Formulate, test, ready!
For those who missed the first episode, everything starts with plants. It is plants that inspire us, that guide us. Our ability to design and propose safe, effective and responsible products depends on our knowledge of and respect for them. Once the plant has been transformed into an extract and its benefits concentrated in an active ingredient, the formulation and testing process comes into play. Let's go for a visit!
The art of combining
Formulating a product is the art of combining natural ingredients to reveal their effectiveness, sensoriality and complementarity. It is not a task for an amateur chemist or a chef-in-training!
Right from the start of the project, it is a question of aligning the hair issues (what use? what benefits? what type of formula?) with the requirements of eco-design (recyclability of packaging, biodegradability of formulas, preservation of resources) and the development priorities (what industrial device? what clinical test plan? what regulatory requirements? what type of preparation? what type of packaging?). This initial stage brings together all the Research & Development experts around the same table to outline a coherent concept and determine the appropriate formulation. No project is envisaged without meeting all of René Furterer's sustainable development criteria from the outset.
The art of combining natural ingredients.
Once this concept has been approved by all those involved, it's time to design the product formula "for real." Our experts in galenicals (the science of creating cosmetic and pharmaceutical products) then test the textures, combinations, fragrances and effects, just as a chef would adjust the balance of flavors in his signature dish to perfection. Emphasis is placed on the biodegradability of the formulas selected and the safety of the components for the environment, especially when it comes to rinse-off products.
This design phase involves all of the company's clinical expertise to begin to build the plans for evaluating the ingredients and materials being considered. These plans will enable the desired claims to be proven for the finished product. This is also the beginning of in vitro tests on small stem cells, real reconstitutions of skin, to determine the safety of the ingredients at this stage in order to be integrated into the final formula.
Manufacturing our products
Through pictures, discover the production steps of our Forticea shampoo at our Soual dermo-cosmetic production plant.
Under the microscope!
The formula is then screened for safety, toxicity and strict compliance with regulatory standards. Once the green light is given, it leaves the laboratories to be made up into a nearly 400 lb pilot batch and to launch the clinical evaluation program. The in vivo studies are carried out according to strict protocols that go beyond European requirements. More than 1,000 tests and clinical studies are conducted each year by Pierre Fabre and René Furterer. Nothing is left to chance: analysts, toxicologists, clinicians and dermatologists scrutinize everything, right down to the stability of the formulas in extreme cold, heat or light conditions.
Once these studies are completed, the product information file is compiled. It contains all the evaluation reports and gives permission for the industrialization of production to begin.
From the first outline to the factory gates, it can take from 18 months to two years—three in the case of a major product innovation requiring a more extensive process. This is a long preparation period, but one that is necessary to ensure that all our products are healthy, safe, effective, sustainable and able to satisfy the hair of those for whom we have designed them.
More than 1,000 tests and clinical studies are conducted each year.