NEW YORK — With its new Idealist Micro-D Deep Thermal Refinisher, Estée Lauder is tapping into the growing home microdermabrasion trend.

“Microdermabrasion is the second most requested skin care service,” said Daniel Annese, vice president of marketing, North America, for Estée Lauder. “It made sense for us to develop a product that served that need for our consumers. And it’s also considerably cheaper — a typical microdermabrasion session in a doctor’s office or spa costs $150, while our product is $45.” Annese estimates that the Lauder item contains enough product for 25 to 30 uses.

Janet Cook, president of Estée Lauder North America, noted that Micro-D product also serves another important function — expanding Lauder’s already considerable reach in the repair category. “The Estée Lauder brand accounts for 41 percent of the repair category right now, and we believe that this product will further expand our business there,” she said. “This is a unique item with a huge opportunity.”

The product, designed to be used twice per week, is intended to address fine lines and dull skin, noted Daniel Maes, vice president of research and development for Estée Lauder Worldwide. “Most skin refinishing products and procedures use one type of crystal or bead, but the key to this product is our TripleSphere Refinishing System,” noted Maes. The proprietary technology incorporates microcrystalline spheres, large, soft spheres that are intended to help skin shed large, dry flakes; bamboo, medium-sized beads which are intended to minimize the appearance of pores, and micronized jade, which is intended to provide a deep polishing action to perfect the look of the skin.

The three-pronged refinishing system is teamed with another proprietary ingredient incorporating calcium chloride. “When the product is massaged onto the skin, it heats up and helps to detoxify pores by dislodging the sebum, thereby insuring maximum effectiveness,” said Maes.

According to Marjorie Lau, vice president of global skin care marketing for Estée Lauder, the product is designed to be used in conjunction with the brand’s existing Idealist Skin Refinisher product. “The two have a synergistic effect,” she noted, adding that a massage technique has been developed for use in conjunction with the new product.Micro-D will retail for $45 for 2.5 oz. It will be available at Lauder’s 2,000 North American department and specialty store doors and on in August. While none of the executives would comment on sales projections or advertising budgets, industry sources estimated that Micro-D would do about $15 million at retail in its first year on counter and that about $2.5 million would be spent to promote it.

National advertising, with the tag line, “Your ideal skin —no appointment necessary,” breaks in September magazines. The brand also is planning to distribute more than 500,000 samples of the product, noted Annese.

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