NEW YORK — Call it a long night’s journey into day.

With its new Line Prevention Multi-Active Night Cream, Clarins is out to protect skin overnight from the free radicals and water loss that are said to cause irritated skin, blemishes and premature aging, noted Caroline Pieper-Vogt, vice president of marketing for Clarins. The product, also intended to provide antiaging protection, is targeting 30-plus women.

"When you sleep, your skin undergoes a number of challenges," noted Pieper-Vogt. "In particular, your cortisol levels drop, which can leave your skin more vulnerable to free radical damage. And as you age, your skin is less able to deal with these challenges and has a more difficult time renewing itself."

According to Pieper-Vogt, cortisol, a hormone secreted in response to stress, is at its highest levels during the day. "This hormone increases the production of energy providing the brain and body with adequate fuel for daily function," she explained. "Cortisol levels in normal individuals are highest in the early morning — around 6-8 a.m. — and are lowest around midnight. With Line Prevention Multi Active Night Cream, belle de nuit and English oak replace the action of cortisol. Belle de nuit — otherwise known as Four O’Clock root — contains amyrine and sitosterol, which are two anti-inflammatory and anti-free radical agents. Tests have shown that belle de nuit extract is capable of reducing the skin production of prostaglandins, famous inflammation markers and indirect sources of free radicals mimicking cortisol production. In combination with English oak, it provides the skin with properties to defend the skin against low levels of cortisol and aging."

In addition to belle de nuit/Four O’Clock root and English oak root, key ingredients in Line Prevention include laminaria cloustoni, a brown seaweed harvested in Norway, Scotland and France, said to strengthen cellular communication; clintonia borealis, intended to increase cellular respiration; mandarin pulp extract, said to moisturize the skin and slow cellular aging, and vitamin A, said to increase cellular renewal.

Line Prevention will be available in two formulations — a lotion for normal-to-oily skin, and a cream for normal-to-dry skin. Both will retail for $65 for 1.7 ounces and will be in Clarins’ full U.S. distribution — about 1,200 U.S. department and specialty store doors — by the end of January. They will have a simultaneous global launch in Clarins’ 145 markets worldwide. While Pieper-Vogt wouldn’t comment on projected first-year sales, industry sources estimated that Line Prevention would do upward of $5 million in the U.S. in its first year on counter.While a national advertising campaign is not planned at launch, a sizable sampling campaign is, noted Pieper-Vogt. More than 500,000 samples are planned, and the product will be promoted on more than 20 million billing inserts in January. As well, blow-ins will feature both the new product and Line Prevention Multi-Active Day Cream and Cream-Gel, which launched in January 2002.

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