Premium Beauty News - Vichy Laboratoires is a dermocosmetics pioneer in France. How do you define the brand today?
Vania Lacascade - Founded by a doctor almost 90 years ago, it is firmly rooted in health and science. It is part of the L’Oréal Active Cosmetics Division and is mainly distributed in pharmacies and parapharmacies. It is recommended by over 50,000 dermatologists around the world, in particular the haircare and anti-ageing ranges.
Two years ago, we readopted our initial brand signature, which dated back to the 1990s: health also depends on our skin. It really is the brand’s philosophy: the skin is a health barometer, so we need to get to know it and take care of it. Health is more than ever at the core of all our concerns.
Premium Beauty News - How do you express this health concern?
Vania Lacascade - We have been working on the exposome science for several years: it is the study of the impact on our skins of our environments (pollution, climate), lifestyles, but also hormone variations, which can have significant consequences on the skin’s biological functions. We have three committees of dermatologists dedicated to the study of the exposome to understand the cumulative effects of these different factors on the skin and scalp, in the different phases of life.
During the 2000s, the brand decided to get deeply involved in the management of menopause and its impacts on the skin. This issue is still taboo in society, but people are starting to speak out. Last September, we relaunched Neovadiol, our skincare range dedicated to the menopause. It was also a new way to openly communicate on this key phase of women’s lives.
Premium Beauty News - How do you highlight scientific expertise?
Vania Lacascade - Over the past three years, we have considerably strengthened our presence alongside health professionals. We conducted about forty studies, published about twenty articles, and we made a strong comeback at major dermatology congresses. In addition, we tightened our relationships with dermatologists, but also with pharmacists, in particular as regards the menopause. For our part, this theme was a major area of improvement, thanks to our research on the impact of hormone variations on the skin, in particular falling oestrogen levels and rising cortisol levels. Our relationship with pharmacists proved all the more essential in managing this phase of women’s lives. I am a pharmacist myself and I know how crucial it is to benefit from this support in pharmacies, because they can help women with it.
We reviewed this skincare range to be in line with our advances in knowledge, in particular as regards the two phases of menopause, the peri- and postmenopause, which do not involve the same needs.
As I said, it is still taboo, so we also launched an awareness campaign with our range called “skincare for menopause”, without any ambiguity. It was crucial to open up the debate, in particular with round tables, testimonies, and tips. We aimed to make women speak up and support every one of them through this phase of their lives and with their management by health professionals.
Premium Beauty News - How is Vichy Laboratoires positioned compared to the group’s other brands?
Vania Lacascade - With its scientific expertise in the impacts of the exposome on the skin and scalp, Vichy targets women and men in all life phases. Puberty with Normaderm, the thirties with daily skincare like Mineral, the first signs of ageing, down to dark spots, with Lift Active, the menopause with Neovadiol… In parallel, the Dercos range helps us take scientific action for the scalp. So, we are complementary to our sister brands, we support people throughout their lives. Our brand is very close to consumers, highly inclusive: it targets women and men of all ages.
Premium Beauty News - What about sustainability?
Vania Lacascade - It is a global approach of the L’Oréal group. Our demanding dermatological charter helps us guarantee the safety and efficacy of our products, but with the great challenge to develop more sustainable formulas with dermatological raw materials and ingredients derived from sustainable sources. Biotechnology also brings a lot in this field.
We have clear objectives, i.e. 95% of bio-based ingredients or ingredients rich in abundant minerals by 2030, and 100% derived from sustainable sources. We constantly review our formulas to improve their environmental profiles, in particular their biodegradability. As for sun care products, we have been reformulating our portfolio to offer a profile that is more ocean- and marine-biodiversity friendly. As regards packaging, we aim to reduce weight and use recycled plastic. This sustainable innovation strategy has been integrated to our development programme for years and is part of the group’s more global approach.
Premium Beauty News - What are your projects innovation-wise?
Vania Lacascade - Prioritize flagship categories, keep forging ahead with anti-ageing skincare, explore the hormone issue, in particular the menopause and haircare, but also sun care, since the UV impact is a major factor of the exposome to be taken into account. All this is part of a strategy for the continuous improvement of our formulas’ environmental footprints and profiles, while guaranteeing safety and efficacy.
Premium Beauty News - What can you tell us about your market targets?
Vania Lacascade - The brand is present in over 60 countries and very well-established in Europe, our historical market. It is also very strong in countries like Canada and Brazil. The latter is actually our biggest market globally: the brand’s positioning is healthcare-oriented, in particular with hair care. Dercos is the first brand recommended by dermatologists for anti-dandruff care. China and the US are markets on which we aim to further develop, in particular with face and hair care.
Lastly, we aim to keep re-rooting the brand in its medical ground, both for healthcare professionals and consumers. We are more than ever legitimate on the dermocosmetics market, thanks to our scientific expertise, and we pay particular attention to developing real proximity and an authentic tone in our communication.