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P&G develops gel to reduce the appearance of body hair

By Chris BARKER , 17-Dec-2013

Cosmetics giant Procter & Gamble has recently filed a patent for a product which will reduce the appearance of body hair when used in cosmetics.

The invention uses a “film forming polymer” combined with a dermatological carrier to obscure hairs on the skin. It can be used with a variety of delivery systems including gels, creams, pastes and tonics.

The cosmetics company has also filed patents for other potential uses of the technology, including delivering a hair regulation product.

Procter & Gamble believe that this development can solve an unmet customer need by reducing the appearance of hair without the need to use “messy” and ineffective solutions such as depilatory creams, shaving and electrolysis.   

In the patent application, P&G state: “Various methods and personal care products have been developed to remove unwanted hair, for example, shaving, electrolysis, waxing and depilatory creams. However, such conventional procedures frequently have drawbacks associated with them.”

“Shaving, for instance, may cause nicks, cuts, rash and irritation and often leaves undesirable stubble…Therefore, these methods are not very welcomed by consumers, females especially, to manage unwanted facial hair.”

Scientific development

A key component of the technology is the “film forming polymer,” which used lay the hair on the skin flat and make it less obvious to observers, thus reducing how obvious the are follicles.

Suggested methods for using this include using high molecular weight hydrocarbon polymers with viscosities of greater than around 50,000mPas, including polybutene, polybutene terephthalate, polydecene, polycyclopentadiene and other high molecular weight hydrocarbons.   

In the application, the product is described as “a cosmetic product for reducing hair appearance in the skin comprising: a) i) a composition comprising a film forming polymer in an amount sufficient to provide hair appearance reducing effect on the skin, ii) dermatologically acceptable carrier.”

The document also dryly notes that instructions are required to insure that the gel will be applied the right way, listing another component of the idea as: “communication instructing to apply the composition along the direction of hair growth on the area of the skin where hair appearance reduction is desired.”

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