Sales of personal cleansers rose 3.7% to nearly $5.1 billion in the past year, according to IRI Worldwide. But while body wash, liquid hand soap and hand sanitizers posted gains of 7.9%, 4.9% and 5.5%, respectively, consumer demand for soap bars remains subpar, as deodorant bar sales fell 7.0% and heavy duty hand cleaners fell 4.4%.
Unilever leads the nearly $2.6 billion body wash category with a dollar share approaching 39%, but second-place Procter & Gamble is determined to chip away at Unilever’s lead with the launch of DS3, a lineup of liquid-free products ranging from hand wash and shampoo to toilet cleaner. The High 5 hand wash swatches are said to lather extremely well, and a 60-count container costs $19. P&G calls DS3 “enlightened clean for home and body.” Formulas eliminate unnecessary chemicals, fillers, and suspension aids and emulsifiers, leaving “only the ingredients you need,” according to P&G, which insists that DS3 is easier on the consumer and the environment, as it is 80% lighter, takes up 70% less space and results in 75% less shipping emissions.
Procter & Gamble appears to be following in the much smaller footsteps of startups that have long decried the laundry list of ingredients in many personal care formulas. For example, last month, The Grandpa Soap Company, which bills itself as one of the oldest continuously operating soapmakers in America, launched a line of body wash products to address and naturally relieve various skin care challenges. Grandpa’s Body Cleanser Collection features four formulas, Apple Cider Vinegar Wash, Charcoal Cleansing Shower Cream, Cotton Seed Cleansing Oil and Pine Tar Body Wash, each with its own benefits. For example, organic apple cider vinegar and potassium-rich organic apple juice combine to revitalize and give skin a healthy glow, while steam-activated charcoal paired with organic hemp oil draws out dirt and toxins to free up congested pores. The cotton seed concoction contains cotton seed oil, organic sweet almond oil and apricot kernel oil to hydrate dry skin. Finally, the cleansing, deodorizing and moisturizing power of pine tar works with tea tree oil and the antioxidant properties of organic carrot seed oil to soothe irritated skin.
“The Grandpa Soap Company brand stands for natural, time-tested, proven problem solving,” said Molly Vollmer, co-CEO of The Grandpa Soap Company, in a statement. “Each of the body wash recipes has been thoughtfully created with distinctive ingredients that deliver unique benefits to our consumers.”
Like so many other formulas that debuted on the market in recent years, Grandpa’s body cleanser collection is free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, EDTA, glutens, silicones, PEG, petroleum, ethoxylates, artificial fragrances and colorants, and is also certified gluten-free, cruelty-free and vegan. The Apple Cider Vinegar, Charcoal and Cotton Seed cleansers retail for $8.49 each, while the pine tar variant is $9.99. All the cleansers are available online at grandpasoap.com, Amazon.com, iHerb.com and LuckyVitamin.com; they are also debuting at Whole Foods, WalMart, Albertsons/Safeway, and other retailers throughout the year.
Earlier this year, Schmidt’s Naturals added body wash to its growing roster of personal care. Available in two scents, Jasmine Tea and Cedarwood + Juniper, Schmidt’s body washes debuted at Target. Schmidt’s says its collection of body wash remains true to its mission of creating plant-based, cruelty-free, vegan products that are free of SLS, sulfates, and artificial dyes and fragrances. The formulation features sea-based antioxidants including nori, red algae and spirulina. In addition, Schmidt’s opted for an organic argan oil-based surfactant.
“Diversifying and elevating our product offering is what our consumers expect of us,” explained Michael Cammarata, co-founder and CEO of Schmidt’s Naturals. “We are thrilled to continue providing the latest and most advanced plant-based ingredients and setting standards with environment-friendly and ethical practices that are even inspiring heritage personal care brands to follow suit.”
A Growing Problem
At last month’s annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), several dermatologists bemoaned the growing prevalence of skin disorders that may be the result of stress, genetics and allergens. A malady most common in children, some estimate that atopic dermatitis (AD) may affect nearly 13% of children under 12. Moreover, according to Jonathan Silverberg MD, Northwestern University, an estimated 16.5 million adults, or more than 7% of the US population, have AD.
“But most of them never see a dermatologist,” he noted.
