Sothys new products

To celebrate its 60th anniversary this April, professional skin care and cosmetics marketer Sothys is launching a line of hydrating products.

NEW YORK — To celebrate its 60th anniversary this April, professional skin care and cosmetics marketer Sothys is launching a line of hydrating products, as well as whitening items designed to reduce dark spots.

The Paris-based company, which was founded as a spa in Paris in 1946, has expanded to three spas, in Tokyo and Manhattan, with complementary beauty products available in over 100 countries. The company views its beauty items as an extension of its spa treatments.

“We provide our spas with treatments that are harmonized with the products’ ingredients,” said Viviane Garces-Perez, Sothys USA general manager. “Everyone of all ages and generations, from 24 to 64, uses our products — grandmothers, mothers and daughters.”

While Sothys’ U.S. print advertising is limited to magazines like Spa Finder and American Spa, its French marketing advertises in beauty magazines as well, including Elle and Marie Claire. Sothys spent $600,000 overall on print advertising in the U.S. in 2005.

Industry sources estimate that the company will generate $12 million wholesale in the U.S., a third of which will come from the new products and treatments. The company plans to bring in $100 million internationally by yearend.

Hydroptimale THI3’s three-dimensional hydrating program, ranging in price from $30 to $60, consists of four products: a hydrating serum, a hydrating mask and two hydrating creams (one for normal and one for dry skin). The products are designed to reactivate the skin’s self-hydrating functions by self-regulating the water flow, providing long-lasting hydration and rebalancing the water movement of the cells — a discovery made by a 2003 Nobel Prize winner in chemistry, Peter Agre. Making the skin’s mechanisms function properly reduces the signs of premature aging, creating a softer, more balanced glow.

Launching in May, the W. Complex whitening products lighten hyperpigmentation caused by sun damage and free-radical pollution on the face and hands. The two products are a Double Lightening Serum Dark Spot Corrector, $89, and the Lightening Touch-Up Powder, $39. The brown algae ingredients inhibit melanin-stimulating enzymes, while the white tea and chamomile slow down the transfer of melanin to the skin’s epidermal cells. The serum’s packaging contains both daytime and evening treatments. While the morning formula reduces pigmentation, the evening serum exfoliates dead skin cells. According to Garces-Perez, results can be seen after 60 days. The lightening and sheer powder aims to create a uniform and matte complexion. Garces-Perez noted that the serum will produce “the fastest results in the shortest amount of time” because it’s packed with higher levels of all the active key ingredients found in the line.

This story first appeared in the March 24, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Both lines correspond with facial treatments offered at the spas, containing similar ingredients. Hydroptimale and Lightening Institute Treatment, each $165, are applied by certified Sothys aestheticians.

“In 60 years, Sothys has been faithful to the professional market,” said Françoise Require, Sothys’ USA general director. “We’ve always sold through the hands and advice of aestheticians. We know where we are and where we want to be, and we’re reinforcing our leadership in market. We don’t want to expand outside our market. You’ll never find us in a department store.”

Comprising some 300 stockkeeping units and four institute treatments, Sothys products and treatments are available nationwide in about 2,000 day and destination spas, resorts and salons, such as the Four Seasons in Los Angeles and the Homestead Spa in Virginia. The products are also available through their 20,000 distributors in more than 100 countries. According to Garces-Perez, the company views these relationships as partnerships since Sothys provides the products along with marketing, education and promotional benefits. Though the company has no current plans to open more freestanding Sothys spas, it will be expanding into more high-end and prestigious spas and resorts.

Starting this month, Sothys is also redesigning their packaging with a more contemporary, larger, easier-to-read logo. By the end of the year, the company plans to change all 12 of its ranges’ packaging. And next year the company will focus on reformulating 40 sku’s in its body care spa therapy sector. Products will include salt glows, mud masks and firming treatments.

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