The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. announced the opening of the Estée Lauder Companies Asia Innovation Center, located in Shanghai, China. According to a press release, the innovation center expands the company’s existing research capabilities, reinforcing its strong commitment to local consumers by developing products tailored to the specific needs of Chinese and Asian skin. The center will explore the genetic basis for differences in the response of human skin to environmental stressors and study the safety and efficacy of topical botanical and synthetic materials toward product development.
Harvey Gedeon, executive vice president, research and development, and Cedric Prouvé, group president, International attended the Asia Innovation Center’s official inauguration with Fabrice Weber, President, for ELC Asia Pacific, Carol Shen, General Manager and Jing Cheng, Senior Director, Research and Development for ELC in China.
“Chinese consumers have very high standards regarding their skin care and serve as an inspiration to us in developing world-class products specifically tailored to Chinese and Asian skin,” said Fabrizio Freda, president and CEO, The Estée Lauder Companies. “We are bringing to China the best technologies from the U.S. and combining them with top Chinese scientists and researchers. Through this collaboration, we are gaining critical consumer insights in China, closest to the most demanding consumers who have the highest expectations for beautiful skin and sophisticated, innovative skin care regimes. As a result, we will be able to create even better products for consumers in China and around the world.”
The company's vision is to be the global leader in prestige beauty, with brands that deliver the best experience, products and services to consumers in all parts of the world. To realize this vision, the Lauder has prioritized local relevance and is creating products closer to consumers, as a key strategic driver of all its brands. The company first entered China in 1993 and successfully opened its first research lab in 2005. Since that time, the Estée Lauder Companies has invested resources in research and development, consumer insights and branding capabilities in the region.
“Skin care represents two-thirds of prestige beauty in China," said Carol Shen, general manager for ELC in China. "To have a facility right in the heart of this very important region (a region particularly focused on high-performance products and safety) will drive our creativity on all levels. We are committed to our efforts in China and believe the region will continue to be a major growth opportunity for the company as well as providing world-class products to Chinese consumers."
The center will also focus on the company’s green cChemistry program, which is the design and implementation of innovative processes to make products more environmentally sustainable. The program examines the full life cycle of a product, from conception to end-user and beyond. The program includes applying sustainable practices such as energy conservation, recyclable packaging, waste reduction and limiting the amount of ingredients in product formulations.
The Estée Lauder Companies’ Chinese Dermatologist Expert Panel, which includes dermatologists and researchers from the China Medical University, will continue to advise the company regarding scientific research and innovation.
The Estée Lauder Companies’ brands currently sold in China include Estée Lauder, Clinique, La Mer, MAC, Bobbi Brown, Aramis, Origins and the licensed brands Tommy Hilfiger and Donna Karan. Products are sold in upscale department stores and perfumeries in 39 major Chinese cities. The company has also launched e-commerce sites in China for Clinique, Estée Lauder, La Mer and MAC.