Product Development: We Don't Do Trends
Product Development: We Don't Do Trends
14 min listen
Welcome to a fresh take where we welcome experts from all backgrounds to have mindful conversations around relevant topics, all timed, perfectly to your masking experience. Sit back, apply your favorite mask and press play.
[MODERATOR] Elena: (00:37)
Hi, I'm Elena from the Product Development team today on a fresh tank. We welcome Veronique Gerard, who was going to talk with us about skincare formulation and how important it is to get it right. Bureau it's freshest master cosmetic chemist at our LVMH research and development lab based in France bureau has been developing fresh skincare products for over 20 years and is our expert skincare formulator. Having worked with our founders Lev and Alina since the year 2000 the road truly understands the fresh brand inside and out and is a key contributor to our story, Vero. Welcome to a fresh take. Thank you for taking the time to sit down with us about this important and interesting topic.
[GUEST] Veronique: (01:20)
Thank you for having me. It's always a great pleasure for me to share my amazing adventure of working for fresh
[MODERATOR] Elena: (01:28)
Personally Vero. I find cosmetic chemistry so fascinating because while most people see this profession as a very scientific or technical role, it's also a form of art and I'm always so inspired by the magic you can create in such a controlled environment. It's such a fine balance between exploration and creativity, but also ensuring that you following roles, regulations, and processes. So tell us Vero, how did you get into this?
[GUEST] Veronique: (01:56)
Uh, first of all, I studied chemistry because I always have been fascinated by cosmetics, looking at my mother using nice creams. And for me, it was a way to understand the science from inside out. And when we first met 11 in the lab, I was very impressed by the way it was working was right there with us at the bench testing, different options, to create a cosmetic using natural ingredients that feel and smell incredible. There is a collaborative creation process in having lived with his vision of the product and us with our knowledge of raw materials, manufacturing process, and all regulatory and toxicology rules we have to follow.
[MODERATOR] Elena: (03:04)
I always love to hear about your history with Lev, you to have such a meaningful partnership. Now let's talk about exactly what you do as the cosmetic chemist kind of giving our listeners an inside, look into the lab as if we were interns for you. So can you take us through Vero step by step from start to finish when you create a new skincare product, if possible, can you choose one of your own favorites?
[GUEST] Veronique: (03:29)
Oh, but I have so many favorite fresh products, but I do have one in mind, our sugar face Polish. This was one of the first product I made with slave taking his vision and using science to bring it to life during the credit station with leg, we said it might be interesting to add strawberry in the product. I happened to have fresh strawberries in my garden at home. So I brought them in the lab and we started to work from that. Then she came to me and asked for a luxurious exfoliating experience with a comforting and nourishing formula. I had to sing about our ingredients, how I might combine them and how they might feel on the skin at fresh. We must always ask ourselves, how do we create a one of a kind experience. It was also challenging for the safety and regulatory experts to register this new type of foreign material, using sugar and struggling since in a cosmetic product, we never incorporate a new ingredient. We have a very strict protocol to validate skin safety and toxicology. When I got the green light to use my sugar and struggling ingredients, it kicked us for wonderful journey of discovery. Lave came to me and asked for a luxurious exfoliating experience with a very comforting and nourishing formula. I had to think about ingredients and how I might combine them and how they might feel on the skin.
[MODERATOR] Elena: (05:16)
I have always loved that story. And of course I love our sugar face Polish. I'd love to ask you please about your formulation process a little bit more. What's unique to you in creating our fresh products,
[GUEST] Veronique: (05:29)
You know, for each of our formula that we create in our fresh lab, it's all about our ingredients, used the sensorial experience or feeling that it gives you and the benefit performance on the skin, every formulation and every product is unique to us. And I use my knowledge of chemistry and raw materials to build new textures and sensations. I start from scratch with its new assignment. So that's now two final fresh part of our life with each new formula. It's very important to have this blend of sensorial. If it gets too snails, it needs too much less vision and our product development brief, but it's also important that we eco design or innovation. We have to consider the [inaudible] impact of every formulation choice we make to help. We have developed an internal tool, getting informations on ingredient, sourcing, natural origin or sustainability and going on Palin path.
