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When Clean Isn't Enough

Nancy Jeffries

There’s a hidden message tucked away in bath beads, scrubs and creams: everyone can be clean, scented and satisfied through a simple indulgence. Product names themselves often suggest the nature of the category: Lush Orchid from Banana Republic; Nubian Milk and Honey Silk Shower Crème from Shea Terra; and Ile de Tahiti’s wild crafted Tiare Flower. Are we in Bora Bora or Bergdorf’s?

Lush ingredients, exotic locales, tropical scents, wellness and efficacy drive the business. Understanding the composition and function of new products will greatly aid in the development of a successful business system to market and maximize both knowledge and application. With solid performance from bath foams and gels, oils and pearls, salts, powders, liquid soaps and more, the market is clearly alive with high-tech delivery options for moisturizing, exfoliating and waxing in assorted leave-on and rinse-off applications. The key is to make it work and make it last.

Hydrating and Protective Benefits

A supplier’s perspective reveals some of the key features found in bathing products and post-cleansing lotions and creams, where hydration and moisture retention are among the most desired benefits. Croda Inc. notes that, in addition to these attributes, minimization of irritation and skin smoothing and softening are also desired as consumers seek increasingly sophisticated skin care products. Croda, which provides ingredients for both rinse-off and leave-on systems, has unveiled its most recent launches for the category.

In the area of rinse-off systems, Croda offers Cromollient SCE, designed with mildness in mind. Cromollient SCE is said to mitigate the irritating effects of common surfactants, and, according to the company, is shown to reduce the irritation of commercial adult body wash, as well as the irritation of baby shampoo, which is already considered to be mild. The ingredient is suitable for a variety of personal cleansing products—including body washes, liquid soaps and leave-on applications.

Croda’s Incroquat QLC is said to provide conditioning benefits in rinse-off systems. The product is a quaternized lipid conditioner—water-dispersible, non-sensitizing and anionic-compatible—that is shown to reduce transepidermal water loss, which allows the skin to retain up to 65% more moisture after one application.

In the category of leave-on systems—which are frequently used in such products as lip balms, hand creams and dry skin treatment products—Croda offers Super Sterol Liquid. The ingredient includes lipids similar to those contained within the skin’s own stratum corneum that provide conditioning, repair and moisturization. According to the company, the product demonstrates abilities superior to those of petrolatum. Locking in moisture and reducing the irritation of procedures such as micro-dermabrasion have also become key features of body and bath treatment products. Increasingly, consumers will select products that provide efficacy as well as sensitivity to skin irritations caused by procedures and/or products—as well as by dry weather, sun and environmental stresses. This consumer behavior makes multifunctional products with esthetic delivery a high priority. Croda’s range of emollients, comprised of sugar esters produced from naturally derived oils, are said to possess a wide compatibility with a variety of oils. According to the company, the Crodaderm range are excellent film formers that help to lock in the skin’s moisture and impart an esthetic feeling to the cream formulation. In addition, Cromapure GDE is a high-purity emollient suitable for leave-on products designed for sensitive skin or skin made sensitive by cosmetic procedures. It is, according to the company, non-irritating and can even reduce the irritation caused by other ingredients within a formulation.

As a hydrator for thirsty skin, Croda also offers Aquaderm SP, which uses components of the skin’s natural moisturizing factor to enhance moisture levels to help skin stay smooth and intact. Hydration remains a key component in this category, as moisture depletion occurs through moisture-depleting products and continual exposure to the elements.

New Forms and Features

Hydration and moisture plus warmth combine for a new innovation from Davies Gate. The company recently launched a hydrating, warming shave cream for women that moisturizes and softens the skin. Hand and body warming formulas that warm with natural ingredients—literally heating up on contact with the skin—are making news in bath and body. Sugar Plum Warming Shaving & Body Cleanser opens the pores with warmth. It’s blended with glycerin and kaolin (white clay) to cleanse, exfoliate and remove skin impurities, and contains a certified organic blend of sunflower seed oil and other plant extracts. It leaves skin lightly scented with notes of sugar plum, vanilla and white jasmine. Also from Davies Gate, LemonMade Warming Sweet Cream Body Scrub is scented with notes of Italian lemon and sweet cream that heats up as the skin is buffed. It contains granulated sugar, sea salt, jojoba beads and white clay to exfoliate; soybean and sunflower oils to moisturize; and lemon, green tea, olive leaf, parsley and comfrey to comfort the skin. Naturopathica Deep Forest Body Oil brings another dimension to the bath and body segment with a naturally moisturizing warming oil said to impart relaxation and calm while bringing the healing benefits of individual herbal therapies into the context of body care. The product contains pine oil, an antiseptic oil with pinene and campene to clear the lungs; pink peppercorn, a warming oil that acts to ease sore muscles or joint stiffness; silver fir; green mandarin; and sage oil, which is claimed to have a sedative effect.

The path to holistic wellness leads to natural, nutrient-rich ingredients. Shea Terra Organics offers an organic body and skin care line, and is known for its healing shea butter formulas—as well as its efforts to provide sustainable living for people in Africa. The company has recently launched Nubian Milk & Honey Silk Shower Crème and Shea Body Lotion. Made with goat’s milk to moisturize skin and raw wild honey to draw in and retain moisture, the products contain no chemicals, are unscented, and are kind to sensitive skin. These products are available at health and wellness stores and specialty boutiques.

