GCI Magazine

R&D Sponsored by

Email This Item!
Increase Text Size

Beauty, Wipes and Preservation

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: November 7, 2006, from the November 2006 issue of GCI Magazine.

At a recent Cosmetic Executive Women’s Newsmaker Forum, Neil Fiske, CEO of Bath & Body Works, said, “Holding on to the past is the only thing that will limit our growth.” In his speech and in his book Trading Up—New American Luxury, Fiske takes a broad look at how consumers spend money in pursuit of beauty and well-being, proposing that how one looks, feels and lives all contribute to a broader definition of beauty.

Wipes and related technologies appear to sit well within Fiske’s proposition. Disposable wipes are convenient, portable and hygienic—attributes that support the broader definition of beauty. In a recent issue of Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine, Robert Y. Lochhead of The Institute for Formulation Science at The University of Southern Mississippi, reported that emerging technologies continue to enhance the properties of wipes, augment deliverable attributes and increase market penetration. In fact, The Freedonia Group reports that the U.S. demand for wipes will grow 6% yearly through 2009 based on further market segmentation and new product introductions. The current value of wipes across segments in the U.S. is approximately $1.5 billion.

Personal care wipes have been ubiquitous in diaper-bag arsenals for years, and parents understood that the usefulness of wipes did not end once their children were out of diapers. Good hygiene also could be convenient—and convenience translates to products in most categories. Wipes, with the help of advances in technology and ingredients, increasingly are being designed for cosmetics and skin care.

“Nearly every cosmetic application can be offered,” said Wolfgang Siegert, technical service manager, Schülke & Mayr GmbH. “Deodorant wipes, sun protection wipes, skin tanning/skin whitening wipes, skin disinfection wipes, refreshing/cooling wipes are examples for new product types.”

According to Lochhead, deliverable product is usually contained within wipes as lotions that are solid at room temperature and depend on being melted by body heat during application. He forecasts advances in formulations and in the ability to make inexpensive nanofibrous materials that will enhance the capillary-driven uptake of formulas into the wipe itself.