In fact, among those with active AD, less than 1% see a derm. Why? In one survey, 70% of respondents said that their symptoms weren’t bad enough to warrant a trip to the dermatologist’s office.
Other reasons why AD sufferers refuse to see a dermatologist include no flares (5.3%), they can’t help me (5.0%) and too expensive (4.4%). That’s bad news for derms, but their reluctance opens the door for manufacturers of personal cleansers and other skin-caring formulas.
For example, Kamedis offers an assortment of washes and cleansers for eczema, acne and other skin issues. The company’s dandruff therapy shampoo, scalp lotion, acne face cleanser and eczema therapy wash all contain soapberry, which company executives insist is a natural remedy for a range of skin disorders. It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal properties.
“Many consumers use our acne wash products for their sensitive skin,” explained Kelli Rodriguez, US director of sales and marketing, who also noted that the formula is paraben-, SLS- and dye-free.
Founder and CEO Roni Kramer told Happi that the growing prevalence of AD and eczema have helped Kamedis’ sales soar during the past year. Kamedis is now available on Amazon and in several regional retailers like Kinney’s.
“We are excited to tell our story about the power of Traditional Chinese Medicine,” explained Kramer, who added that Kamedis will launch formulas for psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis within the next year.
Both Kamedis executives said dermatologists and their patients are eager to learn more about natural, plant-based solutions for skin problems.
“Today, people are looking for a safer approach without sacrificing efficacy,” said Rodriguez.
Sensitive Skin Buzz
Hermali Gunt, PhD, head of clinical and scientific affairs, Burt’s Bees, noted that sensitive skin is becoming a bigger issue even as environmental pollution increases and consumers opt for more processed foods.
“But there is no definitive answer regarding why sensitive skin issues are on the rise,” she added.
The good news for Burt’s Bees is that its nature-based formulas are viewed by consumers as being gentle; unfortunately, at the same time, many consumers don’t equate natural with effective.
“We are changing that perception,” insisted Gunt. “We are talking to dermatologists and are seeing a significant shift in perception thanks, in part, to our research.”
For example, in February, Gunt teamed up with dermatologists Zoe Diana Draelos and Stanley B. Levy to publish an article in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology entitled “Natural Skin Care Products as Adjunctive to Prescription Therapy in Moderate to Severe Rosacea.”
Their research evaluated the efficacy and tolerability of a regimen consisting of a cleanser containing natural oils, beeswax, and witch hazel, and day and night creams containing natural oils, glycerin, and botanical anti-inflammatories (NR); and a synthetic dermatologist-recommended regimen of cetyl alcohol, sodium lauryl sulfate-containing cleanser, and glycerin, polyisobutene-containing lotion (CR) in subjects with rosacea.
Researchers noted the importance of carefully selecting skin cleansers and moisturizers for rosacea patients. This research examined nature-sourced formulations without petroleum-based ingredients, synthetic silicone derivatives, acrylate polymers and synthetic viscosity modifiers. This nature-based, whole formulation skin care regimen, including a cleanser, day moisturizer and night moisturizer, was compared to familiar benchmark skin care products because there is no such thing as a placebo cleanser or moisturizer.
The goal was to demonstrate that nature-sourced ingredients could function as well or better than synthetics. The natural formula contained active agents known to be anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidizing. Natural botanical anti-inflammatory ingredients included cotton flower, rice, beet and aloe extracts. The cleanser contained the same botanical extracts with the addition of beeswax and witch hazel. Potentially, these bio-active agents provide benefit concomitant to the benefit associated with metronidazole. The researchers concluded that naturally-sourced ingredient formulations may be a useful adjunct to improving and maintaining barrier function as part of therapeutic rosacea treatment regimens.
“A lot of patients with AD and rosacea have sensitive skin and use prescriptions. We wanted to see how our products compared and when using our products, the skin looks healthier and smoother,” noted Gunt.
As demand increases for natural skin care products, the company has rolled out Burt’s Bees Baby Foaming Shampoo & Wash and Hydrating Facial Mist. The former is 98.7% natural and the later, 98.8% natural. Gunt was quick to note that 100% natural products are nearly impossible to formulate due to preservation issues.
“You’ll see a lot more Burt’s Bees research on sensitive skin coming in the next few months,” promised Gunt.
