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LOS ANGELES — With its signature gold facial in about 60 of the top spas in the U.S., Japanese beauty brand Umo is about to launch its new line of retail products, which incorporate the same ingredients that have made the gold treatment a success.
This story first appeared in the July 25, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The offerings, which will bow nationwide and internationally by the end of the summer, contain gamma-PGA — a compound derived from marine jellyfish and considered significantly more hydrating than hyaluronic acid. Use of the ingredient, also known as polyglutamic acid, is said to help diminish fine lines and wrinkles, brighten skin and lock in moisture.
“Our whole product line is designed to really help spas with a whole new approach to skin care,” said Grant Kidani, director of the Americas for Umo. “We try to avoid using chemicals, so our products won’t have any scents that will agitate the skin. We want to keep everything as natural as possible.”
Originally created for people who have had the gold facial, which involves priming the face with gamma-PGA and then applying a thin layer of pure gold, the collection also is designed for those who want a skin care regimen beyond that.
The collection encompasses three antiaging gel masks, one each for the face, eyes and lips. There is also a hydrating cream and two concentrated liquids.
The masks — Gamma PGA Facial Mask, Gamma PGA Eye Mask and Gamma PGA Lip Mask — are designed to be left on for 10 to 40 minutes depending on the product. The gel masks are organic, biodegradable and fragrance-free and contain no alcohol, artificial colorants or mineral oil. They retail for between $30 and $65.
The Drench Hydrating Cream contains jojoba oil, seaweed gel and ceramide to allow for more effective skin penetration. Other new products include Dermocapsule of Gold, a liquid to be massaged into the skin, releasing the gold ion and active substances, and Dermocapsule of Crystal, which helps to brighten and whiten the complexion and help remove discoloration. The cream and Dermocapsules retail for $130.
Kidani said that there have been strong preliminary orders from the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, and that the line also would be stocked in numerous countries throughout Europe, including Poland and Russia. He added that it most likely would also be in the spas that offer the Umo gold facial, such as Veronica’s in Malibu, Calif., and Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla. Kidani said he is talking to potential retail partners. The collection is already available in Harrods in London.
“The products are sold with the consumer in mind,” said Kidani. “They are reasonably priced and allow the spas to be very profitable while giving customers products to help supplement their experience.”
Prior to the launch of the new line, Umo take-home products were restricted to small vials of gamma-PGA and a Silk Gel product.
“There was so much demand for maintenance from consumers,” said Kidani. “They wanted more products they could take home.”
Kidani added that he expects wholesale sales of the new products in the U.S. to reach at least $500,000 a month.
There are also plans to launch products over the next couple of years, including those that use both yogurt and minerals, such as white gold or platinum, as their base.