By  on January 11, 2008

NEW YORK — Yon-Ka, the professional skin care line originally launched in France in the early Sixties, is going after guys.

The brand, which is owned and manufactured by France-based Laboratoires Multaler, will introduce an eight-item men's shaving and skin care line worldwide next month.

In the U.S., Yon-Ka for Men is expected to reach 300 professional skin institutes and spas, according to Herve Pontacq, chief operating officer of Yon-Ka USA. "This is not an adaptation of our existing line," he said, "it's a completely new creation."

Pontacq noted that Yon-Ka for Men was developed over a five-year period that included three years of researching professional treatments for men and two years of developing the product line.

"Men's skin is 24 percent thicker than females'," he added. "If you want active [ingredients] to penetrate the skin, you have to have a different approach in men's skin care."

He noted that the "number-one reason" Yon-Ka wanted to enter the men's grooming market was "we have found that the men's market [grew] 42 percent from 2000 to 2005."

Yon-Ka for Men is grouped into three segments: purify, restore and rejuvenate. "Men like easy, one-two-three programs," said Pontacq.

The purify products include Foam Gel, a 3.4-oz. cleanser for $28 that contains licorice, copper and iris; Barber Shave, a 3.4-oz. shaving cream for $24 that features allantoin, aloe vera and sweet almond oil, and Foam Scrub, a 1.7-oz. facial scrub for $30 that has bamboo silica, jojoba microbeads, copper and iris. There's also a 2.5-oz. detoxifying mask for $30, which contains three absorbent and purifying clays and orange essential oil.

In the restore segment, there is Lotion YK, a 5-oz. aftershave lotion for $31 that features sweet lime, orange, grapefruit and lemon essential oils.

The rejuvenate portion of Yon-Ka for Men includes Age-Defense, a 1.4-oz. antiaging cream for $50 that features baobab and grapefruit oils, moringa, beech bud extract and imperata cylindrical. There's also Nutri-Moist, a 1.4-oz. protecting cream for $44 that has vitamins A, C, E and B5, olive and squash seed oils and grapefruit extract, as well as Under Eye Gel, a 0.5-oz treatment for $40 that contains arnica, cypress nut and solomon's seal.Yon-Ka is also offering several new men's spa services, including three facials and two body treatments.

After being launched in France in the early Sixties, Yon-Ka was expanded internationally in 1970. The brand reached markets like Belgium, Holland, Scandinavia, Asia and Canada by the mid-Seventies. Pontacq said he introduced Yon-Ka in the U.S. in 1987.

Excluding the new men's line, which could garner $1.5 million in first-year retail sales volume, Yon-Ka has about 55 products for sale in professional outlets. It also produces about 75 large-size stockkeeping units for use by aestheticians. On the men's side, about 18 products will be offered for use by spa personnel.

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