The positive impact of hand washing on reducing the spread of Coronavirus is well documented. We’re all humming ‘Happy Birthday’ as we carefully wash our hands 6-10 times a day, according to latest stats. However, the same survey found that 64% of respondents reported dry or cracked skin as a result of this extra washing. Similarly, dermatologists in New York are reporting a rise in eczema and dermatitis rashes as the washing strips away healthy sebum on our skin.

For formulators and marketers, no doubt under extreme pressure to be launching new soaps, hand washes and hand sanitisers as we learn to live with the disease, this automatic assumption that irritation is part of the deal with hand washing is a difficult consumer expectation to shift.

Getting the right balance of efficacy and moisturisation … ‘yes, this will clean your skin and kill germs without leaving your hands dry’… will be the new battleground for personal care brands.

How to test for mildness

When we launched our new ultra-sensitive skin mildness test last year, we knew that mildness was topical but could never have predicted just how important it was going to become in 2020. The test allows brands to benchmark their products against others in their own range eg ‘normal’ vs ‘sensitive’ formulations, and also against other competitor brands in the category. We already have a strong set of data for soaps which we compared against facial washes, with some interesting results. The same goes for surfactants.

You can see the data for soaps in the chart below, taken from our infographic about the test, and how the test results can help detect even subtle differences between already ultra-mild ingredients and products. The results were also featured in this article in February’s SPC magazine. Key findings included:

  • Of the ten market leading soaps we tested initially, only two reached the most mild classification of ‘Non-Irritant’, giving an instant marketing advantage to them
  • Some value soaps were equally as mild as luxury equivalents, helping to dispel the theory that only expensive soaps are gentle
  • Our lab team were surprised when a famous, highly scented soap proved milder than a comparable ‘no frills’ brand

Graph showing results of comparison of soaps and facial washes

Get in touch with us today if you’d like to learn how to use the XtraMild test to develop ever milder products or ingredients, or understand how irritant your existing products may be.

Share the infographic with a colleague: XCellR8 Infographic_Mildness Testing_B2B_FINAL


Please follow and like us: