By Iminza Keboge
Published July 26, 2016
A new research centre to study African hair and skin, beauty routines and expectations of consumers in black Africa, has been set up.
Based in South Africa, the L’Oréal Research & Innovation Centre not only hosts product development, evaluation and advanced research teams but is also expected to accelerate product development for sub-Saharan Africa.
This, L’Oréal’s seventh Research and Innovation hub globally, shall employ scientists from the fields of chemistry, chemical engineering, physiology, cosmetology and biochemistry.
“Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the fastest growing regions for L’Oréal. Our new research arm in South Africa will solidly enable us to continually create the beauty products of the future for our African consumers, while drawing inspiration from the diverse beauty rituals and the various needs of our consumers on the continent,” says Alexandre Popoff, Executive Vice-President in charge of Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
L’Oréal says the mission of the new Research & Innovation Centre “is to translate beauty needs and hair and skin knowledge into innovative products ranging from hair care, hair colour, relaxers and shapers to personal hygiene.”
The new R & I Centre will also cooperate with the African scientific ecosystem, universities, dermatologists, natural biodiversity centres as well as hairdressers.
However, L’Oréal, that is said to have been in the beauty sector for over 105 years, says that it has, in fact, already introduced key beauty innovations for African consumers. It cites the black oil technology for hair color, failsafe relaxers and skin evenness routines as part of what it has already produced for the black African market. “Customised products such as Hair Food and Makeup fully adapted to African skin tones are already offered to sub-Saharan consumers,” L’Oréal, that established its South African branch in 1963, says.
Laurent Attal, Executive Vice-President of Research and Innovation, says, “By opening this new Research & Innovation Center, we are spearheading L’Oréal Research for the African continent. We are showing our determination to go further in innovations for the African beauty market. Our consumer surveys conducted since 2010 and our in-depth studies of skin and hair since early 2000, represent the knowledge base for the development of tailored products for African consumers. We are starting with hair and our ambitions are much broader and cover the body, hygiene, skin care and makeup categories.”