Wipes have been a mainstay in many consumers’ lives for decades, but the products that first started hitting store shelves in the 1990s bare little resemblance to today’s new products. Offering dual-sided substrates, slow-release technology, natural fragrances and more, these products offer not just convenience but multiple benefits to consumers. They are not simply replacing the cloth-and-lotion method but establishing themselves as innovative products in their own right.
This is particularly evident in the facial wipes market. Kimberly-Clark recently extended its Kleenex tissue brand into facial cleansing, and the extension features dual-sided exfoliation pads and makeup removal wipes designed specifically for the eye area. While cosmetics and skincare companies like L’Oreal, Maybelline or Neutrogena have been extending their lines with wipes for years, Kimberly-Clark’s expertise lies not in the lotion but in the substrate technology, and the company differentiates through substrate technology rather than claims related to the lotion within the wipe.
It’s not surprising that K-C would look toward this market for growth. According to research supplied by Lonza (see page 14), the market for facial cleansing wipes is growing about 10% per year, significantly more quickly than many other wipes categories or the skin care category, which is growing about 5.2% per year.
Throughout all of skincare, one of the biggest trends being seen is multifunctional products. Companies want a product with multiple benefits, like a two-in-one shampoo or a cleaning/exfoliating product. Wipes are well-primed to offer multiple benefits because they have two sides—one for cleaning and one for polishing, one for removing makeup and one for exfoliating. This goes beyond facial care into many segments of personal care, household cleaning and more. As more suppliers of wipes substrates look to differentiate their products beyond baby wipes, they are coming up with new surfacing and finishing technologies to allow the substrate to do more.