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The Lessons of Pro Care and Related Markets: Following Trends Straight to Retail Success

By: Imogen Matthews
Posted: March 7, 2011, from the March 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

Professional skin care has been a rich source of inspiration for brands destined for retail shelves, and the benefits touted and expected in pro products dovetail neatly with consumer demand for products that work as well as those used in professional settings. “The larger brands have been most successful at this because their parent companies have deep pockets,” explains Karen Doskow, industry manager, consumer products, Kline.* “Take P&G, for example, it has done a beautiful job with [professional-like products] under the Olay banner. It purchased DDF, a professional brand, about four years ago, and took a lot of what made this brand unique and translated it into its Olay brand.” Regenerist 3 Point Super Serum, containing a super concentrated amino-peptide complex, is Olay’s most recent and recognizable retail product that has benefitted from unique, pro-like technologies.

In fact, P&G’s acquisition of DDF is an excellent example of how some larger companies have bought expertise from the professional industry to create two-way leverage—that of existing brands and that of unique technologies employed by acquired pro products. DDF was created in 1991 by Howard Sobel, a leading New York dermatologist, and was one of the first “physician” skin care brands on the market. The DDF anti-aging products contain proteins and peptides that have been shown to hydrate, tighten and tone the appearance of mature skin.

Under P&G’s ownership, DDF has continued to innovate. For example, DDF’s Restorative Restoring Night Serum boasts a patented technology designed to strengthen the moisture barrier in order to help the cross-linking of elastin for a more youthful appearance.

In 2005, L’Oréal bought U.S. professional skin care brand SkinCeuticals, which marketed its products to dermatologists, plastic surgeons and high end spas. Early in 2010, L’Oréal announced that SkinCeuticals would join forces with Biomedic, its line of clinical corrective procedures and home care products, to strengthen its presence in the professionally dispensed skin care market. L’Oréal also maintains a foot in prescription dermatology with Galderma, which it co-owns with Nestlé.