New launch for Olay in August 2011 : a facial hair removal kit.
Olay intends to broaden its consumers by answering an new concern unanswered until now by the brand : facial hair. According to P&G, the mother company of Olay brand, “85% reported removing facial hair occasionally in a
2010 Olay global survey of 6,600 women”. On a marketing and business point of view, it is a big market to conquer. And actually, this question of facial hair removal for women maybe seems new for the western world, but Asia and India are already used to that kind of product.
This new market is approached by Olay with a kit, Olay Smooth Finish Facial Hair Removal Duo, to be launched in August 2011. This new product is claimed to have been developed through the “P&G Connect + Develop” initiative, a program held by P&G to share its R&D with partners worldwide.
The product is a kit made of 2 steps claimed to “remove fine to medium unwanted facial hair on the upper lip and jaw line, while minimizing irritation” :
– Step 1 : a “Skin Guarding Balm”, applied on the area to be treated, and claimed to “provide a thin guarding layer while still exposing hair”.
– Step 2 : a “Hair Removal Cream”, “applied over the guarding balm to weaken and effortlessly remove fine to medium hair”
Step 1 : Skin Guarding Balm
Formula structure / Technology
This formula is basically an anhydrous stick made of hydrophobic raw materials – Ozokerite and Beeswax -, an emollient – Sucrose Polycottonseedate – and a polymer, Tri-K Glossamer L-6600 (Brassica Campestris/Aleurites Fordi Oil Copolymer). This last ingredient, Glossamer L-6600, is claimed by its manufacturer to be a “natural polymer for skin, sun and hair care applications, excellent film forming properties for moisturization, gloss and shine and water/wear resistance”.
In addition, the formula contains Ethylene Brassylate, also known as “Musk T”, a fragrance ingredient. It is “a Macrocyclic ester perfumery ingredient which embodies sweet and substantive musk notes. Its molecular structure is however similar to that of naturally occurring musk components. It is used to manufacture fine fragrance and cosmetic perfumes for consumer beauty products.” On Vaseline website, it can also be read that Ethylene Brassylate is “an odor neutralizer to help mask any unpleasant odors from certain essential ingredients”. It can have been added to attenuate the famous strong smell of Calcium Thioglycolate used in the second step of the kit as the depilatory principle.
The formula contains antioxidants (Tocopherol and Propyl Gallate) to avoid oxidation of hydrophobic raw materials, and Propylparaben to avoid the proliferation of molds due to humidity.
The formula contains Tocopheryl Acetate, i.e. Vitamin E Acetate, as active ingredient. But actually, the active ingredients in the formula are more its components. Indeed, in the P&G factsheet about this new Olay Smooth Finish Hair Removal Duo, the first step contains :
– “Wax blend to defend skin’s moisture barrier throughout the hair removal process” : this wax blend is made of Ozokerite and Beeswax
– “Glossamer to help form a thin protective layer on skin’s surface” : corresponds to Tri-K Glossamer L-6600 described above
– “Emollients to help the balm blend smoothly and soften skin” : Sucrose Polycottonseedate
Step 2 : Hair Removal Cream
Formula structure / Technology
O/W emulsion emulsified with Ceteareth-20, helped with Cetearyl Alcohol. The formula does not contain any thickening / stabilizing polymer.
The oil phase is made of Mineral Oil
The aqueous phase contains the depilatory active ingredient, Calcium Thioglycolate Hydroxide.
Due to the presence of Calcium Thioglycolate Hydroxide, the pH of the formula is high enough to make it self-preserved without the addition of preservative molecules.
As “marketing” active ingredients, the formula contains :
– an extract of Camomile flower (Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract)
– Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice
But the depilatory ingredient, Calcium Thioglycolate Hydroxide, is the true active ingredient of the formula, efficient to remove unwanted hair. Indeed, Calciul Thioglycolate breaks down the disulphide bonds in keratin and weakens the hair so that it is easily scraped off where it emerges from the hair follicle. More details on the principle of Chemical depilatory are given in this article.