WaterWipes (Irish Breeze) is a privately-owned Irish company that develops and offers a range of wet wipes for babies and senior care. More than ten years ago, Irish entrepreneur and WaterWipes founder Edward McCloskey, became concerned when his newborn daughter developed a severe diaper rash.
McCloskey wanted to find out why so he researched the ingredients in the baby wipes his family was using. He was shocked to learn just how many chemicals were in them and questioned should we be putting them on his daughter’s delicate skin. He realized there had to be a better way, so he set about creating a pure, natural, and safe alternative.
Launched initially in Ireland and the UK, WaterWipes is now on the shelf in 60 countries. And as the company expands its footprint, its team is currently exploring opportunities to extend their product range into all categories where gentle skin care is vital. Within the highly-competitive skincare and healthcare market, WaterWipes is an innovative Irish firm changing the rules of the game.
A real difference
“Consumers and healthcare professionals alike recognize the purity of our wipes, and this has greatly contributed to our success,” said Jill Sommerville, Global Head of Medical, WaterWipes. “The fact that WaterWipes has received so many global accreditations, sponsorships and endorsements have strengthened our appeal globally.
Sommerville explained that people understand the science behind producing a wipe using a 5-stage water purifying technique. No other wipe brand has received so many global recommendations, including endorsements from:
- Allergy UK
- The National Eczema Association of America (NEA)
- The French Association for the Prevention of Allergies
- Eczema Association of Australasia (EAA) sponsorship
- Deutsche Haut & Allergiehilfe e.V.
WaterWipes are made from 99.9-percent, high-purity water and a drop of Fruit Extract. The Fruit Extract has naturally occurring antimicrobial properties, which help to keep the wipes fresh once opened, as well as acting as a gentle skin cleanser and conditioner. WaterWipes are alcohol and fragrance-free to help reduce the risk of drying out the skin and the potential development of contact or allergic dermatitis. Made with just two ingredients, WaterWipes are the world’s purest wipes. Today’s consumers understand that there are many unnecessary ingredients added to other wipes.
WaterWipes are developed through unique and patented technology that alters the molecular structure of normal water, causing energy to be released within the pack, which results in sterilized wipe material. This process also slightly alters the surface tension of the water, allowing for a unique “soft feel” on the skin, making WaterWipes even more effective at cleaning than cotton and regular water.
The US market
“In the USA, WaterWipes has been welcomed by mums and healthcare professionals nationwide. All major retailers stock WaterWipes, and over 160 neonatal units exclusively use WaterWipes for the babies in their care,” said Sommerville. “While WaterWipes simply do not have the financial resources to outspend competitors, we can educate parents on the positive message based on the science of purity.”
Due to demands from healthcare professionals who recognize the benefit of cleaning the skin with minimal ingredients, the makers of WaterWipes are bringing their product to the elderly population who, like babies, have sensitive and delicate skin requiring special care.
“Healthcare professionals have asked us to extend our range to senior care. We agree there is a real need in this area for gentle wipes,” added Sommerville. “As people age, their skin becomes much thinner and less pliable. Older skin can become dry & fragile. Elasticity decreases and aged skin can tear easily.”
It is known that 57-percent of nursing home residents may suffer from urinary or bowel incontinence. Successful incontinence care requires the use of wipes that will not irritate delicate skin. WaterWipes Professional Care has been designed for the nursing home, assisted living and hospital markets.
Keeping it pure
Sommerville explained that human skin is quite extraordinary. It is the largest organ in the body and has three main functions: protection, regulation, and sensation. Skin acts as a barrier and prevents infections from irritants and allergens. This applies not only to babies but also to senior skin, which becomes more sensitive as it begins to thin.
Fragrances and preservatives are the two most clinically relevant allergens found in personal care products. WaterWipes set out to develop a product for senior skin that would be effective in cleansing delicate skin but yet remain as pure as our traditional baby product.
“We see great interest from nursing home staff and caregivers who need a wipe that is gentle on the skin and does not contain unnecessary ingredients,” said Sommerville. “We know that they will welcome WaterWipes Professional Care, as an exciting addition to the range. The current offering by other companies in this area is less than ideal for senior care skin. Healthcare professionals want to use products with minimal ingredients and are gentle on delicate skin.”
The only differences between the Baby Wipes and the Professional Care wipes are the textured finish and larger size of the Professional Care wipes. The textured finish gives a soft feel for delicate skin, and the larger size enables patients and healthcare professionals to use the wipe on greater areas of the body during cleaning. They are perfectly safe for cleaning all parts of the body, face, hands, and intimate areas, as well as for incontinence-related issues.
The Irish Advantage
Ireland is one of the top, emerging, global Medical Technology (MedTech) hubs. Home to 17 of the world’s top-25 MedTech multinational companies, Ireland supports a vibrant indigenous industry, with world-class innovation and research ecosystem. As global MedTech leaders, Ireland is home to over 450 companies employing nearly 30,000 people, developing the technologies to bring about lower-cost, more localized treatments.
“Global expansion is essential for WaterWipes, and by entering new markets, we reach more consumers and given that Irish people are spread far and wide around the world, we get great support in every new market we enter,” said Sommerville. “There are great opportunities for Irish companies willing to take a risk by entering new markets.”
Innovative products and solutions offered by Irish companies are addressing global trends and challenges in healthcare. Irish companies are highly focused on using innovation to help customers in the healthcare sector to achieve their goals in the face of global challenges.