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PARIS — Ioma, the skin-care brand built around diagnostic machines based on MEMS technology, is changing the game again.
The brand is launching the first skin-care product with a diagnostic tool integrated into its packaging.
Ioma Youth Booster is essentially a powerful antiaging skin cream packed with exclusive actives including black currant seed extract and NovHyel, a new generation hyaluronic acid.
What makes it different, however, is that on the packaging’s cap is a MEMS — for micro-electro-mechanical system, more often used in the aerospace or telecoms industries — that analyzes the skin and tells the user how hydrated it is and hence how often to use the product.
With its six LEDs indicating hydration level, its aim is also to prove the product improves the skin over time. “It is the only product that can actually prove its own efficacy on the skin,” brand founder Jean-Michel Karam said.
He explained that the company has registered international patents that mean no other firm can use MEMS technology on cosmetics packaging, and that other technologies are not of any use because of their larger size.
The product will launch exclusively in Harrods in the U.K. on Jan. 21 before rolling out to Ioma’s around 530 locations worldwide, starting a week later.
The product is the first “one-size-fits-all” offer from the brand, which has until now relied on its in-store machines to offer customers a detailed skin prescription from among 9,000 possible combinations of products.
In France, Youth Booster will be priced at 128 euros, or $165.57, for a 50-ml. airless pack. The MEMS is designed to take 400 measures and last longer than the cream itself, and the packaging is entirely recyclable, Karam said. The brand will offer in-store recycling banks that will allow it to reuse useful components and recycle others.
Karam said Youth Booster is the first in a family of products to come, and signals the beginning of a period of expansion for the brand.
According to industry sources, Ioma is expected to do around $20 million in retail sales this year. Karam declined to confirm figures, but said “it has been a very strong year,” and he expects sales to “multiply” in 2013 thanks to the planned expansion.
This will include a rollout in new Saks doors in the U.S. The brand is exclusively present in the retailer’s New York and Beverly Hills outlets, and will enter Saks’ four doors in Texas as well as its Costa Mesa store in California in February, followed by a further seven, probably in Florida, for fall, Karam said, before gradually rolling out nationwide.
Elsewhere, Ioma will expand its presence in Austria, where it is exclusive to Marionnaud, from 28 doors to 61 during 2013.
The brand also plans to enter Asia via Thailand, Indonesia, China and India next year, with an exclusive retail partner for each market.
Further plans for 2013 include another new product, to launch in June, which is something “people have never even thought of,” Karam said. Ioma will also open a freestanding store in Paris, he added.