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A Tour Made in France: The Cosmetic Valley

By: Jane Evison
Posted: December 3, 2009

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Created in 2005 as an incubator under the auspices of the University of Orleans in Chevilly, France, and headed by Ludovic Landemarre, Ph.D., Glycodiag specializes in glycobiology, finding bio-markers for the cosmetic and pharmaceutical markets. Using raw materials and their extracts as a starting point, Glycodiag looks at polysaccharides and studies how skin changes are dictated by sugar component changes. Activities such as finding “mimic” polysaccharides and finding the bio-marker that would show efficacy of a natural anti-microbial or antiaging substance are also on the firm’s agenda. Glycodiag works in partnership with the smallest research firms and the largest manufacturers in beauty.


Said to be the largest cosmetic R&D site in Europe, about 55 hectares of development space for perfumes, makeup, skin care and perfume derivatives comprise the headquarters of LVMH (St. Jean de Braye, France). Executive vice president of R&D Eric Perrier notes that the firm creates about 20 patents a year; current count is about 300 patents. Much emphasis is placed on actives and fundamental research, but its largest goal is to be innovative, partnering where necessary. “We do not have ‘Not Invented Here’ syndrome,” Perrier notes. In fact, the second largest budget item for the research area is outside research. LVMH works with partners in Cosmetic Valley and universities across the globe to do advanced research. The company will maintain these partnerships while building its own state-of-the-art research center designed to allow it to tackle problems in skin biology and botanical ingredients.


Alban Muller, who is familiar to some readers as the president of Alban Muller International (Vincennes, France), has another life at another location. L’Herboretum in Saint-Ay, France, is an island of biodiversity that both preserves the multitude of plants and animals contained within and teaches others about the birds and bees (and bats and chickens) and the flora at L’Herboretum. Many of these plants have a role in cosmetics, as do some natural animal products such as honey (an apiary is tucked into the property).

Créations Couleurs

Alain Saintrond, president of color cosmetic supplier Créations Couleurs in Dreux, France, notes that business is picking up dramatically. “We had a record August [2009],” he says, “and our biggest challenge is getting our suppliers to deliver [more quickly].” Saintrond has just completed another building in Dreux; it is designed with workflow efficiency and GMP in mind. It also houses a training center, which, according to Saintrond, is drawing the top manufacturers to learn about color ingredients. Créations Couleurs’ new line of fine-milled, high color content ingredients was launched at the Beyond Beauty show in Paris.