Philippe Vallée, Biophys-Solutions

Premium Beauty News - Apparently there is hardly a single type of water but several.

Philippe Vallée - Yes indeed. Water, which has a very simple chemical formula turns out to be a highly complex environment with multiple properties: water is in constant reorganization with a lifetime of its hydrogen bonds of about 10-12 seconds. Therefore, its physico-chemical properties may change. For example, when water is brought into contact with air - or with a container - there is a migration of the mineral, organic and/or gas compounds. Then, depending on their chemical affinities, these compounds may agglomerate to form colloids that will induce water reorganization at their interfaces. This interfacial water is particularly interesting for its physicochemical properties that can trigger new biological activity.

Premium Beauty News - You have studied the impact of electromagnetic fields on water. What were the lessons learned ?

Philippe Vallée - Actually, my PhD dissertation [1] focused on the impact of low frequency electromagnetic fields on water physicochemical properties and by extension on its biological activity. As a first step, it required developing a standardized protocol in order to control the interaction between water and the environment. From there, I was able to demonstrate that, when applied to water samples, low frequency pulsed electromagnetic fields impact the double ionic layer, at the gas/water interface of existing gas nano bubbles. Indeed, water always contains nano-sized gas bubbles that agglomerate themselves around residual impurities to form an interface on which water molecules are organized in interfacial water. The action of these electromagnetic fields, by destabilizing gas nanobubbles, causes the release of the adsorbed molecules and consequently a better hydration. Changes in physicochemical and biological properties of exposed water samples can therefore be observed. It is interesting to note that water in our body is mostly interfacial water.

Premium Beauty News - What are the potential applications of your findings?

Philippe Vallée - The applications of our patented water treatment are numerous and have been the subject of scientific publications [2]. We develop these applications within our company Biophys-Solutions. One of our goals is to transfer this disruptive technology to industrial partners in the biotechnology sector. We have several projects in agronomy, water treatment, and the nutraceutical and cosmetic fields. For example, our process significantly increases the solubility and dispersion of a slimming active ingredient and can double its transcutaneous diffusion measured on human skin explants. The physical process we use for formulating optimizes the solubility and dispersion of non-polar compounds without adding surfactants and thus allowing the creation of clean formulas. We increase the bio-assimilation and performance of formulated products. This eco-technology is also environmentally friendly and complies with organic standards.

Premium Beauty News - However, the need to apply a low frequency electromagnetic field may be a major constraint for the industry?

Philippe Vallée - Any innovation requires some adaptations but the way the industry works is consistent with our eco-technological process. Today, our laboratory facilities enable us to carry out feasibility studies and we are currently testing the industrial transfer with a partner from the nutraceutical market to produce industrial quantities.

Premium Beauty News - What are the prospects?

Philippe Vallée - Our R&D department continues to investigate possibilities for new applications and several projects are underway. With a partner from the cosmetics industry, we are investigating "active water" formulation considering that water is usually the ingredient in cosmetic formulations. In the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries, we collaborate with the INSERM on a project to create therapeutic waters. We also explore the opportunities in the fields of medical diagnostic and veterinary products. Water is an important "vehicle" in many fields.

Read more in’s special issue on cosmetic ingredients.