Primed, Polished & Purloined

By Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor | July 2, 2014

Personal care wipes have become beauty essentials at all costs.

Personal care wipes are so coveted these days that they’ve even made the evening newscast, as witnessed by a recent incident involving Aveeno.

On May 6, 2014, almost 2,900 boxes of the Johnson & Johnson makeup wipes, valued at nearly $140,000, were seized following the arrest of five suspects in Englewood, NJ. The wipes were apparently diverted from a facility in the Nyack/Clarkstown, NY area during a cargo theft, which is still under investigation at press time.

“That’s a lot of clean faces,” Englewood police Detective Capt. Timothy Torell told NorthJersey.com.

Wipes have indeed become “most wanted” in daily cleansing routines. From freshening up faces throughout the workday to removing mascara in the evening, they’ve moved beyond baby’s changing table to become part of many adult’s daily care routine.
According to a recent report from Mintel, Facial Skin Care, US, May 2014, wipes are viewed as more of an occasional-use item, which could be driven by their convenience-based positioning and the fact that they are typically priced higher than facial cleansers. Euromonitor estimates that the cosmetic wipes market in 2013 reached $347.4 million retail. 

One of the desirable assets of wipes today is ease of disposal. Brad Kalil, director of market research and statistics, INDA, Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, Cary, NC, told Happi, “The biggest ‘trend’ is the issue of flushability, which has been reported on exhaustively. A recent development in flushability is on the substrate manufacturing side, and the machinery and process are being designed with flushability in mind.”

Another top trait to today’s wipes is that they should be capable of wiping away cosmetics.

“Makeup removing towelettes are a quick and convenient method of facial cleansing at the end of a busy day,” noted Susan Bard, M.D. at Vanguard Dermatology, New York. “Shoppers seek a wipe that is potent enough to remove the most stubborn eye makeup while still being gentle enough not to irritate delicate eyelid skin or sensitive skin in general.”

According to Bard, brands incorporate a variety of botanicals into their cloths to provide soothing, hydration and even antioxidants, while cleansing.  However, these botanicals and added fragrances may cause an irritant or allergic contact dermatitis, especially on delicate facial skin.
“Like many moist wipes, makeup-removing wipes often contain preservatives to prevent growth of bacteria, such as methylisothiazolinone (MI), which has recently been identified as the second most common contact allergen (after nickel),” she explained. “Another potentially concerning ingredient in makeup removing towelettes is mineral oil. While being very effective at dissolving eye makeup, especially waterproof products, when used on the face, mineral oil can clog pores and cause acne breakouts.”

Eric S. Schweiger, MD, founding dermatologist of Schweiger Dermatology and Clear Clinic Acne Treatment Center, New York City, agrees that more advanced ingredients are making their way into wipes formulations, because consumers want an easy way to deliver nutrients and high-level actives onto their complexions.

“There are wipes hitting the market now with unique fruit acid blends and antioxidants,” he told Happi. “For example, the Deep Pore wipes from Clear Clinic Laboratories contain retinol and green tea, which are both sophisticated actives you don’t typically find in wipes.”

Overall, wipes have been a great platform across many segments for many years by bringing the convenience of cleaning into beauty, baby or home as some examples, noted Joy Chen, CEO of Yes To Inc., San Francisco, CA.
“With consumers looking for ease and convenience, wipes have been an excellent solution addressing that need,” she told Happi

Critical Mass

The mass market is booming with wipe launches lately. For example, Yes To’s latest creation is a coconut variation of its Face & Hand Cleansing Wipes. The scented wipes are ideal for dry skin types looking for a nourishing formula that intensely moisturizes and relieves dry, cracked skin, according to the company. Yes to Coconut natural formulations combine oil from the hydrating, fatty acid rich coconut fruit and other non-greasy moisturizers to help smooth cracked skin.

“Shoppers are looking for convenience and product benefits.  It’s no longer enough for a product like a wipe to stand on cleansing and having a nice scent. Consumers are looking for more than cleansing,” noted Chen.  “That’s why the Yes To wipes have been so successful.  Each wipe cleanses, but it also provides an extra product benefit like hydration, exfoliation, acne control and hypoallergenic. Consumers are looking for 2 in 1 or even 3 in 1 usage.”

Also big in mass, fellow naturals brand güd By Burt’s Bees  expanded its Natural Cleansing Wipes line with the recent launch of towelettes that can be used to remove dirt and sweat from head to toe, leaving behind an invigorating cooling sensation with instant deodorizing effects and an intoxicating scent so users feel fresh and clean, said the company. Formulated with “güd-for-you” botanicals and extracts, these gentle wipes not only take away the day, but also leave skin smelling amazing with fun, uplifting scents like Orange Petalooza, Pearanormal Activity and Red Ruby Groovy.

AP/deo usage is also a key element in the wipes segment. For example, Ban Total Refresh Cooling Body Cloths feature unique PowderSilk technology, imported exclusively from Japan, that instantly cools hot skin on contact and leaves you feeling revitalized. These convenient wipes leave behind a translucent, superfine powder that keeps skin smooth and comfortable, especially after taking off a hot, itchy scarf. And with three light revitalizing scents—Enliven, Invigorate and Restore—you can replace any lingering wet wool outerwear smell with a delicate, reviving fragrance in a flash. 

