Facial tissue, paper handkerchief, and Kleenex refers to a class of soft, absorbent, disposable papers that are suitable for use on the face. They are disposable alternatives for cloth handkerchiefs that may harm the environment. The terms are commonly used to refer to the type of paper tissue, usually sold in boxes, that is designed to facilitate the expulsion of nasal mucus from the nose (nose-blowing) although it may refer to other types of facial tissues including napkins and wipes.
Facial tissue and paper handkerchiefs are made from the lowest basis weights tissue paper (14 18 g/m2). The surface is often made smoother by light calendering. These paper types consist usually of 2-3 plies. Because of high quality requirements the base tissue is normally made entirely from pure chemical pulp, but might contain added selected recycled fiber. The tissue paper might be treated with softeners, lotions or added perfume to get the right properties or "feeling". The finished facial tissues or handkerchiefs are folded and put in pocket-size packages or a box dispenser.
In 1924, facial tissues as they are known today were first introduced by Kimberly-Clark as Kleenex. It was invented as a means to remove cold cream. Early advertisements linked Kleenex to Hollywood makeup departments and sometimes included endorsements from movie stars (Helen Hayes and Jean Harlow) who used Kleenex to remove their theatrical makeup with cold cream. It was the customers that started to use Kleenex as a disposable handkerchief, and a reader review in 1926 by a newspaper in Peoria, Illinois found that 60% of the users used it for blowing their nose. The other 40% used it for various reasons, including napkins and toilet paper.
Kimberly-Clark also introduced pop-up, colored, printed, pocket, and 3-ply facial tissues.
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