The L’Oréal group was founded by a researcher and continues to make major investments in Research and Innovation. The group prides itself on its scientific approach that puts its customers first.

For L’Oréal, science and beauty products are a combination of expertise and sensitivity. The fields of research and innovation are not only creative, but also based on an understanding of customer needs and a comprehensive view of the cosmetics market now and in the future.

L’Oréal’s research and innovation teams are a multicultural community featuring a wide variety of disciplines (over thirty specialisations) in every branch of science – a trend that is set to continue in the future. These teams are driven by a shared enthusiasm: inventing and perfecting innovative high-performing cosmetics, contributing to the well-being of men and women all over the world. They achieve this by forever exceeding the boundaries of life- and materials-sciences without ever losing sight of what their customers want.

L’Oréal’s Research and Innovation is divided into four main branches: advanced research (developing knowledge in the major scientific fields related to L’Oréal’s business and the creation of predictive evaluation models), applied research (creating formulae and developing new product concepts), development (developing new formulae for providing the brands with safe, innovatory products) and support functions (regulatory affairs, patents, customer surveys, etc.).

Advanced Research teams create and develop performing and sustainable actives. By feeding the group with new products, their work allows L’Oréal to take up the challenges of innovation and sustainable development.

L’Oréal researchers look to:

  • Improve their knowledge in many scientific fields (biology, biotechnology, biophysics, chemistry, physics, physical chemistry, modelling…)
  • Identify new innovations from the outside world through what we call “open innovation”
  • Create new models for evaluating the safety and performance of active ingredients, by using varied tools and methods (from numeric to reconstructed skin)

L’Oreal’s Applied Research teams create the prototype formulas of the active ingredients that stem from Advanced Research. They also select the formulas that lead to new cosmetic properties, or improve those already in existence. They also study the behaviour of ingredients that stem from ’local’ research or those suggested by the group’s suppliers, by approaching them as “product concepts”. After a complete evaluation, they then hand over to the development teams.

Development teams work out new formulas and make sure that the best performing products are available under the highest safety conditions for consumers and the environment. They provide the brands with a constant stream of innovative products and make recommendations for use based on the regulatory specificities of the group’s different markets.

They include:

  • Analytical evaluation, safety and global efficiency evaluation of raw materials and formulas
  • Knowledge of the different regulations for product validation and communications and the establishment of regulatory records
  • Industrial protection of the discoveries made within the group
  • Resources management (projects, teams, budgets…)
  • Consumer insights