Botany is a constant source of inspiration. The diversity of plants around the world, their properties, their unique composition and their benefits to health and beauty make them a fascinating fieldwork for scientists.
Developing new plant-based actives is one of the main missions of Gattefossé’s scientific team.
It all starts with René Maurice Gattefossé, back in the 1910s. He spent many years working on lavender fields, in Provence (France), helping the farmers to improve cultivation and distillation methods and creating the first lavender growers’ cooperative.
Later, he purchased a farm in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, thus creating an aromatic plant production and distillation center, providing his company with raw materials.
Gattefossé scientists have a strong knowledge in botany but also in phytochemistry, physiology and ecology. This allows them to select the best raw materials.
The first step consists in identifying the plants of interest for a specific cosmetic application. This complex process – where chemistry, taxonomy and knowledge of customers’ requirements intersect – leads to the discovery of new botanical materials.
The activity of the plant extracts that caught our attention is then evaluated in preliminary research to validate their action on specific biological targets and to ideally identifythe exact molecules responsible for this activity.
Once the plant identified and validated, our team select the best sourcing, based on geographical origin, cultivation and harvesting methods, respect of the environment, shipment conditions, etc.
From planting stage to harvest and shipment, all steps are controlled to ensure a responsible and sustainable supply chain, strictly following all regulations concerning access to biodiversity, fair trade and environment. Our set of specifications is clearly defined and applies for all our partners.
Green chemistry is at the heart of our processes. Depending on the plant we are working on and the results that are expected, different methods and solvents can be used to extract the active fraction in the plants:
Each process is optimized to guarantee a constant content of active molecules in each batch produced.
Gattefossé has also developed a wide range of separation, purification, soaking and concentration techniques that uses ultrafiltration, distillation or chromatography.
All these techniques, combined with Gattefossé’s knowledge and expertise, allow us to provide the market with high-quality ingredients.