Products and services

Power Foams: SC Johnson Professional get hands on with consumer feedback

Launching the only industrial hand cleaner proven to give ’Xtra Power’ and ‘Xtra Care’ involved extensive consumer research. SC Johnson Professional discuss their insights and how they developed the innovative Power Foams range.

Frequent handwashing, inappropriate hand cleaners and a wide range of contaminants; for industrials workers, skin care is a challenging aspect of the job. Occupational skin disorders (OSDs) are rife, and according to the latest research, cost employers £6,000 per case reported. So, what is the best way to approach hand hygiene and skin care in an environment that presents such a varied challenge?

Researching what companies and employees need in terms of skin care was the first step for SC Johnson Professional. Insight groups across five sites in the UK and further sites in Germany included a Sheffield paint manufacturing site, employees at distribution centres, as well as a broad range of focus groups and manager interviews. Many of the workplace skin care challenges reported were as expected – but aspects of the user feedback were surprising.

Challenges in the workplace included stubborn dirt, intermittent glove use, lack of skin care training and frequent handwashing. As for the products they currently use, many people said that dispensers were unclear, multiple shots of product were needed for an effective clean and that they often dried out the skin. These challenges therefore led to a compromise between a powerful clean and a product which was kind to skin. 

Employee feedback reflected this ‘trade-off’. A need for a product that was stronger than general soap was recognised, but many workers were also looking for a hand cleaner that left hands feeling moisturised and was essentially kind to the skin.

This was reiterated by managers interviewed, who were keen for employees to be involved in choosing the right skin care for their type of work. Insights revealed that management understand the need to offer good skin care as a way of promoting a caring working environment and employee wellbeing. Product guidance and training was also important to this group.

The light industrial market is unique in needing both a powerful clean whilst also managing the prevalence of OSDs – overly harsh hand cleaners can exacerbate this problem. Workers simply do not have to accept the harsh nature of heavy-duty products as a necessary evil. The heavy industrial market on the other hand faces its own challenges, with harsher contaminants proving trickier to clean from skin. Often hand cleaners are not strong enough, which means that irritants are left on the hands, potentially increasing occurrences of OSDs. The results of this intensive research led to the launch of Power Foam Hand Cleaners – tough on dirt but gentle on skin, ideal for industrial settings.

End-user testing showed that 73% of users agreed that Estesol FX left hands feeling conditioned, and 77% of users preferred the product to regular soaps. Estesol FX PURE was specifically developed for food industry workers; suitable for sensitive skin, perfume and dye-free, the hand cleaner is certified foodsafe.

For heavier industry, the introduction of abrasive gritty foam Solopol GFX has led to an even higher preference rate; 87% of users favour the product. With twice the cleaning performance compared to traditional abrasive heavy-duty lotions, the proven extra care of GFX also means that hands feel smooth and cared for after use, with almost 4 in 5 users agreeing.

Once installed, these products have proven to be quick and easy to maintain and efficient in use, with Power Foams lasting twice as long as traditional soaps. In addition, SC Johnson Professional’s most researched, insight-driven product range has seen the first ever grey and black dispensers. Focus groups helping to shape the design of the product, with a darker colour choice selected for industrial washrooms.

The only hand cleaners proven to give ’Xtra Power’ as well as ‘Xtra Care’, the years of research and customer insight has enabled SC Johnson Professional to create a unique product offering to the industrial market. To find out more about this range visit



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