Wipe Technology Brings Portability to Personal Care

Young, on-the-go and workout-obsessed consumers are wiping out traditional forms of grooming products, literally.Accustomed to wipe technology in the form of cleansing and makeup-removing variations, more consumers, especially Millennials and Generation Z, are snapping up everything from deodorants to hair refreshers in the portable package option.This week, Jackie Stauffer is leveraging her 12-plus years of experience with companies such as the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. and Equinox to launch Recess, a line of wellness-based personal-care products in easy-to-use biodegradable wipes for face, hair and body.An avid workout fan, Stauffer was frustrated that she didn’t have time to wait in a shower line before getting back to work after exercising. “I was lucky enough to be able to work out at Equinox at lunchtime, but I found the process of packing up everything was just stressing me out. And I had sensitive skin, so I can’t use just whatever is in every bathroom,” Stauffer said. “I knew I could come up with something better.” Compounding the issue was a lack of quality of existing convenient options. “I tried every portable face, hair and body wipe on the market and couldn’t find anything that made my hair and skin look great and was truly effective.”Recess joins the growing ranks of wipe brands including Goodwipes, now rolling out to 2,000 CVS stores, Savvy Travelers and feminine care from brands such as Knours, The Honey Pot and Summer’s Eve. According to Euromonitor, wipes as a delivery form of beauty is an emerging business, with growth projected to expand 3 percent a year through 2019. There’s tremendous potential since wipes produce less than 12 percent of the $32 billion U.S. beauty and wellness cleanser business.Stauffer, along with partners Cathy Yukich and Jaime Roth, zeroed in on three areas for the launch — Face 101: Cleansing Wipes; Body 101: Deodorant Wipes, and Hair 101: Charcoal Hair Blotters. More products will roll out in June and July. The Charcoal Hair Blotters, in particular, filled a market gap Stauffer identified.“It is going to be a cult favorite. People who have already tried it said that they wouldn’t have previously used dry shampoo, but this is now a habit. It isn’t like spraying white powder or propane-based formulas onto your scalp,” she said, adding it is more portable than dry shampoos and a good fit for the growing ranks of people who don’t shampoo daily. Recess Hari 101: Charcoal Hair BlottersStauffer’s vision isn’t to flood the market, rather listen to her audience and add the “right sku’s.” Initial distribution is online, with plans for sales points such as fitness centers, hotels and apparel retailers. The lineup is priced at $26 for a package of 15 wipes, and $10 for a package of 25 Hair Blotters.She noted Recess is gender-neutral and not designed to replace home “bathroom brands,” but rather be travel-ready for on-the-go use. Stauffer said by 2020, 40 percent of the U.S. workforce will consist of independent contractors. “There is the ability to be connected from anywhere to do your work or play. We’re not in that habit where you go to work, come home and go work out. Now it is an integrated day with what we call ‘in between moments,’ and the seeds of Recess are to offer opportunities to take care of yourself no matter where you are.”Goodwipes, the brand rolling out at CVS, was actually created by two men, Charlie Siciak and Sam Nebel, who at first just wanted to offer wipes that weren’t for babies. Their business in feminine care now represents the lion’s share of sales and will be a major part of CVS’ expanding feminine care department. The brand is also sold at Walmart and on Amazon.Knours, which launched earlier this year for hormonal shifts, features In-Bed Cleansing wipes to clean and refresh skin without getting out of bed, while Savvy Traveler, a line of portable beauty products, has wipe technology for everything from nail-polish remover to Bottoms Up, a booty bidet. An up-and-coming natural feminine-care line called The Honey Pot has two plant-based feminine wipes choices.

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