Since launching in March, the Ban Total Refresh Cooling Body Cloths have become a best-selling item and are now sold out at many major retailers both in stores and online, according to sources at the company.

Due to scarcity, fans are turning to eBay to find the coveted refreshing wipes, which are being resold and auctioned off at prices higher than the original retail price.

Johnson & Johnson’s Clean & Clear also expanded its collection recently with the new Night Relaxing All-in-One Cleaning Wipes. These pre-moistened cloths, said to quickly remove all traces of dirt and oil, effectively remove 99.3% of makeup, including waterproof mascara. The wipes also contain a calming fragrance along with a “skin purifying” formula with sea kelp.

Meanwhile, over at Valeant, consumer research revealed that the use of foundation and color cosmetics has increased during the past three years among women of color. As a result, there is a desire to have a quick and easy way to gently cleanse skin and effectively remove oil, dirt and signs of makeup, without a dry after-feel. Ambi Even & Clear Makeup Removing Cleansing Cloths provide a soap-free formula with moisturizing ingredients that are contained within ultra-soft towelettes, according to the company. They effectively remove all traces of dirt, oil and makeup, even waterproof mascara. These extra-large cloths easily cover the surface of the face and, after one use, can simply be tossed away.

Tricia Green, senior brand manager at Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Bridgewater NJ, said the top trends for the beauty and home wipes market are gentle, therapeutic and fragrance free.

“Ambi Wipes are perfect for these trends, as they are fragrance free and soap free—two major irritants for consumers with sensitive skin.”

Beyond skin care, mass market demand for wipes is expanding into oral care. New Fresh Guard by Efferdent is specially formulated to clean removable dental devices like retainers, mouthguards, clear braces and other removable braces. Available as a soak and as a wipe, it has a unique formula that helps prevent the build-up of sticky mouth film, reduces yellowing and helps remove stains said the company. The soak uses power-cleaning crystals to kill 99.9% of odor-causing bacteria in five minutes. With no water needed, alcohol-free Fresh Guard Wipes are ideal for on-the-go cleaning, perfect for after meals, and leave behind a fresh mint flavor, according to Prestige Brands, Irvington, NY.

Innovations in Prestige

The prestige segment is also currently brimming with novel personal care wipes rollouts. Consider British nail polish/cosmetic company Butter London that says “hello” to manicures on the go with its new Scrubbers. These 2-in-1 wipes are said to easily remove lacquer and prep nails for your next color. Durable and individually wrapped, Scrubbers are the small-but-mighty secret weapon in your travel beauty arsenal, boasts the company, which sells its wares at stores like Ulta and Nordstrom.

EmerginC Scientific Organics, the 100% natural beauty line with a minimum of 70% organic ingredients in every item, introduced its first trial/travel set complete with wipes, of course. This conveniently packaged set includes six top-selling products like the Peel Pads, which are said to renew the complexion while minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The wipes contain ingredients like natural fruit extracts, lactic acid, aloe, cypress, tea tree, green tea, willow bark and apple extracts.

Another high-end “green” wipe, born in Canada and made in the US, is not only free of parabens, synthetic fragrances, sulfates and petrochemicals; they are also 100% biodegradable. Kaia Naturals’ Juicy Bamboo Facial Cleansing Cloths comes in a travel size multipack with 20 individually wrapped cloths or a box of 30 cleansing cloths. The individually wrapped cloths are pre-soaked in “juicy” vitamins B12, C and E, essential oils and organic honey, according to the company.

“Eco friendly cleansing cloths and natural ingredients are a very key trend right now,” Mary Futher, founder, Kaia Naturals, Toronto, Canada, told Happi. “Shoppers are looking for the ability to deliver results with their wipes, like removing both face and eye makeup without tugging or pulling.”

Even industry specialists are getting into the wipes game. Consider New York-based celebrity makeup artist Lauren Napier. The budding entrepreneur developed the next “must-have” skin care product, Cleanse by Lauren Napier, billed as luxury, facial cleansing cloths created for beauty-conscious movers and shakers. These single-use wipes, wrapped in a 2x3” package, are said to fit neatly into a makeup bag or wallet then unfold into a luxurious, 6x7” cleansing towelette. 

For 2014 and beyond, marketers are expected to expand wipes’ capabilities to target all consumers. From teens to Baby Boomers, there will be a wipe for all needs.

“I think manufacturers will start incorporating ingredients targeting particular skin issues into their wipes; i.e., anti-aging, anti-acne or anti-pigment,” noted Bard of Vanguard Dermatology.

Schweiger of Schweiger Dermatology and Clear Clinic Acne Treatment Center predicts even more luxurious ingredients will  be added to wipes, while the quality of the wipe itself will also increase.

“Consumers want to trust that they are putting safe and beneficial products on their skin,” he said. “They are also aware of the sustainability of a product, so we will see more wipes made from earth-friendly materials.”

By and large, personal care wipes are a crucial component in the cycle from start to finish with any look. Said Napier, “All day long we are putting it on; there is beauty in taking it off.”  
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