Women in Cosmetology – Doctor Christine Lafforgue

Dr. Christine Lafforgue. PhD

With a contagious intellectual curiosity and a creative energy, Christine tells us about transformative textures and the future trends in Skincare Formulation



About your career and the people who inspired you

I am a Biologist and a Chemist by training. Early on, I got fascinated by the wonders of the human cell. I came to Skincare in a very unexpected way through meeting two fascinating Professors. Professor Cotte introduced me to the science of percutaneous penetration and its application in Dermatology. A field of research mixing Biology & Chemistry which later on, led me to join Professor Jean-Paul Marty at the University of Paris XI where I further advanced research in skincare formulation, concentrating on the skin penetration of skincare ingredients.



Favoring Layering – The European version of K-Beauty

Mostly driven by the need for saving time, skincare products have become more “global” in terms of skincare benefits. They are less laser focused on wrinkle reduction for example but offer today more of a holistic ageless proposition (anti-brown spot + antiwrinkle + UV protection +plumping effect)

Over the past 2 years, the importance of having a good Skincare routine has been significantly embraced. Skincare products do work but only if you are doing the right gestures over and over, day after day. As such, formulation had to evolve to offer new transformative textures like serums, boosters… Some more realistic formulations in terms of efficacy expectations which are greatly amplified through a good routine.

The “Do it Yourself” trend is booming and will seriously challenge the standards of skincare efficacy in the near future, especially when consumers will start using At Home devices to be able to measure progress. Products will have more than ever to deliver on their promises as consumers will be empowered to measure their efficacy on their own.

It has also become all about “Plumping, Re-plumping, Glowing” and the product design approach has changed to become more about comfort & protection with some more sophistication in terms of formulation: simplistic formulas, with soft & light texture, without silicone: a new approach favoring layering. This is directly inspired from K-Beauty but it is the “European version of K-Beauty”.



The trends in Skincare Formulation

“It is about Smart Formulation – Not BIO but smart natural”

Smart Formulation is a constructive approach combining commitment to agreeable formulations. Going for almost natural, NOT BIO but smart natural: natural with an equitable commitment AND natural only when it is appropriate for the skin. (i.e some skin conditions might be better managed by using non-natural products).

Finally, in terms of products benefits, the trend is about Isolationism: looking for protection against exposome, protection beyond UV, against pollutants and environmental factors…With a growing desire for “doing it by myself” to achieve better skin protection.


The Future of Skincare Formulation

“Transformative Textures, Innovative Water and Carbon Footprint of Skincare Formulation”

The future of Skincare Formulation is about Transformative Textures, it is about products that change texture as you use them: increasingly, we are after skincare products that surprise our sense, and raw materials and formulation design that build intrigue. A few examples: the new pickering formulas- Balm in Water, real innovation in physicochemistry offering an incredible experience. The new Foam-Mousse New Shower Gel which creates a mousse that stays on the skin and dissolves naturally without leaving a film on the skin surface.

To me, the future is about WATER. We are going to have less and less water on the planet but our skin will continue to need some. What is fascinating about water, is that the H2O molecule by itself has no interest for the skin. It is what is in the water that is interesting. The future is about creating a new vehicle that could contain all the beneficial ingredients being in the water. It is a field of research leapfrogging the Thermal Water trend, it is about reinventing WATER.

But more realistically, it is about moving towards Cold Formulations and manufacturing processes limiting heating and as such lowering energy consumption. For instance, new tension-actives allowing the stabilization of O/W emulsions without heating could be developed. This will ultimately lead to different manufacturing and formulation processes all around the world that adjust to climate conditions in order to reduce the Carbone footprint of skincare products globally.