By  on January 14, 2005

NEW YORK — The newest spin on body lotions is banking on beauty being skin deep. Kao Brands and Procter & Gamble will introduce moisturizers that subtly build a darker skin tone over time, called Jergens Natural Glow and Olay Quench Radiance Reviver, respectively. But don’t call these lotions self-tanners. Both companies are working to avoid such comparisons by distancing themselves from the sun care category and merchandising instead to body lotions. Sunless tanners, after all, often get a bad rap for dehydrating skin.

Natural Glow and Radiance Reviver use DHA, the ingredient universally found in sunless tanners, and Erythrulose, a color agent that builds color gradually. 

Jergens Natural Glow will bow in April and is billed as the first daily lotion to build a darker skin tone over time. Natural Glow marks the latest addition to Jergens’ skin-to-win portfolio. The Kao brand — with the tag line “skin is in” — has already had success with benefit-infused lotions such as the cellulite-fighting Skin Firming, Soft Shimmer Skin Radiance lotion and Ultra Healing 24-hour moisturizer.

Natural Glow, which is designed to darken skin up to one shade after two weeks of use, will sell for $5.99. According to industry sources, Natural Glow could generate between $25 million and $40 million in first-year retail sales.  It will be available in two shades — one appropriate for fair skin and the other for medium complexions. Given the lotion’s color-imparting ability, users are encouraged to wash their hands thoroughly after applying.

Jergens senior brand manager Brian Rudie noted that the launch intends to tap into the $4.5 billion “skin color-enhancement category,” which in addition to lotions, includes salon services like the bronzing spray Mystic Tan. To distinguish Natural Glow from its “color-enhancing” predecessors, Rudie explained the lotion works more gradually than a self-tanner to build a “healthy summer glow.” He added that the product combines two steps — moisturizing and self-tanning — rather than add another step to a woman’s beauty routine.

“First and foremost, Jergens is a moisturizing brand. People have been buying and trusting our products for more than 100 years,” noted Rudie.

Natural Glow is the first collaboration between the Jergens and John Frieda creative teams. In August, the two companies began officially operating under the corporate banner Kao Brands Co., which in the U.S. was formerly called Andrew Jergens Co.

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