By  on July 13, 2007

L"Oréal Paris is tapping into the 35-plus demographic with a new skin care line, Skin Genesis.

The four-item range, which includes a serum and three moisturizers, is designed to broaden L'Oréal's Dermo Expertise skin care franchise by appealing to a woman who is a decade younger than the customer it usually targets. L'Oréal plans to support the launch aggressively and will use spokeswoman Penélope Cruz to promote the line in TV and print ads, which break in July and August, respectively. Industry sources expect the French beauty giant to spend as much as $20 million to support Skin Genesis in its first year, and also estimate it could reach $30 million in first-year retail sales and a 5 percent dollar market share.

Certainly, there are Dermo Expertise offerings that appeal to the 35-year-old woman, such as Wrinkle De-Crease Collagen Filler, which ended 2006 as the leading stockkeeping unit in facial moisturizer, according to Sandrine Gadol, vice president of marketing, skin care. Skin Genesis, however, gives L'Oréal Paris a platform on which to offer a regimen for women looking to trade in their daily moisturizer for something formulated to address their changing skin care needs.

"It is both preventative and corrective," said Gadol of Skin Genesis, which began shipping to drugstores last week. "It's not for one thing."

Formulas contain Pro-Xylane and hyaluronic acid, to help skin appear more even in tone, as well as firmer and stronger. Pro-Xylane is a patented sugar-derived molecule from the beechwood plant that has been found to stimulate collagen synthesis, said Ali Goldstein, assistant vice president of marketing, skin care. The creation of the molecule is the result of seven years of research, Goldstein added, explaining that the molecule uses water exclusively as a solvent. Hyaluronic acid in formulas is meant to provide moisture to skin.

Skin Genesis is a two-step process. First, there's a Daily Serum Concentrate, which contains a higher amount of Pro-Xylane and hyaluronic acid than the range's moisturizing component, and is meant to be worn underneath it. The moisturizing piece includes a Daily Moisturizer SPF 15, a Daily Moisturizer Oil-Free Lotion and a fragrance-free version with SPF. While it is recommended that Skin Genesis be used as a system, the items have been designed so that consumers can use them alone or together. Each item will sell for $24.99, a price that has worked in the past for L'Oréal Paris, said Carol Hamilton, president of L'Oréal Paris, a division of L'Oréal USA. "We launched Age Perfect Pro Calcium with a $24.99 price" with success, she explained.Industry consultant Allan Mottus said Skin Genesis struck him as a high-end department store launch in the mass market that will go right up against Olay Regenerist with a French positioning, "which is where the consumer is already."

According to Information Resources Inc., sales of Regenerist for the latest 52-week period ended June 17 were $100 million, excluding volume at Wal-Mart. That's more than the volume of L'Oréal's facial antiaging franchise, according to the data, which is approximately $85 million.

Mottus was impressed with the high-end nature of Skin Genesis, which pulls no punches, from delivery system to positioning to its $50 potential register ring.

"Creating a regimen of it with two steps is very high-end. And the delivery system sounds better than the traditional dropper, which can get very messy," Mottus said, adding that L'Oréal will likely get multiple purchases with the two-step process. "It should be a $50 ring. Over the past three years, L'Oréal Paris has become a department store brand in the mass market."

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