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PARIS — Estee Lauder is set to introduce what it considers the creme de la creme of beauty creams in Europe and Asia this fall.

Re-Nutriv Re-Creation Day Cream and Re-Nutriv Re-Creation Night Cream will be sold together as a coffret that will weigh in at 950 euros, or $1,150 at current exchange.

The antiaging program, the latest offshoot of the high-end Re-Nutriv franchise, will hit shelves in Europe and Asia before bowing in the U.S., an unusual rollout plan for a Lauder treatment launch.

“From a positioning standpoint Re-Nutriv has always represented the best of the best of luxury personified in a brand,” said John Demsey, global president of the Estee Lauder brand. “By launching Re-Nutriv Re-Creation in Europe first we’re reinforcing the original positioning.”

Re-Nutriv has a history of pushing price barriers to the extreme. When first introduced in 1958 by Estee Lauder a jar of the cream sold for $115, while the top price paid for skin treatment at the time was $10.

“[Re-Nutriv Re-Creation] is the most luxurious cream we’ve ever made,” said Evelyn Lauder, senior corporate vice president of the Estee Lauder Cos., speaking at an event held here Tuesday. Also in attendance were company chairman Leonard Lauder and brand spokeswoman Elizabeth Hurley, as well as Demsey.

Leonard Lauder noted that the brand’s premium Re-Nutriv treatment franchise is the fastest-growing segment for the Lauder brand.

“We’re very dedicated to this business,” he said.

Dr. Daniel Maes, global vice president of research and development at Estee Lauder, noted that his brief for the Re-Nutriv Re-Creation line was free of cost restrictions.

“It’s the optimum point in the career of a scientist when you’re able to use all the ingredients you want without constraint,” he quipped.

The outcome of Maes’ research is a treatment duo meant to accompany changes in the skin over 24 hours, protecting during the day and repairing at nighttime.

The formulas tap the power of calcium, a mineral naturally present in the skin, which moves from the stratum corneum toward the outer layers of the skin when it is dehydrated. In doing so it sets off the production of lipids. In the night cream, a polymer is included to create a “false alarm” process, which leads the skin to believe it’s under stress. The negatively charged polymer attracts calcium toward the surface of the skin, encouraging lipid production, leaving the skin better moisturized and its protective moisture barrier strengthened.

This story first appeared in the June 17, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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Lauder also delved into the depths of the ocean to source a plethora of ingredients meant to moisturize and rejuvenate the skin. They include padina, a sea plant which bolsters calcium’s effects on the skin; a micronized mineral concentrate from Okinawa in Japan that contains 74 trace minerals, plus deep sea water from Hawaii, which offers a high concentration of minerals, including collagen-boosting manganese and copper.

In addition, Re-Nutriv Re-Creation Day Creme contains an SPF of 15; siegesbeckia, boswellia extract and silymarin, said to preserve the skin’s reserves of collagen and elastin; sandalwood bark extract, and resveratrol, meant to protect the skin from free radicals. Muru muru butter, melon extract, avocado oil, fucoidan algae and hydrolyzed extensin — a carrot extract — maximize the skin’s moisture levels.

Re-Nutriv Re-Creation Night Creme is boosted with soy bean protein and extract of enteromorpha compressa algae, which are meant to fight damage caused by UV rays and the environment. Energizing ingredients, among them carnitine, creatine and vitamin C, boost the skin’s ability to fight wrinkles. Hyaluronic acid and potassium cholesterol sulfate are said to top up the skin’s moisture needs.

The creams, which will be sold in 50-ml. jars, are available together as a coffret, or separately priced at 500 euros, or $606, each.

Lauder executives declined to discuss sales projections; however, industry sources estimate the line could ring up $15 million in retail volume in its first year worldwide, excluding North America, which will get the line in the spring.

Rollout to a pared-down distribution network of under 700 doors in Europe and Asia will begin in October. In France, Paris’ Bon Marche department store will have a month-long exclusive starting Sept. 29.

A new advertising campaign for the Re-Nutriv franchise, featuring Hurley, will be shot by Mario Testino next month.

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