[MODERATOR] Elena: (06:57)
Um, and one of the best parts of my job on the product development team is to take home and evaluate your lab development submissions. You'll send samples Vero to me and my PD colleagues here in New York, but also to our cosmetics and soil experts in Paris who help us to evaluate all the trials that you make
[GUEST] Veronique: (07:19)
Exactly we were step-by-step taking in consideration your feedback to translate in raw material composition of the formula. This is something based on all the experiment of previous trials we did.
[MODERATOR] Elena: (07:34)
Exactly. So if we ask Vero, can you please make this more comforting or perhaps can you increase the absorption rate? You'll translate that into the raw material or a process adjustments, right?
[GUEST] Veronique: (07:47)
Yes, exactly. When I work on a formula, I'm focused on matching the sensorial goal and I listen to all of the feedback items that I can have. It can text over the hundred trials to achieve the textures, the texture, pairings, and scent experience that we want. We share with product development and our sensorial experience for the feeling com and comments. And we go step by step until we obtain the perfect formula. We never compromise. And that full time I'm validating each trial for stability and microbiological safety
[MODERATOR] Elena: (08:30)
And that's stability and micro safety is such a key point. You could have a formula that looks and smells and feels beautiful, but if it doesn't stay intact or if it's not compatible with the package, we can't produce it.
[GUEST] Veronique: (08:44)
Yeah, this is true. You know, for example, in sugar face polish, it was a long process of making trials to be sure that sugar was not melting the product and that the product could be all over the world and stay stable. We have to make sure that the texture and ingredients are stable about time and that pile high level of quality stays intact. We will run extended stability test for up to six months. And then once we feel confident with the formula, we will run if he has to test on panelists all around the world, because we have to make sure that our formula is really giving not, not only pleasure, but also measurable visible benefits on the scale
[MODERATOR] Elena: (09:45)
And that is one of my most proud points that any performance plan we make on a fresh product, we have to have testing support to back it up. So this is an amazing, but a long process. Remind us, please Vero. How long exactly does it typically take to create a new skincare product?
[GUEST] Veronique: (10:05)
Well, you know, from start to finish, it typically takes us a minimum of three years to create a new product. I wish that more people understood this, you know, it takes time to develop a truly high quality skincare product. On our first formulas, we spent extensive time to make sure that we deliver the safety efficacy and wonderful kind sensory reality that our fresh fans are grown to love and expect. We also spend a lot of time checking not only the origin of our raw material, but the impact of using this warm material in term of sustainability and having more respect for planet and people.
[MODERATOR] Elena: (10:52)
And one key way that we're being held accountable for our impact is through our partnership with DBT, the union of ethical bio trade, which my teammate had gotten will take us through on another episode in this series. So to wrap us up fresh as creating this podcast for our 30th anniversary, focusing on our future and the next 30 years, similarly being in this field of innovation, you must also be looking ahead to the future. So I must ask you Euro, what technology trend or advancement within the world of beauty are you most excited for?
[GUEST] Veronique: (11:27)
Well, personally, I'm very excited for the next generations of young women who are starting their careers in cosmetic science. What I really love is how long young women are involved in acting for the planet and take part of responsible communities. And I really like to encourage all students who are interested in science to consider a career in the beauty industry, it's truly wonderful and rewarding. It's really a great thing to be able to create with your end and to go to work with a team. You have the great feeling of being part of it's an amazing creation process with new challenges every day,
[MODERATOR] Elena: (12:20)
I could not agree more Vero. And my final question, what is a fresh moment that you're particularly proud of?
[GUEST] Veronique: (12:29)
I remember when they working with my daughter at Luba machine Paris, and there was a fresh boutique in the corner and it was the most beautiful place full of roses. I was so proud telling her I was being part of this question products for the screens and not ask. And maybe one day you will be part of such great adventure
[MODERATOR] Elena: (12:52)
Vero I could not agree more. And I'm so happy to share this journey with you. This has been so great Vero. I always love chatting with you. Thank you for your time.
[GUEST] Veronique: (13:03)
Of course, Elena, great talking to you.
[MODERATOR] Elena: (13:06)
Visit some of our other episodes of a fresh take, where we continue to talk about skincare formulation and dive in deeper reality behind it.
Thanks for listening to a fresh take and indulging in some feel-good beauty for the skin and mind.