Patent Pick: Femcare Formulas from P&G Target Vaginal Atrophy, Dryness

Woman Flower Vaginal Area Dreamstime M 159307850

Femcare compositions to address vaginal conditions such as dryness and atrophy are the focus of a recent Procter & Gamble (P&G) patent. According to the disclosure, estimates indicate that by 2030, there will be approximately 1.2 billion menopausal and post-menopausal women worldwide, and given that the life expectancy among women has generally increased, this number is expected to grow.

In relation, the company anticipates a growing need to treat conditions and symptoms experienced by peri-menopausal, menopausal, post-menopausal women. These include vaginal atrophy and dryness.

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Market Need: Natural, Stable Solutions

A variety of vaginal care products on the market contain synthetic ingredients derived from silicone or petroleum. However, consumers have moved toward natural solutions are reluctant to use synthetic materials on or in their body, especially in sensitive or intimate areas. As such, P&G highlights the need for a vaginal care product made from only bio-based ingredients; i.e., those derived from plants or animals.

In addition, P&G notes that while natural, anhydrous vaginal care compositions may be known, they can be difficult to apply and can leave an undesirable heavy, coated feeling after application. Creating an oil-in-water emulsion using predominantly or exclusively natural and/or bioderived ingredients would better appeal to consumers who are sensitive to sustainable products while also providing a user experience that is superior to traditional anhydrous balms.

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The challenge, however, is that oil-in-water formulas can present processing and storage issues, the company reports. For example, these systems generally require the use of emulsifiers and/or preservatives to stabilize the emulsion and prevent the growth of undesirable microorganisms. The compositions disclosed herein address this need.

Bio-based Vaginal Care Compositions

United States Patent Application 20210299206
Publication date: Sept. 30, 2021
Assignee: The Procter & Gamble Co.

Herein, natural compositions are provided including a bio-based vaginal care agent; a bio-based thickener; and at least 60% water. They may optionally include bio-based: preservatives, emulsifiers and pH adjusters. The resulting natural vaginal care composition is reportedly suitable for treating symptoms of vaginal atrophy and/or dryness.

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