Hand & body lotions Bar soaps Deodorant Shampoo Toothpaste Oral antiseptics/ rinses Shaving cream HEADFIRST PLUNGE INTO HAND/BODY LOTION

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Hand and body lotions are turning into a hot new product category as facial care technology moves below the neck.

Alpha hydroxy acids are now taking hold in the $672 million hand and body lotion market-with new products rolling out under the Jergens, Lubriderm and Vaseline brand names.

As in facial care, the demographics for such products couldn't be better. The number of consumers ages 45 to 54 is projected to increase 50% by 2000, according to U.S. Census Bureau.

Demographics also are fueling the rise in therapeutic hand and body lotions, with or without AHA-based formulas and targeted at consumers suffering from extremely dry skin. These consumers include both baby boomers and those 65 and older, a group that should see its numbers swell to 35 million by the end of the century.

These high tech products have afforded marketers a shot at more premium pricing in a category where private labels and price brands like Helene Curtis Industries' Suave have made inroads.

Chesebrough-Pond's, a unit of Unilever Group, entered the therapeutic segment last year with Dermasil. Garnering about a 3% share, the brand has brought Chesebrough's total category share up to more than 20%; Vaseline Intensive Care's share fell slightly to 19% due to growth in the price segment.

Chesebrough is now introducing Vaseline Intensive Care Smooth Hands & Feet with an $8 million ad budget from McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York. Formulated with alpha hydroxy acids and lipids, the brand is the first mass-market product developed for use on feet and legs, both embarrassing dry skin trouble spots for women in their mid-30s.

"It's an interesting phenomenon," said Bill Reynolds, Vaseline Intensive Care category director. "We know from testing consumers love the idea and the beauty editors are ecstatic."

Andrew Jergens Co., which repackaged its Jergens line this year with the supporting merchandising and ad theme of "Jergens Solutions," is also moving toward the therapeutic segment with Repleniderm, now rolling out from West Coast markets.

Helene Curtis is playing its own card in this segment with Suave DermaCure, a value alternative. An Oct. 23 FSI-including a $1.50 mail refund-kicked off the launch, with free trial sizes to follow. Bayer Bess Vanderwarker, Chicago, handles.

Other marketers are also becoming more creative in skincare approaches.

Warner Wellcome will spend more than $40 million in 1995 to market Lubriderm, including the brand's first new products in 20 years: Moisture Recovery Gel Creme for extra-dry skin, Seriously Sensitive lotion and Moisture Recovery Alpha Hydroxy lotion and creme.

An FSI broke earlier this month; in addition to consumer support from J. Walter Thompson USA, New York, the products also will be supported by professional sampling and advertising, according to trade materials.

"A single formulation can no longer address the varying needs of today's consumers," noted Lisa Payton, Warner Wellcome category director. "As the population ages, climates change and consumers are more mobile, they are finding their skin becoming extra dry."

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