Business Categories Reports Podcasts Events Awards Webinars
Contact My Account About

Can Elizabeth Arden’s New Moisturizer Mimic the Success of Its Legendary Eight Hour Cream?

Published April 1, 2024
Published April 1, 2024
Elizabeth Arden

Elizabeth Arden has been a cornerstone of the American beauty industry for well over a century. Beloved by celebrities, royals, and makeup artists, the brand’s iconic Eight Hour Cream put it on the global map when it launched 94 years ago and is still considered one of the greatest beauty products of all time. To this day, Elizabeth Arden sells one every minute around the globe. So, how does a brand with such a rich history evolve to meet the unique demands and preferences of Gen Z while staying true to its roots?

Elizabeth Arden is attempting to do just that with the launch of its latest product, the Eight Hour HydraPlay Skin Perfecting Daily Moisturizer. The new product represents a departure for the heritage brand, which has historically leveraged its prestigious history as a primary selling point to appeal to key demographics. HydraPlay was crafted explicitly with Gen Z in mind and strategically introduced into this iconic franchise to engage a new generation of consumers with the brand.

“HydraPlay is one of the first times that we're really trying to bring in a new consumer and leverage our iconic Eight Hour history and our iconic Eight Hour equity,” Susan Zuckerman, Elizabeth Arden's Vice President of Global Marketing, Skincare, tells BeautyMatter. “We really think that this is the next cult classic [product] that's going to take the brand through the next 100 years.”

Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour HydraPlay Skin Perfecting Daily Moisturizer offers eight benefits: it hydrates, brightens, smoothes, soothes, controls excess oil, strengthens the skin barrier, blurs pores and fine lines, and primes the skin for makeup.

“When we thought about launching a daily use moisturizer under [the Eight Hour collection], we knew it had to be really special,” says Zuckerman. “It had to really deliver these strong consumer claims because we have a 94-year-old legacy. So we really wanted to make the product deliver and we put that challenge to our chemists, and we were so pleased with the results.”

The multitasking moisturizer contains 5% sugarcane-derived squalane, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin to deliver instant and lasting hydration. HydraPlay is formulated with ingredients that are 95% of natural origin. It also features a new botanical blurring complex that’s unique to the brand and helps to control excess oil and mattify the skin.

“The philosophy [behind] HydraPlay is that your skincare can be simple and straightforward, and that doesn't mean it's not highly effective,” says Zuckerman. “[HydraPlay] is doing the work for you so you can get on with your life instead of focusing on having to do this long skincare routine. You still get the efficacy you would get if you were doing a 10- or 11-step routine.”

HydraPlay is the 12th product in the Eight Hour collection, which was built around Elizabeth Arden’s original and iconic Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant and expanded upon over the decades. The collection includes body products, lip balms, a moisturizer, and a facial mist. HydraPlay is the brand's biggest launch of the year and the brand’s first campaign geared towards Gen Z.

“We have this iconic franchise that is known for multitasking, so we knew it would be a perfect fit under the Eight Hour brand,” says Zuckerman.

According to Zuckerman, Elizabeth Arden likes to say that the original Eight Hour Cream has “infinite uses and infinite fans,” because you can literally use it on any area that needs soothing and intense moisturization. Longtime fans of the product use  it to tame flyaways, heal skin wounds, or on your nails and lips. While the original Eight Hour cream is a multitasking icon, it’s not an everyday cream like HydraPlay.

“HydraPlay is a daily-use moisturizer, so we see HydraPlay and Eight Hour existing together but not as part of a regimen per se,” says Zuckerman. “We wanted to build on that heritage of infinite uses, infinite fans but really broaden the demographic and focus in on this Gen Z consumer.”

“We really think that this is the next cult classic [product] that's going to take the brand through the next 100 years.”
By Susan Zuckerman, Vice President of Global Marketing, Skincare, Elizabeth Arden

While this is a new target demographic for Elizabeth Arden, it has some overlap with the brand’s current customers. “[Elizabeth Arden’s] target consumer is a skin minimalist, and she really favors that pared-down routine,” says Zuckerman. “She's a skintellectual, so we know she's looking at ingredients and claims, and she demands results.”

Zuckerman believes this product’s multiple benefits, natural ingredients, and ultralight texture will resonate with Gen Z, a demographic that prioritizes authenticity, honesty, and transparency in skincare products.

“HydraPlay works to address the benefits that Gen Z consumers have, so it's refining pores, dealing with excess oil, among other benefits,” says Zuckerman. “And also, as far as how we're positioning the assets, we’re really trying to bring that light, playful attitude to the forefront.”

In an effort to tap into a younger audience, Elizabeth Arden is working with influencers including Soleil Isabella Crow (@soleilcrow), Camila Vilas (@camila.vilas), and Judy Kam (@judyxkam) to support this new launch.

Despite targeting Gen Z, Elizabeth Arden is careful not to exclude its current customer base. Elizabeth Arden is a brand that’s best known for its multitasking hero product, and the brand believes Arden fans will also appreciate the numerous benefits of HydraPlay.

“We're certainly not leaving her out of any of this because this is a moisturizer that does everything,” says Zuckerman. “It does everything if you're 18, and it does everything if you're 38. We're really expanding our umbrella.”

The launch of HydraPlay is a tipping point for Elizabeth Arden. US Google search data from Spate indicates that Elizabeth Arden receives 186,000 average monthly searches, with searches declining -3.1% since last year. The iconic brand has leaned on the original Eight Hour Cream and its thriving portfolio of perfumes for decades, but it needs to attract new fans if it wants to remain relevant for the next 100 years. Created expressly for Gen Z, HydraPlay is Elizabeth Arden’s attempt to introduce this legacy brand to an entirely new generation.

“We want to bring in nostalgia, but we also want to project modernity, so it's a fine balance,” says Zuckerman.

Elizabeth Arden has high hopes for HydraPlay; the brand is positioning it as the next cult classic skincare product that will continue to be a staple in Gen Z households for years to come. It’s not unusual for brands to have multiple hero products, but multiple cult favorites that span across generations? That’s more rare, but not impossible, especially for a brand as well-established as Elizabeth Arden. Even still, it’s a tall order, but one that Elizabeth Arden is willing to throw everything it has at if it means gaining market share in today’s fast-paced beauty landscape.

"We're putting a lot of our eggs in this HydraPlay basket,” says Zuckerman. 


2 Article(s) Remaining

Subscribe today for full access