Pierre Fabre-owned Avène will launch two sun-care lines in March.

Though the French brand is a major player in the European sun-care market, stringent FDA regulations made it difficult to develop a line well suited for the United States. “We have a huge sun-care collection [in Europe] that of course contains filters that are not currently on the FDA approved list, namely Tinosorb,” said Jacqueline Flam, vice president, retail marketing and sales, Eau Thermale Avène and Klorane. The company tried for many years to penetrate the U.S. market then decided to develop a line addressing the needs of the American consumer.

The new Avène Sun Care collection consists of two ranges designed for sensitive skin. One contains chemical sunscreen, and the other features mineral filters. All six new stockkeeping units are fragrance-, paraben- and oil-free, hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic and contain the antioxidant Vitamin E. There are two products in the mineral range: Mineral Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+, $36 for 4.2 oz., which can be used on the face and body, and Mineral Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+, $28 for 1.3 oz., designed to be used on the face. The titanium dioxide and zinc oxide filters used in each are non-nano particles. “When consumers first understood the concept of nano technology it was very exciting to imagine really great results because chemicals could penetrate deeply into the skin,” Flam said. “Over the last several years, however, there has been consumer concern about whether you really want ingredients penetrating that deeply.” According to the brand, non-nano mineral sunscreens are the safest and gentlest approach for sensitive skin.

The chemical-block range is oxybenzone- and octinoxate-free and instead uses a combination of avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate and octocrylene for broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection. “Oxybenzone and octinoxate are known irritants, especially for sensitive skin. Oxybenzone can cause eczema and allergic reactions and published studies have shown octinoxate to have negative effects on the endocrine system,” Flam said. Available in spray and lotion formulas, the line ranges from $12 for a 1 oz. spray to $30 for both the 5-oz. spray and 5.07 oz. lotion.

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The products will be available in mid-March through a network of more than 2,500 dermatologists and plastic surgeons, drugstores and pharmacies nationwide and online. Though executives declined to comment, industry sources estimate the sun-care collection will generate $2 million in first-year sales.

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