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Bobbi Brown: Buffing Up the Face

You can take Bobbi Brown's latest launch with a grain of sand ... er, make that a few grains of Japanese adzuki bean powder.

NEW YORK — You can take Bobbi Brown’s latest launch with a grain of sand … er, make that a few grains of Japanese adzuki bean powder.

Brown’s new Buffing Grains for Face, a product intended to be added to facial cleanser to provide gentle exfoliation, came about after Brown spent a day at the beach. After walking barefoot on the sand all day, she realized that her feet were smooth from the exfoliating properties of the sand — and it sparked an idea.

“We were working on developing a facial exfoliator at the time,” Brown said. “And everyone had a different idea for a base. After that day at the beach, I thought, ‘Why don’t we let the consumer decide how intense this should be?'”

Sarah Creal, vice president of global product development, added that many existing exfoliators are too harsh for sensitive skin. “The adzuki bean grains are very effective exfoliators, but they are also gentle — and the amount used is completely at the discretion of the user,” she said, noting that users can sprinkle a little or a lot of the grains into their daytime or nighttime cleansers up to two times a week.

The brand is also launching Overnight Cream, a nighttime formula that contains milk thistle extract, intended to firm and smooth skin; a proprietary Protein Activator said to help boost natural collagen production, and sweet almond oil, intended to boost hydration levels in the skin.

Both products launch in March. Each product is sold in a 50-ml. size; Buffing Grains retails for $40, while Overnight Cream retails for $50. Both are expected to appeal to women from 18 to 55 years of age with a wide variety of skin types, said Creal.

The Bobbi Brown brand is currently in about 300 department and specialty store doors in the U.S. and an additional 300 doors globally spread throughout 33 countries. While executives wouldn’t comment on projected sales for the new products, industry sources estimated that the Buffing Grains and Overnight Cream could together do about $5 million globally and grow the brand’s skin care business 10 to 15 percent in the next 12 months.

This story first appeared in the February 17, 2006 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The two products are the first Brown skin care additions since 2003.