Sure (brand)

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Sure is the world's leading antiperspirant deodorant brand[citation needed] manufactured by British-Dutch company Unilever. Widely known as Rexona, it is also marketed as Sure in the United Kingdom and Ireland, Degree in the United States of America and Canada, Rexena in Japan and Republic of Korea, and Shield in South Africa. It is sold in over 60 countries, and is the current market leader in the deodorant category.

The brand was developed in 1908 by pharmacist Mrs Alice Sheffer, wife of the founder of Australia's Sheldon Drug Company. [1]


Product variations include:

  • MotionsenseTM
  • Compressed
  • Clinical Protection
  • Antibacterial Protection

Products are available in a range of formats including aerosols, pumps, roll-ons, sticks and creams.

Compressed - In response to Unilever's sustainability initiative, Sure halved their regular can sizes - from 250ml to 125ml, and from 150ml to 75ml. By reducing the amount of gas, the new cans deliver the same amount of product but use less aluminium. They last just as long as the old cans, but are more environmentally friendly.[2]

Clinical Protection - Maximum Protection antiperspirant. Scientifically proven[citation needed] to help with excessive sweating. It is available in a soft cream format with a diffuser applicator. It also includes body -responsive fragrance technology and lasts for up to 48 hours, even after showering.

Antibacterial Protection - Kills 99.9% of body odour-causing bacteria.[citation needed]


1902: Sheldon Drug Company[edit]

Alice Sheffer was the wife of S.F Sheffer, the American founder of the Sheldon Drug Company. They came to Australia in 1902 after buying the formulae of American alchemist Dr Sheldon.

1902 - 1908: Mrs Sheffer’s ointment[edit]

The Sheldon Drug Company manufactured “Dr Sheldon’s Gin Pills” and “New Discovery Cough Mixture” among other wonder drugs of the time. But Mrs Alice Sheffer wanted a range of personal care products that complimented one another. She designed them to be affordable, and aimed at men as much as women. She chose ingredients that were effective and smelled good: oil of cade (juniper oil), oil of cloves, terebinth, bornyl acetate (from pine trees), cassia, oil of thyme and eucalyptus.

1908: First Rexona range[edit]

The Rexona range was released in 1908, with fully designed packaging[clarification needed] that stressed the elongated “R”. The original range included the Rexona Shaving Stick, Rexona Hotel Soap, Rexona Medicated Toilet Soap and Rexona Ointment. It soon became the company’s biggest asset, with the largest turnover. The ointment was advertised as:

“Reliable Remedy for all Eruptions and Irritations of the Skin, Eczema, Pimples, Sores, Chilblains, Chapped Hands, Sciatica, Itching or Bleeding Piles, Cuts, Burns, Bruises, Scalds, Bad Legs and Stings of Insects.”[citation needed]

1929: Becoming part of Unilever[edit]

In 1929 the Sheldon Co. sold its Rexona business to J. Kitchen and Sons, which became part of the present owner, the Anglo-Dutch conglomerate Unilever. Rexona remains the market leader in its category.

1960 – Present day[edit]

Rexona introduced its first deodorant range in the ‘60s. It was launched in Finland and then rolled out to the rest of the world. The brand would later be known as Degree in the USA. The following decades would see it greatly expand into different formats, including aerosols, pumps, roll-ons, sticks and creams.

The brand also gained endorsements from celebrity athletes: tennis champion Steffi Graf, the All Blacks New Zealand National Rugby Team, the Springboks South African National Rugby Team, mountain bike free rider Darren Berrelcloth, BASE jumper Miles Daisher, survivalist Bear Grylls, tennis champion David Nalbandian, international cricketer Andrew Flintoff, the Lotus F1™ Team, and football superstars Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior and Javier Mascherano.

Other Sure brands[edit]

In the U.S., Sure is an antiperspirant brand created by Procter & Gamble in 1972, marketed to both men and women. The brand is now owned by Helen of Troy Limited, which acquired the brand from Innovative Brands in March 2010. Innovative Brands, LLC, a portfolio company of Jahm Najafi Companies, had acquired the brand from Procter & Gamble in September 2006, after P&G had acquired Gillette.


  1. ^ Davis, Dyer et al. (May 1, 2004). Rising Tide: Lessons from 165 Years of Brand Building at Procter and Gamble. Harvard Business Press. p. 426. Retrieved 2013-05-07. 
  2. ^

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