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Shiseido Unveils World’s Most Expensive Cream?

YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images(TOKYO) -- Japanese cosmetics giant Shiseido introduced a limited-edition face cream priced at nearly $13,300 to mark its 140th anniversary, an eye-popping sum even in a country known for its high-priced cosmetics.

The “Cle de peau Beaute,” sold under the name “La Crème” internationally, claims to lift and tighten skin with powerful anti-aging properties.  It is already available in stores for about $632 for a 1.8 oz jar, but Shiseido decided it wanted to up the glitz to commemorate the line’s 30th anniversary.

They called on French designer Olivier Severe, who handcrafted jars using 30 layers of crystal, and three platinum rings.

Just three jars are set to go on sale at Shiseido’s flagship store in the glitzy Ginza district in September, but the cosmetics company is offering a more “reasonably priced” version of the product, at just over $1,000 for a limited time.

That may not scream affordable luxury at a time when many Japanese are struggling financially, but Shiseido spokesman Shoutaro Nagai says sales for its high-priced beauty lines have remained relatively flat, while middle-of the line products have declined.

“When La Crème was first introduced, only women with well-paying jobs would buy [our products],” Nagai said.  “These days, women in their 20s and 30s buy them.  Even if they can’t afford the whole line, they want the cream.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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