Chanel Beauty: Behind-The-Scenes Of Its Integrative Beauty Approach



Some 20 minutes by car from Paris, in the suburb of Pantin, stands an inconspicuous grey building. Its modernist façade features large glass windows that lead eyes to a courtyard of greenery. What seems like an unassuming office building is actually the Pantin Research & Innovation Centre. In other words, the place where Chanel Beauty magic happens.

It was in 1924 that Gabrielle Chanel created the Parfums Chanel company and invested in a laboratory-factory in Pantin. In 1972, it became the historical birthplace of research and development for the maison’s skincare and makeup. Until today, the incredible hub is where all the revolutionary Chanel Beauty creations come to fruition. Nourished by a link through past, present and future, an Integrative Beauty approach guides all product creations. A continuation of Gabrielle Chanel’s vision, where holistic wellbeing, in body and mind, are fulfilled in harmony with the environment.


This includes rigorous testing on product textures and scents to perfect the sensoriality of formulas. By combining the latest neuroscience technologies and its Sensory Evaluation Laboratory, Chanel creates products that provide optimal results while evoking pleasant emotions for the ultimate holistic experience. The centre also conducts in-depth studies on skin to shed new perspectives on ageing mechanisms. One such finding is the phenomenon of skin senescence, the essence of cell ageing. Together with world leaders in cellular ageing from the University of Vienna, Chanel Research has identified promising active ingredients capable of limiting senescence.

As part of this partnership, the researchers developed 3D skin models mimicking the different stages of senescence. Ongoing research focuses on making senescence biomarkers visible right at the heart of the skin. A revolutionary imaging platform evaluates the vitality of cells and measures the performance of active ingredients on the skin. After 10 years of experimentation, senescence research is at the core of anti-ageing skincare lines, N°1 de Chanel and Sublimage.

On one hand, N°1 de Chanel products target the first stage of senescence to boost the vitality of skin cells. Whereas concentrated active ingredients in Sublimage products target all stages for overall regeneration and repair. No detail is overlooked at Pantin, right down to the quality and efficacy of the ingredients, an aspect Chanel has always been vigilant about since the creation of the original N°5 perfume in 1921. Case in point, its source are five open-sky laboratories in places from Madagascar to Bhutan. These, respectively, cultivate Vanilla Planifolia and Swertia Extract, regenerative ingredients that star in Sublimage Les Extraits.


Each open-sky laboratory is a site of experimentation for plant production, as well as social and environmental innovation. They pioneer exclusive ingredients while drawing inspiration from nature, what Chanel considers the most advanced laboratory of all. Such exceptional raw ingredients, combine with cutting-edge technology, to create unique active ingredients.

Currently, Pantin is one of five Chanel Research & Innovation Centres in the world, with the others located in mainland China, Japan, South Korea and the US. Together, more than 300 researchers and artisans pair the latest technology with artisanal expertise to share a comprehensive vision of beauty with the world.

As Chanel continues to take on scientific and technological challenges with its Integrated Beauty approach, there’s indeed lots to look forward to in the future.

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