By  on August 3, 2007

Groupe Clarins will attempt to turn personalization into a science with a daring venture designed to break new ground in the go-go skin care market.

The Paris-based company plans to edge into the red-hot dermatological treatment category with an entirely new freestanding brand that will not be supported by the Clarins name. It is called myBlend by Dr. Olivier Courtin and it is aimed squarely at the top of the market, which is dominated by high-priced high-performance brands like La Prairie, Sisley and La Mer. It is the brainchild of Courtin, who is managing director of Clarins and head of its research laboratories.

The global launch is scheduled for Sept. 15 and distribution will be limited to six Saks Fifth Avenue doors. Executives at Groupe Clarins USA now envision a distribution eventually numbering no more than 150 doors in the U.S.

What is new about the line is that the products were designed to loosely parallel changes in a woman's life, including emotional episodes, rather than simply her skin type. Moreover, the creams are designed to be adapted, or blended with booster supplements, to fill temporary needs — perhaps driven by fluctuations in lifestyle.

During a recent interview in New York, Courtin described myBlend as "the first blendable skin care brand" that represents "the leading edge of beauty science." He added that "it's about a woman's skin and her life and putting them together. All emotions show up in the skin. Change is a woman's reality."

MyBlend's introduction is being planned to position Clarins as another contender in the growing dermatological sweepstakes. In conjunction with the myBlend launch, Courtin will unveil a book entitled "The Courtin Concept — Six Keys to Great Skin at Any Age."

The son of the late Jacques Courtin, founder of Clarins, and brother of Christian, the firm's president and chief executive officer, Olivier Courtin built a career as an orthopedic surgeon specializing in women's sports medicine. His father's background — Jacques Courtin also was a licensed physician — inspired him to study the health of skin, the effects of hormonal change and the importance of neurology to skin health. Olivier Courtin began adapting creams to be used by his patients to aid healing after surgery. In 1965, he entered the family firm.

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