LOS ANGELES — Idebenone, with a reputation for being significantly more effective than the antioxidant CoQ-10, is finding its way into a handful of prestige and dermatologists’ skin care products.

Now, True, based in San Francisco, is shipping the first eye cream and cleanser on the market that contain Idebenone, to build on its existing lines. Clinical studies have found Idebenone to be especially effective in alleviating skin-related problems caused by diet, stress, the environment and genetic factors.

“We have found Idebenone to have tremendous corrective and therapeutic benefits,” said Alphonse Wiebelt, co-vice president of development and education at True, which was launched two years ago with a mineral foundation, concealer and primer. The company uses Idebenone in the bulk of its 205 skin care and color sku’s.

The new Idebenone-rich cleanser is a component of the Night Light Trio, a new kit designed specifically for nighttime use.

“The focus with the new products is on lightening, brightening and resurfacing,” said Michelle Balmer, co-vice president with Wiebelt.

The Advanced Treatment Cleanser also contains amino acids derived from oats and is scented with the brand’s signature aroma, which works on the emotions, she said. A Soothing Tonic contains licorice extract and the Radiance Revealing Complex also has mulberry, which, combined with the Idebenone, has a “very powerful lightening effect,” said Balmer.

The kit retails for $120 for a 90-day supply.

An individual eye cream, the I-Lift Eye Contour Concentrate, is rich in anti-aging compounds including retinol and algae extracts, said Balmer.

“We designed this to work on deeper crow’s feet and other eye issues,” she said of the $75 item.

The products are aimed primarily at the 350 high-end spas and salons where True is sold, including the Nob Hill Spa in San Francisco and the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort and Spa in Dana Point, Calif. The company also has created spa treatments using Idebenone, such as a warm aromatherapy massage that includes hand and eye treatments in a 50-minute session.

With the Night Light Trio, Balmer said more doors are being added to the mix, including the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village, Calif., which is due to open this month.

This story first appeared in the January 19, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“We are very committed to the professional market,” said Balmer. “Since our launch in 2004, the Night Light Trio is perhaps among our most important launches.” In the first two months of the kit’s release, sales at wholesale were projected to be around $120,000.

The company plans new launches through 2007, including a line of body care products containing Idebenone.

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