By  on November 16, 2007

Estée Lauder has injected new blood into its most venerable antiaging franchise with what the company bills as a new "youth molecule."

The molecule, Resveratrate, is the key ingredient in Re-Nutriv Ultimate Youth Creme, the latest addition to the brand's iconic Re-Nutriv franchise.

"Spring 2008 marks the 50th year of Re-Nutriv, which was created by Mrs. Estée Lauder in 1958," said Elana Drell-Szyfer, senior vice president of global marketing for Estée Lauder. "With every new skin care innovation, the brand has evolved, and with Resveratrate, we believe that we're offering a scientific breakthrough."

The molecule was inspired at least in part by research done by David Sinclair, Ph.D., of Harvard Medical School, and Leonard Guarente, Ph.D., of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, on sirtuin enzymes in the skin and how they influence cell longevity, said Daniel Maes, vice president of global research and development for Estée Lauder.

"Resveratrate takes resveratrol to the next level," said Maes. While resveratrol, a widely used antioxidant, is effective, it also has a number of limitations, said Maes, including limited solubility and instability in high concentrations. Where Lauder's version — eight years in the making — differs is in its biomimetic (skin-friendly) quality, which allows the molecule to penetrate more deeply into the skin, creating a "reservoir" for the skin to draw upon throughout the day, explained Maes.

"If cells divide too fast, they die. If you slow down the cycle, you are making it possible for the DNA to repair itself and increasing cell survival sixfold," he said.

Another key ingredient is Re-Nutriv Protective Ferment, based on a deep-sea organism found in the Gulf of California. The organism is said to protect the skin's detoxifying enzymes, allowing the skin to maintain a youthful appearance.

The formula also includes a South Sea pearl-mica-silica combination for an immediate brightening effect after application, as well as camelia sativa oil, said to improve skin's elasticity.

Ultimate Youth Creme will retail for $250 for 1.7 oz. Its target market is a woman in her mid-30s.

Ultimate Youth Creme will be available in January in about 170 U.S. specialty store doors, including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's and Bergdorf Goodman, and it will roll out globally beginning in February. National advertising, will break in February fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines. The first month's advertising will be an advertorial featuring a product shot and an explanation of the molecule, and subsequent advertising will feature Carolyn Murphy, said Charisse Ford, vice president of global skin care marketing for the Lauder brand. Online marketing also is planned, she noted, and more than 300,000 samples will be distributed at launch.While none of the executives would discuss sales projections or advertising budgets, industry sources estimated that Ultimate Youth Creme would do at least $7 million at retail in its first year on counter, and that about $2 million would be spent on advertising and promotion.

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