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Bar soaps have not gone the way of cassette tapes in the wake of compact discs, but they are steadily losing ground to liquid soaps and shower gels. As body washes take hold in the market, the competition is quite fierce. Marketers are looking to attract attention through new product development, added value skin sensory benefits and distinct fragrances that not only give power to the morning shower, but also make the experience last through the morning hours.
While cleansing is the primary function of body washes, it is not the primary marketing tool. “Consumers know that the product will clean,” explained Helen Feygin, president, Intuiscent LLC. “Yet, it’s not just the physical state of clean but the emotional state of clean.” People expect to feel and smell fresh and clean. This is accomplished in the body wash experience with a smell that lingers in the bathroom and on the skin, confirming the feeling of clean.
This emotional state of clean extends to concerns about the sustainability of resources and the equilibrium of life. To support their world view, people often shy away from chemicals, believing they can be harmful. Thus consumers are demanding products be natural, not just smell that way, requiring the use of essential oil blends without additives. “People want to feel good about themselves in a holistic way,” added Intuiscent’s Feygin.
The botanical and organic health movement also has kept aromatherapy fragrances in the limelight. Aromatherapy plays a significant part of the ambience during at-home spa experiences. To accommodate manufacturers’ desire to meet consumer demand for aromatherapy, Belle-Aire has created several aromatherapy scent collections such as Bath Juice with energizing Ginger Mint Juice and soothing Rain Water Juice and Exotic Spa.
Some washes also have mood altering claims, such as “calming” or “energizing,” addressing body and spirit. Sensorial experience is a trend consumers are looking for to signal efficacy. “In development, it is key to unite well-being sensorial benefits an essential oil can deliver with the benefits that are delivered from the base,” explained Lynn Mazzella, vice president, Origins Global Product Development. For instance, the Origins’ Jump Start Body Wash links the natural energy-boosting notes in the essential oil blend with natural base formula ingredients known to leave the skin feeling energized and glowing.