Title:
Lotion applicator
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A lotion applicator comprises two layers of flexible material joined together to allow insertion of at least a part of a user's hand therebetween. At least one of the flexible material layers consists of a non-absorbent liquid-impermeable barrier layer, and a layer of flock or pile or foam applied to the outer surface of the barrier layer. A lotion applied to the at least one flexible material layer is thus, due to the barrier layer, unable to pass beyond the flock layer or pile layer or foam layer.



Inventors:
Dunkley, Graham (Gloucester, GB)
Application Number:
10/941931
Publication Date:
05/19/2005
Filing Date:
09/16/2004
Assignee:
DUNKLEY GRAHAM
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45D34/04; A46B9/02; A47L13/18; A61F13/40; (IPC1-7): A47L13/18
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHIN, RANDALL E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NIXON & VANDERHYE, PC (ARLINGTON, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A lotion applicator comprising two layers of flexible material joined together to allow insertion of at least a part of a user's hand therebetween, at least one of the flexible material layers consisting of a non-absorbent liquid-impermeable barrier layer and one of a layer of flock and a layer of pile and a layer of foam applied to the outer surface of the barrier layer, so that a lotion applied to the said at least one flexible material layer is unable to pass beyond said one of said flock layer and said pile layer and said foam layer.

2. A lotion applicator as claimed in claim 1, wherein both flexible material layers consist of the liquid-impermeable barrier layer and said one of said flock layer and said pile layer and said foam layer.

3. A lotion applicator as claimed in claim 1, wherein the liquid-impermeable barrier layer is entirely synthetic.

4. A lotion applicator as claimed in claim 1, wherein the liquid-impermeable barrier layer is formed from polyvinylchloride (PVC).

5. A lotion applicator as claimed in claim 1, wherein the liquid-impermeable barrier layer is formed from polyurethane (PU).

6. A lotion applicator as claimed in claim 1, wherein the two flexible layers are secured together by welding.

7. A lotion applicator as claimed in claim 1, wherein the liquid-impermeable barrier layer and said one of said flock layer and said pile layer and said foam layer are secured together by adhesive.

8. A lotion applicator as claimed in claim 1, wherein the applicator is sized to fit the entire, or substantially entire, hand of a user.

9. A lotion applicator as claimed in claim 1, wherein the applicator is sized to fit only one or more fingers of a user.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a lotion applicator and in particular, but not exclusively, to a self-tanning lotion applicator.

A lotion applicator is known from GB 2327340. This type of applicator includes a layer of flexible synthetic foam material to which a layer of flock is secured.

A problem discovered with this type of applicator is that lotion applied to the flock tends to be absorbed by the foam material during use of the applicator, thus resulting in wastage of lotion and a decrease in the life of the applicator.

The present invention seeks to provide a solution to this problem.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the present invention, there is provided a lotion applicator comprising two layers of flexible material joined together to allow insertion of at least a part of a user's hand therebetween, at least one of the flexible material layers consisting of a non-absorbent liquid-impermeable barrier layer and one of a layer of flock and a layer of pile and a layer of foam applied to the outer surface of the barrier layer, so that a lotion applied to the said at least one flexible material layer is unable to pass beyond said one of said flock layer and said pile layer and said foam layer.

As a consequence of the barrier layer, applied lotion advantageously remains only in the flock and does not become absorbed by the applicator.

The invention will now be more particularly described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a plan view of first, second and third embodiments of the lotion applicator, in accordance with the present invention; and

FIG. 2 is a section through the applicator along the line 2-2.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to the FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown a lotion applicator 10 which is in the form of a mitten. The mitten is sized to accept the entire, or substantially the entire, hand of a user, or is sized to simply fit one or more fingers.

The lotion applicator 10 comprises two layers 12,14 of flexible material joined together. The two layers 12,14 are cut from a blank of the flexible material by a die-cutting machine (not shown) and, when superposed on top of each other in back-to-back fashion, are heat welded together along all but one edge. This can all be conveniently accomplished in a single manufacturing operation. Depending on the size of applicator 10 being made, the one unwelded edge forms an opening 15 to receive the entire hand or just the user's fingers.

It will, of course, be realised that other forms of securing the two flexible layers 12,14 together could be used, such as other types of welding, bonding, or stitching.

The flexible material of the two layers 12,14 consists solely of a barrier layer 16 and a layer of flock 18. The barrier layer 16 is both non-absorbent and liquid impermeable. A suitable material which displays these characteristics is polyvinylchloride (PVC). Another suitable material is polyurethane (PU). Any other suitable material could also be used.

Preferably, the barrier layer 16 is a film having a thickness in the order of 100 microns.

The flock layer 18 may comprise rayon/viscose fibres, which may be of any suitable length. For example, the fibres may have a length in the range of 0.20 millimetres (mm) to 2.00 mm. However, preferably, the fibres are no longer than approximately 1.00 mm.

The barrier layer 16 and the flock layer 18 are bonded together, prior to the die-cutting process, using any suitable known adhesive. The flock layer 18 resides, in use, on the outwardly facing surface of the barrier layer 16.

Although the flexible material of the two layers 12,14 is entirely synthetic, material incorporating natural fibres, or a combination of natural and synthetic fibres, could be used.

In a second embodiment, it will also be appreciated that, although flock is suggested as being preferable, any fabric pile layer 18′ could be utilised providing the upstanding fibre height remains within the above stated ranges, thereby preventing undesirable absorption of the lotion.

In a third embodiment of the present invention, the flock or pile layer is replaced with a foam layer 18″. It has become apparent that a high quality foam material is suitable for application of lotion and does not unduly absorb the lotion.

Consequently, in the third embodiment, the flexible material of the two layers 12′,14′ consists solely of the barrier layer 16 and the layer of foam 18″. The barrier layer 16, as above, is both non-absorbent and liquid impermeable. A suitable material which displays these characteristics is polyvinylchloride (PVC). Another suitable material is polyurethane (PU). Any other suitable material could also be used.

All other aspects of the third embodiment are as described above with respect to the first embodiment.

Lotion is applied to the flock layer 18 or pile layer 18′ or foam layer 18″ by the user. The non-absorbent liquid-impermeable barrier layer 16 prevents any lotion passing or migrating through the flock layer 18 or pile layer 18′ or foam layer 18″ and into the barrier layer 16. As a result, the lotion applied to the applicator 10 is more easily and fully transferred to the user's body, with a minimal amount of residue being left on or in the applicator 10.

In a further modification, only one of the flexible layers may be formed with the flock layer or pile layer or foam layer for applying lotion. The other side of the applicator could then be any other fabric or flexible sheet material.

Furthermore, the applicator, rather than being in the form of an enclosed mitten, may simply have a flexible application layer backed by a strip layer of flexible fabric, suitable for passing over the back of a user's hand to hold the applicator in place when the palm of the hand is applied to the inner surface of the application layer.

It is thus possible to provide a lotion applicator which not only prevents wastage of lotion, but which has an extended usable life. It is also possible to provide a lotion applicator which is simple and cost-effective to produce.

The embodiments described above are given by way of examples only, and further modifications will be apparent to persons skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.