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Silky Smooth

By: Nancy Jeffries
Posted: November 7, 2006, from the November 2006 issue of GCI Magazine.

Silkiness, long-lasting smoothness and moisturizing are expected in bath and body products. The bath has become a haven for stress relief and a sanctuary for those who seek restorative treatment in addition to a cleansing benefit, and ingredient suppliers and formulators provide a variety of product enhancements to satisfy demand in the market.

In addition, skin care remains a major thrust of the bath and body market, and body washes, scrubs, emollient lotions and bath milk have become increasingly multifaceted. Popular collections feature ingredients that sooth and moisturize in addition to cleansing.

According to Bradford Soap Works, Inc.’s Chris Buckley, executive vice president, and Ed George, vice president of technical services, creative additives and delivery systems that utilize new technology are the current trend. “It’s the custom connection in the creation of soaps that provides SPF, super moisturization, anti-acne, antioxidant and rejuvenating characteristics,” said George.

Bath treatments that deliver superior moisturizing benefits and leverage the synergy of nature and innovative formulation are evident in today’s market. Consumer research shows that baby boomers who take good care of their bodies are seeking personal care products that can help them look as young as they feel, and ingredients today are helping formulators capitalize on this trend. For example, Hydrovance, a moisturizing agent introduced by National Starch Personal Care, is appropriate for use in body care formulations where both moisturization and aesthetic performance are required. The ingredient is said to diffuse into the stratum corneum—increasing skin hydration, alleviating clinical signs of dryness and increasing skin elasticity with an aesthetically pleasing after-feel. According to the company, studies on moisturization and skin elasticity have demonstrated the agent to have efficacy similar to glycerin. In addition, the company found that the formulation dries in nearly half the time of glycerin-containing formulations.

Marketers with an interest in offering body wash containing a high percentage of naturally occurring moisturizing ingredients in the formulation can count on vegetable-derived emollients, such as those made from isostearic acid. According to Rachel Lafferty, sales development associate at Uniqema, the company’s Prisorine series are all vegetable-derived liquid ingredients that support the important feel of formulations as well as effects such as solubilization, substantivity and moisturization. Uniqema’s Monasil PCA is a combination of silicone and pyrrolidone carboxylic acid. “This ingredient can be used to provide a long-lasting, silky smooth feel not found with most other silicone fluids,” said Lafferty, noting that the product also provides a good deal of substantivity at low-use levels.