Our experts: Frédérique Bellanger, cosmetic formulator

Behind HO KARAN hides real talents - and French! Every week, we go to meet our experts, precious and passionate partners who help us design products of the highest standards. Frédérique Bellanger, cosmetic formulator, is one of them. She reveals her job to you on a daily basis and answers your questions on the formulation side.

Who are you ?
My name is Frédérique Bellanger, cosmetic formulator and I am the head of the La Nature en Textures laboratory. After training as a chemical engineer, I specialized in cosmetic formulation.
Today, my daily life is divided into 3 main parts. The commercial relationship with customers, the “administrative” part which consists of preparing formulas, thinking about associations, checking what is possible to create. Then the formulation of the formulas themselves directly in the laboratory.  

What is the process of creating a cosmetic treatment?
It depends a lot on the customers, their requirements, but on average it takes about ten tests per formula, I would even say between 3 months and 1 year for a single formula.
First, the client explains to me the concept of the brand, the marketing identity, his expectations and then very quickly we will enter into the specifications (define or not by the client), otherwise I can offer him options on the texture, the color, the smell, the type of conditioning planned, I share some benchmarks with him. We discuss deadlines, costs and regulatory obligations to have the most precise brief possible. We also quickly think about the identity of the manufacturer to try to coordinate our work as well as possible, and to adapt the textures / formulas that I will develop according to the existing equipment in the factory. Finally, my actual formulation work begins, and there I get in touch with French or foreign suppliers to find the right ingredients. At HO KARAN, it's a bit special because Laure, the founder, knows very well the suppliers linked to hemp and therefore in general it is she who tells me who are her most specialized contacts in assets derived from hemp. . For the other ingredients, I will see new people on my side.

Formulating natural and vegan, is it more complicated?
Formulating 100% natural and vegan, yes, it's more complicated. It is obvious that we must take into account the variations of nature and anticipate them. We cannot formulate a product today, as we formulated it 20 years ago or even only 5! Cosmetic formulation is a profession that is constantly evolving, especially for natural formulas, which makes each formula unique.

What are the benefits of hemp in a cosmetic formulation?
Without going into the very technical composition of the hemp plant, this science is called phytochemistry. We can say that hemp is a plant that we use a lot and in all its forms! We use the oil from the seeds, which is rich in essential fatty acids - omega 3 and omega 6. We also use the essential oil which has a stress-relieving action, the seeds to make exfoliators and of course the plant. whole to obtain cannabidiol (editor's note: CBD). Hemp oil has been used in cosmetics for a long time, but to my knowledge this is the first time that a brand has used so many different materials and active ingredients from different parts of the plant. HO KARAN is in this very specific and original, with very specific and high-end care.

What are the strengths of HO KARAN according to your expert eye?
To formulate the products, Laure helped me a lot because she had already created a supply network and specialists for each ingredient. She knew how to find the specialist for each part of the plant to use, which is more in organic farming when it was possible. I would also say that the brand adds one or two specific actives in each formula to energize it and achieve the desired effect on the skin. We thus obtain sophisticated formulas, elaborated, but without any superfluous ingredients since we remain in the natural one!

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