Clinique’s new Superdefense delivers all-day hydration and protection

In September Clinique previewed its new Superdefense SPF20 Daily Defense Moisturizer, at a press event held at the renowned SHA Wellness Clinic in Valencia. The Moodie Report was the exclusive travel retail media present.

The product – a new daily moisturiser – is said to deliver all-day hydration, an SPF and a blend of anti-oxidants. Its multi-prong approach gives skin a healthy start to the day, boosting its ability to protect against the first signs of ageing, while also helping to prevent future damage, according to the brand.

Hydration plays a key role in the anti-ageing arena, as it helps to strengthen and support the moisture barrier so that skin is better able to defend itself against external aggressors. Ultimately, the skin’s primary function is to form a barrier. If that barrier is breached, harmful things can penetrate.

Sun protection is another vital element. Studies suggest that 80% of skin ageing is related to UV radiation – and the skin’s natural defences are compromised by it every day. Superdefense SPF20 Daily Defense Moisturizer delivers both UVA and UVB protection. The formula also incorporates photosomes – enzymes that help minimise the appearance of UV damage. Sunlight activates the photosomes, which use the energy from UV radiation to repair existing ultraviolet damage to the skin before it results in visible lines and wrinkles, the brand maintains.

Other key ingredients include the anti-oxidants Vitamin C and E; the anti-irritants sea whip extract and caffeine; and the barrier-building ingredients barley and wheatgerm extract.

Clinique’s original Superdefense was introduced in 2008. The updated Superdefense SPF20 Daily Defense Moisturizer will be available in travel retail from January 2014, in two skin-typed formulas. It should be applied every morning after cleansing.

The pioneering SHA Wellness Clinic was selected as the launch venue to complement the product’s “˜healthy start’ positioning. The clinic, located in part of the Sierra Helada National Park, is committed to improving people’s health and wellbeing through nutrition, natural therapies, “˜healthy ageing medicine’ and non-invasive aesthetic medicine. It is favoured by celebrities such as Kylie Minogue, Naomi Campbell, Simon Cowell (and more recently) Karren Brady.

Journalists were treated to the full SHA experience, including a macrobiotic dining experience, yoga class, beauty treatment, cooking class, meditation class, and full use of the pool and spa facilities. There was also a talk from Dr Vicente Mera, the SHA’s Head of Internal Medicine & Anti-Ageing.

The open-air swimming pool at the SHA Wellness Clinic, in Valencia

What women want
At the launch presentation, Clinique Regional Marketing Director Europe, Middle East & Africa Sandrine Odile emphasised the importance of moisturisers within the European daily skin care routine.

“Seven out of 10 women use moisturiser on a daily basis,” she underlined. “Clinique wanted to understand their hopes and expectations [of the product] so that we could deliver our best. Therefore we created a research protocol in Spain, with six different groups, to examine habits, expectations and so on. Not so surprisingly, we discovered that women do not just want basic hydration; they want additional benefits. And a key wish is to prevent the visible signs of ageing.”

Odile continued: “That is the number one facial concern. But of course, with a moisturiser, the first thing expected is immediate hydration that will last all day. Lastly, our EMEA [Europe, Middle East & Africa] consumer is conscious of texture. Product has to glide onto the skin, be lightweight and be quickly absorbed. It also has to leave a velvety-soft finish and match a specific skin type.”

Odile also explained how many consumers still do not understand how sun exposure accelerates the ageing process. “They are not aware that 80% of damage is sun-related – and I’m not talking about the sun you soak up on a beach during your summer holiday,” she noted. “I’m talking about the UV exposure we all get 365 days of the year, wherever we live and whatever the weather is like.”

Journalists were treated to the full SHA experience, including a roof-top yoga class

Odile concluded: “There is a clear need to wear SPF on a daily basis. Dermatologists worldwide say that wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen to counter UVA rays is the most effective way to prevent skin ageing.”

The art of layering
The launch presentation also featured a speech from Dr Tom Mammone, Executive Director of Skin Physiology and Pharmacology, Clinique Research & Development, Worldwide, who explained the product’s unique “˜layering’ strategy.

“We know that 80-90% of skin damage and premature ageing is due to the sun, but several external factors contribute too. Pollution, cigarette smoke, poor diet and psychological stress will also cause oxidation and accelerate skin ageing,” he explained.

“Our strategy is to adopt a”¦ multi-prong approach because there is never one magic ingredient that’s going to protect or repair the skin. So we have a layered defence instead.”

The Superdefense launch event featured an al fresco macrobiotic dining experience

Mammone invited journalists to picture a castle metaphor, complete with moat, wall and keep. “Similarly, we have been inspired to develop a product that is going to protect the skin on many different levels,” he noted.

But above all, Mammone underlined the importance of moisturisation per se. “It is very important, not just for suppleness, but because simple dehydration will damage skin at a molecular level,” he asserted. “Strong dehydration, such as a wintery dry environment, will do damage down in the DNA of the skin. So we need to moisturise not just because it’s fabulous for our skin texture, but because it’s a key element in terms of protecting it. Internal dehydration is bad for the skin – and the body – on every level.”

Consequently, the first layer of the new Superdefense concerns hydration and barrier protection (courtesy of barley and wheatgerm extract). The SPF20 constitutes another layer, as do the anti-oxidants which protect against free radical damage.

In addition to Vitamin C and E, Superdefense SPF20 Daily Defense Moisturizer includes a plankton extract. “This is really important,” commented Mammone, “as it constitutes one of the deeper layers of protection that we can provide. Plankton grows on the ocean surface and is exposed to bright, damaging sunlight all day long. But it thrives, because it produces a protective enzyme, which we have included in this product.”

Clinique’s Tom Mammone and Sandrine Odile present the latest technology behind the new Superdefense SPF20 Daily Defense Moisturizer

He added: “So the sunscreen works on the surface; the moisturising a little lower; then Vitamin A and E a little deeper still; and then finally our [plankton] DNA protection at the very base of the skin. All those layers combine to provide as total a protective product as we can get in one sole formulation.”

But Mammone was at pains to point that that despite all its layers and different technologies, the new Superdefense has a texture that is sensorially very pleasing – a big challenge in itself, given that a high SPF usually affects a product’s all-important “˜glide’ and sometimes leaves a white film on the skin.

“We did a lot of sensory panels, with hundreds of women – some of whom were users of the existing Superdefense – and some of whom were new to the [franchise],” he revealed. “Over 75% loved the texture – and that’s key. Because we know that will encourage them to use it, and be protected, every single day.”

[houseAd2]