Though luxury retail hand cleansers are largely liquid, commercial buyers have eschewed liquid soaps in favor of high quality foam hand soap. Liquid soaps can be messy, dry out hands or otherwise be perceived as “cheap,” distributors say.

“Out of the dispenser foam feels more substantial; it lathers right away and creates a good user experience,” Schneringer says. “Foam feels very luxurious.”

Don Emrick, director of healthcare at Dade Paper, agrees. He says high-end soap makers aren’t just focusing on foam — they’re focused on combining spa ingredients with high quality foam.

Unlike foam soaps that are “thin, watery or flat,” these high quality foam hand soaps provide users with a thick, creamy application, similar to a shaving cream.

“The quality of foam is so high that you can turn your hand upside down and it never leaves the hand,” Emrick says. “It’s more appealing to the end user.”

Foam also fits in well with the switch to automated and touchless soap dispensers. Besides providing a more modern environment for restroom patrons, luxury foam hand soap also provides cost savings over time.

A single application of high quality foam hand soap can provide enough lather to wash hands, making users less likely to return to the dispenser for more product. For BSCs and building owners, it’s another reason to invest in luxury hand soap’s initially higher price tag.

“It is more expensive,” Schneringer says of the soap and dispensers. “But compared to other renovations to do to a building, it’s not going to bankrupt anyone. It’s about creating an impression. It’s presented in a way that you feel better about it and the users feel better about it, and they feel better about the facility.”

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