Hand soap has always been a personal hygiene essential – but hand washing has lately taken on a new significance. As the coronavirus pandemic continues, frequent handwashing remains a key message. Right now, 67% of Indian consumers say they are washing their hands more often (Mintel, 2020). However, washing your hands a lot can take its toll: certainly, it’s vital to keeping us all safe and well, but when it comes to soap facts, it can be drying, irritating, and uncomfortable for the skin.
In response to this emphasis on hand hygiene, brands need to react to these novel consumer issues. Soaps need to provide special care for the skin while responding to changing consumer concerns regarding immunity, mood-enhancing benefits, and caring for the environment. We zoom in below.
The new soap facts
In the past, soap facts would have looked something like this: soap is an astringent product that only serves to eliminate germs. It shouldn’t be used on facial skin as it’ll dry and tighten. It’s a no-frills product; that is, it won’t have many claims beyond hygiene. However, as soap begins to become even more prominent in our daily lives, brands need to respond to changing attitudes to handsoap.
It’s logical to begin with the issue that has made hand-washing so ubiquitous: it’s anti-bacterial and anti-viral qualities. Brands that want to stand out from the pack should create formulas that place immunological benefits at the forefront. Consumers are looking for scientific certification, so it’s important to make data-driven, germ-killing claims visible.
However, this isn’t to say soaps should be marketed like rubbing alcohol. After all, soap can’t be excessively astringent or drying if it’s intended for regular use. If consumers are washing their hands numerous times a day, they’ll be looking for products to moisturize and soften. Equally, mood-boosting scents will be attractive to consumers looking to unwind in the face of uncertainty.
Protecting each other and the planet
The coronavirus crisis has made us even more acutely aware of our relationship to the environment. In the face of what is effectively a natural disaster, consumers want to care for the planet. Eco-conscious personal care was trending before: NPD carrying ethical and environmental claims has more than doubled in the last five years (Mintel, 2020). In the wake of the crisis, this growth is set to be even more pronounced.
When it comes to handsoap, packaging will be a key entry point for meeting this demand. According to Mintel’s 2030 Packaging Trend projections, the next decade will be an era of conscious, rather than conspicuous, consumption. Therefore, the development of responsible packaging technologies will reach a fever pitch; brands will be competing on the basis of who’s packaging solution is the most environmentally friendly. This will lead to the rise of waterless or refillable solutions in the handsoap segment, so brands should start emphasizing these products in their portfolios.
Provital is supporting the move towards eco-soaps
Provital cares. This is why product development seeks to meet key consumer concerns, combining science and nature to create active ingredients that care and protect. In light of the new soap facts, Provital responds to these demands with active ingredients that have hydrating properties, are scientifically-proven, and kind to the environment. Several active ingredients in the Provital portfolio are perfect for solid formulas and are fully eco-certified. With these tools, brands can create a comprehensive response to consumer concerns, with solid soaps that are safe, clean, and green.