By and  on February 17, 2006

NEW YORK — Biotherm is set to launch a newly reformulated version of its Source Therapie skin-perfecting serum this May.

Source Therapie Superactiv, as the new serum is called, is designed to reduce premature signs of aging and is touted as a "vitamin prevention" product that is meant to hydrate, strengthen and soothe the skin, while reducing redness and irritation. L'Oréal-owned Biotherm targets an ethnically diverse consumer base, generally between the ages of 25 and 45.

"It's the essence of our brand, which focuses on skin technology," said Catherine Roggero, general manager of Biotherm USA, while discussing the new serum. "The product is designed to help the skin do what it originally wants to do."

The serum's key technology is a proprietary ingredient called vitreoscilla ferment, an ingredient used in most of the company's treatment products, including the original Source Therapie, launched in 2002. However, this reformulated serum, which is designed for all skin types, contains a higher concentration of the ingredient and additional minerals and hydrators.

"The active rejuvenator is the basis of source therapy," said Roberta Weiss, senior vice president of marketing for Biotherm USA. "It is a huge breakthrough to learn that keeping skin balanced and working as an effective natural barrier helps skin to be better prepared to resist the visible signs of premature aging."

Weiss, who noted the serum is intended for two daily applications on clean skin, claimed results are apparent in "less than a week" adding, "the skin looks more refined and has a natural radiance and glow to it."

Biotherm was founded more than 50 years ago by a French biologist, who discovered the vitreoscilla ferment ingredient, a natural microorganism found in thermal springs in the French Pyrenees. At the time, it was used to heal wounds.

"This product is at the core of who we are as a brand," said Weiss. "It carries our history because its main premise is that it's a concentrate of the original ingredient that was the beginning of the brand. The basis of everything that we sell is about skin rejuvenation, revitalizing, soothing and balancing skin."

According to Weiss, Biotherm's consumer research showed that women view Biotherm as "a brand about science," one that's intelligent and speaks to them in an honest, open way. However, U.S. consumers are still getting acquainted with the products."In this country, Biotherm is viewed as a new American brand because many people just discovered us, but really we go back a long way with our heritage and history," said Weiss. "We're about biology, research and advancement. And we've advanced this product to be the best it can be through modern science."

Source Therapie Superactiv will be available in two versions, a 1.7-oz jar and a 1-oz. jar, for $52 and $37, respectively. The product will be available in about 250 U.S. department and specialty store doors, including Bath & Body Works and Sephora. It also will be sold at Biotherm's two California-based freestanding boutiques and through the company's Web site.

Though Biotherm does not advertise nationally, it will launch Source Therapie Superactiv with a campaign that will include about 500,000 samples, Weiss said. Other special promotional events will include complimentary skin consultations and "express" facials in select Federated Department Store locations and Nordstrom's along with Biotherm's boutiques.

Industry sources estimate the product could generate up to $2 million in the U.S. its first year on counter.

This March, Biotherm will make its first entry into the U.S. spa market. The brand's full body line and its Biotherm Homme line — a total of 50 stockkeeping units — will be carried at two New York spas: Jamie Ahn's Acqua Beauty Bar and the new TownHouse Spa, which is slated to open in May.

Also on the men's side, the brand has just completed a rollout of Biotherm Homme Line Peel, an antiwrinkle smoothing cream targeting men in their 30s. The item features glycolic and salicylic acid to exfoliate, and a 50-ml. jar retails for $35.

Meanwhile, Biotherm Homme also has added Anti-Dullness Peel Off Mask to its Biotherm Homme Hydra Detox range. The vitamin- and mineral-infused mask features eight 5-ml. single-use packettes and retails for $18. Additionally, Biotherm Homme has relaunched three of its Biotherm Homme Hydra Detox items, including Anti-Dullness Oxygenating Moisturizer, 50 ml. for $28; Anti-Dullness Detoxifying Cleanser, 150 ml. for $16, and Anti-Puffiness, Anti-Dark Circle Eye Gel, 15 ml. for $25.

The men's items could combine to generate $1 million in first-year retail sales.

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