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Medicated Personal Care Products - A Quick Guide
By Themedica on August 11, 2008 11:09 AM |
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Personal care products also known as toiletries, refer to the industry which manufactures consumer products used in personal beautification and hygiene. Personal care products include cosmetics, and products meant for feminine hygiene. There's a slight difference between personal hygienic personal-care-products.jpg products and cosmetics, as cosmetics are specially meant to be used for beautification. However, in practice little or no distinction is made vis-a-vis the products' placement in retail stores. The industry is large and diverse, and incorporates a wide array of products such as colognes, cotton swabs, facial tissue, eye liner, lipstick, hair clippers, lotion, toilet paper, makeup, mouthwash, perfumes, nail files, razors, shampoo, personal lubricant, toothpaste, skin cream, shaving cream, toothbrushes and deodorants.

Furthermore, different countries have different regulations governing the classification and trading of personal care products. For instance, in Canada a sunscreen that makes a therapeutic claim or contains an ingredient not meant to be used in cosmetics might be classified as a drug. Consequently, such a product may be refused to be supplied to the country, as a cosmetic.

Personal Care Product Classification

Usually there are two grounds for classifying personal care products (a) The composition and (b) Intended Use of the Product.
(a) Composition: A presence of a particular ingredient by itself isn't enough for classification, rather other considerations such as the concentration in addition to the composition actually determines the class (viz. cosmetic, drug) of the product.

(b) Intended Use: A products' claims about its usage such as those advertised, or indicated on packaging and labeling points to its usage. Based on these statements and messages a distinction is drawn between different types of personal care products.

Personal Care Product Types
Herbal Cosmetics: These are derived from plants and their parts viz. leaves, roots, flowers, seeds, resin, which are valued for their medicinal properties, flavor, scent, soothing effect, etc. Some common herbs are: basil, chicory, alfalfa, aloe, anise, dandelion, basil and catnip.

Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera is a prized herb and commonly found in many personal care products viz. Aloe Vera Body Lotions, Cleansing Milk, Soaps, etc. Also known as Curaiao, Barbados, Zanzibar Aloe, Socotrine and Cape, the plant is often indicated for scrapes, sunburns, burns, scalds, and used as an anti-infective agent. In cosmetics it is valued for its smoothening and beautifying effects on the skin.

Henna: Henna is yet another herb that's been highly regarded for centuries, it even holds a special value in some cultures as a form of body art. Mostly found in tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Asia, and Australasia. Common henna products entail, Henna Hair Dyes and Henna Powder.
Skin Care Products: These products refer to a plethora of creams and lotions meant to moisturize the face and body, protect the skin from damaging UV radiation, treat, repair or hide skin imperfections (e.g. wrinkles, acne, stretch-marks), or to enhance personal hygiene. Some commonly used personal care products are Antiseptic Lotions, Body Talcs, Body Washes, Chewing Gums, Cleanser and Conditioners.

Buying Tips

There has been an increase in the number of counterfeit personal care products such as articles like razor blades and moistening creams supplied to Europe and other regions. Being cautious is the key to prevent getting a supply of fake or counterfeit personal care products. Some useful tips follow.

1.Establish the integrity of the source prior to need

2.Where possible, establish a list of reliable suppliers.

3.If a product is being offered at an unusually cheap price, be wary about the treat with extra caution.

4.Look for variations in packaging and sizies (compare with previously purchased products)

5.Conduct due diligence checks regularly and review the buying process, if needed.

6.Always purchase personal care products from from reliable, trusted wholesalers and suppliers.

Industry Overview

As of today annual expenditures for cosmetics are valued at is estimated at about US$18 billion. The personal care product industry is dynamic subset of the medical industry and is growing fast. For instance in 2005, natural and organic personal care surged to reach a figure of US$4.3 billion in sales, in the USA. Expected to grow further on similar lines, the industry will attain a new peak of US$6.6 billion in sales by 2010.

In the USA the trend of growth for natural personal care products is powered by Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers, who now demand non-chemical-based,  deodorants, anti-aging preps, safer, toothpastes, shampoo, etc. An effect of the changing needs is expected to result in the baby boomers and Gen-Xers exploring aisles of retail outlets viz. supermarkets, chain drugstores for more of such products.

During the year 2005, some of US based multinationals in personal care products registered excellent financial results, this led the industry experts to raise the bar of their expectations for the following year. For instance, Colgate experienced a 24 per cent hike in its fourth quarter profits, amounting to US$361.2 million.

Another trend started to emerge during 2005. The composition of many skin-care products became sophisticated, which also raised their prices and the Anti-aging products remained to be the blockbusters. These new products directly competed with Botox, as their performance was similar but required no injections and they could be used at home itself.

That very year, a host of new skin peel products were also launched, though costlier, they were cheaper than professional beauty care expert consultations, and were convenient for usage as well. Other product categories that bloomed were the organics category and baby personal care products, including organic baby care products.

In other parts of the world, the trends are similar. For example, in Australia the market for color cosmetics was worth about US$657 million in 2007. For 2008, the demand is expected to grow at a rate of 5 percent per annum.

Aside from the US, the upcoming markets are Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region, especially China and Japan. In China, for example cosmetics usage grew 11% in 2005 and reached US $10.8 billion, and by by 2010 it is forecast to be valued at about US$18 billion.


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