PARIS — Fourteen years after launching Aquasource, Biotherm is reintroducing its best-selling face care product starting this month with a new formula billed to give a deep, long-lasting moisturizing effect.
This story first appeared in the April 1, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The L’Oréal-owned brand has added to Aquasource’s formulation the mannose molecule — a simple sugar from tree pulp that’s extracted with green chemistry.
Mannose works both on the skin’s surface, where it reconstructs the barrier, and on regenerating deep layers of the epidermis, according to Francine Baldo, director of L’Oréal research’s hydration division. At each level of the epidermis, for instance, mannose is said to boost key proteins involved in the natural moisturizing process. Further, it purportedly increases the number of the epidermis’ cellular layers by 25 percent, so skin’s potential for moisture storage is enhanced, as is its cell quality. There’s an immediate hydrating effect, too, said Baldo.
Aquasource also contains Thermal Plankton Cellular Water to help reinforce and soothe skin. It includes more than 36 vital elements for cellular life, said Elisa Barouhiel, international scientific communications director at Biotherm. Vitamins are among them.
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“The level of hydration is [two times longer] with our new formula; even after 48 hours, we still have a hydration effect,” Barouhiel continued.
Aquasource now has 28 percent fewer ingredients than the original. Parabens, for one, were removed, said Pascal Rosello, Biotherm’s marketing director for face care. Since its 1997 launch, more than 25 million Aquasource jars have been purchased, according to Charlotte Franceries, Biotherm’s international general manager.
Aquasource is being introduced in April in Europe and Korea. Then, in May, it’s to be launched in the rest of Asia and Canada.
“Over the past 10 years, we’ve had double-digit growth on the product,” said Franceries. “During the past three years, we’re up plus 60 percent on the business, and it accounts for more than one-third of Biotherm’s skin care turnover.”
Biotherm executives did not break out specific sales numbers, but sources from financial circles estimated Aquasource generates 60 million euros, or $85.1 million at current exchange, in wholesale revenues per year.
A 50-ml. jar of Aquasource in France retails for 39 euros, or $55.35.