Clinique’s Superdefense Triple Action Moisturizer.

NEW YORK — Clinique plans to mount a defense against the enemies of healthy skin this winter. <BR><BR>The brand will launch its latest skin care product, Superdefense Triple Action Moisturizer, on Dec. 26 in the U.S. The new product is intended...

NEW YORK — Clinique plans to mount a defense against the enemies of healthy skin this winter.

The brand will launch its latest skin care product, Superdefense Triple Action Moisturizer, on Dec. 26 in the U.S. The new product is intended to be Clinique’s most technologically advanced damage prevention product, noted Janet Pardo, senior vice president of product development worldwide at Clinique.

“It’s not just about antioxidants and SPF anymore,” said Pardo. “Those are certainly important components, but it’s necessary to provide more targeted benefits — to include ingredients that launch a type of ‘smart missile,’ cutting off free radicals and other things that are harmful to skin.”

Susan Akkad, vice president of global treatment marketing for Clinique, likens Superdefense’s strategy to “bridging the evolutionary gap” between past skin care items and the category’s future. “We felt that it was important to stimulate the skin’s natural defenses, and to go to the next level of care,” said Akkad.

Superdefense purports to do that on several levels. Chief among them is a patented RNA fragment technology, which is intended to help boost the skin’s natural repair abilities to prevent damage to the skin’s surface, explained Pardo. This technology is said to work in tandem with two other key ingredients, micrococcus lysate, an enzyme derived from yeast that is said to stimulate skin’s own repair abilities, and cat’s claw, a botanical ingredient sourced from the Amazon, which is said to have DNA repair attributes as well as antioxidant and anti-irritant properties.

The formula also includes sodium hyaluronate, a humectant that helps to hydrate skin, as well as unencapsulated vitamins C and E and broad-spectrum SPF 25.

While it claims to prevent future damage, Superdefense is not intended to repair existing facial skin care damage, noted Pardo. “Its key purpose is to prevent the damage from happening in the first place,” she said, noting that beauty advisers will steer customers in need of repair products to Clinique’s range in that category to be used in tandem with Superdefense. The product is expected to have a broad age range, she added.

This story first appeared in the September 3, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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Superdefense will be available in Clinique’s lineup of about 2,200 U.S. department and specialty store doors and will retail for $39.50 for 1.7 oz., at the top of the brand’s range for moisturizers. Other moisturizers from the brand typically range between $11 and $22, although a few already on the market are in the $29.50 to $39.50 range.

The product will be launched in Europe in January, and in Asia this October, before the U.S.

National advertising for Superdefense in the U.S. launches in January fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines, including Vogue, Allure, Vanity Fair, Real Simple and O. The campaign will include both spreads and single-page ads. More than 5.5 million samples — including BeautiSeals, gift-with-purchase samples and deluxe samples — will be disseminated.

While none of the executives would comment on projected first-year sales or advertising spending, industry sources estimated that Superdefense would do upward of $40 million at retail in its first year on counter and that about $4 million would be spent on advertising and promotion.

— Julie Naughton

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