Kiehl’s Since 1851 has a simple mission for spring: proving that its body care can have the same antiaging qualities as face products.

“This is our first totally restorative body care collection,” said Chris Salgardo, U.S. president of Kiehl’s, of the brand’s new Superbly Restorative body care lineup. It is set for an April launch. “Usually, we save the highest-tech ingredients for the face — but we felt strongly about launching a line which offered similar benefits for the body.”

The brand’s best-selling skin care product at present is Creme de Corps, a body lotion which focuses on hydration, explained Salgardo. “Superbly Restorative, which we will launch on Earth Day, gives restorative benefits, as well. It can be used in tandem with Creme de Corps, or on its own.”

The ingredient powering Superbly Restorative is organic argan oil, which Kiehl’s is sourcing from the Targanine Cooperative in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. While argan oil may be relatively new to skin care, it has a long history among the Berber population in Morocco, said Salgardo.

“Argan has been used in food preparation forever, and we’re now recognizing its potential in skin care,” said Salgardo. “It’s naturally rich in polyunsaturated oils and very rich in antioxidants, especially linoleic acid — which is proven to help maintain skin elasticity. It’s also amazingly moisturizing. And the way that we’ve designed these products allows for multiple uses — for instance, the oil can be used on your body, your hair or your cuticles.”

The collection will include two products at launch: Superbly Restorative Body Lotion, $35 for 6.8 oz., and Superbly Restorative Dry Oil, $30 for 4.2 oz., with a third product, Superbly Restorative Skin Salve, expected in June. The products are packaged in 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic, added Salgardo.

While Salgardo declined to discuss sales, industry sources estimated that Superbly Restorative body care would do upwards of $5 million at retail in its first year on counter. Kiehl’s is available in just under 200 specialty store doors in the U.S., and in the brand’s 26 freestanding retail stores.

Salgardo is also proud that the Superbly Restorative line marks Kiehl’s entry into fair-trade ingredients. “Fair trade, which is an organized social movement, which promotes standards for international labor and social policy, focuses on exports from developing countries to developed countries,” said Salgardo. “The funds that the Targanine Cooperative is earning from sourcing our argan oil are going to education and health care. That’s very important to us, as a socially responsible company.” Kiehl’s will offer an “Argan Oil Journey” in stores, which will take consumers through the sourcing process.

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This story first appeared in the March 21, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Speaking of being responsible, Kiehl’s is collaborating with Parsons The New School for Design on the school’s annual Sustainable Design Review Competition. Open to all New School students, the contest’s aim is to develop creative, yet sustainable packaging. Students are challenged to be as innovative as possible without altering Kiehl’s formulas or packaging requirements. A winner will be announced on May 11, and Kiehl’s plans to explore executing the winning designs in stores nationwide, said Salgardo.