The path from fundamental research to the finished product involves an ultimate challenge, packaging innovation. This is what ensures that the product will be delivered in the best conditions of performance, safety and practicality.
The formula/packaging duo is a key element in ensuring that an innovative formula provides all its benefits to consumers. However, packaging innovations are much more complex than they appear to be. An innovation like Roller Color eye shadow by Maybelline New York called for the design of a roller bead covered with micro-asperity that would allow the powder to adhere. As for the capsules in the sun product line Solar Expertise by L'Oréal Paris, they were designed specifically to avoid - even when open - any undesired leaking of the product and the possibility of any intrusion of grains of sand. Thanks to pump bottles that do not allow any back flow of air, La Roche-Posay was able to offer preservative-free formulas for sensitive skin.
Thus, L'Oréal's Research & Innovation teams were the originators of many patented technological innovations that allow the product to deliver optimal performance on application.
MASCARA, A LITTLE GEM OF TECHNOLOGY: The example of volumizing "Million lashes" mascara by L'Oréal Paris perfectly illustrates this approach. It represents the clever balance between a product (namely a texture and a formula) and a high-precision applicator tool. The creamy Million Lashes formula "breaks" on application to become very fluid and coat the lashes with a fine layer of mascara. It also contains an anti-adhesion agent that prevent the lashes from clumping together. As for the brush, equipped with 300 very regular spurs, it makes it possible to precisely individualize each eyelash, resulting in a perfect definition of the lash fringe. Finally, the mascara's performance is made possible by passing the brush through a flexible extractor, so that the brush holds just the right amount of product. The development of this little technological gem called for some 18 months of research and the filing of a number of patents.
L'ORÉAL'S PACKAGING RESEARCH: L'Oréal has dedicated Packaging Innovation teams that work in close collaboration with formulators and suppliers and are in charge of the design and optimization of product packaging in compliance with regulations relating to quality, safety and respect for the environment. Packaging is an area of essential innovation for the group, which files over 70 patents on average per year.