By and  on January 27, 2006

NEW YORK — Darphin is planning a new wrinkle for its skin care business this year.

The brand, which the Estée Lauder Cos. acquired in January 2003, plans to unveil four new products this spring, the first developed by Lauder executives.

"Darphin has operated in the U.S. for about seven years, but it's always been something of a cult brand," said Shashi Batra, general manager of Darphin and sister brand Rodan and Fields. "We're going to out it."

Founded in 1958, Darphin's focus has always been efficacious skin care items, something that Batra and his team are leveraging with the new launches. The star product is Prédermine Wrinkle Corrective Serum, Darphin's first daily corrective wrinkle serum, scheduled to launch in mid-April. It joins the existing Prédermine line, which includes products such as Replenishing Anti-Wrinkle Cream and Prédermine Replenishing Mask.

The first daily wrinkle serum produced by Darphin, Prédermine Wrinkle Corrective Serum is specifically designed to treat wrinkles and creases by hydrating and smoothing, said Dana Mauriello, assistant manager of product development. The product uses a proprietary cocktail of oligopeptides and phytofix, along with their patented sea-derived Micropatch technology, which is said to stimulate natural collagen production and improve the skin's barrier strength. It will retail for $195.

"The influence the U.S. market has in the skin care category and its future in the prestige environment had a big influence on the product," said Batra, adding that the U.S. is the brand's largest market outside of France.

While none of the executives would comment about sales expectations, industry sources estimated that the serum could do $1 million at retail in its first year on counter.

In addition, Darphin will introduce three new eye products this March. All formulas feature botanically derived blends, producing fragrant aromatic essences that are intended to heal, said Mauriello. Lifting and Firming Eye Serum, $75, is intended to lift, firm and smooth the eye area with a blend of the proprietary Firmiderm, matrikines and centella asiatica extract, while Dark Circles Relief and De-Puffing Eye Serum, also $75, uses the brand's Eyeliss TM, a peptide and glycerin mix, and rose and liquorice extracts to brighten tired eyes. A third addition, Instantly Radiant, will retail for $65 and uses imperata cylindrica, glycerin and squalene to hydrate, soothe and brighten the eye area.

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