Dermatologist Review of Elemis
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Elemis Limited was founded in London, UK in 1989 by Linda Steiner. Linda was interested in developing a skin care line ‘as near to nature as possible’ with ‘no expense spared’. The original Elemis formulations were created with her guidance by Jan Kusmirek, a British herbalist and aromatherapist. Mr Kusmirek is also well known for his instrumental role in product development for the Origins brand.
Elemis launched in 1990 under the guidance of Sean Harrington and a core group of skin care professionals that remains intact even today. This cohesive management team has been instrumental in developing and promoting the Elemis product line in a consistent and focused way. In 1996, Elemis Ltd. was acquired by Steiner Leisure Limited, a publically traded company. Steiner Leisure is a global provider of spa services, manufacturer/distributor of premium skin and hair care products, and accredited educator in the fields of skin care and massage therapy. Steiner Leisure is the world’s largest spa service provider and manages spa services for many upscale hotels and most cruise lines. Steiner also owns and many well known spa brands and their self-titled products including Elemis, Bliss, Remčde and Mandara. It is estimated that as many as 5.7 million spa patrons experience Elemis products every year via numerous high-end spa and retail venues that feature the product line. Elemis first became readily available in the United States in 2002. In 2003, Elemis launched one of its three flagship day-spas in Miami (the other two are in London and Hong Kong). Today Elemis products are fairly widely accessible stateside reflecting the brand’s positive reception in the American market.
Elemis has an aspirational focus on excellence. The brand consistently strives to incorporate both the best of natural actives and the technologies made available by science in order to create lifestyle products that are tested and refined in professional settings before being released for broad use. Elemis has retained its commitment to sparing no expense in the formulation process. This is exemplified by the selection of proper quantities of medical grade actives and first extraction essential oils. Elemis avoids formulating with animal products, synthetic dyes and excessive preservatives. Parabens and other synthetic preservatives are present in some formulations, however, but these substances (despite recent media reports) are generally considered by scientific experts to be exceptionally safe.
Today Elemis features a large and wide ranging product offering focused on facial skin care and body care. The line also includes products niched and designed for men as well as a selection of sun screen formulations. The overall focus of the Elemis offering is to help maintain skin health, promote anti-ageing (written in the UK version of English), and help solve distinct skin concerns such as sensitivity, redness and oily shine. Elemis has reportedly submitted several of their key products for independent clinical efficacy evaluation. While the formal results of these trials are not readily available for review online, the results are reportedly very favorable for the line.
The Elemis product offering lends itself to customization by skin type. For example, there are seven Elemis facial cleansers (not to mention the body cleansers) and three Elemis toners in the line. For virtually every component of one’s daily skin ritual there are typically at least two Elemis products from which to select. Elemis also has an extensive offering of high quality bath and body products. The different product types and therapeutic parameters inherent in facial skin care versus bath and body care can make it challenging for cosmetics companies to be masters of both. Elemis appears to be one exception to that rule. Elemis’ presence on cruise ships and in multiple spa settings has allowed it to gain real expertise in both treatment categories.
Elemis’ flagship skin care line is the Pro-Collagen Range. The idea behind this range is that products that support the skin overall and have unique actives are able to support skin structure better and thus provide a better overall environment for skin preservation and maintenance of collagen balance. The Pro-Collagen Range incorporates a specific extract of the ‘peacock’s tail’ algae Padina Pavonica that is scientifically farmed off the coast of Malta. It also contains green and blue-green micro-algae extracts and methylsilanol mummuronate, a moisturizing anti-oxidant derived from seaweed. Pro-Collagen Eye Renewal is a product representative of this range. The product is packaged in an airless pump that dispenses an ideal amount of product. The consistency is of a light cream that rubs in effortlessly and absorbs quickly leaving a non-oily subtle sheen with noticeable improvements in skin smoothness to sight and touch. This product is fragranced in a way that is not entirely transient so expect a lingering rose-floral note.
Elemis is marketed somewhat differently than many other skin care products. The ubiquitous presence of this brand in upscale spa settings provides instant credibility and brand awareness with precisely the audience for which the product is designed. This has allowed Elemis to focus more on refining and perfecting their product offering while spending perhaps less resources on conventional marketing and advertisement. Elemis does receive numerous mentions in magazines and other media, of course, given its high profile and media connections.
Elemis branding and packaging are somewhat at odds. While the products are all uniformly branded with the Elemis name in trademark font, the packaging is, if not eclectic, wide ranging in its type, color, shape and finish. Some of this is certainly attributable to the vast array of product types inherent in a facial and body skin care line but other parts may reflect more on the evolution of the product line and associated package types. Airless pumps, regular pumps, tubes, glass jars, plastic jars, squeeze bottles and sprayers of many colors are only part of the lineup. The men’s line is one area of great packaging consistency. All the ‘time for men’ products are black with silver written content. Black seems to be commonly deployed for skin care products marketed selectively to men and Elemis seems to have done a nice job packaging this effort. The ‘time for men’ line from Elemis is also quite rich in products that address concerns unique to men such as shaving and exfoliating related issues.
Elemis is an exceptionally well established British skin care brand. Its distribution in high end spas around the world is unsurpassed. The products have a vast British and international following and are generally well regarded. While many patrons of Elemis received their first experience with the brand at a luxury spa venue, it is the ongoing use of these products by satisfied consumers that is likely responsible for the brand’s rapid growth in recent years. Elemis continues to aspire to excellence and has retained the original management team responsible for fostering the offering’s rapid worldwide growth. Elemis will be an interesting brand to watch as time passes – both on land and on sea.
Review posted 1/3/2011.Add Comment »
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