The Pierre Fabre group started exploring the dermocosmetics segment in Brazil in 1999, with Eau Thermale d’Avène, their flagship brand. “It is a complex country, but dermocosmetics involve a positive combination of factors,” explains Philippe de Carvalho. “Dermatologists play a significant prescriptive role, so we had to convince them. Then, women consumers are very actively involved, so they expect results, and there is also a large network of 70,000 pharmacies, which represents an important distribution capacity.”
In 2006, the group sped things up, by acquiring the Darrow Laboratório brand, a renowned oily skin specialist. This operation helped Pierre Fabre lay its hands on a strong sales network and on an industrial site on the outskirts of Rio. As a complement to the Darrow lines, the group invested to produce a few Avène ranges locally and adapt them to the market’s specific sensorialities, while asserting its leadership in terms of oily skin prescriptions.
“The issue of oily skins, or skins perceived as such, is typically Brazilian. Apart from hygiene, here, the beauty routine also includes photoprotection. So, we pool our expertises in these fields to offer a healthcare solution that is also a deeply cosmetic product combining an oily or acne-prone skin treatment and a safe sun protection,” explains Anne-Laure Gaudry.
An offer meeting Brazilian requirements
Starting from 2012, the work done by the group’s medical visitors with Brazilian dermatologists gave a further boost to the development and reputation of Pierre Fabre products.
The fact that healthcare professionals contribute to raising awareness of the risks of sun exposure oriented the market towards products guaranteeing both quality and safety. Today, sun care represents a third of the country’s dermocosmetics market.
With Mat Perfect, a photoprotection product specially designed for Brazil, Eau Thermale Avène offers a dry skin feel (toque seco), a 12h matte effect, and an SPF up to 60. “Another major trend requires offering matching shades. Mat Perfect is available in a white/colourless version, or with concealing pigments,” adds Anne-Laure Gaudry.
In Brazil, like all around the world, the formulation of Pierre Fabre sun products complies with the group’s strict guidelines. Mat Perfect is actually based on a unique, minimalist technology involving only four filters, excluding oxybenzone, which do not penetrate the skin barrier for more safety and protection.
In Brazil, Pierre Fabre also banks on A-Oxitive, the anti-ageing Avène line enriched in vitamin C. If anti-ageing is not one of the most popular claims in Brazil, vitamin C is widely appreciated by consumers, and the company relies on their interest in efficient radiance-enhancing solutions. “We highlighted one of our global gems, i.e., a cutting edge technology which protects the active and releases it in the dermis, to develop a product that matches local expectations and satisfies the criteria we use all around the world. The advantage of a research centre based in the country itself lies in its local dimension,” emphasizes Anne-Laure Gaudry.
Ten launches per year
The BIC should make it possible to launch ten new products a year, the first being expected for July 2019, regarding the Darrow ranges intended for Brazil, and the Avène ranges designed for the whole Latin American market.
On a more global level, Pierre Fabre is also present on the huge Brazilian hair segment, with Ducray, the expert in hair dermatology. And in the field of body care, new launches are under study at Darrow: the Nutriol line of moisturizers will offer consumers a more affordable dermocosmetics option.
“Here, we comply with the group’s international quality standards using the same equipment, while acting as a research arm for the world. Brazil is a source of inspiration for Pierre Fabre, in particular for its biodiversity. Our expertise is already a reference on the global level,” explains the Director of the Centre, which already counts twelve employees, including three exclusively dedicated to formulation.
Sun protection, oily skins, hair care, body care… Thanks to this new research and development centre, the Pierre Fabre group benefits from a strong tool to consolidate its presence in Brazil.