NEW YORK--While Suave skin care products have always been portrayed as standing for value, Helene Curtis is now reaching for cutting-edge status. The company is now rolling out two new moisturizing products that seek to take the mass market's alpha-hydroxy acid trend several steps further. Called Age Defense Renewing Lotion and Age Defense Renewing Cream, the new items will be billed as a triple guard against aging. These new items contain glycolic acid to exfoliate and moisturizers to rehydrate dry skin. They also incorporate green tea extract to fight free radicals and soothe any irritation that may occur from the acid. With these products, Helene Curtis hopes to appeal to the more mature customers who already use some of Suave's other personal-care products. The company is also out to lure non-Suave users into the 57-year-old franchise. "Through our cleansers and basic moisturizers, we have primarily been appealing to women aged 18 through their 30s," Schwartz said. "But there are many older women who are already using Suave products that we don't seem to be reaching." In addition to the new entries, Suave has also refreshed its two existing moisturizers. Both the Replenishing Moisture Lotion and the version for sensitive skin now contain punched up levels of glycerin, the key moisturizing ingredient in both products. In another nod to the mature market, Suave is also introducing a moisturizer in a cream form, called Suave Replenishing Moisture Cream. Both the 2-oz. jar of cream and each of the 4-oz. bottles of lotion have suggested retail prices of $3.99. All five of the moisturizers are expected to reach Suave's 35,000-door distribution by December. According to industry sources, Suave's 12-item facial treatment line of cleansers and moisturizers commands over 4 percent of the estimated $800 million mass skin care market, or about $36 million at retail. The refreshed moisturizer collection is expected to boost Suave's market share by at least a point for a total share of more than 5 percent, which translates into retail sales of about $40 million. Suave's 175 items of hair, body, skin and baby care generated a total retail volume of $150 million last year, sources said, which would mean that skin care represents about 25 percent of the brand's business. Schwartz noted that Suave hopes to stand out from competitive acid-based products partially because of its price points, which are low, even by mass standards. The 2-oz. jar of cream and the 4-oz. bottle of lotion have suggested retail prices of $5.99 each. A 2-oz. jar of Pond's Age Defying Complex, in comparison, is around $10.
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