By  on January 30, 2009

LONDON — Issey Miyake is plunging into the skin care market with the introduction of a water-based antiaging cream, starting in February.

With his beauty license holder, Beauté Prestige International, the designer, who famously concocted his debut fragrances in the image of the odorless liquid, will introduce La Crème de L’Eau by Issey Miyake.


“This first step in skin care appeared [obvious] for the brand — after making water into perfume, the designer has turned water into total skin care,” said Nathalie Helloin Kamel, vice president of Issey Miyake Parfums. “It has been a long time that Issey Miyake himself wanted to enter the skin care segment. We consider that the values the brand conveys — essentiality, purity — are totally in line with the world of skin care.

“For Issey Miyake himself, going into skin care is not something totally different from fragrance, as both are included in a global ritual of beauty,” she continued. “Our ambition is not to enter the top five of skin care brands but to propose a different approach to skin care. We already have very good consumer loyalty for our fragranced body care lines, and [consumers] have already asked us for skin care products.”

Helloin Kamel declined to discuss sales projections. However, industry sources believe La Crème de L’Eau will generate first-year sales of $5 million.

The cream, which is positioned as a global antiaging product, consists of mineral-rich water sourced from the Kirishima spring on the Japanese island of Kyushu. According to legend, the spring, or onsen, was discovered by a samurai warrior whose wounds healed after drinking its water.

Kirishima water makes up 57 percent of La Crème de L’Eau’s formula, which was composed by Shiseido Laboratory. (Like BPI, Shiseido Laboratory is owned by Japanese beauty behemoth Shiseido.) The laboratory found that the eau, which consists of calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium and silicium, boosts skin cells’ metabolism because it increases their uptake of glucose, a primary source of energy.

Other key ingredients include myrtle extract, said to encourage the synthesis of proteins that prolong cells’ life cycles; microproteins, which purportedly encourage the production of collagen and carnosine, an antioxidant.

The cream targets women aged 30 and up. “For younger customers, we recommend they use it as a cure treatment once a year,” said Helloin Kamel.

La Crème de L’Eau will retail in France for 220 euros, or $288 at current exchange, for a set comprising a 50-ml. jar and a 10-ml. travel-size version.

It will bow in France, the U.S., Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, the U.K., Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand, starting Feb. 1.

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