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A Refreshing Look at Personal Care How some brands are taking another approach to the everyday product

Some of what we have in our bathroom cabinet has been routine for a long time. While our industry is always innovating, developing new formulas and using superior ingredients, the basic concept of what a product is, how we use it, or what type of process we use to make it largely stays the same.

That’s changing in a lot of aspects of what we do, and especially for some brands who instead of improving upon an idea, prefer to change it from the ground up.

Here we have five brands who have taken a look at common toiletries and proposed revolutionary changes.

Reformulating Our Armpits

Most of us aren’t used to wiping on antiperspirant like a lotion, but Nuud is looking to change that. They set out to redefine how we keep our armpits fresh, creating an ‘anti-odorant’ that’s just as innovative for what it’s made of (100% organic) as it is the way its dispensed.

Applying just a pea-sized amount under each arm, Nuud neutralizes the bacteria that causes body odor, and can last up to a week (most body types need to apply Nuud every 3-4 days to stay fresh).

What’s more, being an active person, playing sports, or even showering has no effect on Nuud’s ability to neutralize bacteria and work in concert with our sweat glands’ natural processes.

In trying to create an armpit revolution, Nuud is puttng a spotlight on our pits and the science behind traditional antiperspirants (whose aluminum mixes with sweat, clogging pores). In fact, the product’s chemistry is unique enough that they recommend all users undergo an armpit ‘detox’ while they transition to a new way of life ­— fresh armpits worldwide.

Field-Tested Innovation

Founded in 2018 by industry veterans Benjamin Bernet and Justin Guilbert, Bravo Sierra has made tenets of the armed forces tentpoles of their brand.

When the pair decided to venture out into their own (Bernet ran men’s skin care at Kiehl’s and L’Oreal, and Guilbert ran marketing operations for Garnier, and Maybelline) they looked towards the military as an ideal model of personal care.

Not only did servicemen fit their outlook on personal care, but they represented a core brand personality Bravo Sierra could wrap themselves around.

“They are people who have each others’ backs, no matter where they are from.” said Guilbert. “We thought it an appealing, positive, almost progressive unifying message.”

Marketing to army vets is nothing new — companies have been doing it for decades. However, Bravo’s approach is much more than slapping a we support the troops bumper sticker on the bottle.

The products are designed for active duty — be it in Gold’s Gym or in Afghanistan — and everything is field tested through their Active Duty Field Development & Testing program.

Their chief innovation is in how they make the product. Through a network of proprietary tools and social channels, Bravo collaborates directly with consumers on product feedback and ideation. They call it social manufacturing and believe it’s the next frontier in product development.

The company was rewarded last year with $6.7 Million in venture capital funding, and keeping to their philosophy on personal care, Bravo donates 5% of its sales to Army,  Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs.

A Day & Night Approach to Oral Care

Toothpaste isn’t known as being the rock star of the medicine cabinet, but it has its moments. It’s the most commonly used personal care item in the U.S. (97% of all Americans use it)2 but our routines about it are largely set in stone.

In other parts of the world, habits are different, less so, or even non-existent. That’s what motivated founding brothers Julian and Cody Levine to partner with Lenny Kravitz, and evolve brushing into a ritual, rather than a chore. In the process, they could provide access to dental care to those without it.

Twice’s mission is simple: create an experience people can look forward to, and provide them with the tools they need to commit to a healthy oral care routine. At the same time, use their partnership with world organizations to provide that experience to those who don’t have a steady regiment. The company believes that a healthy smile can be a life-changing experience.

Twice toothpaste is sold in bundles — a wintergreen and peppermint flavor to wake you in the morning, and calming vanilla and lavender for nighttime brushing. Both formulas are naturally-sourced, vegan-friendly, and free of SLS, PEGs, parabens, and gluten.

Naturally, the company gives back to the communities that inspired them. Partnering with the GLO Good Foundation, 10% of all profits are donated to provide funding for more missions around the world. As they note in their promotional materials, whoever said a smile can’t change the world, clearly wasn’t using the right toothpaste.

Laying a Foundation, 5% of the Time

Set to debut in the Summer of 2020, Procter & Gamble’s newest gadget is approaching blemishes in a whole new way. Part computer, part ink-jet printer, Opte digitally scans your skin, analyzes your complexion, and dispenses a layer of foundation specific to individual spots and blemishes.

If an area has no blemishes, Opte does nothing. If a spot has some tonal imperfections, Opte prints picolitre droplets of their proprietary Spot Optimizing Serum.

Every blemish is individually analyzed, allowing for the precise amount of serum to blend in seamlessly with the rest of your skin. The serum also works to reduce blemish visibility over time.

The device made its debut at CES 2019 and began turning heads immediately. Since then, the company has improved performance, processing images 30% faster and making it 70% less expensive.3 The internal camera captures 200 frames per second and uses an algorithm to detect imperfections even beyond what we can see with the human eye.

Face Masks for the Common Man

The personal care segment for men is one-quarter the size for women,4 and the Wolf Project trying to challenge misconceptions that face masks are strictly a women’s issue. Founder Francesco Urso was in Asia and noticed he saw far less stigma there around men and face masks. Surprised how much he enjoyed it himself, he set out to create a superior product the Average Joe would use.

Their line of charcoal face products are designed specifically for the differences in a man’s skin (including a 20% thicker layer of dermis, higher oil levels and increased pore size). They boast the same rejuvinating effect touted by the best women’s-focused brands in the industry.

Wolf is out to promotes their core philosophy: that having good skin doesn’t have to compete with a man’s priorities. After all, you can easily take thirty minutes for a fresh face before you take the Harley out for a spin.

An Innovation Reboot

Advancements in personal care go beyond new ingredients and breakthrough formulas. At times, we need to take a new approach to the everyday products that built this industry. Good brands are soliciting feedback, testing products, and coming up with novel ideas for taboo topics.

Companies will continue to grow beyond the basics and challenge what we do in personal care. Are we reinventing the wheel? In some cases, yes. In others, it’s a natural progression of an industry that’s full of ideas.

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