Personal care products: The unmentionables

October 15, 2010

Does she or doesn't she? Only her drugstore knows for sure. Even in today's racy culture, certain products are not discussed in polite company. Yet even blushworthy personal care products are essential, and their manufacturers are tuned to the preferences of 78 million style-conscious Baby Boomers.

Key Points

  • From Kimberly-Clark: Depend Underwear for Men and Depend Underwear for Women, U by Kotex, Click Tampons, CleanWear Pads with Wings, Barely There Thin Liners
  • From Procter & Gamble: Always Infinity, Always Long Dri-Liners Plus with Odor Lock, Tampax Pearl, Tampax Compak Pearl, Tampax Super Plus tampon
  • From Novartis: Gas-X Prevention
  • From The Mentholatum Company: Fletcher's Laxative for Kids
  • From Boehringer Ingelheim: Dulcolax Balance
  • From Schering-Plough: MiraLAX Travel Packets

Does she or doesn't she? Only her drugstore knows for sure. Even in today's racy culture, certain products are not discussed in polite company. Yet even blushworthy personal care products are essential, and their manufacturers are tuned to the preferences of 78 million style-conscious Baby Boomers.

Take Kimberly-Clark's packaging for its new Depend Underwear for Men and Depend Underwear for Women. With a transparent window showcasing new prints and colors, the package more nearly resembles a multipack of traditional underwear. Inside each variety pack are 6 pairs of colored and printed underwear with finished waistbands; patterns range from solids and stripes for men to pastels and floral designs for women.

At the other end of the age spectrum, Kimberly-Clark has launched U by Kotex. The new Kotex brand product line offers bold and vibrantly colored packages to encourage young women to change the conversation surrounding feminine care from embarrassment to open dialogue. The line debuted with Click Tampons (starts compact, but expands to full size with just one click), CleanWear Pads with Wings, and Barely There Thin Liners, all featuring new product designs, bolder packaging, and an integrated marketing campaign designed to help women become comfortable with their bodies.

Procter & Gamble's new Always Infinity is made with Infinicel, an innovative material that can absorb 10 times its weight while remaining soft, light, and flexible. A wing design provides optimal coverage from the sides; greater width in the back further increases coverage. P&G also has launched Always Long Dri-Liners Plus with Odor Lock; proprietary technology neutralizes and eliminates, rathern than masks, odors.

Procter & Gamble also has upgraded Tampax Pearl, its best-selling tampon, and has introduced 3 new products: a multipack combining Tampax Pearl and Tampax Compak Pearl; a multipack specifically designed for lighter flow; and a 36-count Super Plus tampon.

Novartis' new entry this year in the "unmentionables" category is Gas-X Prevention; taken before a meal, a single capsule can prevent pressure and bloating.

The Mentholatum Company has changed the labeling on Fletcher's Laxative for Kids to emphasize its FDA acceptance as a natural botanical product, marketable as a dietary supplement. A company representative told Drug Topics, "Fletcher's contains natural senna extract, made with senna pods, which are more gentle on the system than senna leaves. We believe this label change is a way to communicate to consumers that Fletcher's is a safe and convenient product." Fletcher's for Kids is recommended for occasional constipation rather than for daily use.

Boehringer Ingelheim has launched Dulcolax Balance for constipation relief without side effects. When mixed with a hot or cold beverage, the fast-dissolving, clear, tasteless, powder increases frequency of bowel movements and softens the stool, usually within 1 to 3 days, without causing gas, bloating, cramps, or sudden urges.

Schering-Plough's new MiraLAX Travel Packets include 10 single-dose packets per box. Handy for taking anytime, anywhere, each packet naturally balances the water in the digestive system to relieve constipation with no harsh side effects.

Dana K. Cassell, a frequent contributor to Drug Topics, lives in New Hampshire.