Isabelle Castiel-Higounenc, PharmD., Ph.D.

Isabelle Castiel Higounenc Photo Ic Juin 2022 Lunettes
Innovation Valorization Director, Communications and Engagement, L'Oréal R&I

Isabelle Castiel-Higounenc, PharmD., Ph.D., is a dermo-pharmacologist specialized in skin and hair research. She has 30 years of experience in the dermo-cosmetic industry and is passionate about science and sharing. Believing in the essentiality of cosmetic products, she is convinced that education and science mediation are the keys to better management of skin and hair health. She is committed to raising awareness for improved consumers' behaviors, for example toward sun exposure, by sharing scientific innovation and discoveries in this field to various audiences; from scientific experts and medical doctors to the general public.

Castiel-Higounenc is a pharmacist with a  Ph.D. in dermopharmacology by training, in collaboration with Paris-Saclay University, Leiden University (Holland) and Galderma, where she focused on skin barrier function and skin lipids. She has used her knowledge and skills to develop reconstructed skin models and evaluate skin penetration and the activity of active ingredients in vitro and in vivo either after topical route administration or ingestion. Castiel-Higounenc's areas of expertise are skin care biology including microbiome, photoprotection, pigmentation and aging incosmetic or food supplement applications. In the last 10 years, she additionally has developed new skills in communication, supporting researchers from all domains as well as communication teams in their science mediation activities.

After earning her Ph.D., Castiel-Higounenc led the skin pharmacokinetic department of Pierre Fabre Cosmetic. In 1997, she joined L’Oréal R&I in France where she took several positions: research unit manager, skin care research laboratory (ceramides, stem cells); manager of a collaboration program on menopause and DHEA with Laval University (Quebec); head of oral cosmetic research for L’Oréal (Innéov portfolio, Nestlé/L’Oréal joint venture), responsible for all collaborations with Galderma (Nestlé/L’Oréal Joint Venture). In 2014, she joined the R&I Communications & Engagement Department, where she is in charge of the valorization of new scientific domains and technologies, and of scientific experts’ communication strategies. These years in research teams drove to the release of 28 scientific publications and many patents.

Castiel-Higounenc is a member of the board of directors of the SFC (Société Française de Cosmétologie). In 2022, she was appointed IFSCC Praesidium committee member on behalf of SFC. Chair of Science for the next IFSCC congress in France, she is organizing the scientific program for the biggest yearly international event for cosmetic research in 2025.