The L'Oréal Group is the world's largest cosmetics and beauty company. With its registered office in Paris and head office in the Paris suburb of Clichy, Hauts-de-Seine, France, it has developed activities in the field of cosmetics. Concentrating on hair colour, skin care, sun protection, make-up, perfumes and hair care, the company is active in the dermatological, tissue engineering and pharmaceutical fields and is the top nanotechnology patent-holder in the United States.
In 1909, Eugène Schueller, a young French chemist, developed a hair dye formula called Auréale. Schueller formulated and manufactured his own products, which he then sold to Parisian hairdressers.
On 31 July 1919, Schueller registered his company, the Société Française de Teintures Inoffensives pour Cheveux (Safe Hair Dye Company of France). The guiding principles of the company, which eventually became L'Oréal, were research and innovation in the field of beauty.
In 1920, the company employed three chemists. By 1950, the teams were 100 strong; that number reached 1,000 by 1984 and is nearly 2,000 today.
L'Oréal got its start in the hair-color business, but the company soon branched out into other cleansing and beauty products. L'Oréal currently markets over 500 brands and many thousands of individual products in all sectors of the beauty business: hair colour, permanents, hair styling, body and skin care, cleansers, makeup and fragrances. The company's products are found in a wide variety of distribution channels, from hair salons and perfumeries to hyper - and supermarkets, health/beauty outlets, pharmacies and direct mail.
L'Oréal has six worldwide research and development centres: two in France: Aulnay and Chevilly; one in the U.S.: Clark, New Jersey; one in Japan: Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture; in 2005 one was established in Shanghai, China, and one in India. A future facility in the US will be in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey.
From 1988 to 1989, L'Oréal controlled the film company Paravision, whose properties included the Filmation and De Laurentiis libraries. StudioCanal acquired the Paravision properties in 1994.
L'Oréal purchased Synthélabo in 1973 to pursue its ambitions in the pharmaceutical field. Synthélabo merged with Sanofi in 1999 to become Sanofi-Synthélabo. Sanofi-Synthélabo merged with Aventis in 2004 to become Sanofi-Aventis.
On 17 March 2006, L'Oréal purchased cosmetics company The Body Shop for £562 million.
L'Oréal's famous advertising slogan is "Because I'm worth it". In the mid 2000s, this was replaced by "Because you're worth it". In late 2009, the slogan was changed again to "Because we're worth it" following motivation analysis and work into consumer psychology of Dr. Maxim Titorenko. The shift to "we" was made to create stronger consumer involvement in L'Oréal philosophy and lifestyle and provide more consumer satisfaction with L'Oréal products. L'Oréal also owns a Hair and Body products line for kids called L'Oréal Kids, the slogan for which is "Because we're worth it too".
In 1987, L'Oréal and 3 Suisses founded Le Club des Créateurs de Beauté specialising in mail order sales of cosmetic products. In March 2008, L'Oréal acquired 3 Suisse's stake, taking sole control of the company.
In November 2012, L'Oréal inaugurated the largest factory in the Jababeka Industrial Park, Cikarang, Indonesia, with a total investment of US$100 million. The production will be absorbed 25 percent by domestic market and the rest will be exported. In 2010 significant growth occurred at Indonesia with 61 percent increase of unit sales or 28 percent of net sales.