When a patient says, “ahh,” Flora Stay, DDS, says “aha!” After all, who has a better view of a consumer’s skin than a dentist?
As one might expect, Stay entered the personal care space with a toothpaste back in 2000, but since then, she gave up her practice and has been rolling out an array of cleansers and other skin care products under the Cleure brand.
“As a dentist, I was always receiving free cases of Colgate and Crest toothpaste, which I handed out to my patients,” recalled Stay. “But, patients thought I was recommending these brands, which I wasn’t. That’s when I started formulating my own products.”
Just as consumers can be allergic to common skin care formula ingredients, they can be allergic to oral care ingredients, too, so in creating her toothpastes, Stay stayed away from culprits such as SLS and common toothpaste flavors such as mint. According to Stay, canker sores (apthous ulcers) and rashes around the mouth (perioral dermatitis, a form of eczema), dry mouth and other conditions, may be a result of toothpaste ingredients. Stay says that Cleure is the No. 1 recommended toothpaste by dermatologists.
When dermatologists began recommending Cleure toothpaste, demand grew for other products such as skin care, hair care and cosmetics and Stay gave up her private practice in 2005 to focus on Cleure and teaching at the University of Southern California.
“Cleure skin care was launched 2012 with the same philosophy: what does the skin need to be healthy?” she recalled. “I reviewed patch tests and made sure that our formulas didn’t contain irritants.”
Cleure soap-free cleansers for sensitive skin are formulated and proven to help remove skin impurities, oil and makeup without harsh soap ingredients, such as sodium lauryl sulfate. The SLS-free face wash, cleanser, and toner for sensitive skin are gentle enough for all skin types, according to the company.
Interestingly, Stay avoids many plant-based ingredients.
“They are medicinal and have side effects,” she explained, adding that her products do contain some plant-based materials such as shea butter. “One of my pet peeves is a ‘natural’ formula that’s loaded with plant-based materials that need to be soaked in harsh preservatives to prevent mold.”
In contrast, Cleure formulas contain ingredients like potassium phosphate, citric acid and sodium benzoate, preservatives that are widely used in the food industry.
“I am a mother and a grandmother and I want to make sure our formulas our safe,” concluded Stay. “If you just give the skin what it needs, it will stay hydrated, radiant and good-looking.”
Few brands are more associated with gentle-cleansing than Cetaphil. Last year, Galderma rolled out Ultra Gentle body wash that promises to gently cleanse even the most sensitive skin without stripping it. The formula contains aloe, vitamin B5 and a combination of moisturizers. Of course, it is fragrance-free and hypoallergenic.
As more consumers complain of sensitive skin and cases of atopic dermatitis continue to rise, personal care companies will continue to roll out skin-caring washes that gently cleanse the skin.
• INDIA: Men’s grooming is becoming big business across the globe and it seems that India is no exception as the latest research from Mintel shows that the average Indian man spends 16 minutes grooming his body, 14 minutes on his hair and 12 minutes on his face—that’s 42 minutes every day for those keeping score. In addition, men in the metro areas of India spend significantly more time getting ready each day, including time spent on their body (22 minutes), hair (21 minutes) and face (18 minutes) as compared to men overall.
“Men’s grooming, while still in a rather early stage, has been under the spotlight in India, particularly as Indian men grow increasingly image-conscious and are starting to take care of how they look. In general, men may find it overwhelming at times when finding the right products and regime that they should follow with so many choices in the market. Companies and brands in the Indian men’s grooming market should review the motivations and lifestyle patterns of various groups and customize offerings to fit in. Men in metro areas are spending more time, and as a result, they are likely to seek convenient products,” said Minu Srivastava, who is a consumer research analyst, India, at Mintel.
When it comes to looking good, Mintel research shows that almost two-thirds (65%) of Indian men are concerned about an aspect of their appearance. Specifically, a quarter of Indian men admit that body odor and hair graying are their biggest concerns (24% and 23% respectively), while just over a fifth (21%) worry about yellow teeth, excessive sweating, and bad breath, respectively.
Meanwhile, 20% say that they are concerned about baldness/hair thinning, 14% worry about acne (on the face or body) and 13% are anxious about signs of aging.