Fragrant Enchantment

Beyond bath basics is a powerful message: Clean just isn’t enough. Bathing has been rescued from the quotidian with its connection to the divine via meditation-inducing rituals, body-beautifying scrubs, moisturizing oils and fragranced unguents and balms. A trend has emerged in designer fragrances that makes a complementary bath collection de rigueur. These scented smoothers include body lotions, shower gels, bath milks, butters and beads—all the better to layer your designer fragrance and moisturize at the same time. Calvin Klein, for example recently launched euphoria blossom body lotion and euphoria blossom luxurious body cream. The euphoria blossom scent was created as a modern, fresh counterpart to euphoria—the fragrance inspired by black orchid. The body lotion and body wash, both inspired by the delicacy and crispness of the white orchid, are light in contrast to the richer scent of the original fragrance.

Taking the prestige designer direction, the new Vera Wang Princess fragrance is now available in Velvety Body Butter, Satiny Body Lotion and Foamy Body Polish. The scent itself is a sheer, fruity floral, rich with vanilla and brimming with exotic flowers and fruits. With top notes of apple and water lily blended with apricot and mandarin, the middle notes are balanced by guava, Tahitian tiare flower and wild tuberose. The base contains notes of vanilla and amber. Not forgetting the skin benefits beneath the fragrance, the body cream is infused with cocoa, shea butter, aloe vera and vitamins A, C and E. Celine Dion’s newest fragrance, Enchanting, launches this month, and is complemented by a body lotion. The fragrance is scented with osmanthus, cyclamen, berries, gardenia, mimosa and orchid—with base notes of sandalwood, amber and tonka.

Benefit Plus Fragrance

Calgon’s new body collection, Get Juic’d, delivers moisturizing benefits and an exotic fragrance. The scents are blends of juices and floral notes designed to add sparkle to the line. Notes of currant and pineapple over mid notes of raspberry, plum and cantaloupe are supported by a base vanilla, sandalwood and musk. In keeping with Calgon’s iconic “Take Me Away” slogan, the message is perfume plus the performance of aloe and antioxidant-rich vitamins.

According to drom perfumer Pierre-Constantin Gueros, fragrances for bath and body for spring and summer will be evocative. “Tahiti, the Maldives and the Bahamas are, for most people, dream destinations,” he says. “Cosmetic brands want to be part of that exotic trend, and (offer) exotic ingredients, magic extracts and wild plants to support their claims.” There’s also a trend to fruit cocktails, but single exotic fruits are also quite popular. Gueros notes that papaya, passion fruit, pomegranate, kumquat, goje berries, acai and tamarind are gaining popularity. “Tropical flowers are also huge this year, including tiare flowers, frangipani, any kind of orchid, and lily.”

In addition, Gueros says, “Tea stays a highlight in many bath and cosmetic products. Not in the original Earl Grey scent, but in more natural variations like maté—a tea made from the dried leaves of yerba maté, popular in South America— white tea or even very algae-like green tea. We know that the antioxidant properties of tea are huge, and cosmetic brands use that benefit. Coffee berries also appear in some formulations for their antioxidant benefits.”

Gueros notes the benefits of berries in particular, saying that goje berries—a Chinese fruit similar in taste to a cherry/cranberry mix—contain eight essential amino acids, plus vitamins B1, B2, B6 and E (which appears to be an immunity booster). He adds that acai is also a functional natural ingredient, and notes both a new trend in the tendency to include grains and the continuing trend for sea treatments—supported by watery floral accents such as bamboo, water lily and lotus.

Taking a virtual trip to paradise, Bath & Body Works Ile De Tahiti is a body care collection that offers exotic scents and wild crafted ingredients indigenous to the Tahitian Islands. The hydrating properties of Tamanoi, a blend of tamanu nut and monoi de Tahiti, is said to provide healing properties to the skin. Wild Blackberry by Lalicious is a new bath and body collection packed with moisturizers and fragranced with wild blackberries and sweet fruit essence. Aromatic depth plus vitamins and essential oils are blended to soothe, moisturize, nourish and soften skin. Lalicious utilizes natural ingredients and employs a whipped ingredient technique. Coconut and almond oil provide minerals, vitamins and proteins, and relieve itching, dryness, inflammation, burns and thread veins.

Lush Orchid from Banana Republic is another entry exemplifying the exotic turn body products are taking. The line is a citrus green floral/citrus aromatic with notes of bergamot, cardamom, mandarin, jasmine water, green tea, green orchid, white musk, cypress and sandalwood. Sensuous Lush Orchid features nourishing ingredients such as shea butter, grapeseed, jojoba and avocado oils—as well as aloe vera leaf juice and honey to nourish the skin.

Parables, perfume and princesses are clearly message bearers in the bath and body category, and, while the magic may reside in the marketing, the metaphors continue to feed the fantasy that consumers can indeed be taken away. Whether it is at Calgon’s Get Juic’d Bath Bar, in the mythical realm of the princess, or Gauguin’s Tahitian paradise, fragrance-enhanced bath and body products open a door to beautifying possibilities. The smart money banks on the individual or business willing to keep up with the ever-evolving product market. As in any business industry, but particularly in the bath and body category, knowledge is surely power.

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