PARIS--Lancome plans a global launch in September for a new skin care product called Primordiale--and executives predict it will quickly become the brand's top-selling treatment product. The company projected worldwide sales of 3 million units for the first year on the shelves, and expects the item eventually to outsell both Bienfait Total and Niosome Plus, Lancome's two top sellers. Primordiale will be $42 (200 francs) for a 30-ml. size and $58 (280 francs) for 50-ml. version. Details of the U.S. launch have not been disclosed. Primordiale, which initially will be available in a cream version in Europe and as a serum in the U.S., softens and smooths the skin, with visible results in eight days, according to the company. The product carries a new delivery system for its main ingredient, Vitamin E. This microscopic transporter, called a nanocapsule, was developed and patented by French researchers at the Centre Nationale de Recherche Scientifique. Lancome, which bought exclusive rights to the patent, claims the nanocapsule can deliver 20 times more Vitamin E to the stratum corneum and 30 times more to the epidermis than a standard emulsion. Another important feature of Primordiale, the company said, is its ability to combat cell deformations, called blebs, which are provoked by UVA rays and free radicals. Although scientists have been aware of blebs--which contribute to premature aging--for years, Lancome said its researchers were the first to discover that Vitamin E is an active ingredient that can repair skin and avert new damage. The product also contains Mexoryl-SX, a patented UVA filter already used in other brands from Lancome's parent L'Oreal, and an exfoliating salicylic acid derivative. The acid is the ingredient that provides the quickly discernible results, the company said. "We thought as long as we have a fabulous product, why not bring in immediate visible effects," said Thierry Bujon, a marketing executive at Lancome who focuses on the anti-aging category. The company will feature its results-in-eight-days claim in advertising and promotional materials for Primordiale. In major European markets, the focus will be on print advertising, especially in magazines. The main print campaign will feature a new model, after 10 years of Isabella Rossellini representing the brand's skin care. Lancome prepared several versions, each with a different woman, including model Laura Harris and actress Famke Janssen. Although executives would not confirm who has been chosen, insiders said it would be Harris, at least for the time being. Lancome has developed advertorials to explain the product's innovations. The company will undertake a massive sampling campaign in Europe, distributing 7-ml. miniatures containing eight days' worth of the product. In France, Lancome will distribute 800,000 samples during the launch.
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