As well as being preservative-free, the Optimal Skin Care System is said to contain no fragrances or colorants, and has already proved to be popular in Japan - home of the water technology used in the formulation - as well as Taiwan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. Now being distributed in the US market, the formulation contains the proprietary water technology, which basically entails filtering and ionizing it to increase its purity and in turn extend the product shelf life of the any personal care range formulated with it. But in addition to providing a means of eliminating preservatives, the water filtration technology is also said to provide a means of hydrating skin cells more efficiently than the filtered-only water commonly used in skin care ranges. "Mannatech has accomplished a seemingly impossible feat with the Optimal Skin care System," said Sam Caster, the company's founder. "Research indicates that many preservatives, such as parabens, can prematurely age skin, which defeats the purpose of skin care." The development of the water technology was driven by Japanese Olympic swimmer Haru Naito, who's research into longevity discovered that limestone washed Hunza water hydrated and detoxified the body at a faster rate. On the back of this discovery, Hunza has been providing enhanced water technologies to a number of industries, including the healthcare sector, before finally applying it to the skin care category in 2005. The Optimal system debuted in Japan last May, and has proved to be a big hit with consumers, particularly in view of clinical studies that showed the Mannatech skin care line provided 'dramatic' improvements in skin moisture, rehydration, smoothness and radiation. Indeed, the study reported that after just one use, skin hydration had improved by 80 per cent, while after 8 weeks skin moisture had improved 100 per cent, skin roughness declined by 96 per cent and skin radiance improved 75 per cent. The company first announced that the product would be distributed in the US earlier on this year, following its success in the Asia Pacific region.