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Progidy: A Pricy Proposition

<CS:BOLD>NEW YORK -- There seems to be no recession in the land of high-end moisturizers. Prodigy, the priciest item in the Helena Rubinstein line, at $125 for a 50-ml. jar, is set to join its upscale sisters of the skin at retail counters in March....

NEW YORK — There seems to be no recession in the land of high-end moisturizers. Prodigy, the priciest item in the Helena Rubinstein line, at $125 for a 50-ml. jar, is set to join its upscale sisters of the skin at retail counters in March.

“It may be expensive, but with 15 highly concentrated active ingredients, we think consumers will find it well worth the money,” said Margaret Sharkey, president of Helena Rubinstein’s U.S. business.

Prodigy is designed to address five key issues in the skin, she explained. They include lower lipid levels, which contribute to dry skin; the skin’s declining renewal rate, which makes it susceptible to wrinkling; declining collagen levels, which diminish the skin’s elasticity; slowing microcirculation, which causes a loss of radiance, and uneven skin tone.

“This product addresses each one of these issues,” said Sharkey. “Prodigy is designed to boost lipid levels to relieve dryness; speed skin renewal to smooth lines; enhance collagen reserves to improve skin’s elasticity; stimulate skin to enhance radiance, and equalize pigmentation to even out skin tone.”

The active ingredients in Prodigy’s formula include a smoothing and conditioning ceramide blend, a renewal complex of D-panthenol, royal jelly and plant-life-derived gatuline and an antioxidant blend of grape polyphenols and vitamin E, as well as vitamin C, rice peptides and soya seed extract to fortify skin, as well as ginger, ruscus and caffeine.

Another key ingredient in Prodigy is encapsulated bio-sap, a proprietary ingredient that enables the active ingredients to be formulated and delivered in high concentrations, added Reluca Lorant, international director of research for Helena Rubinstein.

While Sharkey and her team say that the product is suitable for a wide range of ages, they predict that the majority of users will be 25 and older.

In the U.S., Prodigy will be available at Bergdorf Goodman and in the Helena Rubinstein Beauty Gallery, as well as online at helenarubinstein.com and through a toll-free number. Globally, Prodigy will be in about 2,500 doors. While neither Lorant nor Sharkey would comment on the product’s expected sales, industry sources estimated that it would do about $20 million at retail, globally, in its first-year sales.