The ad for Biotherm Line Peel.

NEW YORK — Biotherm is out to add a peel to its skin care lineup. <BR><BR>The brand is set to launch Line Peel, what its creators call “a wrinkle-reducing cream with peel performance,” in December. <BR><BR>“This product truly...

NEW YORK — Biotherm is out to add a peel to its skin care lineup.

The brand is set to launch Line Peel, what its creators call “a wrinkle-reducing cream with peel performance,” in December.

“This product truly merges biology and technology,” noted Roberta Weiss, senior vice president of marketing for Biotherm, adding that Line Peel is also kicking off an effort by Biotherm to emphasize the brand’s scientific heritage. “Most of the other products of this type [currently on the market] are much harsher and are not designed to be used every day. Line Peel is exceedingly gentle — it offers performance without pain.”

It also taps into a key strength for the brand: skin care, which industry sources believe accounts for as much as two-thirds of the estimated $25 million in sales that Biotherm currently does in the U.S. Line Peel could add $1 million or more at retail to that total, said industry sources.

Key ingredients include micro-crystallized silicium, which is said to help aid the skin’s natural peeling process and stimuline, a proprietary complex, which also aids the process, said Lucien Aubert, manager of Biotherm’s research laboratories and a doctor of biochemistry. Silicium is combined with a proprietary mineral-rich concentrate, intended to calm and equalize the skin, and apricot and rice bran oils, said to soothe and hydrate skin. Extract of thermal plankton, Biotherm’s signature ingredient and one which is in all of the brand’s products, is intended to further soothe the skin.

“This product has the same effect as those which contain a 10 percent solution of glycolic acid, yet is gentle enough to be used twice a day,” said Aubert, adding that optical ingredients also “immediately offer a cosmetic benefit.”

Line Peel will retail for $40 for 1.69 oz., and will be on counter on Dec. 26, a day that is rapidly becoming beauty’s favorite launch day for one simple reason: “By that time, women are done buying gifts for others and are looking for items for themselves,” said Chris Harrison, Biotherm’s general manager. The product will be available in Biotherm’s full U.S. distribution, currently about 150 U.S. department and specialty store doors, including select Macy’s, Burdines, Foley’s and Nordstrom doors, and is expected to appeal most strongly to women in their late twenties and early thirties — those who are first recognizing aging, but don’t want to subject their skin to a harsh medical process, explained Aubert.

This story first appeared in the September 24, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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While the brand does not currently place national advertising, co-op efforts with major retailers are planned at launch, said Weiss. As well, more than 300,000 direct mailers — part of a brand brochure that will also involve a pre-selling campaign — and 25,000 samples, including those disseminated at counter and in skin care gift sets, are planned. In-store events will also be part of the mix, said Weiss.

Line Peel will also be sold on Biotherm’s Web site,, beginning on Dec. 26. The Web site, a new venture for the brand, will go live Oct. 1, marking the first time that the brand will be available online, said Harrison.

The new Internet initiative and an emphasis on the brand’s scientific heritage with Line Peel are just two initiatives out of several on the front burner for the brand, a division of beauty giant L’Oréal. As reported, Biotherm is also rolling out a men’s initiative to about 40 of its U.S. doors, aimed at increasing its hold in the men’s market, and will open its first U.S. retail store in L.A.’s Glendale Galleria in early November. New packaging initiatives and “other surprises” are on tap for Biotherm in the coming year, promised Harrison.

— J.N.