Bioderma needs little introduction. Available in Australia since 2013, the French brand is perceived as experts in the booming global dermocosmetics sector, with products catering to all skin types and conditions. Supported by 33,000 dermatologists worldwide, Bioderma is recommended by pharmacies and used by makeup artists in more than 80 countries. It has also built up an elite celebrity fan base, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Margot Robbie, Victoria Beckham, Lara Stone and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.

But Bioderma is not a standalone brand. It is one of three leading pillars of NAOS, one of the largest independent French beauty companies, alongside the Etat Pur and Institut Esthederm brands. Founded by visionary pharmacist and biologist, Jean-Noel Thorel, the company’s main approach to skincare adheres to the belief that the skin is an ever-evolving eco-system and should be treated correctly to function properly by reinforcing its natural mechanisms.

The first Bioderma and Institut Esthederm products were launched in the late 1970s, but the brands were merged into a cohesive company called NAOS in 2016, together with Etat Pur. Today, NAOS has opened more than 40 affiliates around the world and its products are sold in 130 countries.

Rapid Expansion/Storied Skincare History

NAOS is going through rapid expansion, says Naomi Shorman, Country Manager for NAOS in Australia. “We saw that Australian consumers had a high spend on beauty and skincare because of the widespread prevalence of skin conditions such as eczema and sensitivity. Even though Bioderma is available through a distributor, we decided to set up an Australian office in Melbourne in March 2020.”

Shorman has a strong background in the beauty industry for building successful brands and businesses in Australia and the UK. Over the past 10 years, she has held senior executive positions at L’Oréal Australia, Unilever and Kao. “Because the Australian office is so new, I regard the business as a start-up and our team is committed and passionate about growing our brands in Australia. NAOS has long-term ambitions in the Australian market to invest and gain trust and credibility with consumers, retailers and the medical community.”

NAOS and Bioderma, in particular, have an amazing history says Shorman. “The brand’s world-first micellar cleansing water, Sensibio H2O, is a cult product and one bottle is sold every single second worldwide. Almost one million Australians suffer from some level of eczema and one in three children are sufferers and acne is a widespread problem. We focus strongly on our key Bioderma ranges:  Sensibio for sensitive and reactive skin, Sebium for oily, acne or blemish-prone skin, Atoderm for those with dry skin and eczema, Cicabio for repair and Hydrabio for hydration.”

Covid-19 has affected all our lives, including how the skin is reacting to the new environment and the increased wearing of masks, which has led to a surge in blemish-prone and dehydrated skin, adds Shorman. “One of our most exciting recent launches is Bioderma Sensibio Defensive Active Soothing Cream. Formulated for sensitive and sensitised skin, it contains our patented defensive technology, which includes antioxidants and Vitamin E. The formula soothes the skin whilst also strengthening its natural defenses and breaking the cycle that aggravates the skin.

“We have launched a new campaign for Sebium Actif Foaming Gel Cleanser, a unique formula suitable for acne and blemish-prone skin, which incorporates a combination of glycolic and salicylic acid to provide a deep cleanse. Targeted at acne breakouts, the formulation also contains a mild surfactant which ensures the skin’s barrier is protected”.

Etat Pur – Personalised Skincare at Affordable Prices

The biggest initiative of the year for NAOS was the launch of its Etat Pur, French for Pure State, brand in October. First launched in 2011, the brand’ s mission is to provide skincare formulas which have minimal, scientifically-proven ingredients that can be personalised to provide whatever the skin needs at affordable prices. Etat Pur is a market disrupter, prioritising product development and focusing on online sales, says Shorman. ” In the Australian market, we debuted on Lookfantastic and, Australia’s largest haircare and skincare online store. We are also in discussions with other major e-tailers.”

We are also working with Script Skincare, founded by Professor Greg Goodman, the internationally renowned dermatologist, she adds. “It’s a great alignment for Etat Pur because of our shared values”.

Australia is one of only eight international markets to launch Etat Pur, which also has vegan and clean credentials. NAOS describes the brand’s products as new generation skincare and its products are in perfect affinity with the skin for better tolerability and absorption. From over 30,000 ingredients traditionally used in the wider dermocosmetic market, the brand uses only 300 which are compatible with its purity, quality, safety and traceability principles.

Science-Backed, Targeted Solutions with Eco-Biology Principles

Our formulas work and can be trusted because they are thoroughly researched and developed according to eco-biology principles, says Shorman. “There are two main ranges – Biomimetic Skincare and Pure Actives. The Biomimetic lineup is the first complete skincare range designed to perfectly mimic the skin, cleansing and moisturising while preserving the skin’s natural resources. Bestsellers include the Purifying Cleansing Gel for combination skin, Moisturising Eye Contour Fluid and Melting Moisturising Cream, which provides intense and long-lasting hydration”.

Etat Pur’s Pure Actives range offers personalised, targeted solutions selected to correct major skin issues such as wrinkles, loss of firmness, hyper-sensitivity, dehydration and blemishes. They are used on clean skin before moisturising and allow consumers to customise their skincare routines, says Shorman. “Consumers can go online, tap into their skin condition or problem and the right product is ‘prescribed’ for them. Each results-driven product offers dermatologically-approved and an optimal dose of ingredients.”

The Salicylic Acid 2% Pure Active, for example, is an extremely effective treatment for blemishes and blackheads. Citric Acid AHA Pure Active helps to promote radiance. While Hyaluronic Acid Pure Active helps to reduce fine lines and hydrate the skin. Once a consumer has personalised their skincare routine online in three easy steps, says Shorman, they achieve an effective treatment to provide the skin with what it needs. ” Nothing more. Nothing Less.”

We want to engage Etat Pur consumers on their buying journey through personalisation, continuous customer feedback and exciting new products in the months to come, says Shorman. “Our business model not only builds brand loyalty and client advocacy, it also drives repeat purchases. Our laser focus on personalisation builds customer profiles on skin type, environment, lifestyle and preferences to deliver bespoke care at affordable prices ranging from $22 to $52.”

The core belief of NAOS is that when the skin suffers, in addition to treating concerns, it should be taught to live according to its natural biology. With over 50 patents and new discoveries, we are able to position ourselves as one of the leading experts in dermo-cosmetics through all our brands – Bioderma, Etat Pur and Institut Esthederm – says Shorman. “All of our products are backed by science and we are 100 per cent transparent about what goes into our products. Consumers of all ages are looking for prevention over cure products and minimalism to keep their skin as healthy and balanced as possible. That’s what we provide with maximum benefits.”

NAOS – Ahead of its Time

  • NAOS was founded by Jean-Noel Thorel, a visionary French pharmacist and biologist.
  • In 1977, he founded CEREDAP (Centre d Etudes et de Recherche en Esthetique et Dermatologie Appliquee), a research centre where he created the first Bioderma product.
  • A year later, he debuted Institut Esthederm, the highly acclaimed anti-ageing and suncare brand.
  • Following the invention of a revolutionary micellar water technology, Bioderma launched its world-first micellar cleansing water – Sensibio H2O – in 1995
  • In 2001, the company opened its first affiliate outside France in Italy and today operates 40 worldwide.
  • NAOS officially came into being in 2016, following the merger of the Bioderma, Etat Pur and Institut Esthederm brands. Today, it is one of the leading independent French beauty companies.

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This article was first published in the Summer issue of Retail Beauty.

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