By  on March 18, 1994

NEW YORK -- Rather than addressing the anti-aging category with an alpha-hydroxy acid product, as many mass market firms are doing, Almay is sticking with its hypoallergenic angle.

In April, the company will launch Time-Off, an anti-aging line of six treatment and three makeup products. The items contain Gentle Glucose Complex, a sugar-derived ingredient that Almay claims has the exfoliating and moisturizing benefits of an AHA, without any of the irritation.

"Almay is a 64-year-old business that was founded on hypoallergenic and nonirritating skin care," said Rosie Albright, executive vice president of the company, a division of Revlon. "We wanted to address the needs of baby boomers, who are seeking products that will give them younger looking skin, while staying true to our heritage. Alpha-hydroxy acids have been found to be irritating to many women, especially those with very dry or sensitive skin."

According to Albright, Time-Off's prices will be roughly 20 percent higher than comparative Almay products.

"We are going after a premium positioning with this line," she said. "We think we can appeal to the department store shopper."

Time-Off will be sold in around 17,000 drugstores and other mass merchandisers.

The new treatment items are 7.25-oz. bottles of Age Smoothing Cleanser and Age Smoothing Toner for $8 each, a 4-oz. bottle of Age Smoothing Moisture Lotion and a 2-oz. jar of Age Smoothing Night Cream for $9.75 each, and a 0.5-oz. jar of Age Smoothing Eye Cream for $6.50.

The makeup items are eight shades of Age Smoothing Makeup, a foundation, each $6.25, three shades of Age Smoothing Pressed Powder for the same price and three shades of Age Smoothing Concealer for $4.95 per tube.

The treatment products are designed to moisturize the skin while exfoliating dead cells, making the skin appear smoother and more evenly textured and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

The makeup products contain the same properties, along with light-diffusing ingredients that further diminish the appearance of wrinkles.

Jerri Baccus Glover, senior vice president of marketing, noted that the line will target Almay's core user of women over 35. But she added, "We think we will get the older end of the spectrum and reach a lot of women 55-plus."While company executives declined to discuss sales projections or advertising budgets, industry sources estimated that Time-Off could reach a wholesale volume of $25 million to $35 million in its first year.

The company will reportedly spend $6 million on advertising and promotions in the second half of this year to support the new line, sources said.

The advertising will include 30-second national TV spots that will break May 15 and run intermittently through the year, as well as a national print campaign that will first appear in June editions of fashion and women's service magazines, according to Albright.

Brochures will be distributed in stores, and an informational panel will be installed in the company's display walls.

In June, Almay will offer trial sizes of the makeup for $1.99 and the treatment products for $1.59. Coupons for $2 off the full-sized products will be given away with purchases of the trial sizes, Glover said.

In July, the company will run another promotion, where consumers will receive $1.50 to $2 off the new products.

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