By  on August 15, 2008

Dallas skin care start-up Organicare will launch a prestige USDA-certified organic range this month at Henri Bendel, Fred Segal and select Nordstrom and Dillard’s stores.

Organicare offers nine products from cleansers and toners to moisturizers, an exfoliator and antiaging serums priced from $35 to $125.

“You have the best of both worlds — performance and natural ingredients,” claimed Jamie O’Banion, president and creative director. “A woman wants that wrinkle gone, but if she has an option to go organic she will choose that.”

The company aims to reach $10 million in annual sales within three years, said Leesa Smith, executive vice president. “We think the brand will have a lot of legs.”

“There is a huge market for it, absolutely,” commented Alisa Marie Beyer, founder of The Benchmarking Co., a beauty research and consulting firm. “At the prestige level it is certainly the first time we have seen a comprehensive USDA-approved skin care line that is not just a few products or a few select organic ingredients.”

Each product is stamped with the USDA Organic seal, indicating 95 percent of the ingredients are grown without pesticides or herbicides and there are no synthetic elements or petrochemicals.

“To their credit, it is an achievement,” said Craig Minowa, environmental scientist for the Organic Consumers Association. “It’s not easy to get the USDA certification for personal care products because those standards were developed for foods, so it’s definitely the cleanest of the clean.”

The hardest part of the two-year development, according to O’Banion, was devising a natural preservative without lecithin, which can have an offensive odor.

“We filed a patent for our natural preservative system, a lauric acid complex that keeps the product fresh and intact for two years,” she said. “We also have the first certified organic peptide to our knowledge. We have it in the eye serum, a wonderful concentration to stimulate collagen and elastin production in a natural way. We worked long and hard on developing this peptide.”

She expects Energeyes, the eye serum to reduce fine lines, will be the line’s bestseller. It retails for $75 for 0.5 oz.

Organicare also offers Brighter Tomorrow, a 1.7-oz. mask and 1.7-oz. activator to exfoliate and stimulate cell turnover, $125; Rescue Me, a 1-oz. acai berry antioxidant wrinkle serum for $95; Daily Dew, a 1.7-oz vitamin A and E moisturizer, $65; Night Nourish, a 1.7-oz. hydrating cream, $82; Fresh Fix, a 3.4-oz hydrating spray, $29.50; Daily Renewal, a 6.7-oz. milk protein foaming cleanser, $35; Finding Balance, a 6.7-oz. pH-balancing toner, $35, and Clarity Control, a 1-oz. alpha hydroxy acid serum for blemishes, $45.

Organicare is the brainchild of O’Banion, 26, and her father, Terry James, a practicing cardiac anesthesiologist. James, who also owns Kersh Risk Management Inc. specializing in corporate wellness, financed Organicare, Smith noted.

“Dr. James wants to bring upscale pure performance skin care to the mass public,” Smith noted. “He wanted to keep prices under $100 so it is more affordable to all women.”

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