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Alphabet Cream Craze Moves to EE

Previse Skincare EE MarineGranules is a botanical-based marine mousse, which can be added to a traditional cleanser for “extra exfoliating” results.

It began with a B, then a C, then a D. Then double letters. Then triple letters. Now, the alphabet cream trend is entering new territory with an EE offering, designed to exfoliate skin.

This story first appeared in the January 3, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Previse Skincare EE MarineGranules, launching in late March to about 150 doors, including spas, medi-spas, doctor’s offices and online, is a botanical-based marine mousse, which can be added to a traditional cleanser for “extra exfoliating” results.

“The idea sprang out of the fact that most of our patients and clients have tried, sampled and used these electronic cleansing devices, and I know they have gone very well,” said Sean Patrick Harrington, founder and chief executive officer of Previse. “Clarisonic has taken over the marketplace in many ways.”

Cape Cod, Mass.-based natural beauty company Previse Skincare, which was launched in January 2011, is centered on personalized professional-grade skin care and sun protection. At the core of product discovery is a Web site, previsecare.com, which asks consumers targeted questions about their everyday lives. After completing the consultation, clients are categorized as one of six skin types and then recommended a customized three-step regimen to help improve skin hydration, elasticity, tone and texture.

“Our [online] service is really about having a dermatologist or skin-care expert at your fingertips,” said Harrington. “Everything is so personalized; it’s not one cleanser for oily skin types. We’ve embraced the idea of looking at geography, family history and a consumer’s lifestyle.”

EE MarineGranules, which industry sources estimate could generate about $1 million in its first year at retail, is also meant to extend and add category dimension to the alphabet cream trend, according to Harrington. “We wanted to have a little whimsy with these double letters,” he said. “We felt there was an opportunity to talk about adjacency products, about getting skin in its fittest condition. What we love about BBs and CCs is that they have multiple benefits and with the EE, it’s a double-duty product as well.”

Harrington said that with the goal of creating a travel-friendly, natural alternative to a Clarisonic-type implement, the brand aims to shake up the cleansing category. “We built EE MarineGranules so it could be used with any cleanser. It will blend and compound quite nicely,” he said, pointing out that it is recommended to be mixed with the brand’s Purify cleanser, which can be used on skin types 1 through 6, for best results. “Also it is travel-ready; you don’t need replacement pads or batteries.”

The offering, which retails for $40, features ingredients like oatmeal, bamboo stem powder, marine algae extract and jojoba beads for abrasion-free exfoliation. It is designed to buff the skin while soothing it and the amount used can be personalized for a consumer’s skin needs. Like all Previse products, the formula is sensitive-skin friendly and does not contain silicones, preservatives, synthetic oils, dyes or fragrances.

“Quite a few of our clients are pregnant or postnatal and don’t have to put aside their Previse products,” said Harrington, adding that the line is gentle enough to be utilized also by cancer patients and consumers who have had medical procedures. “There is nothing in our products that is controversial.”

As far as expansion, Harrington has plans to enter markets like Australia, Canada and South America by 2015. He said the brand is looking to launch a “lifestyle app” later in the year that would follow a user through GPS location, recommending products based on the corresponding weather and UV index.

Harrington said he is also keeping other categories as options, including textiles, cosmeceuticals, prescription-only formulas and a series of professional products for salon use, as well as an after-sun body product.

“We continue to chase down dermatologists because they have been growing in importance, especially as they are moving beyond traditional clinics to become more holistic,” said Harrington, adding that the brand’s flagship is Marmur Medical in Manhattan. “We built this brand on personalization and customization and we see the brand going deeper and wider. There is additional opportunity to address unique skin types and building awareness with skin experts.”