Over the years, the soap bar has evolved to keep pace with consumer demand – from an ordinary cleansing product to one that represents multiple consumer benefits, functionality and even luxury. This consumer-driven evolution has led to high growth in the 3.6 million ton global soap market - primarily in Asia, followed by South America, Africa and the Middle East. The main growth drivers for this market include the large (and growing) population in Asia, a significant increase in the hygiene and living standards and low per capita consumption of soap.
Innovative silicone solutions from Dow Corning, a global leader in silicone chemistry, are allowing soap manufacturers to cater to this demand by better differentiation in their products – thus enabling the move from the traditional mass market position to more niche and specialized positions, and capturing their share of the fast-growing, yet highly price-sensitive soap bar segment in the personal wash category.
The use of silicones in soaps allows manufacturers to make bath products that provide a range of benefits, from the merely functional to the luxuriously premium. Increasingly aware consumers now demand shower and bath products that offer multifunctional benefits, are comfortable to use, and leave skin feeling moisturized and refreshed. The traditionally available soaps and other detergents, being alkaline in nature, can remove too much oil from the skin surface, leaving the skin feeling dry and rough. Silicones enable soaps to impart the much desired perceived soft feel, moisturizing and emolliency benefits to the skin, along with a longer-lasting non-greasy feel. In addition, silicones enable soaps to have better surface gloss and shine, enhanced foam quality and texture, as well as significant reduction in mush formation and cracking, thus increasing the usable life of the soap.
“We find that consumers the world over select personal care products based on several needs - convenience, value for money, beauty features, and therapeutic attributes, as well as various combinations of these,” said Praveen Malhotra, Dow Corning’s Marketing Leader for India and South Asia. “At Dow Corning, it is our commitment to understand these needs and fulfill them exactly. Our 65 years of expertise in silicone technology have enabled us to serve companies from all over the world with high-quality silicone materials and innovative silicone-based solutions.