spray was rooted in my own love of hydrating my skin in dry climates and when flying,” says creator Jane Iredale. “What we realized later was that when [mineral makeups are] applied to the skin, [they look] better and better as time goes on. That’s because they are set by the skin’s natural moisture. So, to hasten the process, we would spritz after an application so that the client could see the full effect of the minerals. Then we discovered the benefits that spritzing had to the longevity of the coverage. It was an evolving process that rooted the sprays firmly into our basic system.”

In addition to hydration, D2O contains seaweed extracts to help reduce sebaceous hyper-secretion and regulate skin’s pH, and additional ingredients were added for antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Even the skin care properties of the fragrance ingredient, ylang-ylang, are part of the marketing story—touted for its balancing action on the secretion of sebum.

“Sprays used to be sold on their fragrance alone. Fragrance was the only differentiator. As more and more ingredients came onto the market with genuine benefits, then manufacturers could produce sprays with a real story,” says Iredale. “For example, we read research that indicated that green tea at 3% has a measurable effect on acne. When we were formulating products for blemish-prone skin, we added green tea at 3% to the formula. Now, the consumer can find sprays designed to help skin in many different ways.”

Thickening the Mix

Thicker formulas delivered by aerosol pumps are not new—aerosol shave creams have been available since the late 1940s. In addition, these products have incorporated basic skin care benefits, primarily moisturizing. Olay recently launched a skin care mousse, in addition to its facial cleansing mousse. These aerosols also allow other ingredients to be delivered with viscosity enhancers, though many thickeners, even at small percentages, become too viscous to be sprayed effectively. For consumers, this type of delivery is more akin to a non-aerosol pump application than to spray applications. Product is pumped onto the hands to be applied to the face and body.

Veet’s use of a spraying system for its Spray On Hair Removal Cream that applies a thin and even layer of cream is therefore interesting for what it does and for the potential that the system may have for pure skin care applications. The non-drip formula can be sprayed holding the can at various angles, and contains skin care ingredients such as mineral oil and shea butter in addition to the depilatories. The format was adopted by the brand to break down some walls between it and consumers.