The pillars of responsible innovation

A promise of reliability to consumers, respect for human and environmental diversity, ethical commitments L’Oréal has based its innovation strategy on a platform of fundamental values, shared by all its teams around the world.

Predictive testing of reconstructed skin
Predictive testing of reconstructed skin

Per essere più vicina ai consumatori di tutto il mondo, la divisione Ricerca & Innovazione ha rafforzato la propria presenza a livello globale, grazie a 19 centri di ricerca organizzati in 6 poli. Il polo europeo comprende il centro mondiale per la Ricerca Avanzata, nonché i 3 centri mondiali che definiscono la strategia globale e guidano il portafoglio di innovazioni per i 3 principali settori di attività del Gruppo (trattamenti per capelli, trattamenti per la pelle e make-up). Tali centri mondiali costituiscono il punto di riferimento per una rete di 5 altri poli regionali, presenti negli Stati Uniti, in Giappone, Cina, India e Brasile. Qual è l'obiettivo di tali poli? Adattare la strategia globale alle peculiarità dei propri mercati, ma anche inventare nuovi prodotti che potrebbero trasformarsi in innovazioni a livello mondiale. I 16 centri di valutazione hanno invece il compito di osservare e ascoltare i consumatori locali. Infine, quasi cinquanta dipartimenti scientifici e tecnico-normativi fanno sì che i prodotti siano conformi alle varie legislazioni locali.

An absolute priority: product safety

In 1909 when Eugene Schueller created the « Société des teintures inoffensives » that was to become L'Oréal, he was a pioneer. Since then, the group has continuously invested in the evaluation of the safety of its products and the ingredients from which they are made. Thanks to its constant scientific commitment, L'Oréal has contributed to progress in knowledge about toxicology*. Today,thanks especially to predictive evaluation to which the group has dedicated an ultramodern global center in 2011, the teams know how to make very early and reliable predictions on the undesirable and beneficial effects of ingredients and products.

* the study of harmful effects of substances on an organism


To be in the service of beauty is also to preserve the beauty of our planet. L'Oréal has always been one step ahead of the regulatory provisions regarding the environment. As early as 1995, the Group acquired an eco-toxicology laboratory to measure and model the potential impact of products on the ecosystems (water, soil, air) and on biodiversity. In 1999, it adopted the principles of green chemistry for the synthesis of ingredients. Since 2006, its portfolio of raw materials has been under constant monitoring for environmental indicators. Innovation processes are in compliance with the guidelines for ecodesign that reduce the impact of products on the environment throughout their whole life cycle. These guidelines are shared with the suppliers and partners.

Science and ethics advance together

L'Oréal 's researchers have successfully put scientific advances (tissue engineering, decoding the human genome, modeling, imagery techniques) at the service of responsible innovation. Recourse to new-generation testing makes it possible to evaluate the safety of ingredients without testing on animals (L'Oréal stopped testing finished products on animals in 1989), and in the near future, will be able to evaluate clinical effectiveness without recourse to biopsy (human tissue sampling).

Towards fairer procurement

Through the global program of fair trade procurement, Solidarity Sourcing, launched in 2010, L'Oréal has implemented a global procurement process for its ingredients in a global fair trade initiative guided by the expertise of The Body Shop brand. In the selection of suppliers, it takes into account, in addition to fair pricing, other dimensions such as protection of biodiversity, the fight against biopiracy, and the social and societal autonomy of local communities.

Innovation adapted to global diversity

Respect for the diversity of types of beauty is a constant source of inspiration for L'Oréal's innovation process. For over ten years, thanks to geocosmetics, the group has made listening to consumers and observing beauty rituals around the world a core part of the mission and activities of its Research and Innovation. With the ambition to create products adapted to everyone, according to individual needs, habits, environment, purchasing power.