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Jack Black Gets Into Clinical Mode

Men's skin care marketer Jack Black is taking a different tack.

Men’s skin care marketer Jack Black is taking a different tack — into the world of high-tech, peptide-based product formulations — with the March launch of two new facial skin care products for men, Rx Series Protein Booster Eye Rescue and Skin Serum.

The two items, which also employ botanical extracts, are the first in what’s intended to be a quartet of Rx Series items, according to Emily Dalton and Curran Dandurand, who founded the brand in 2000.

They added that they anticipate the next two Rx Series products will be introduced either late this year or in early 2010.

“The Rx Series has high concentrations of active, clinical-strength [ingredients],” Dalton said during a recent interview. “There are a range of peptides in the products,” she added, “at levels that have documented, clinical, meaningful effects. They work at a cellular level to improve skin by boosting collagen.”

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The Rx Series Protein Booster duo is set to be introduced March 1 at about 500 doors, including Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s and Sephora locations. The brand’s full distribution is about 700 doors, including spas and independent specialty stores.

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A proprietary, multiple-peptide-infused ingredient, called Matrixyl 3000, is key to the benefit claims of the Rx Series Protein Booster items, which also contain omega-3, amino acids, caffeine and Synake, a synthetic snake venom, to create a Botox effect. Matrixyl 3000 is used in about a 4 percent concentration in the products and is said to reduce wrinkles by 45 percent within two months.

The Skin Serum, which comes in a 60-ml. pump, is priced at $60, while Eye Rescue, which comes in a 15-ml. pump, is priced at $40. The Rx Series Protein Booster items, which are a subbrand of Jack Black’s so-called Pure Science Technology range, could combine to do $1 million in first-year retail sales, according to industry sources.

There are about 30 items in the current Jack Black assortment, which, according to sources’ estimates, generated roughly $30 million in total sales last year. Rx Series packaging is designed to have a “streamlined, clinical feel,” Dalton noted, a departure from Jack Black’s signature dark blue and black packaging.

While the Jack Black brand has a following that consists of guys ages 25 to 50, according to executives, “We do see the [audience for Rx Series] skewing older,” said Dalton.

To support the launch of the Rx Series Protein Booster duo, about 100,000 sample packets will be distributed in-store and online. There will also be cooperative advertising with Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s and facial events in “key doors,” noted Dalton.