Title:
Topical Applicator with Exchangeable Sponge Head
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A topical applicator that includes a foldable elongated handle with an exchangeable application pad with two applicator surfaces. The elongated handle includes a grip arm, a curved ring arm, and an adjustable locking hinge. The grip arm and ring arm are configured so that the grip arm and ring arm when pivoted rearward into a folded nesting position. Attached to the distal end of the ring arm is a ring with center opening. The ring and the center opening are configured to at least partially encircle and receive a complimentary shaped foam application pad with two opposite applicator surfaces. In one embodiment, the application pad is slightly larger than the ring and includes groove formed on along the midline axis of the application pad's perimeter surface. The center portion of the application pad is partially compressed thereby forming an hour glass configuration that holds the application pad in place.



Inventors:
Stewart, Sona (Issaquah, WA, US)
Application Number:
13/623055
Publication Date:
03/21/2013
Filing Date:
09/19/2012
Assignee:
STEWART SONA
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45D40/26
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BERRY, STEPHANIE R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DEAN A. CRAINE (BELLEVUE, WA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A topical applicator for applying topical compositions to difficult to reach skin areas, comprising: a. a foldable elongated handle includes a curved grip arm, a curved ring arm connected together by an adjustable locking hinge, said grip arm and said ring arm are configured so that said ring arm when pivoted rearward nests in a stacked, compact configuration over said grip arm, said locking hinge allows said grip arm and said ring arm to be selectively moved from a stacked closed position to an open extended position and then locked in a temporarily set position, said ring arm includes a longitudinally aligned ring with a center opening; and, b. an exchangeable application pad with two opposite flat applicator surfaces, said application pad being compatible in shape and size so that said applicator pad may be inserted into said center opening on said ring and temporarily to apply a cream or lotion dispensed on one or both said applicator surface.

2. The topical applicator as recited in claim 1, wherein said application pad is made of foam.

3. The topical applicator as recited in claim 1, wherein said application pad is made of cotton.

4. The topical applicator as recited in claim 1, wherein said ring is an enclosed circle.

5. The topical applicator as recited in claim 1, wherein said ring is a split structure.

6. The topical applicator as recited in claim 1, wherein said applicator is distributed as a kit that also includes at least two applicator pads and a outer container.

Description:

This utility patent application is based on and claims the filing date of U.S. provisional patent application 61/536139, filed on Sep. 19, 2011.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

Notice is hereby given that the following patent document contains original material which is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile or digital download reproduction of all or part of the patent document, but otherwise reserves all copyrights whatsoever.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention pertains to applicators used to manually apply to the skin topical compositions, such as lotions, creams, paste, gels.

2. Description of the Related Art

Individuals afflicted with skin conditions or injuries sometimes require topical application of one or two different compositions to the skin. The skin areas to be treated are sometimes located in hard-to-reach areas or the individual may have a physical condition that limits their movement and reach.

An application with two applicator surface is desireable because in some instances, two topical compositions must be applied sequentially to the same immediately after each other. In other instances, it is also desirable to exfoliate the skin with an exfoliating surface and immediately apply a cream or lotion to the exfoliated skin.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

At the heart of the invention is the discovery that many individuals desire to apply one or two different topical compositions to areas of the body that are beyond their reach and that an applicator with an elongated handle with an easily exchangeable application pad with two applicator surfaces would be desirable.

Disclosed herein is a topical applicator that includes a foldable, angularly adjustable elongated handle with a low profile circular or U-shaped ring formed or attached on one end in which an exchangeable foam application pad with two opposite applicator surfaces is attached. The elongated handle includes a rigid grip arm with an adjustable locking hinge formed on its distal end. Connected to the adjustable locking hinge is a rigid ring arm. Mounted on the distal end of the ring arm is a longitudinally aligned ring. The grip and ring arms are configured so that when the ring arm is pivoted rearward, they partially nest together for compact storage in a medicine cabinet or a bathroom drawer.

The ring may be integrally or attached to the distal end of the ring arm. The ring may be an enclosed circle, an enclosed square, an enclosed triangular or an enclosed oval with a center opening. The front section of the ring opposite the ring arm may be removed thereby enabling the sponge to slide longitudinally onto the ring. When the ring is a fully enclosing structure, the application pad must be perpendicularly and coaxially aligned over the ring in order to be inserted into the center opening.

