Over the past few years, Brittany-based GBC laboratory has positioned itself as the privileged partner of brands with expectations breaking with conventional approaches. “We have built ourselves the reputation to dive into complex territories. We always try to be one step ahead, whether in terms of galenic forms or of vision, meaning how we want to contribute to the cosmetic industry’s progress”, starts its founder, Gael Boutry.
Gael Boutry has a passion for cosmetic formulation and an asserted taste for challenge: “I am interested in anything that is complex. We are actually less into making yet another anti-ageing cream”, he emphasizes.
Clean Beauty generation
This approach seduces many brands, including those of the Clean Beauty generation, which are eager for new gestures, new galenic forms, and formulas redefined by natural alternatives.
“Our customers are mainly emerging brands. GBC’s strength lies in helping them make formulas for which they hold the intellectual property rights. This way, they can start with small series of at least 500 SKUs: the made-in-France formulas belong to them, and they can explore complex territories”, Gael Boutry adds.
The support process is global: the laboratory offers its ecosystem of packaging suppliers with similar values, as well as the possibility to benefit from economic feasibility studies conducted upstream. “From the beginning, brands are aware of the costs related to development and tests, as well as of the factory price. I prefer to refuse a project if I think it is not viable”, he warns.
After several years working on the development of solid products, the formulator is now focusing on new concepts.
“We made stick emulsions, like Hyalustick, which was developed with Superga and Cosmogen. It is a solid emulsion which requires waterproof packaging. But to me, hot-poured solid products, like shampoo or makeup-removing balms are just nonsense, from an environmental point of view. Of course, there is less packaging, but the raw materials used involve highly polluting manufacturing processes, high temperatures, then cooling processes… On the contrary, powder solutions require a cold process and much less energy”, he explains.
So, he prefers powders to be reconstituted, “provided we work with people who are perfectly familiar with the powder-pressing technology”, explains Gael Boutry. “But there will be a limit in terms of sensoriality and distribution: there are not many solutions to distribute powder. With that in mind, we work upstream with packaging suppliers to help them develop tomorrow’s packs for powder applications, while making all our formula issues clear to them”.
Global Beauty Consulting’s main working areas also include the use of fermented ingredients derived from upcycling and of biotechnologies for convenience raw materials.
“Today, we are still highly limited in terms of functional natural ingredients, because biotechnologies are mostly used for the development of actives. Ingredient suppliers will increasingly work on this issue, but to me, the right thing is to also work with biodegradable synthesized products which have no impact on the environment. If everyone chooses the same path, we will not have enough natural ingredients for everyone”, warns Gael Boutry.
To him, the search for alternatives has to take into account the formula/process combo on the industrial scale. “It is a good thing to make beautiful formulas in a laboratory, but it is better not to forget about the process, manufacturing, and packaging part”, he concludes. Well, that is a comprehensive vision of formulation.