Lipid chemistry

Lipid chemistry by Gattefossé - oily excipientsIn the footsteps of Emile MahlerGattefossé has developed unique, respected expertise in lipid chemistry over the last 70 years. We design and manufacture functional ingredients for the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.
Lipid chemistry is a relatively simple science with a long history. It is built around well-known esterification, trans-esterification, and hydrogenation reactions. Sophisticated process engineering and fine analytical characterization yield products with desirable properties. These are artfully combined to prepare unique ingredients for the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.

Responsible chemistry attentive to social and environmental impact

Our lipid chemistry is based on the transformation of vegetable oils, waxes, and fatty acids. Gattefossé has long been committed to a responsible sourcing of raw materials. In addition to being a member of the Round table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), the company supports cooperatives and oil producers involved in sustainable production processes. The raw materials that make up our cosmetic ingredients are all certified “mass balance” or “segregated.”


Functional and sensorial properties for pharmaceutical or cosmetic applications

Innovation in the use of lipid ingredients is largely based on experience. The first functional cosmetic ingredient, developed in the 1980s, was a beeswax texturizer. Two decades later, after extensive forays in the field of analytical chemistry, the original product technology was combined with the synthesis and transformation of several natural waxes to create a unique and effective new offering: Emulium® Mellifera. Gattefossé’s latest launch for cosmetic applications, it received the Gold Innovation Award at in-cosmetics Global 2014 for its exceptional qualities as both texturing agent and active ingredient.
For the cosmetic market, Gattéfossé offers a range of lipid ingredients:
  • surfactants
  • emollients
  • texturizing agents
  • stabilizers
  • products falling into more than one of the above categories
These ingredients may be used to give substance to body care, skin care, or hair care products, or they can be incorporated into makeup or sun protection formulas.
For the pharmaceutical market, our company produces several kinds of excipients:
  • surfactants
  • lubricants
  • solubilizers
  • compression agents
They are used to solubilize and carry APIs, improve and regulate their bioavailability, or mask their taste. Our extended range of excipients allows for oral, cutaneous, rectal, vaginal, or mucosal drug administration. Naturally, all Gattefossé excipients meet the quality criteria of pharmacopoeias worldwide.
We continuously test our ingredients in formulations. Our application laboratories and sensorial panel work with our customers from the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries during the formulation process to ensure our products always fit their needs. This dialogue between chemists and formulators facilitates development and fosters creativity.


Robust processes for superior quality

The quality of our excipients is based on the proven technology delivered by our research and manufacturing teams. Our industrial capabilities are constantly improving, often under the impetus of our research and development teams. For example, a winterization unit has been added to our set of synthesis equipment for the production of new pharmaceutical excipients.
Our scientists are always honing their skills in fields as eclectic as analysis, enzymatic catalysis, molecular distillation, and extrusion. Their connection to a larger scientific network and participation in national and international initiatives ensure Gattefossé remains at the level of excellence on which it has stood for decades.