We met with Lucie Bidault, our new head of the Personal Care and Cosmetics Division via the internet to discover more about her and her passion for PCC.
Lucie, when did you become interested in Personal Care and Cosmetics?
I had the good fortune to spend many holidays with a very friendly German family who, when I turned 16, the dad wondered if I understood what his job was as I never asked. I was already loving cosmetics and science in general, so it was a big surprise when I realised he was an important Doctor working for the Henkel company in Düsseldorf at the Research, Development and Innovation Center.
He was a recognised researcher, in charge of the skincare, toothpaste and shaving gel laboratories, so for me it was a revelation, it was then I decided to work in this industry and to study the necessary pathways to work in a cosmetics lab.
I started a Pharmacies course, but, despite the good marks I earnt, the numerus clausus at the time was 80 students out of 800 and so I redirected to an Msc of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Biology, finally I was able to study at one of the best engineering schools of France. The CPE Lyon, this brilliant school produced academics with 3 Nobel Peace Prizes, and it is there where I carried out a specialisation in Cosmetology and Formulation.
That must have been quite an interesting time for you, tell me about how your working career began.
I recall the first day of my first job, which was with a skincare and make-up contact a manufacturer based near Lyon, and wow! To smell the amazing Hermès fragrance all over the factory, because they were producing some new body Concretes for this very famous Brand. It really made an impression on me.
What an amazing memory to have, the sights and smells there on your first day, so tell me, what do you think is currently the greatest innovation for PCC in recent times?
Well, for me, it is the one that actually came from a mistake, then a discovery, l’eau micellar – such a huge step forward in innovation.
How a “water” is able to remove all traces of make-up, sebum and various impurities without stripping or damaging the skin, in one single step …so amazing, that it’s particularly adapted to reactive and intolerant skins for which the simple rubbing of cotton is an aggression.
And another important one I believe is to be the encapsulation of fragrances, to be relieved when you apply your skincare or shower gel on your skin. It used to be that your fragrance would disappear during the day, even though you can smell very fine for hours. So now encapsulation gradually delivers your signature fragrance all the day long, the notes of perfumes contained in the microcapsules are retained on the skin.
How do you define PCC?
For me Cosmetics is linked to dreams, sensations, amazing perfume or a coloured experience. Cosmetics should be definitely linked to Beauty and is a sensorial experience. I myself have a routine and standards that I translate into my work and of course my work influences me – I want to live in such a way that I eat Bio foods as much as possible, buy vegetables fruits etc from my local farm (I am lucky to live in a village), I practice sport every day for a minimum 1 hour, always one of the three activities of triathlon or at least Crossfit. I enjoy drinking as much water or herbal tea as I can, I try not to drink too much wine and I apply various cosmetics beauty products which include a serum, day cream, eye contouring and also I treat my skin at night too. Because the skin is easily sensitive when you swim in white water or under the wind and of course I limit sun damage.
How are you dealing with Covid and what can you recommend?
As we are all now wearing masks all day long, we need to counterbalance the effects, go for a walk a minimum of 20 min to oxygenate your body, then apply a moisturising, nourishing cream or calming cream.
The key active ingredients I am seeing at the moment are:
AnyPlant extracts aloe veraand anything with anti-inflammatory effects such as Liquorice derivatives, Calendula, Chamomile, Horse Chestnut and Witch Hazel are only a few examples.
It is also a good time to detox, and taking Green Tea and Ginger, using Shea butter… body care and to continue to drink herbal tea to hydrate regularly during the day.
If you are brave enough, finish your shower with a jet of cold water: it wakes you up and stimulates blood circulation by closing skin pores and helping the distribution of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.
For Nutraceuticals, who specialise in supplements, what do you think is currently being used for Immunity?
Vitamin D is all over the press at the moment, anything that helps your gut such as probiotics, beta glucans, Vitamin C, and also Ginseng to improve energy levels during these cold winter months.