The ring and the sponge are configured so that the sponge must be slightly compressed in order to fit into the ring's center opening. In one embodiment, the ring includes a smooth interior surface that snap fits around the application pad's mid-line axis located on the side wall. In another embodiment, a plurality of inward projecting teeth or bumps are forced on the ring that press against the application pad's sidewall to hold the application pad in place.

The application pad is made of open cell foam with two opposite applicator surfaces. The applicator surfaces may have the same texture or and different textures for applying a cream or lotion or exfoliating the skin. The elasticity of the foam is sufficient so that the ring may press inward on the application pad's side walls thereby compressing the application pad into an hour glass configuration with two opposite, substantially parallel applicator surfaces.

The adjustable locking hinge disposed between the grip arm and the ring arm enables the user to rotate the grip arm and ring arm in a 210 degrees around the hinge's center axis. The hinge includes at plurality of locking lugs that enable the grip arm and ring arm to be temporarily locked into a plurality of set positions that enables the application pad's applicator surfaces to be pressed against the skin with sufficient force.

During installation, the application pad is inserted into the ring's center opening so that the ring engages the application pad. Because the ring at least partially encircles the application pad, the application pad is securely held when the handle is moved back and forth and side to side over the skin. During use, one or two topical compositions are applied to the one or both applicator surfaces. The grip arm and the ring arm are then pivoted around the hinge to the desired set temporarily locked positions. The elongated handle is then moved back and forth and side to side over the skin. If desired, the elongated handle may be rotated in the hand and the grip arm and ring arm may be repositioned so that the opposite applicator surface may be used against the skin.

The topical applicator may be sold as a kit that includes the elongated handle, a plurality of exchangeable application pads that are distributed in a single outer container.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the topical applicator with a foam application pad attached to the ring arm and shown in an extended position.

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the topical applicator shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the topical applicator showing the ring arm with a application pad attached to the ring being moved between five positions.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the first embodiment of the topical applicator in an extended configuration showing the bottom surface of the elongated handle with a smooth surface style ring and with the application pad removed.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the adjustable locking hinge.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of the topical applicator with the elongated handle with two decorative cover plates, a ring attached to the ring arm that includes inward extending teeth sold formed on its inside surface and two exchangeable application pads, and an outer bag container.

FIG. 7 is a side elevational view similar to the view shown in FIG. 3 showing the elongated handle with a application pad attached to the ring being moved between extended and folded positions.

FIG. 8 is a bottom plan view of the topical applicator shown in FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is a top perspective of the topical applicator shown in FIG. 7-8 with the application pad and the two cover plates removed.

FIG. 10 is a bottom perspective view showing the grip arm and ring arm separated and selectively connected together or dissembled.

FIG. 11 is a bottom perspective view of the distal end of the grip arm and the proximal end of the ring arm with the lock elements formed thereon.

FIG. 12 is a top perspective of the assembled locking hinge.

FIG. 13 is a top plan view of the ring with the front section removed and showing a application pad being longitudinally inserted into the ring.

FIG. 14 is a side elevation of the second embodiment of the application pad showing to applicator surfaces with a layer of cream or lotion applied to each applicator surface.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)

Referring to the accompanying FIGS. 1-14, there is shown a topical applicator 10 that includes a foldable elongated handle 12 with an exchangeable dual applicator surface application pad 50 that fits into a flat ring 30 mounted or formed on the distal end of the elongated handle 12. The elongated handle 12 includes a curved grip arm 15 and a complimentary shaped ring arm 25. Formed between the distal end 17 of the grip arm 15 and the proximal end 26 of the ring arm 25 is a multiple position, adjustable locking hinge 40. The grip arm 15 and ring arm 25 are configured so that the curved ring arm 25 when pivoted rearward over the grip arm 15 is aligned in a folded stacked compact configuration as shown in FIGS. 3 and 7.

As shown in FIG. 6, the grip arm 15 and the ring arm 25 may include a decorative cover plate 80 and 82, respectively that snap fit thereover.

