PARIS – French beauty brand PERS, inspired by the practices of cosmetic doctor Antoni Calmon, has become the newest brand to enter the pharmacy channel in France.
It aims to be both individual and universal and combines the worlds of dermocosmetics and prestigious skin care in a clearly organized product range and ritual.
Co-founded by Quentin Douce and Sophie-Lisa Prêcheur, who have a long history in prestigious cosmetics, the idea for PERS came about after Prêcheur consulted Calmon, which has offices in Paris and London. She gives her patients beauty prescriptions, including a simple, four-step facial routine.
“She had no training in cosmetics [products]but he advised his patients on their proper use,” Douce explained. “He developed a protocol. This is achieved in four steps: Protect, beautify, repair and revitalize.”
The first letter of each of these words in French (protect, decorate, repair, warn) together forms the acronym PERS. PERS is also a play on words, meaning “personal” or “perseverance”, for example.
Calmon has long had her patients review beauty products to see which ones can be used correctly and best in each of these four categories.
This became the starting point for PERS to create Douce and Prêcheur.
Calmon believes that after establishing good active ingredients for skin care and an easy-to-follow protocol for using them, getting people to sign on is the next challenge.
“In order for the products to be applied, they need to have a pleasant texture, wear well, smell nice and be beautiful. “It’s that little extra that’s missing in medicine,” he said.
Douce and Prêcheur were ready for the task.
“We told ourselves that we would bring together the two worlds that coexist in pharmacy, dermocosmetics brands and beauty brands,” Douce said. “There’s a bridge we can build here.”
PERS has products clearly organized into routine categories. There are color codes for these; For example, the products to be used in the morning have yellow packaging that says “protect”.
“We bring a very intuitive dimension to using the products,” Douce said.
Today, PERS has six products in its portfolio, including a Vitamin C 10% antioxidant serum, a gel-textured SPF 50+ product, and a Rich Cream for intense repair.
Prices range from 29 Euros for 5 ml. cheek and lip balm up to 48 euros for 15 ml. eye cream and 95 euros for 30 ml. concentrated retinol serum.
“You find the same concentration [of actives] like dermocosmetics, but with more textures found in beauty products,” Douce said.
Prêcheur explained that PERS formulas have up to 97 percent natural ingredients.
The light scent of the brand’s products, consisting of notes of rosemary, pink pepper, white flowers, musk and sandalwood, was created by Robertet perfumer Sidonie Lancesseur.
“When a cream smells nice, we spend more time applying it,” Calmon said, explaining that this helps stimulate collagen production. It is an important protein for young-looking skin.
He consulted Douce and Prêcheur.
“Anthony contributed a lot,” Douce said. “He removed anything that was ‘bad marketing habits’ to get back to simplicity.”
PERS is not a “doctor brand”. (In France, doctors are not allowed to participate in promoting a brand, including using their name.) PERS was created for all skin types.
“The values of the brand are universal,” Douce said.
The product range will be expanded, always keeping the same four categories in mind.
“We can imagine creating slightly more technical and more specific products in each of these categories,” Douce said. This may include sun care or cleansers.
In addition to entering some French pharmacies, PERS is available exclusively at select retailers at Le Bon Marché in France for one year and is sold through pers-skincare.com.
The French pharmacy channel represents a large volume of business in the field of selective cosmetics. They generate 21 percent of their total sales in France here, with 28 percent coming from selective distribution, according to the Fédération des Entreprises de la Beauté, France’s professional association of beauty and wellness companies.
“We want to see the brand recommended by dermatologists,” Douce said.
PERS is already firmly established in this world where dermatologists are on the board of physicians.
The brand has other broad ambitions, including selling outside France.
“Antoni talks about patient empowerment,” Douce said. “This empowers our users to say that yes, skin care can be easy. We’ll explain to you that it’s simple, affordable, and [can] prevent you from making mistakes or finding yourself frustrated.