Products and services

Power foams: skin care for modern industrial workers

To find out what modern industrial workers needed in terms of skin care, SC Johnson Professional set out to research various sites and employees over several years. It was discovered that many hand cleaners used were not fit for purpose, originally designed for a now outdated industrial environment. With stronger enforcement of health and safety regulations and cleaner workplaces due to mechanisation, workers are exposed to significantly fewer heavy contaminants than in the past.

Skin care products in use, whilst effective at removing grease, often contained outdated cleaning agents that were heavy in solvents, drying out and sensitising the skin after repeated usage. On the other hand, it was also found that many employees were using standard washroom soaps. These soaps were unfit for an industrial setting, making the hands hygienic but not actually cleaning soilings from the skin, leading to over-washing.

In both cases, employees were not happy with the state of their skin, but simply saw it as an occupational hazard. With a huge range of skin care challenges in this sector, from light to heavy and rare to frequent soiling, SC Johnson Professional have launched the first product range designed purely for the needs of modern industrial workers. Taking their findings and carrying out extensive product testing and development with workers; this led to the innovation and launch of the new Power Foams range, a ground-breaking set of product in terms of modern industrial skin care.

In terms of testing, SC Johnson Professional carried out trans-epidermal water loss tests (TWEL); a means to measure skin damage. This measured the skin barrier function through its ability to retain moisture; when broken, the barrier becomes more susceptible to water loss. These tests are a standard approach for high quality testing, however, SC Johnson Professional went above and beyond by performing these tests repeatedly over a period of days rather than the usual hours.

The Power Foam products were also tested over repeated use, with a forearm patch test over 4-5 days. With Power Foams, the skin condition remained healthy, whereas with competitors' products, after repeated usage the skin condition was reaching critical condition and was at serious risk of developing an occupational skin disorder (OSD).

Further testing the product to be sure of high skin compatibility, SC Johnson Professional used a fully occluded patch test. This measured the redness of skin when concentrate was applied over a period of time – as well as how long participants could comfortably leave product on skin. With competitors, participants washed the product away within hours – with Power Foams, participants were comfortable for days.

The Power Foams were also ECARF tested, which meant that the cleaners were tested on patients with serious skin conditions such as dermatitis or eczema. As no reaction was found, the products could be certified.

When it came to formulation, alongside developing a product capable of passing the tests above, the Gritty FX uses scrubbers to aid removal of soilings from the skin. Despite 90% of cleaning coming from soap itself, there is a misconception among industrial workers that scrubbers are necessary. These scrubbers act on a different level to cleaners, removing large, ‘macro’ stains from the skin.

Many competitor cleaners use jagged or sharp scrubbers such as pumice stone that could potentially damage the skin; SC Johnson Professional therefore decided to include cornmeal and olive stones in the Gritty FX formulation, both of which have smooth edges.

Unique to industrial workers, the development of the Power Foams range went above and beyond in terms of testing and formulation. As a result, they are proven to be the only industrial hand cleaners on the market which give extra power and extra care, thus providing the most appropriate skin care offering for the modern industrial employee.

Find out more on SC Johnson Professional’s website here


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