By  on November 14, 2008

The dermatologist is back at work at Clinique.

The 40-year-old brand is continuing its quest to return to its dermatological roots with its latest offering, Redness Solutions Instant Relief Mineral Powder, due out in late January — and a new merchandising unit, rolling out now, designed to showcase existing products addressing four common skin care conditions.

“This brand was started with a philosophy of addressing dermatologic concerns,” said Lynne Greene, global president of Clinique. “We now have four collections for specific skin concerns: redness, acne, uneven skin tone and dullness. The new powder and the new merchandising concept showcase that heritage.”

Clinique groups the four collections, dubbed Dermatological Solutions, on a dedicated tower, as well as in regular caseline displays — and has composed grab-and-go kits for retail doors that prefer assisted self-service displays.

While Greene declined to discuss annual sales, industry sources estimated that, together, the four Dermatological Solutions collections do about $273 million in retail sales globally. Of that figure, sources estimated that the existing Redness Solutions products, including a moisturizer, do upward of $70 million in global retail sales yearly. Dermatological Solutions is said to comprise 20 percent of Clinique’s overall skin care revenue globally.

The Redness Solutions line is intended not only to treat reactive redness — which, say, could be caused by a lip wax — but also rosacea.

The new powder is intended to be a marriage of color cosmetics and treatment, said Agnes Landau, senior vice president of global marketing for Clinique. The formula includes caffeine and extracts of magnolia bark, mushroom and grapefruit, said to visibly counteract redness. The mineral blend — which comprises calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium — is intended to absorb excess oil; vitamin E is included for its antioxidant properties.

The ingredients are combined using a double-processing technology used in the pharmaceutical industry, explained Janet Pardo, senior vice president of global product development for Clinique. “Using a fluid bed granulator — which is generally used to compound medicines — we buffed mica so that it has a round sphere, misted in the other ingredients to coat the particles and used an ultrarotor machine to compress the powder into uniform platelets for a creamy texture and optimal lay-down on skin.” The powder’s yellow shade was picked because it immediately visibly counterbalances red tones in skin, said Pardo.

The mineral powder will retail for $32.50 for 0.85 oz., and will be sold in Clinique’s 2,200 department and specialty store doors in the U.S., as well as globally.

National advertising, which breaks in February fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines in both single-page and double-page forms, features a visual of the powder and text explaining its treatment benefits. Clinique plans to disseminate 3.5 million powder-on-paper samples with the print advertising, said Landau. Clinique also plans an extensive online campaign that will include advertising and interactive elements.

While executives declined to discuss sales projections, industry sources estimated that Instant Relief Mineral Powder would do $20 million in retail sales globally in its first year on counter, with about $10 million of that figure expected to come from U.S. sales. Sources estimated that Clinique would spend about $6 million globally (about half of it in the U.S.) on advertising and promotion in the product’s first year on counter.

To further reinforce the brand’s dermatological heritage, Clinique has teamed with Allergan to create a professional-strength line, Clinique Medical, which is intended to treat skin recovering from surgical procedures. “This is a strategic move intended to bring Clinique back in front of dermatologists — not for volume, but to reinforce our commitment to skin care.” The five-item line, which will only be sold in doctor’s offices, is rolling out now both as single stockkeeping units and a $235 kit that includes all of the products.

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