Aveda’s out to prove that it’s easy being green — and effective, to boot.

The brand is launching Green Science skin care, a lineup of plant-infused facial treatment products, in May.

“We’re a little late to the antiaging market, but we wanted to do it right,” said Suzanne Dawson, vice president of marketing for Aveda. “We see a great deal of opportunity in skin care. The professional skin care market, according to Kline [a worldwide consulting and research firm] is now a $5.2 billion dollar market. Overall, we are the number-two spa brand in the U.S., and we’re aiming to be number one. We think this line — and other recent introductions, such as our Outer Peace acne line — will get us there.”

Green Science is powered by certified organic argan oil, a fatty acid replacement that is designed to help restore the skin’s moisture barrier, noted Dawson. The Berbers, an indigenous people of Northern Africa, have used argan oil for medicinal, culinary and cosmetics purposes for years due to its concentrated amounts of linoleic acid, polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E, noted Pat Petersen, executive director of research and development for Aveda. “We’re using two components of the plant — extract from the leaves and oil from the kernels the plant produces,” noted Petersen. “The leaf extract has anti-inflammatory properties, while the kernel oil contains a lot of the same lipids you will find in the skin.

“There seems to be a ‘no pain, no gain’ mentality with some facial treatment products,” continued Petersen. “The focus for Aveda has always been to do products that leave you with very little redness or irritation — and we’ve been able to develop these high-performing products that stimulate and soothe, as well as deliver a very effective treatment.”

In addition to argan oil, the Green Science lineup includes organic plai oil, said to be a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory; organic cactus, said to inhibit the destruction of collagen and help stimulate collagen synthesis; glucosamine, for its moisturization and exfoliating properties, and boswellia, an anti-inflammatory ingredient said to help boost the skin’s elasticity. The products are lightly scented with geranium, grapefruit, palmarosa and bergamot essential oils.

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

The lineup includes four retail products designed to be used together: Lifting Serum, priced $50 for 50 ml.; Firming Face Creme, $55 for 50 ml.; Firming Eye Creme, $45 for 15 ml., and Line Minimizer, $85 for 10 3-ml.tubes. A professional-strength Skin Renewing Treatment has been developed for use in Aveda spas and salons. A second professional-strength service, a plant-based peel, is expected to launch later this year. Packaging ranges from 50 to 100 percent recycled material, and the products are produced with 100 percent wind power, said Dawson.

Green Science will be available in about 4,000 doors in the U.S., including salons, spas and Aveda freestanding stores and online at aveda.com.

While none of the executives would discuss sales projections, industry sources estimated that the Green Science collection could do upward of $20 million at retail in its first year on counter. National advertising is not planned at launch, although Dawson said it is likely Aveda will advertise the line in 2009, once it is in full distribution.

The brand has also tapped its ayurvedic heritage for a second May offering, Chakra Balancing Body Mists, designed to be used in tandem with a new spa service, Chakra Balancing Massage. According to Mark Zolicoffer, global spa educator for Aveda — who developed the Chakra Balancing Massage — the body has seven chakras, located at major branches of the nervous system. “Energy flows in an ascending order, from the first chakra at the tailbone to the seventh chakra at the top of the head,” said Zolicoffer. “Each chakra can affect our wellness — when one chakra is blocked, there is an imbalance, resulting in a diminished sense of wellness.”

The spa service combines professional-strength Chakra Balancing Blends, deep tissue massage, chakra foot reflexology massage and chakra energy work with guided meditation therapy to “harmonize these energy centers, thus promoting health, balance and personal growth,” said Helga Hefner, spa treatment educator for Aveda. To continue the experience at home, aromatic body sprays based on each of the seven chakras have been developed. Each will retail for $30 for 100 ml.