L’Oréal takes stake in Chinese firm to 'unlock full potential of raw materials'

L’Oréal has made a minority investment in Chinese biotechnology firm Shinehigh Innovation, which the French beauty giant says will help unlock the full potential of raw materials in cosmetics.

Shinehigh Innovation is a start-up created in 2017 by leading scientist Professor Jiaheng Zhang that specializes in supramolecular chemistry.

L’Oréal says its breakthrough smart self-assembling technology allows "previously impossible" ingredient combinations, resulting in cosmetic end-products with greater efficacy and sustainability.

The partnership, it adds, will help to overcome known limitations such as incompatibility, instability and delivery, to develop innovative skin, hair and scalp formulations with a wider range of benefits.

“This partnership will enable us, thanks to their world-leading application of supramolecular technology in the beauty industry, to bring breakthrough new performances to the beauty market,” said Barbara Lavernos, deputy chief executive of L'Oréal Groupe in charge of Research, Innovation and Technology.

Zhang added: “We have jointly conducted research on the supramolecular development of multiple active raw materials in the fields of skincare, makeup, hair care, and hair coloration. This is of great significance for the industrialization and landing of cutting-edge supramolecular technology.”

The investment is L’Oréal’s first in China through Shanghai Meicifang Investment Co., Ltd (Meicifang), with the support from BOLD (Business Opportunities for L’Oréal Development), L'Oréal Groupe’s strategic innovation venture capital fund company.

It is also the first investment from L’Oréal’s Big Bang Beauty Tech Innovation Challenge initiated four years ago in China.

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