MONTE CARLO — Monte Carlo oozes excess — from the yachts to the plastic-surgery-prone glamazons. Ironically, Skin Doctors Cosmeceuticals — the Australian-born brand that prides itself on providing money-saving, antisurgical cosmetic solutions — choose this location for its 10-year anniversary gala last month.
"It was a tongue-and-cheek dig at the conventional beauty industry," explained Robert Jarmyn, export director for Cat Media, Skin Doctors parent company. "You don't need to be rich and famous to treat skin care problems. Real people can look good without undergoing cosmetic surgery."
His sentiment was exactly the premise under which Skin Doctors founders Sonia Amoroso and Peter Nicholas in 1987 launched their first product, called Vein Away, a topical cream that reduces the appearance of veins and broken capillaries. It became Australia's number-one selling topical treatment for that year.
Ten years, 48 countries and 37 products later, a group of journalists gathered here at the famed Hotel de Paris, where antiaging authority Arturo Puig reflected on the company's growth and introduced two upcoming products, namely Antarctilyne Plump3 and SD White. Both are slated to hit stores this October.
Antarctilyne Plump3, which will retail for $70, is said to be an injection-free wrinkle filler, promising to stop the breakdown of collagen using Antarcticine, an ancient ingredient found at the bottom of the Antarctic Sea. Puig claimed its ingredients allow the skin to boost collagen by up to 300 percent in just seven days.
Retailing for $35, SD White is a skin brightener. It is designed to quickly treat the most difficult skin types due its active ingredient Emblica. "It acts to suppress the production of melanin, which is one of the key contributors to hyperpigmentation," said Jarmyn of Cat Media.
Skin Doctors has a strong international presence, selling to a number of mid- to upper-tier retailers including Harrods, Galeries Lafayette and Selfridges. Skin Doctors' global retail sales exceed $100 million, according to the company. With a slew of new products in the pipeline, the company has its sights set on expanding its U.S. presence. Skin Doctors is one of 10 brands participating in an initiative by the Australian Trade Commission called "Discover the Beauty of Australia," which is designed to spotlight Australian brands."Australia is known to have one of the harshest climates in the world," said Jarmyn. "We have developed a strong heritage in understanding not only how to protect skin from these conditions, but also what can be done to correct the damage." With the help of Ingenuity Inc., the U.S. distributor for Skin Doctors, plans for expansion are in the works. Skin Doctors already sells its wares on Amazon.com and the Home Shopping Network and in stores such as Ulta, Beauty First and Pure Beauty. According to Robert Waters, vice president of sales for Ingenuity Inc., the line is slated to roll out to Sephora doors in early 2008. — Marielle Bobo
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