The genomic revolution
For over 10 years, L'Oréal has turned its efforts to the study of the way genes are expressed in the skin and hair, by acquiring tools called "omics". These techniques, which combine molecular biology, computer technology and robotics, made it possible in 2001 to decode the human genome (all the information in the genetic code). L'Oréal's researchers have applied these techniques to the aging of the skin and hair, by establishing veritable catalogs of cellular signatures that are characteristic of cells, their conditions and their responses to different kinds of stress.
Each skin has its own molecular signature
In collaboration with the Saint Louis Hospital in Paris and the CHUL in Laval, Quebec, L'Oréal's researchers made a number of interesting discoveries related to the genetic expression of different skin cells. They were able to show that molecular signatures exist (proteins that are characteristic of young skin and of aging skin) and they selected active ingredients capable of providing aging skin with the protein content signature of younger skin. Another observation: in cases of mechanical aggression, the activity of the genes in younger and older skin is similar, but while it takes 5 hours for younger skin to "repair", it takes 30 hours for older skin to do so! Thus, aging is in particularly a result of accumulated aggressions that have not been adequately repaired. This work resulted in two innovations: the serum Génifique by Lancôme, launched in 2009, followed by Code Jeunesse by L'Oréal Paris in 2010.