(ETH) – Americans are cleaning up nicely. As vaccination rates climb and restrictions on human interaction ease, shopping carts are filling up with items designed to facilitate people’s re-entry into civilization instead of toilet paper and baking flour.

Deodorant, teeth whitener, and condoms are in high demand. Sales of perfume, nail polish, swimsuits, sunscreen, tuxedos, luggage, and alarm clocks are climbing fast, according to companies that make these products and large retailers.

When the mayor of Washington, D.C., announced that bars and clubs would fully reopen in June, Landen Lama, a 25-year-old political consultant thought, “I have a month to get ready.” He ordered teeth-whitening gel online, has been using more facial treatment masks and tanning outside, he said. “It will be awkward meeting strangers again,” he said. “Everyone wants to look their best.”


The surge in grooming products and travel gear is smaller than pandemic-driven rushes on hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. Last year some brands had sales double or triple as Americans stayed home and ramped up their cleaning routines. In some cases store shelves were emptied of those items for weeks.

Fortunately, there’s an ample supply of deodorant and mouthwash. Beauty products and teeth whiteners were big sellers during the most recent quarter at Walmart Inc., finance chief Brett Biggs said in an interview. “You can tell that the masks are coming off,” he said. READ MORE

The Wall Street Journal is a U.S. business-focused, English-language international daily newspaper based in New York City. The Journal, along with its Asian and European editions, is published six days a week by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corp.