Formed or attached to the distal end 28 of the ring arm 25 is a longitudinally aligned ring 30. In the embodiment show in the Figs, the ring 30 is an enclosed circle (see FIGS. 4, 6, 9, and 10) or it may be a split ring (see FIG. 13). It should be understood however, that the ring 30 may be an enclosed or split square, an enclosed or split triangular or an enclosed or split oval. All rings 30 have an center opening 37 designed to receive a complimentary shaped foam application pad 50. When the ring 30 is a fully enclosed structure, the application pad 50 must be perpendicularly and coaxially aligned over the ring 30 in order to be inserted into the center opening. When the ring 30 is a split structure, the application pad 50 may be longitudinally aligned and moved longitudinally into the center opening 37.

The ring 30 and application pad 50 are complimentary in shape. The ring 30 is slightly smaller than the application pad 50 so that the application pad 50 must be slightly compressed in order to fit tightly fit into the ring's center opening 37. In one embodiment shown in FIG. 4, the ring 30 includes a smooth interior surface 32 that snap fits around the application pad's mid-line axis located on the side wall 52. In another embodiment, shown in FIGS. 6 9 and 10, the a plurality of inward projecting teeth or bumps 38 are formed or attached to the inside surface of the ring 30 that press against the application pad's sidewall 52 to hold the application pad 50 in place on the ring 30.

The adjustable locking hinge 40 is formed by complimentary parts formed on the distal and proximal ends 17, 26 on the grip and ring arms 15, 25, respectively. As shown in FIGS. 10-12, the grip arm 15 includes two longitudinally aligned outer ears 18. Formed on each ear 18 is an opening 19. Formed on the outside surface of the grip arm 15 is a centrally aligned, extending lug 46. The ring arm 25 includes a rounded hub 27 formed on the ring arm's proximal end 26. The hub 27 is designed to fit into the space formed in between the two outer ears 18. The hub 27 includes two pegs 42 that snap fit into the two holes 19 formed on the two ears 18 to couple and pivotally connect the grip arm 15 and the ring arm 25 together. Formed on the outer surface of the hub 27 are recessed teeth 44 configured to engage the outer surface of the lug 46 when the arms 15 and 25 are connected together. The recessed teeth 44 are aligned on the hub 27 so that the ring aim 25 may rotate in an approx. 210 arc over the distal end of the grip arm 15 and locked in at least five set positions as shown in FIGS. 4 and 7.

The application pad 50 is preferable made of open cell foam, similar to a sponge with two opposite applicator surfaces 55, 60. It should be understood however, that the application pad may be a cotton or nylon pad. The applicator surface 55 and 60 maybe flat, slightly convex or slightly concave. The applicator surfaces 55, 60 may have the same texture or and different textures for applying a cream or lotion or exfoliating the skin. The elasticity of the pad 50 must be sufficient so that the ring 30 may press inward on the application pad's side wall 52. When the applicator pad 50 is an elastic foam, the ring 30 compresses the application pad 50 into an hour glass configuration as shown in FIG. 1 with two opposite, substantially parallel applicator surfaces 55, 60.

During installation, the application pad 50 is inserted into the ring's center opening 37 so that the ring 30 engages the side wall 32 of application pad 50. Because the ring 30 at least partially encircles the application pad 50, the application pad 50 is securely held when the elongated handle 12 is moved back and forth and side to side over the skin. During use, one or two topical compositions 100 or 102 are applied to the one or both applicator surfaces 55, 60. The grip arm 12 and the ring arm 25 are then pivoted around the locking hinge 40 to the desired set temporarily locked positions. Using one hand on the hand grip area on the elongated handle 12, the applicator 10 is then moved back and forth and side to side over the skin. If desired, the elongated handle 12 may be rotated in the hand and the grip arm 15 and ring arm 25 may be repositioned so that the opposite applicator surface may be used against the skin.

As shown in FIG. 6, topical applicator 10 may be distributed and sold as a kit as that includes the elongated handle 12, a plurality of exchangeable application pads 50, 50′ that are distributed in a single outer container 200. One or more application pad 50, 50′ may then be sold and distributed separately.

In compliance with the statute, the invention described herein has been described in language more or less specific as to structural features. It should be understood however, that the invention is not limited to the specific features shown, since the means and construction shown, is comprised only of the preferred embodiments for putting the invention into effect. The invention is therefore claimed in any of its forms or modifications within the legitimate and valid scope of the amended claims, appropriately interpreted in accordance with the doctrine of equivalents.