P&G issued US patent for making skin-care product

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia , April 9, 2014 () – From Alexandria, Virginia, VerticalNews journalists report that a patent by the inventors Klofta, Thomas James (Cincinnati, OH); Lavon, Gary Dean (Liberty Township, OH); Schulte, Thomas Edward (Cincinnati, OH), filed on April 26, 2010, was published online on April 1, 2014.

The patent's assignee for patent number 8685309 is The Procter & Gamble Company (Cincinnati, OH).

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Undesirable skin conditions, often associated with dry skin, occur in varying degrees and at various times for most humans. These undesirable skin conditions may be particularly evident in winter. Skin care products formulated to address the causes and symptoms of dry skin are widely known. Undesirable skin conditions may also be caused by fungal infections. For example, fungal infections are known to attack the skin of humans and cause redness, itching, burning, peeling, cracking, scaling, flaking, and in some cases even blisters and sores on the skin. One commonly known fungal organism, Candida albicans, is known to play a part in the occurrence of 'diaper rash' in infants. Another known cause of skin ailments is related to exposure of the skin to certain fecal enzymes. For example, it is believed that fecal proteolytic and lipolytic enzymes, of intestinal and/or pancreatic origin, may play a direct role in causing diaper rash, which can directly lead to undesirable ailments such as skin irritation and inflammation. Proteases and lipases are classes of enzymes produced by the body to help degrade proteins and fats in the digestive process. When in contact with the skin of a human, these enzymes are capable of irritating the skin.

"A variety of containers and delivery systems have been developed for storing, dispensing, and applying skin care compositions to skin or other surfaces (e.g., human skin, animal skin, substrate surfaces). One well known dispensing system is a simple 'squeezable' container. That is, a container formed from a flexible material to which a user can apply pressure by squeezing, thereby reducing the internal volume of the container and forcing the contents of the container out through an opening. However, at least some commonly known squeezable containers expel their contents in a manner that may be hard to control. For example, some commonly known lotion dispensers may initially dispense a 'blob' of lotion, but eventually stop dispensing, or worse, begin a sort of 'splattering' or 'sputtering' of lotion, which may result in contamination of clothing or other surfaces. Because of the inexact method of dispensing the skin care composition out of a squeezable container (i.e., applying too much or too little pressure), a user may not dispense the desired amount of lotion. In addition, it may be necessary for a user to spread the skin care composition over the desired area of the body with a hand or finger, resulting in the undesirable contamination of the hands/fingers and/or discomfort to the irritated, highly sensitive areas of the skin.

"Aerosol delivery systems have been widely used to deliver a variety of consumer goods, including personal care compositions because they typically 'atomize' the composition, which may reduce the need for spreading the composition over the skin (e.g., with a hand or fingers). Aerosol systems typically utilize volatile propellants to push the product out of a container. Aerosol technology has gained favor for being both effective and relatively inexpensive. But the release of traditionally used fluorocarbon and hydrocarbon type propellants into the atmosphere is undesirable due to the actual and perceived negative impacts these chemicals may have on the environment. Another disadvantage is that the aerosol containers are considered pressure vessels, which can necessitate extra safety equipment and procedures during its manufacture. The pressurized containers can also create concern for human injury if problems arise during storage, use, or disposal. And the high internal pressure accompanying many aerosol products may limit the material and geometry options for the container. Yet another disadvantage is that as the amount of product in the container decreases through normal use, the pressure inside the container typically decreases. In at least some instances, when the container no longer has sufficient pressure to expel the stored product, there may still be a useful amount of product remaining in the container. And when the aerosol container is discarded, the remaining product is wasted or may even result in undesirable environmental pollution. Still another disadvantage of aerosol dispensers is that when used to apply a composition to the skin of a user, the composition tends to be expelled at an undesirably cold temperature and may create a feeling of discomfort on the skin of a user.

"A pump system is one alternative to aerosols and squeezable containers. Pump systems generally dispense a metered amount of product by actuating a pump. However, different consumers may not all desire the same amount of product for a particular use, and thus difficulty arises in providing a proper metered amount that is satisfactory to all users. For example, a first consumer may need to pump a dispenser two times to dispense the desired amount of product, while another consumer may only require one pump of the same dispenser. And if the desired amount of product is somewhere between pumps, the consumer may become frustrated in attempting to use the pump dispenser. In addition, pump systems typically must be properly oriented to function as intended. For example, some commonly known pump systems will not function properly when the pump is oriented upside-down or even sideways. And some pump systems may dispense undesirably, intermittently, or not at all as the amount of product in the container is depleted. Further, some pump systems may be better than aerosol containers when it comes to expelling the contents the container, but pump systems may still be unable to expel substantially all of their contents.

"Delivery systems that utilize a collapsible bag in combination with an elastic component are known. However, such delivery systems are typically arranged such that a majority, if not all, of the band expansion and contraction occurs in the radial direction. For example, the bottom of the collapsible bag and/or elastic component may be permanently affixed to one another and/or the bottom of the container such that the affixed components are unable to expand or contract in the axial direction. Such an arrangement can lead to an undesirable amount of the contents of the bag being trapped in the bottom and unavailable for use. Additionally, at least some prior art collapsible bags are generally made using an injection stretch blow molding process wherein a preform is injection molded and then stretched and blown in a blow mold. In the prior art method, the elastomeric band is not placed around the preform before and/or during the blow molding process. Instead, the preform is first blown into a bag and allowed to cure. Then, the bag is removed from the mold, collapsed radially, and then inserted into the band via a separate process.

"Accordingly, it would be desirable to provide a simplified method for making a personal care product which utilizes a non-pump, non-aerosol dispenser capable of dispensing substantially all of the composition stored therein. It would also be desirable to provide a method for making a personal product that dispenses a personal care composition in the form of a film without the use of an additional applicator or without the additional requirement of spreading by the user. It would further be desirable to provide a method of making a personal care product that utilizes a dispenser that does not clog."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "In order to provide a solution to the problems described above, a method for treating a skin ailment without the use of an additional applicator is disclosed herein. The method comprises providing a personal care product, actuating a valve member such that the personal care composition is dispensed through the opening at a pressure, and applying the personal care composition directly to a portion of compromised skin to form a film thereon. The personal care product comprises an outer container and an at least partially expanded collapsible bag disposed in the outer container. The collapsible bag includes an elastic member surrounding at least a portion of the collapsible bag such that the elastic member is stretched axially and radially. The elastic member is constructed of an elastically extensible material that permits the transfer of infrared radiation through at least a portion of the elastic member. The personal care product further includes a personal care composition disposed in the collapsible bag. The personal care composition is suitable for treating a skin ailment. The personal care product also includes a normally-closed actuatable valve member, which, when actuated, provides a flow path for the personal care composition to flow from the collapsible bag through an opening to an external environment."

For additional information on this patent, see: Klofta, Thomas James; Lavon, Gary Dean; Schulte, Thomas Edward. Method for Making a Personal Care Product. U.S. Patent Number 8685309, filed April 26, 2010, and published online on April 1, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=88&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=4388&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=20140401.PD.&OS=ISD/20140401&RS=ISD/20140401

Keywords for this news article include: Enzymes and Coenzymes, The Procter & Gamble Company.

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