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L’Oréal: The tools create the innovation

SpecialChem / SpecialChem – Apr 4, 2006

Francis Quin, researcher at L'Oréal: "L'Oréal launched into nanosciences very early, starting in the 1970s. But in a very original way we developed tools for analyzing and observing very small objects. Our aim was to improve our understanding of the skin and hair so we could guarantee our products were safe and effective. Among other things, we adopted the atomic force microscope. Under this type of microscope, the hair scales look like cliffs, and we can see what's happening above and below. The microscope is all the more interesting because the object you're studying doesn't have to be placed in a vacuum. It's observed in normal conditions of hygrometry and temperature. These tools gave us the idea of developing nanomaterials. First, by reducing the size of known objects, such as the lipid and water droplets of an emulsion. We developed nanoemulsions as a result (in 1998-99), which allowed us to innovate in two areas: transparency and texture. At the same time, we became interested in titanium oxide nanoparticles covered in silicon dioxide.

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