SILAB AT 30
The biofermentation project has been 10 years in the making at Silab. The operation currently employs 30 people and
there is plenty of room for growth.
But regardless of whether a product is produced via chemical or biotechnological processes, all of the materials are manufactured at Silab’s single 10,000m2 site in Brive-la Gaillarde,
which boasts three production units and the aforementioned
biofermentation unit. Although the company also has offices in
the US, China, Brazil and Singapore, all manufacturing takes
place in France—which better ensures product quality and efficacy, according to company executives.
In vitro and in vivo tests are conducted on-site, too. Silab
can measure 75 parameters on 1,200 test subjects from the local
community. In the lab, Silab carries out as many as 38 in vitro
studies a week and more than 1,800 each year. The company
also cryopreserves 35 billion human cells for future research.
To prove product efficacy, the company has a wide array of
imaging equipment, including raman spectroscopy and confocal microscopy. In fact, in one year alone, Silab generated 23,000
And yet, for all that firepower, Gaillard notes that at its core,
Silab’s success is due to its staff. Among the company’s 250 employees, 33% serve in the R&D group. Moreover, it’s a young,
energetic and well-educated team. The average employee age at
Silab is 34, 55% are women and 80% have at least two years of
higher education. To keep learning and growing, the company
dedicates 8% of its payroll to continuing education.
“We want to attract young people from the best schools. We
hire them, train them and help them. (As a result) we have close
to zero staff rotation,” noted Paufique.
At the same time, the company aggressively courts experts
from outside its corporate walls.
“There are two kinds of research, advanced and applied,”
observed Paufique. “Silab is very good at applied research, but
you need both and that is why we collaborate.”
For example, in its home market, the company has teamed
up with INSERM, the French Institute of Health and Medical
Research. Outside France, Silab recently began collaborating
with dermatologist Peter Elias of the University of California,
Throughout its history, Silab has patented more than 200
products and studied more than 900 raw materials, all in an
effort to uncover active materials that truly benefit cosmetic
“It could take four years to move from concept to finished
product,” noted Paufique. “The science is what drives us. Merely
having a nice story about a nice plant won’t hold up over that
four year span.”
That drive can be found in its employees and its chairman.
“Innovation is what keeps me motivated every day,” explained Paufique, who continues to come to work every day. “I
always have new ideas and new projects.”
One of those projects that is close to his heart is The Silab
Jean Paufique Foundation, which supports fundamental and
applied research dedicated to the diagnosis, prognosis and
treatment of skin pathologies, especially skin cancer. Paufique’s
philanthropic efforts have been widely recognized, but he is
most proud of receiving the Croix de Chevalier de la Légion
d’Honneur—the highest decoration in France—from President
François Hollande in 2013.
Very impressive, especially when one considers that Paufique
founded Silab when most people are contemplating retirement.
“I am happy to come to work every day and work with the
Silab team,”explained Paufique.“That’s what keeps me young!”
With a full pipeline of projects and anti-aging ingredients,
Silab is well positioned to keep consumers around the world
looking young, too.• Silab boasts an array of equipment to ensure the efficacy of its products.
Product purity is ensured via a sterile filtration room.