Editor's Note: Beauty Ingenuity

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In November 2023, L’Oréal's CEO Nicolas Hieronimus shared with Fortune that the company was founded 114 years ago by a chemist, and that science and R&D has always been at the heart of the company's model. "We spend [more than] 3% of our turnover in research — over 1 billion Euro last year." He added that the company is one of a just few in beauty that has fundamental research, "meaning we work to discover ingredients, not just to make formulas..."1

Shiseido's senior executive officer, chief innovation officer and chief brand innovation officer, Yoshiaki Okabe, emphasized, "As our 2030 R&D vision, we have established the three pillars of innovation: skin beauty innovation, sustainability innovation and future beauty innovation ... and a very important approach of 'de-Shiseido culture,' an approach breaking free from the status quo, as our strategy." Similarly to L’Oréal, the company will continue to invest approximately 3% of net sales as R&D expenses."2

The Estee Lauder Cos.' (ELC) R&D expenses, per Finbox, increased in 2019 ($202 million, +11.6%), 2022 ($307 million, +26.3%) and 2023 ($344 million, +12.1%).3 Self-described as a "brand-led innovation company," ELC reportedly "combines science and creativity to create transformative products," and its "scientists, engineers and product developers thrive on the challenge of formulating and designing new products, packages and experiences for consumers in approximately 150 countries and territories."4

Not surprisingly, a clear pattern emerges that is driving the success of these and other global beauty giants: investing in R&D and beauty ingenuity. "The cosmetic industry is dynamic and heavily influenced by scientific advancements," observed the consulting group Erdyn. "Even what appears to be minor enhancements can actually be significant scientific milestones."5

It is in the spirit of beauty ingenuity that we present this special edition celebrating the 2024 C&T Allē Awards. Our headliner article, a parade of who's who in beauty innovation, highlights photographs from the awards dinner, along with commentary from the judges and congratulatory remarks from the winners.

Aligned with this theme, this month's technical articles will also inspire innovation in scalp, hair and skin health product development, among other areas. For example, Schoeffel, et al., examine the causes of scalp sensitivity and offer a holistic approach to mitigating them. Park, et al., uncover connections between the skin's fungal mycobiome and skin microbiome for a clearer picture of skin categorization and potential susceptibilities.

Aral describes advances and adaptations in testing techniques to determine the potential scalp comfort and care effects of products. Finally, Rastogi, et al., revisit ximenynic acid from sandalwood for its anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and other benefits.

Our latest issue is packed with concepts to advance beauty ingenuity — and we look forward to what lies ahead from you and other innovators. We're excited to announce our all-new submission portal for the 2025 C&T Allē Awards is now open. Visit www.AlleAwards.com to submit today! 


1. https://fortune.com/2023/11/01/loreal-ceo-nicolas-hieronimus-beauty-tech-acquisitions-brands-sustainability-tiktok/

2. https://corp.shiseido.com/report/en/2022/value_creation/innovation/

3. https://finbox.com/NYSE:EL/explorer/rd_exp/

4. https://www.elcompanies.com/en/careers/research-and-development-jobs

5. https://www.erdyn.com/en/science-as-an-innovation-strategy-in-cosmetics/

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