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EXCLUSIVE: Clarins to Release New Double Serum

It is the eighth iteration of the company’s best-selling skin-care product.

PARIS — Groupe Clarins is set to launch the eighth generation of Double Serum, its best-selling skin-care product, first introduced in 1985.

This iteration comes with a reworked formula — including a double biological innovation — and packaging.

“A lot of women have been seduced by the notion of Double Serum and by its efficacy. So they want to keep their favorite product, but they want to have in it the best of innovation,” Marie-Hélène Lair, scientific communication director at Groupe Clarins, told WWD.

She explained that at the company there’s a policy of “permanent innovation,” rather than the more traditional strategy of frequently launching new products.

“The current product was dedicated to the expression of the needs of the cells — needs for water, oxygen, nutriment, but also needs for protection and regeneration,” said Lair, referring to the five vital skin cell functions that fight signs of aging. “But if we speak about language, that’s only half of it — the capacity of expressing needs. We had to highlight also…[the cells’] listening capacity.”

Clarins teamed with the School of Medical Studies in Namur, Belgium, and discovered that in cells’ membranes lipid microdomains, like cells’ “ears,” have receptors that can catch messages from their environment. It was found that with age and due to external aggressors the number of these “ears” may decrease, so the “listening” capacity diminishes and therefore the skin cells’ vital functions are reduced.

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“The skin is less radiant, and the first signs of age may appear,” Lair said. “We developed the first skin-care formula able to boost the second half of the language: the listening capacity of cells.”

That’s thanks to an extract based on turmeric — highly concentrated in turmerone, a “communication” molecule — exclusive to Clarins.

“This generic extract was able to boost the cells’ new creation of these small ears,” Lair said. “The consequence is that the cells are able again to listen well to all the messages sent by the surrounding cells and by the environment. All five vital functions are boosted again.”

In order to bolster the skin cells’ “expression capacity,” Clarins selected extracts from 20 plants, including red jania, horse chestnut, kiwi and teasel.

“We put all of the latest generations of powerful active ingredients in the formula to boost the ‘speaking capacity’ of cells,” Lair said. “Among these plants, nine of them are organic and three come from fair trade.”

The 20 plant ingredients plus the turmeric extract together boost the skin’s vital functions better than the current formula of Double Serum, which includes five ingredients that were carried over into the new version, according to the executive.

Natalie Bader, Clarins’ brand president, said that after listening to consumer feedback, it became clear not everyone was accessing the right dosage of the formula. As such, new packaging was developed. By twisting the top of the new eco-developed bottle, it’s possible to either discharge a larger or a smaller drop, each containing the same formula ratios — one-third lipidic (with the turmeric extract) and two-thirds hydric — that are mixed after being released from the flacon’s two chambers, on application.

Clarins executives said there’s an affinity between such a balance and the hydrolipidic film on skin, so the serum — a mix of oil and gel textures — penetrates quickly. Whether a large or small droplet is chosen depends on a skin’s needs.

Clarins began working on the new Double Serum, which can be used any time of the day and is easy to combine with other products, about five years ago.

It is billed to give a radiant effect immediately and in one month make skin visibly smoothed and firmed.

Already today, one bottle of Double Serum is sold somewhere in the world every 15 seconds. In numerous European countries, the product ranks either first or is among the top three antiaging serums. In Asia, it generally is  in the top 10, and in the U.S., it is Clarins’ bestseller.

The idea is to retain the existing consumer base and recruit other users with the new Double Serum, which will launch exclusively in the Clarins store in the King of Prussia Mall, outside Philadelphia, on July 24, prior to the U.S. rollout on Aug. 7. In Canada, it is to be introduced at Hudson’s Bay on Aug. 11, followed by a national rollout on Sept. 1, when other markets are set to start selling the product, as well.

The opening of more Clarins stores, which boast a variety of new services as well as emphasizing retail, is expected to help drive Double Serum’s sales, too, according to Bader.

While Clarins executives would not discuss projections, industry sources estimate the new product will generate about $150 million in retail sales in its first 12 months on the market, which would represent approximately a 25 percent on-year revenue increase for Double Serum.

In France, the 30-ml. bottle is to go for 86 euros, or $96.30 at current exchange, and the 50-ml. version for 120 euros, or $134.35.

The product launch will be backed by an advertising campaign including print, TV and digital.