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Sustainability and Science – L’Oréal Paris showcases its latest innovations in an extraordinary virtual event

Sustainability and Science – L’Oréal Paris showcases its latest innovations in an extraordinary virtual event

In our interview, enzyme scientist Elizabeth Bohadana, L’Oréal Paris International’s international scientific director, now talks about these matters.

Elizabeth Bohadana, International Scientific Director of L’Oréal Paris International

Photo: L’Oreal Paris

It’s no secret that there are a lot of theories and misunderstandings surrounding the way L’Oréal cosmetics are tested. How exactly does this process go? How are products tested?

At L’Oreal, we’ve been searching for the most effective formulas, concentrations and recipes that can be used safely by everyone for decades. Over 30 years ago, our researchers realized that it was practically irrational to test on animals, because animals are not humans, so their skin is different, the substance is absorbed differently, and it reacts differently to the given formula. But, of course, the care and protection of animals was not a neglected factor either.

That’s why we decided to start developing a revolutionary alternative that would not require any animal testing or testing on live human tissue: the creation of reconstructed human tissue. Says Ebiskine We’ve worked with hospitals and doctors who specialize in burn injuries with a technique called . Not only does this technology provide an endless amount of skin biology data sources, but since 1989 it has allowed us to quickly and efficiently measure the safety and performance of a large number of ingredient combinations. After all, in addition to the quality of the ingredients, their ratio and concentration are also very important. That’s why I don’t think it matters when a lot of people decide, just by looking at them, whether cosmetics are good or just bad, because almost everything depends on their dimensions.

When each new formula is created, we start with the basics. First, we use the scientific literature and our existing database to verify that these ingredients can be used safely on the skin. The second step is predictive in vitro studies on reconstructed skin. This is followed by a HRIPT dermatological examination followed by clinical and consumer testing.

In order to eliminate animal testing by authorities independent of L’Oréal, we also set up the EpiSkin Center in China in 2014 to allow local researchers and developers to perfect this method. Fortunately, huge changes have occurred since then, and countless cosmetics are no longer tested on animals and hopefully that will be true for 100 percent of cosmetics in the years to come.

What are the most popular cosmetic ingredients today?

Definitely Glycolic Acid, Retinol, Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide, Vitamin C and Vitamin E. We are currently working on incorporating these elements into our product formulations in the most stable form and in the best concentration possible.

To improve their sustainability, L’Oréal Research and Innovation Laboratories are constantly developing new ingredients and technologies inspired by biomolecules, thanks to green science. They provide excellent performance and safety to our customers while reducing the burden on the environment.

With the development of new ingredients and drawing on innovations in the natural sciences, such as ecological extraction, biotechnology and agricultural engineering, we have opened a whole new chapter in the field of green science.

Just to give an example, the hyaluronic acid in Revitalift Pure HA Serum has been sustainably produced. Lactic acid bacteria act as “micro-fermenters”. Before extraction from domestically sourced grains, two parts of the molecular weight are obtained: large and small hyaluronic acids, which are very effective in improving moisture permeability.

This scientific advance opens new horizons in the effectiveness of products, while giving us a new opportunity to act responsibly to protect the planet.

What are the key sustainability goals that L’Oréal has set for the coming years?

Obviously, one of our goals is to get as many active ingredients as possible from sustainable sources. At the same time, to make the production of our existing active ingredients more environmentally conscious. Currently, about 50% of the ingredients used in our products come from sustainable sources, and we want it to reach 95% by 2030. I believe that thanks to our constantly evolving technologies, this can be done without any problems.

Sustainability and Science - L'Oréal Paris showcases its latest innovations in an extraordinary virtual event

Photo: L’Oreal Paris

You have worked on many great developments, projects and products thanks to your work. What is the best and hardest part of what you do?

One of the most difficult alternatives is the infinite number of alternatives. When an idea for a new product comes up, it is very complex and often frustrating to identify a few components we might want to start with. Of course, we have a lot of help, L’Oréal employs more than 4,000 researchers and professionals, and artificial intelligence, or AI, makes operations easier and faster.

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But to speak of the lighter side, I am surprisingly happy when people unfamiliar with me excitedly say, “Imagine what a great L’Oréal product you’ve found!”. At times like these, I feel proud to be able to help people see themselves more beautiful when they look in the mirror.

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