By  on July 1, 2005

NEW YORK — Clarins has some nerve this October with the launch of Extra-Firming Day Cream and Extra-Firming Night Cream, the first skin care products to use technology that works on the skin's nerve endings, according to executives.

"The functioning of nerve endings is essential in the healthy functioning of skin on every level," said Caroline Pieper-Vogt, senior vice president of marketing for Clarins. "These products work with the skin to fight aging and increase the skin's firmness in particular."

The products will replace two existing offerings of the same name in the Extra-Firming franchise, which currently contains nine stockkeeping units; Pieper-Vogt said Extra-Firming currently makes up about 16 percent of the company's skin care sales. In addition to completely new ingredients (including the nerve ending technology), the products will feature new packaging. While executives would not comment on sales figures, industry sources expect Extra-Firming Day and Night Creams to do up to $7 million total in first-year retail sales.

Pieper-Vogt explained that Extra-Firming Day Cream, $70, includes an ingredient called Stimulen, which is said to help protect the skin's "guardian" cells and increase the skin's self-defense and renewal capabilities, and is geared towards a consumer in her 40s, who may be experiencing dryness, age spots and slackened skin due to aging. "When the skin is in its 20s and 30s, the nerve endings are linked to each other—every ending is linked to a cell and it's like a high speed connection," she said. "When you're in your 40s, it's more like a dial-up connection—the connection between cells and nerve endings is not functioning at its peak." The product also contains Euglena, an ingredient that is mean to help firm and contour the skin, and white tea and succory dock-cress, which are said to help protect the skin against environmental damage.

Extra-Firming Night Cream, $80, works as more of a "replenishing and regenerating" product, according to Pieper-Vogt, with the help of the ingredient Glistin, which contains amino acids. "In nighttime, the skin is naturally regenerating and recovering," she said. "Glistin helps the nerve endings if they've been damaged." Both the day and night creams will be available in a formula for "all skin types" as well as a formula for "special for dry skin," for a total of four stockkeeping units in the line.The launch of the Extra-Firming line will be supported by a print ad campaign featuring two-page spreads, which will run in September issues of national magazines, according to executives. Shot in black and white, the ads will feature Talisa Soto Bratt, the wife of actor Benjamin Bratt and also a former Bond girl. It will be the company's first campaign to feature spreads in "years," said Pieper-Vogt. In addition, the company will support the launch with 20 million billing inserts, stitch-ins, blow-ins and mailers, while over 500,000 samples will be distributed.

Also in October, Clarins will launch Radiance-Plus Self Tanning Body Lotion, the first prestige body product to enter the growing category of color-enhancing body moisturizers (pioneered by the bestselling Jergens Natural Glow), according to the company, and joins Radiance-Plus Self Tanning Cream-Gel, an existing face product. Featuring DHA and erythrulose, kiwi extract, vitamins A and E and pro-vitamin B5 and a grass called imperata cylindrica, the $39 lotion is designed to moisturize the skin, give an immediate glow with mother-of-pearl particles and create a subtle, "golden" color, said Pieper-Vogt. "I think body lotion is a really accessible item—people want to put it on every day," she said. "But this product takes it to another level. You can use this without a lot of risk and you don't have to be as cautious or careful."

Clarins' other launches on counter in October include Bright Plus Brightening Cleansing Mousse, $25, a cleanser that contains coconut, wheat and raspberry, grapefruit and Japanese mandarin extracts, Bright Plus Gentle Brightening Exfoliator, $29, which features mineral and plant micro-beads as well as salicylic acid, and True Comfort Foundation Light Reflecting SPF 15, $36, a moisturizing, full coverage foundation. The color collection, called Good Vibrations, will be on counter in September.

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