Research & Development Manager, Katell Breuneval today takes us behind the scenes of
Evoluderm R&D laboratory
1/ Why did you choose to have an in-house R&D laboratory?
The decision to internalize the laboratory was taken in 2014 by Nathalie and Gabriel Aiach, the two founders of the brand, with the aim of being completely in control of the composition and quality of our formulas but also of limiting intermediaries. and, consequently, reduce the cost of our Made in France products.
2/ How does the “typical day” of a formulator unfold?
I don't really have a typical day, it depends a lot on needs!
Formulation is the most creative part of my job. This involves sourcing raw materials and developing a texture adapted to marketing demand in terms of effectiveness and sensoriality. We then implement various tests which validate the effectiveness and quality of the formula we have created.
Staying informed by carrying out regulatory monitoring is another part of my job in order to anticipate as best as possible and adapt our formulas to constant changes in regulations. We also monitor raw materials and market products in order to be able to nourish our research and creativity, renew ourselves and offer the latest trends to our customers.
3/ Can you explain to us the different stages of product development?
The development time for a product is between 12 and 18 months, depending on technical difficulties and various constraints. It follows different steps which are all essential, organized and optimized by the ISO 9001 certification that we obtained in October 2019.
It all starts with a marketing brief and specifications which precisely describe the formula and product desired to best meet the expectations of our consumers.
Research work with our suppliers then begins in order to source the most suitable ingredients, active ingredients and fragrances. The formulation is then launched: we work at the “bench” in order to propose an optimized formula that meets the initial brief.
Several tests are then carried out in our internal laboratory before being tested directly by Nathalie Aiach (the founder of the brand) as well as by the entire marketing team. Many back and forths are often necessary to obtain the perfect formula in our eyes: a clever balance between efficiency and sensoriality. Further testing continues via independent laboratories to ensure the stability, safety, compatibility and of course, the effectiveness of our formulas.
Once all these tests have been validated, industrial transposition takes place. This consists of verifying that manufacturing the formula in larger quantities does not have an impact on its characteristics.
When everything is controlled and validated, the formula can be manufactured and packaged before passing quality control and being able to be marketed.
4/ How is the sourcing of ingredients carried out?
Our ingredients are sourced from suppliers carefully selected by Evoluderm. Each of them is evaluated each year to judge the quality and sustainability of its offer in order to work with the highest quality raw materials.
Depending on the brief, we interview 2 to 3 suppliers competent in the type of ingredient sought. Each proposal is studied in detail, we check its suitability to our formulation charter and carry out tests in order to select the most effective ingredient. The selected proposals are presented to marketing which validates the one most corresponding to the positioning of the product, sensoriality always being essential in this final choice.
Particular attention is paid to the choice of fragrance. We mainly work with companies based in Grasse, from whom we ask for original and addictive olfactory notes. For the record, the teams love to pass by the laboratory to smell the perfumes I am working on because “it always smells so good in the lab!” ".
5/ Can you tell us more about what a formulation charter or “blacklist” is?
This charter or “blacklist” corresponds to a strategic choice by the brand not to use certain ingredients (although authorized from a regulatory point of view) for different reasons, such as brand image and positioning, possible controversies. which affect certain ingredients, environmental impacts etc. Our suppliers are therefore required to respect this charter to the letter.
6/ What are the challenges of your job?
In my opinion, the main challenge of formulation at Evoluderm is the constant search for the best quality/price ratio: we want the most effective formula without neglecting sensoriality and quality while keeping the price as attractive as possible. All this without forgetting to favor natural ingredients that have the least impact on the environment.
To do this, we negotiate every day with our suppliers to reduce the cost of raw materials. But above all, we formulate in a “reasoned” way, optimizing each ingredient used, favoring “multi-benefit” ingredients and selecting simple active ingredients recognized by all for their effectiveness.
7/ The final word?
I like this way of formulating as close as possible to the material to be able to constantly optimize the quality and price of our Made in France products, while offering new galenics that you will find in our next launches! To be continued on www.evoluderm.com 😉