We can also provide many tried and tested ingredients that have been in use for PCC for hundreds and hundreds of years they are very familiar and include:
Honey, Almond, Sugar, Milk, Lemon, Egg, Olive Oil, which we can supply as:
NIGESWE001290 Honey Powder 40% Honey
NIGESWE001301 New Zealand Manuka Honey Powder (70% Honey)
NIGEHER001250 Almond Kernel Powder (Prunus dulcis) (Allergen – Nuts)
NIGENUL000905 Olive Oil Powder 50% Oil Load Vegan (Olea europaea l.)
NIGENUL000907 Olive Oil Powder 50% Oil Load Vegan Zero Net Carbs (Olea europaea l.)
NIGENUL000901 Olive Oil Powder 67% Oil Load (Olea europaea l.) (Allergen – Milk)
NIGEMSC005101 Egg Shell Membrane (Allergen – Eggs)
NIGEMIN000221 Egg Shell Natural Calcium Carbonate 98% Nutrition Grade (~39% Ca) (Allergen – Eggs)
NIGEHER002115 Apple Fruit Juice Sugar Powder (Malus pumila)
NIGEHER002115-SAORG Apple Fruit Juice Sugar Powder (Malus pumila) Organic
NIGECOL000101-SAORG Burnt Sugar Colour 820 Organic
NIGESWE000608 Caster Cane Sugar (Sucrose)
NIGEHER024901 Lemon Fruit Juice Powder (Citrus limonum)
NIGEHER024905-SAORG Lemon Fruit Juice Powder (Citrus limonum) Organic
Cucumber NIGEHER012041 Cucumber Fruit Powder (Cucumis sativus Linn)
You mention milk, with veganism on the rise, are there any alternatives?
Yes of course, we are always looking for alternatives too so Soya, nut and oat milks can easily be substitute the animal products, of course you have heard of these ingredients and you can feel assured when you read their names on your beauty product label.
What are you really excited about, what do you think your customers would like to know about?
Without a doubt, the In and Out beauty concept, the idea is to be beautiful from inside to outside, to help promotes good health. The philosophy is when a person is in good health, skin, hair, nails etc… look beautiful too.
The concept is to combine supplements that contain key ingredients which are good from a systemic point of view, or are good for a specific part of the body for example, brewer’s yeast for the hair, or create a finished skincare/bodycare /hair care product containing some of our active ingredients we have in our range, and to use them together.
I enjoy being involved with my food supplement colleagues as we can work together on projects like this, we are all very passionate about ingredients and to be able to tie everything in makes us quite unique in this field.
Currently I introduce myself to experts in the field – contract manufacturers /brands / consulting companies as a ‘bringer of solutions’, with my science background and proven expertise, I can assist with any projects that they may have and I have to say, I enjoy the challenge and I strive to bring a positive communication knowing I can offer them a better price, lead-time and work with their MOQ.
It’s great to provide a high level of flexibility and customer service in general with the technology to transport sensitive ingredients such as probiotics and liposomes.
I find when they give me the chance with a project, it allows them to free up time and they can therefore focus on their own top priorities, and then we snowball as one project attracts another, trust is created and the link is made.
Most of the Nutraceuticals team come from a scientific background, we understand exactly the client’s request and know what is key to them whether it’s quality, regulatory, solubility, research etc, we can assist from all sides to ensure the customer is heading in the right direction.
Thanks so much for the chat Lucie, it’s been great to get to know you and PCC a bit more, if I could finish with one more question? What do you enjoy most about your job?
I really like the way it makes me excited to start my daily work, I convince my future clients to give me their trust and projects. From an entrepreneurial point of view, I also have the chance, thanks to the founders of Nutraceuticals, to create the PCC division following their guidelines but they give me enough flexibility and trust in order to create the sales following the virtual meetings I have and in the midst of conversations.
Due to the 7 years of constant business growth of Nutraceuticals, I have at my disposal a wide and exciting product catalog. I have fantastic colleagues with endearing personalities and due to their professionalism and loyalty, and despite the health situation of corona, I can quickly count on them and interact with them because of the digital tools, and even if they are global, they put as a priority my customer needs, whether in terms of quality, regulations, logistics, etc.
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