By  on December 22, 2000

NEW YORK -- The Origins brand is getting ready to show a little skin.

In April, the brand will launch six new facial skin care products and one foundation line, designed for customers of all skin types.

"Skin care is already a very strong category for us -- and we think that these items will take that business to the next level," said Roberta Weiss, vice president of global marketing for Origins. "Some replace existing [stockkeeping units], and others fill niches in the line that we didn't previously address. For example, we didn't have a really great dry skin eye cream -- until now."

Sources estimate that Origins does in excess of $50 million at retail in facial skin care, excluding treatment, and that the new items could grow the business by 15 percent.

"Skin care has always been a different type of conversation for us -- we ask about the client's lifestyle first and about how much time they have to spend on their routine," said Weiss. "It's less of a dictating thing than slapping something in front of them and saying, 'You have oily skin and you have to use this."'

The dry skin market will be addressed with two new products: Grin From Year to Year Brightening face firmer is a skin serum that is intended to brighten dry skin, lighten the appearance of dark spots and reduce blotchy redness, and will retail for $25 for a 1.7 oz. bottle. Look Alive Vitality moisture cream is an deeply emollient formula and will retail for $18.50 for a 1.7-oz. jar.

The combination skin category will get three new items. Checks and Balances Frothy face wash is a foaming cleanser that is intended to balance moisture and oil levels. A 5-oz. bottle retails for $15. United State Balancing tonic is a lightweight toner designed to refresh combination skin, and retails for $16 for a 5-oz. bottle.

The third product, Balanced Diet Lightweight moisture lotion, features what Janet Pardo, vice president of global product development, calls a "smart" skin balancing formula. "It knows exactly where the skin needs moisture and where it needs oil absorption, which ensures that oily zones stay matte and that dry areas are hydrated," she said. The product contains glucosamine, "which is the next generation of exfoliators -- it has an incredible ability to exfoliate, yet doesn't cause irritation like some of the hydroxy acids," said Pardo.For sensitive skin, there is Calm Balm Sensitive skin eye cream. It is purported to reduce puffiness and protect the eye area from irritation, as well as firm the skin around the eye area. It retail for $25 for a 0.5-oz. container.

Oily-skinned consumers will get Reflection Perfection Mattifying face makeup, a lightweight, oil-absorbing matte foundation available in 10 shades. It is designed to be resistant to sweat and humidity, and retails for $15 for a 1-oz. jar.

The new collections will be supported with what Weiss calls a "gift with guidance." About one million direct mailers will be sent, inviting customers in for a consultation. As a bonus, the customer will also be given a generous-sized sample of the new product most appropriate for her skin type.

A national advertising campaign is "in development," said Weiss, adding that it will likely include advertising in fashion, beauty and lifestyle books in April.

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