Degree Has Created the World’s First Deodorant for People With Disabilities

Bella Cacciatore
·3 min read

Degree Deodorant just made history by announcing the launch of Degree Inclusive, the world’s first deodorant designed specifically for people with disabilities. The product—which is still in its prototype phase but will be hitting the market soon—features a hooked design for one-handed usage and magnetic closures on the cap that are easier to handle if you have limited grip or a vision impairment. There’s also a braille label and instructions as well as an enhanced grip placement, and it features a larger roll-on applicator to cover more surface area per swipe.

The Degree Inclusive prototype
The Degree Inclusive prototype
Courtesy of Degree

“We saw that across the beauty and personal care industries there just really isn’t any deodorant product that’s really suitable for people with upper body disabilities or visual impairments, so the opportunity to help would be a great idea,” Esi Eggleston Bracey, EVP and COO of beauty and personal care at Unilever, Degree’s parent company, tells Glamour.

“At Degree, what we’re motivated and driven by is inspiring the confidence for everyone to move,” she says. “There’s so many things getting in the way of people being confident, and one of them is managing odor and sweat production. And if you can do that, you feel more confident moving. We knew that creating a Degree deodorant in a way that is inclusive to people with upper body mobility challenges and visual impairments would make a big difference.”

Degree Inclusive has been in development for over a year, and the company partnered with an inclusive team of design experts—plus occupational therapists, engineers, consultants, and people living with disabilities across the globe—to create the prototype. Currently the prototype is being tested by 200 people with disabilities in order to perfect it before it hits shelves.

“We knew we didn’t want to just on our own try to guess what the needs were of the community we were trying to serve, so we thought it was really important to cocreate alongside people with challenges and disabilities to really make sure it would fit the needs,” says Eggleston Bracey.

That’s why this testing process is so important. Now the company can get real-time feedback— which Eggleston Bracey says has mostly been positive—before bringing the product to market.

The beauty industry is far from perfect, but we can add this to the list of brands making strides to become more inclusive. Thanks in part to Fenty Beauty, 40-plus shade ranges for foundation are now the bare minimum. Indie brands like Topicals and Billie are moving the needle on acne positivity and removing taboos surrounding body hair. And beauty giant Dove is a major backer of the Crown Act. However, the disabled community has largely been left out of the conversation.

<cite class="credit">Courtesy of Degree </cite>
Courtesy of Degree

Degree Inclusive, however, falls under Unilever’s new Positive Beauty vision and strategy, which focuses on being planet and people-positive. Initiatives under this include banning the word “normal” on packaging and doing away with Photoshop on images.

“Our goal is to improve the health, confidence, and well-being of more than a billion people around the world by 2030, and more importantly drive and champion for inclusivity in the whole beauty and self-care industry,” says Eggleston Bracey.

And that includes expanding its investment in the disabled community. Notes Eggleston Bracey, "Making sure we are serving the underserved, and those with disabilities are often part of that group, is a commitment. This is just the beginning.”

Bella Cacciatore is the beauty associate at Glamour. Follow her on Instagram @bellacacciatore_.

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Originally Appeared on Glamour