NEW YORK — Is Dr. David Colbert the next Dr. Perricone?
The New York-based dermatologist is following in the footsteps of Dr. Nicholas Perricone, Dr. Fredric Brandt and Dr. Dennis Gross in his attempt build a substantial skin-care business beyond his clientele. The latest manifestation of this is his second skin-care brand, NYDG, which will be launched Wednesday.
An acronym for the New York Dermatology Group practice Dr. Colbert cofounded with JP Van Laere in 1996, the collection of six products will be sold at Net-a-porter, Mr Porter, the offices of New York Dermatology Group and the brand’s e-commerce site at nydg.com, to start. NYDG will see an international rollout, starting in May with Harrods in the U.K. and Colette in Paris.
Colbert, head physician at the New York Dermatology Group in the Flatiron District here, called the new collection a compliment to his existing Colbert MD brand, the high-end range of antiaging skin-care products that he introduced in 2010.
But mostly, NYDG is a vehicle to grow his skin-care business at scale and appeal to a larger customer base.
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NYDG is targeted to a younger demographic than its predecessor. Instead of antiaging, “healing and repair” are the concerns addressed by the new range, which is also designed to appeal to a growing male clientele (reportedly, about 20 percent of the patients at New York Dermatology Group are male). Environmental aggressors — pollution, sun, active lifestyle and over-experimentation with product — were also taken into consideration when Colbert worked to develop the line with Van Laere and Nicky Kinnaird, a consultant for NYDG and founder and the “NK” of Space NK.
Colbert launched his first brand under the namesake Colbert MD label, but because it’s on the pricier side — the $175 serum and $210 cream are said to be favorites among celebrities and makeup artists — he wanted to develop a collection that was more accessible. He also wanted to tap into the expertise of the six other doctors and aestheticians working at the New York Dermatology Group, who collectively, treat more than 25,000 patients a year.
The initial NYDG collection is comprised of six stockkeeping units, with additional products to roll out in the fall. Everything is priced at 20 to 50 percent less than Colbert MD, but NYDG is still firmly rooted in the prestige skin-care category with an opening price point of $48 for the Colloidal Oatmeal Cleanser. The most expensive item in the collection is a $110 moisturizer, the Formula 119 Cream, and the remaining four products include Re-contour Eye Gel, $60; Ultra-light Hydra-gel moisturizer, $68; Luminizing Skin Essence, $105 and Chem-free Active Defense SPF 30, $98.
For comparison, Colbert MD’s prices start at $60 for the Balance Purifying Cleanser and go up to $210 for the Retensify Firming Cream. Of the 11 products in the existing, original lineup, the majority retail from $130 to $175, including the $135 Uplift Eye Serum and $150 Illumino Face Oil.
Colbert declined to disclose revenues, but an industry source said NYDG will exhibit a more aggressive rollout strategy than his previously launched line. Colbert MD, which is sold at Space NK, Barneys New York, Net-a-porter and international doors from Mecca in Australia to El Corte Inglés in Spain. It is said to be about a $5 million business. The same source said Colbert MD is growing at a rate of 10 to 15 percent per year and predicts that NYDG, with first-year sales estimates of $5 million, will quickly eclipse Colbert MD. The same source revealed that NYDG will double Colbert MD’s sales volume in three year’s time.
“NYDG is geared toward increasing sensitivities we’re seeing in the clinical practice. Everything is geared toward minimizing sensitivity and being mindful of increasing effects of environmental stressors, whether it’s U.V. [rays], pollution or lifestyle situations,” Colbert said during an interview last week, holding up a bottle of the Chem-free Active Defense SPF 30 — the first product created in the collection.
“We spent almost two-and-a-half years developing this sunscreen….[It] addresses both the beauty of the skin and also the medical health of your skin,” he continued, calling it a hybrid product that doubles as a sunscreen and a moisturizer.
He noted that the physical SPF 30 (with an active ingredient of 17.5 zinc oxide) includes ingredients such as Squalane for skin conditioning and antioxidants derived from Argan extract. He called Active Defense one of two “hero” products in the range, along with the Luminizing Skin Essence, which lies somewhere between a toner and serum in terms of usage, meaning it’s more substantial than toner, but less potent than serum.
“After seeing, as a practice and talking to my colleagues, people always ask, ‘What is an astringent? A toner? A serum?’ They don’t really know,” Colbert said of how Luminizing Skin Essence came to fruition, noting that it can hydrate, reduce redness, restore balance and smooth skin. “I’m not really crazy about toners or astringents, so I checked with our chemist to come up with something different: a combination of a serum and a toner.”
But product innovation within the NYDG line isn’t the only focus of expansion for the New York Dermatology Group this year. Dr. Colbert hinted at another project coming down the pipeline. He said his existing 10,000-square-foot clinic and office in the Flatiron District here will see the addition of an “exciting development” in the fall that will take up another 7,000-square-feet. But Colbert was mum on specifics.