NEW YORK — Doctors Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields are embarking on what Rodan called “the most selfish line we’ve produced.”Anti-Age, the fourth skin care regimen to be created by the duo’s Rodan and Fields Multi-Med Therapy, is intended to address collagen loss, wrinkles and surface skin damage and is launching in stores this week. The Anti-Age lineup is the first regimen to be introduced since the Estée Lauder Cos. acquired the company in July 2003. “This line is my birthday present to myself,” cracked Rodan, who will celebrate a milestone 50th birthday in June. “I want to delay the knife as long as possible.”And the introduction is also a natural given the Rodan and Fields’ core message of problem-focused skin care, said Shashi Batra, the brand’s general manager. The brand’s other three regimens target acne, basic care and brown spots/fine lines. The Anti-Age regimen consists of three products. Wash, an exfoliating facial cleanser, contains acetyl glucosamine and polymer-wrapped exfoliating grains, as well as kaolin and bentonite to “wake up the epidermis,” said Rodan. Facial Toner, explained Fields, uses creatine and exfoliants to boost skin’s repair processes and Melaslow, a proprietary brightener, to improve skin’s texture and clarity. “Many women think that toners strip the skin, but this doesn’t,” said Fields. The star product is Anti-Aging Facial Cream SPF 15, a deep hydrator that uses hexa- and polypeptide fragment technology, explained Rodan. “When your skin is burned or gets cut, your skin produces peptide fragments naturally, tricking the fibroblasts in the skin to produce collagen,” she said. “Through a proprietary ingredient called False Alarm Technology, we’ve mimicked that process.” The cream also includes a host of antioxidants and sodium hyaluronate for moisture. Packaged together, the three-step regimen retails for $135. The products are also available individually; the facial cleanser retails for $35, the toner for $40 and the cream for $90. Used twice a day, the products last about two months, said Batra. The regimen is expected to appeal to a wide age range, said Rodan. “This is a super-infused cocktail that will improve skin for women of all ages,” she said, adding that its entry consumer will likely be about 25 years old. However, added Fields, “it could easily be used by a woman in her 60s or even 70s.”Industry sources estimate that the line could do about $5 million at retail in its first year on counter. An aggressive sampling campaign — upward of 30,000 sets of a seven-day regimen — is planned, said Annie Jackson, the brand’s executive director of marketing. Rodan and Fields products are currently available in about 20 specialty store doors, including selected Nordstrom and Marshall Field’s as well as The Studio at Fred Segal in Santa Monica, Calif., and Henri Bendel in New York. While Batra feels strongly about growing very carefully, he said that he could see adding as many as 30 more doors by yearend. As well, the brand’s existing three regimens have been renamed, “more in line with what their mission is,” said Batra. Calm, the acne line, is now Unblemished (also the title of the doctors’ book); Radiant, the brown spots/fine lines collection, is now Reverse, and Compounds, the basic care line, is now Essentials. Updated packaging is already being rolled out.The doctors, who remain in private practice, are now turning their attentions toward finessing an Anti-Age eye cream that will launch in August. They joke that their offices are fertile grounds for product ideas. “I always wanted to have a doctor in the family,” said Leonard Lauder with a laugh at a celebratory cocktail party Tuesday night that included group president Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne. “Now we have two.”Lauder, who had just arrived from attending sales meetings in Florida for the Estée Lauder and Clinique brands, seconded a remark made by his brother, Ronald, that Rodan and Fields represents the “biggest idea” in the Lauder arsenal. “Tonight we’re witnessing history,” Lauder declared.
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