ZURICH — In these burgeoning new days of cosmeceuticals, Juvena of Switzerland has integrated first-aid medical technology into a new skin care line, called Juvedical.
The Swiss firm, which celebrates its 50th birthday this year, collaborated with Prof. Odile Damour, a leader in the field of skin reconstruction and the founder and head of the Laboratoire des Substituts Cutanes of Lyon. While working with burn patients whose severe injuries made a skin graft impossible, Damour invented the patented Skin Nova Technology. This technology is a matrix of three biopolymers that create an ideal environment, she said, to nourish, grow and thereby build a new skin on the basis of just a few skin cells.
Dr. Sven Gohla, vice president of research and development of the Juvena/La Prairie group, was intrigued by Damour’s new technology. “Our basic assumption was that if it heals extensive burn wounds, Skin Nova Technology must significantly improve the structure of healthy skin,” Gohla said. He contacted Damour at a scientific convention three years ago, and work began to incorporate and stabilize her technology into cosmetic formulas. The result: Juvedical With Skin Nova Technology, a three-unit range consisting of Juvedical renewing serum and renewing day cream and night cream.
Juvedical “is for everybody because it regulates skin renewal,” said Charlotte Vollmuth, vice president of Juvena Switzerland and Marlies Moller Beauty Hair Care. In cases of irritated, sensitive or stressed skin, she said, the technology establishes an optimal environment to mitigate the problems. However, Juvedical is not being marketed as a sensitive skin treatment line. Juvena sees its strongest potential in the treatment of well-balanced skin, where Skin Nova Technology’s biopolymer matrix not only enhances the functions of the skin, but also boosts the performance of other applied products. In other words, Vollmuth explained, the core Juvedical renewing serum can be used under any cream and will additionally enhance the function of that cream.
The renewing serum is priced at $146.40, or 120 euros, for 30-ml. All dollar figures are calculated from the euro at current exchange rates.
The serum serves as a corrective for “all daily skin problems, whether large or small,” and intensifies the effect of the Juvedical day and night creams, according to the company. The serum can also be applied to specific areas, such as patches of irritation and scars, and is suitable for all ages and skin types, including men’s. The 50-ml. renewing day and night creams are priced at $85.40 and $97.60, 70 euros and 80 euros, respectively, and like the serum, are fragrance-free and geared to all ages and skin types.
Juvedical will hit perfumery shelves in Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Holland, Greece, Portugal and a few Eastern European countries in April and May, followed by Asia in the second half of 2004. Juvedical will also be launched in the U.S. as soon as the registration process is completed, the company said. Worldwide, Juvedical will be sold in Juvena’s normal distribution of about 4,000 doors.
Vollmuth said the new line is expected to generate between $6.1 million and $9.8 million, or 5 million to 8 million euros, in its first year. “That may be small, but for Juvena it’s big,” she remarked.
Juvena, which pioneered the use of the co-enzyme Q10 in the Nineties, considers Juvedical its key launch of the past 10 years. “And we’re putting everything we have behind it,” Vollmuth said. “More than what everybody usually spends, which is about 50 percent of sales revenue,” she noted, declining to be more specific. But it suggested the company could be spending $3 million to $6 million on the campaign.
In addition to a classic print ad campaign, featuring petri dishes such as Damour uses in her lab’s skin-regeneration process, single-use samples in petri dish-shaped packages, mailers, point-of-sale and window displays will also support the launch. Moreover, Juvena is actively going after advertorials, as this is a concept that requires considerable explanation, Vollmuth stressed.
Group chief executive officer Harald Stolzenberg said that Juvedical is unlike anything he has seen in his 30 years in the industry. “It’s so daring, so different, it’s a step forward,” he said.
So why wasn’t this groundbreaking technology launched with La Prairie rather than its little sister, Juvena? “Juvedical was clearly developed by the Juvena people, so it would have been unfair to give it to the bigger one,” Stolzenberg responded. Plus, the Skin Nova Technology would have clashed with La Prairie’s core cellular concept, he pointed out.