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Chanel: Showing Some Skin

Chanel is revving up its skin care business this spring with additions to two of its powerhouse franchises.

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Chanel is revving up its skin care business this spring with additions to two of its powerhouse franchises.

Hydramax + Active Collection, due in March, is a “next-generation” incarnation of the Hydramax franchise, launched in 2004, said Elizabeth Mankin, senior vice president of Beauté marketing and education for Chanel in the U.S.

“Two new proprietary discoveries makes these products unique,” said Mankin. The first, she explained, is the role of a specific enzyme, matriptase, and how it works to keep skin hydrated. Using this knowledge, the second piece of the puzzle — a Chanel-developed ingredient called Ceratonia PFA — was developed.

Ceratonia is derived from Moroccan carob trees and is said to promote matriptase enzyme production. Chanel made the ingredient more concentrated, with a patent-pending process called polyfractioning. That three-stage stripping technique is said both to amplify the amount of usable ingredients — key for those products that use hard-to-source substances — and to purify them. Chanel’s Sublimage Essential Regenerating Cream, launched in fall 2006, was the first Chanel product to use the technique, although the company is now using it more widely, said Christine Dagousset, executive vice president of Fragrance and Beauté for Chanel.

Three products comprise the new Active collection. They are Active Sérum, designed to quickly provide dry skin relief with Aquaperfyl, a proprietary complex of hyaluronic acid and moisturizers that can be used alone or in tandem with a moisturizer. The serum will be available in two sizes, a 1.7-oz. airless pump for $105 and a 1-oz. size for $75. Active Moisture Cream is intended to help strengthen the barrier function of the skin and to promote the skin’s ability to produce and retain moisture. A 1.7-oz. jar will retail for $65. Active Moisture Tinted Lotion, said to promote the skin’s NMF production and protect skin from UVA and UVB damage, will be available in three shades, each $55 for a 1.4-oz. bottle.

The Active collection will be available in about 650 department and specialty store doors, said Mankin.

As well, Sublimage Sérum Essential Regenerating Concentrate, an addition to the 18-month-old Sublimage franchise, is rolling out now. “Sublimage is becoming a real pillar of our skin care business and we wanted to build on that strength,” said Dagousset.

The serum is intended to be used in tandem with the Essential Regenerating Cream. The serum packs in polyfractioned Planifolia PFA, the key ingredient in the cream, as well as enriched Planifolia water, said Mankin. “The result, for the serum, is twice the concentration of the cream,” according to Mankin.

The serum retails for $385 for a 1-oz. airless pump.

Sublimage Sérum, like the other products in the Sublimage franchise, will be available in fewer than 100 specialty store doors in the U.S., including Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and selected Nordstrom doors.

While neither of the executives would discuss sales projections or advertising spending, industry sources estimated that the Hydramax + Active Collection could do upwards of $10 million at retail in the U.S. in its first year on counter, and that Sublimage Sérum would do about $6 million at retail in the U.S. in the same time frame. Chanel is not planning national advertising for either, but plans intensive in-store education and sampling campaigns for both.

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