By  on September 23, 1994

NEW YORK -- Having broken into the skin care market with a one-item wonder Alpha Hydrox more than two years ago, Neoteric Cosmetics is about to round out its regimen.

The Denver-based company is building its Alpha Hydrox franchise with the introduction of three moisturizers that do not contain alpha-hydroxy acid but are meant to be used in conjunction with the acid products.

"Regimen is a tough word in the mass market. What we wanted to do is develop complementary products for our [Alpha Hydrox] treatment product," said Mark Goldstein, president and chief executive officer of Neoteric.

Although the new items "certainly would stand alone," Goldstein said, "Our point of view is to maximize our [acid] treatment products."

The new products are rolling out now to Neoteric's unusually broad distribution, consisting of 50,000 to 60,000 supermarkets, drugstores and discounters.

The nonacid moisturizers are a 4-oz. lotion, in regular and oil-free versions, and Night Replenishing Creme, a 2-oz. jar billed as a more intense treatment. Each moisturizer has a suggested retail price of $8. Alpha Hydrox already markets three nonacid items: an eye gel, a facial cleanser and a toner.

In addition to the moisturizers, Neoteric is introducing two new acid-based products: Enhanced Gel, which has a 10-percent glycolic acid concentration and a suggested retail price of $9, and Sensitive Skin Creme, which has a 5 percent concentration and a suggested retail of $8.

Alpha Hydrox's retail volume is expected to hit $60 million this year, and Goldstein said the five new products could add another 40 percent, or $24 million, to that total in the first 12 months.

The company is backing the full line with a $20 million advertising campaign, 96 percent of it devoted to network TV.

Goldstein said Neoteric had been somewhat concerned about developing the sensitive-skin acid item.

"You lower your AHAs enough, you lose the effectiveness," he said, noting that Neoteric's sensitive formula is still stronger than many competitors. "We had been recommending diluting the product or applying it less frequently."

The development of both the stronger concentration gel and the sensitive-skin cream is a response to consumer requests, Goldstein said. Neoteric fields almost 10,000 calls a week on its toll-free telephone number, which, in addition to market research, the company uses to build its direct mail data base.In the next several months, Goldstein said Neoteric will introduce "new and improved" versions of the two lotion moisturizers, which will have an SPF 15 sunscreen. Goldstein said the company is also planning to launch three men's acid-based aftershave items and to venture into the bath and body market with an acid body wash sometime in early 1995.

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