Why consumers have contamination concerns in refurbished personal care products and how to reduce them via design

T.S. Wallner, L.B.M. Magnier, R. Mugge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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Refurbishment is a strategy to extend products’ lifetimes. However, refurbished products that are used intimately, such as personal care products, feel uncomfortable to use for consumers because they are perceived to be contaminated. In fifteen in-depth interviews, we explored why consumers have contamination concerns regarding a refurbished Intense-Pulsed-Light device and how to decrease them. Participants expected refurbished personal care products with wear-and-tear to malfunction, to have a shorter product lifetime and to be contaminated. Participants’ inferences differed depending on the location and amount of wear-and-tear. To keep refurbished personal care products at their highest value, we suggest five design strategies to minimize contamination concerns by designing a product that smells and looks hygienic after multiple lifecycles: 1. Using color to evoking associations with hygiene, 2. making wear-and-tear less visible, 3. using smooth materials, 4. minimizing the number of split lines, and 5. a clean product smell.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Design Research Society International Conference (DRS2022), Bilbao
EditorsD. Lockton, S.L. Lenzi, P.P.M. Hekkert, A. Oak, J. Sadaba, P.A. Lloyd
PublisherDesign Research Society
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-91229-457-2
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventDRS 2022 - Bilbao, Spain
Duration: 25 Jun 20223 Jul 2022

Publication series

NameDRS International Biennial Conference Series
ISSN (Electronic)2398-3132


ConferenceDRS 2022
Internet address


  • refurbishment
  • personal care products
  • contamination
  • product appearance


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