By  on June 27, 2008

PARIS — Kéraskin Esthetics, the treatment line from L'Oréal Professional Products Division, is to skin what Kérastase is to hair, according to company executives.

"Kéraskin is the skin care offer for top-level aestheticians around the world," said Laura Wax, Kéraskin Esthetics' international brand director, who added that the division of L'Oréal SA chose to introduce its first prestige treatment brand for two main reasons. First is the attractiveness of the world's professional skin care market.

"We valuate it at 2.5 billion euros [or $3.89 billion at current exchange], which is more or less equivalent to the professional hair care market [minus colorants]," she said. "The second interesting thing is that this market is really dynamic. The professional skin care market is growing at what we estimate to be 10 to 13 percent worldwide, which is stronger growth than the general cosmetics market [that gains around 4 percent]."

Kéraskin made its debut in two salons — Alexandre Zouari in Paris and Richard Ward in London — early last month. Further plans call for its launch in 300 doors, primarily luxury salons with aesthetic rooms, this year. Within the next three years, Kéraskin should be in 1,000 doors, and in 2,000 doors by 2013.

While Kéraskin executives would not discuss sales figures, industry sources estimate that the line will generate $5 million in retail sales during its first year.

Key to Kéraskin are a handful of core "rituals," or treatments, lasting from 40 minutes to an hour and a half and ranging in price from 50 euros, or $77.80, to 200 euros, or $311.20. Among them are Néojeunesse, billed as an antiaging treatment including a fiber-stimulating massage and a personalized dose of vitamin C. After the ritual using Kéraskin products, aestheticians suggest the use of Rice Lift cream. It's part of the Kéraskin retail line that comprises 15 of its 30 stockkeeping units. Wax explained that a product is suggested for at-home use following each ritual to bolster its effects.

Presently, Kéraskin's focus is on facial care, but it could include body care in the future.

"These 30 sku's cover all [facial] skin needs, from the most basic to the most sophisticated," said Wax, who explained that the products are for all skin types, save for the whitening line, which was created for Asia. While developing Kéraskin, 400 aestheticians were consulted from around the globe.Among its products that can be bought for at-home use are Lait No. 27, a daily residue cleanser, whose 400-ml. bottle goes for 50 euros, or $77.80, and Immuniste, an antioxidant serum, whose 30-ml. flacon sells for 120 euros, or $186.70.

Professional products — many of which come in single-dose packaging — include the Oléa-Scrub, a deep-cleansing sparkling scrub; Hydramix, a moisturizing gel, and Patch Ionique, an ionic correction patch for dark spots. Also in the professional segment are tools, including a device called Cryozone, which swiftly and simply cools an eye-contour cream.

Aestheticians are trained for two weeks on Kéraskin products and treatments, plus on skin biology and giving treatments after surgical procedures, among other topics.

"Training is the backbone of this brand," said Wax.

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