1984-2000 : Become number one in the beauty industry

Lancôme advertisement: Trésor

© Lancôme

Lancôme advertisement: Trésor

© Lancôme

These twelve years are marked by a great period of growth for L'Oréal, mainly driven by the significant investments made by the group in the field of research.

Alongside these efforts are strategic product launches that not only make history, but also succeed in strengthening the Group’s brand image.

In 1988, François Dalle's successor, the research and development pioneer Charles Zviak, hands over the reins of the company to Lindsay Owen-Jones, a truly outstanding director.

Under his management, the Group would completely change in scope to become the world leader in cosmetics through the worldwide presence of its brands and strategic acquisitions.



  • Biotherm creates skin care for men

    © Biotherm

    At long last, the first line of skincare products designed exclusively for men! Their refreshing, non-oily textures, specially adapted to male skin, their ergonomic shapes, and their straight-forward media campaign win men over throughout the world. A true pioneer in 1985, Biotherm Homme is today’s leader in men’s skincare products in more than 70 countries.
  • © Herb Ritts for Paloma Picasso

    With an eye to expanding its fragrance business, L’Oréal continues its strategy of collaborating with cutting-edge designers. It teams up with Paloma Picasso, fashion and jewellery designer, daughter of a symbolic figure and herself a charismatic spokeswoman of the 80s. She gives the fragrance her name, designs the bottle, selects its composition – a heady, distinguished chypré – and wraps it in red, her signature colour, unimaginable at the time in perfumery. She pulls it off masterfully: the brand is an instant success throughout the world.
  • Polo by Ralph Lauren in the L’Oréal stables

    © Bruce Weber for Polo

    L’Oréal obtains the Ralph Lauren licence, and continues the fabulous saga of Polo fragrances for men, created in 1978. The acquisition anchors L’Oréal’s position in the Luxury Products market in the United States and in luxury men’s fragrances.
  • © L'Oréal Archives

    At the forefront of new trends, L’Oréal embraces the style of the 80s. The street is bursting with endless sources of inspiration, hairstyles are let loose and become a mark of individual expression. L’Oréal therefore creates a complete line of hairstyling products: gels, mousses, sprays. Based on unique, innovative formulas, these products give everyone, regardless of age or hair type, the freedom to create their own style. It constitutes a veritable style toolbox, allowing users to become their own hairstylists. The result is tremendous worldwide success. Twenty-five years later, Studio Line retains its pioneering spirit, and remains in the avant-garde of hairstyling trends.


  • Biotherm creates skin care for men

    © Fabrizio Ferri for Lancôme

    Niosome, the first anti-ageing cream, will bring Lancôme into state-of-the-art skincare technology. Thanks to a formula patented by L’Oréal in 1980, for the first time ever, active ingredients are “vectorised”, that is, encapsulated in order to protect them and convey them to the epidermal layers where they are most effective.


  • With Vichy, drugstores takes an interest in men

    © L'Oréal Archives

    Capitalising on its strong presence in the network of pharmacies, Vichy launches a comprehensive range of skincare products for men, called Basic Homme.
  • Beauty for sale: The Club des Créateurs de Beauté

    © All rights reserved / L'Oréal Archives

    L’Oréal puts its energy behind a brand new distribution network: mail-order catalogues. Teaming up with Les 3 Suisses, one of Europe’s leading mail-order companies, the Group launches a catalogue of beauty products, known as Club des Créateurs de Beauté (Club of Beauty Creators). All the products are created by top designers such as make-up by Agnès B., haircare products by Jean-Marc Maniatis, to name but a few, and are the result of L’Oréal Research. In 2008, L’Oréal becomes the sole owner of CCB.


  • Lindsay Owen-Jones, named CEO at 42 years old

    © All rights reserved / L'Oréal Archives

    Under the leadership of this highly unconventional director, the Group undergoes a radical and profound transformation. Lindsay Owen-Jones takes what is essentially a French export company and turns it into an international group, operating in over 130 countries and present in all distribution networks. From a company producing primarily haircare products, he creates a more balanced range of activities, centred around 5 core businesses: hair colour, haircare, skincare, make-up, and perfume. From a plethora of national brands, he would create a portfolio of 23 international megabrands, designed to meet the needs of both women and men throughout the world. And from a group with an utterly “made-in-France” vision of beauty and elegance, he establishes a standard of diversity that embraces all types of ethnic needs, all levels of purchasing power, and all cultural expectations in the realm of beauty.


  • Acquisition of La Roche-Posay

    © La Roche-Posay

    L’Oréal consolidates its dermatological expertise and its presence in pharmacy networks with the acquisition of La Roche-Posay, a high-tech dermatological product recommended by dermatologists all over the world.
  • Helena Rubinstein Campaign

    © Igor Monsigna

    L’Oréal acquires Helena Rubinstein, the American brand of skincare products. This luxurious, innovative brand, created in the image of its famous founder, is already well positioned on the European, Japanese and South American markets. Rounding out the product range, the Group aims to position it as a flagship brand in its Luxury Products Division.
    Following Helena Rubenstein, L’Oréal signs a licensing contract with Giorgio Armani, allowing the company to promote this prominent name in fashion, synonymous with timeless elegance and prestige, in the area of beauty products and fragrance. These latest acquisitions enable L’Oréal to expand its international portfolio of luxury brands, together with the French brand, Lancôme and the US brand, Ralph Lauren.
  • L'Oréal supports the

    © Personal Care Products Council Foundation

    Cosmetics also serve a social need, as they can greatly help ill people to feel better about themselves. Therefore, L’Oréal is deeply invested in the programme developed in the United States by the Personal Care Products Council, which helps women cancer patients deal with the physical side-effects of their treatments. Today, the programme is carried out with support from L’Oréal in several European countries.


  • Lancôme advertisement: Trésor

    © Alain Buu / L'Oréal Archives

    After Ô and Magie Noire, Lancôme wants to pursue its saga as a great international perfumer and it launches Trésor. Worldwide success, rapid and spectacular: Trésor becomes the world's best selling perfume and is still today in the top 10 worldwide. This success is the result of a rare alchemy: the juice, an fragrant miracle of rose, peach and apricot flower, its precious bottle and the loving look of Isabella Rossellini in a Paris in sepia tones, filmed by Peter Lindbergh.