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Skin Creams Now Add Color

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...

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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.

Rudie cites the effort for premium packaging and upscale in-store displays. The improvements reflect the parent company’s call to overhaul the image of its star brands. Television and print advertisements will break in late March, and will likely be preempted by a presence at New York Fashion Week in February, said Rudie. In September, Jergens attracted the attention of fashionistas by giving away free designer shoes, including Manolo Blahnik numbers, during fall fashion week.

In Jergens’ view, skin is a woman’s most important fashion accessory. Natural Glow, commented Rudie, is a “little makeover in a bottle.”

For its part, Olay is also distancing itself from self-tanners, taking pains to avoid words like “color” and “sun” and using “radiance” and “kissed” instead. Bill Brace, Olay Marketing Director, commented that Radiance Reviver’s attributes are in line with the brand’s overall positioning, “to provide products that are not only helpful and scientifically sound, but that make women look beautiful in their own skin.”

He added that “women told us they were looking for a product that gave them glowing radiant skin, without going to the extreme of self-tanner.” 

Olay will preempt Jergens Natural Glow by premiering its Radiance Reviver in February. The product, available in normal skin and dry skin formulas, will sell for a suggested retail price of $6.99. 

Olay will introduce Radiance Reviver with an advertising campaign that starts in April. The effort will include print, broadcast, online initiatives and p.r. initiatives. The key message will focus on the product’s ability to “provide customized radiance for every woman.”

Industry sources anticipate Radiance Reviver will generate $50 million to $60 million in first-year sales.

Although Jergens and Olay will be the first introduced products in what is now dubbed the “color-enhancing moisturizers” segment, more players are expected to follow.

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