By  on July 17, 2009

Burt’s Bees is out to tackle blemishes with a new natural acne line that the firm promises is as effective as products using chemicals.

“When people talk about natural products not working as well [as other products] we come out with things that are always as efficacious,” said Mike Indursky, Burt’s Bees chief operating officer. Burt’s Bees is owned by Clorox Co.

The new acne range, Natural Acne Solutions, includes four products and starts with the premise that the main ingredient used in many acne treatments is salicylic acid. Burt’s Bees, however, uses the natural form of salicylic acid, from the willow tree.

Willow bark extract, in its natural form, is known to be rich in tannins and for fighting off pathogens, said Indursky. “It has been reported to have analgesic properties and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s incredibly powerful when you get it from its source.”

The line, appearing now on shelves, includes a Purifying Gel Cleanser, Pore Refining Scrub, Daily Moisturizing Lotion and a Targeted Spot Treatment.

While the line will target 18- to 24-year-olds — the demographic with the highest occurrence of acne — Indursky said the range has been packaged and formulated for anyone with acne.

Sales of acne products reached $371.8 million for the latest 52-week period ended June 16, an increase of 1.2 percent, in the food, drug, mass and natural channels, Burt’s Bees said. Sales do not include Whole Foods and Wal-Mart data.

Natural Acne Solutions will be launching into more than 20,000 doors this fall. Industry sources expect it could generate as much as $20 million in first year sales.

The line was in formulations for about two years, said Indursky.

“The key for us is that you need to have instant results. This is a very emotional category. [Women] define how they look by how their face and hair looks,” he said.

The line also meets all over-the-counter regulations set for an acne formulation and also bears the Natural Product Association seal.

Natural Acne Solutions will be supported by a print media campaign, which kicks off in September in beauty and health magazines. All items in the line will be priced at $9.99 except for the moisturizer, which will retail for $17.99.

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