By  on June 15, 2007

PARIS — Lancôme plans to deliver a potent antiwrinkle punch when it relaunches its Rénergie treatment line starting next month.

Dubbed Rénergie Microlift R.A.R.E., the three-unit collection, will replace Rénergie Microlift, which bowed in 2005.

Like the original line, Rénergie Microlift R.A.R.E was concocted for women 40 and older and targets wrinkles and slackening skin. However, the newly formulated products incorporate recent Lancôme research, which is based on a new understanding of skin biology.

"When it comes to wrinkles, technological innovations happen very quickly," said Guilhem Souche, the brand's international marketing director for skin care. "We needed to update and act on our most recent scientific knowledge."

The firm's laboratories identified proteins in the skin, called small leucine rich proteoglycans, which are said to control the diameter and spacing of collagen fibers, preventing its breakdown. "SLRPs control tissue quality in general and the skin in particular," said biologist Professor Yanusz Wergrowski, during a Lancôme press conference here Tuesday.

The brand focused on an SLRP called lumican, whose presence in the dermis depletes with age. As levels drop, collagen fibers are less compactly held together and skin loses firmness. To boost the synthesis of lumican, Lancôme has introduced an oligopeptide with R.A.R.E. technology, denoting Retightening and Repositioning Effect. The brand claims R.A.R.E. doubles the synthesis of lumican within 48 hours in mature skin, thus decreasing the number, depth and length of wrinkles. While Rénergie's precursor was inspired by the results offered by surgical facelifts, the new iteration is meant to mimic more recent methods used in plastic surgery, which firm slackening features while maintaining facial expressiveness.

"Women's expectations are changing," said Souche. "First, it was about lifting. Now, women want to keep their personality and natural expressions."

Rénergie Microlift R.A.R.E. targets women between 40 and 50 years old. However, Odile Roujol, president of Lancôme International, pointed out that in Europe, women tend to start using antiaging products at 45, later than their American counterparts.

The lineup comprises 1.7 and 2.5-oz. jars of Rénergie Microlift R.A.R.E Superior Lifting Cream SPF 15, priced at $78 and $92, respectively; a 0.5-oz. jar of Superior Lifting Eye Cream for $58, and a 1.7-oz. jar of Superior Lifting Cream Non SPF for $78. In Asia, additional units, including serum, lotion, emulsion and a mask, will be added and the products' floral woody fragrance will be tweaked.Roujoul declined to discuss forecasts for the treatment line. However, industry sources estimate it will generate $45 million at retail in the U.S. in its first year.

Launches are planned for the U.S. next month and it will be rolled out to Europe in August and September, while an Asian introduction is planned for January.

A double-page print advertising campaign will break in September with a sampling campaign.

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