Five Minutes with… Marie-Laure Simonin Braun

We catch up with the CEO of PAYOT

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Marie-Laure Simonin Braun.

Marie-Laure Simonin Braun joined PAYOT as CEO in 2015. She graduated from the Paris College of Pharmacy as Pharm,D. and Ph,D. in Cosmetology and Skin Biology. She started her career in the beauty sector 30 years ago and has leverage her scientific and business skills through various executive positions. Before joining PAYOT, she worked for LVMH and Johnson & Johnson in business development, international marketing and BU management and then as COO of the Private Equity owned Dessange Int'l Group.

Have you always been interested in skin care?

I have always had a special connection to skin and beauty. I chose to post-graduate in skin pharmacology after my Pharm.D. Today, after 30 years in the beauty industry working with global beauty brands, I’m thrilled to be in charge of a company dedicated to skincare, blending beauty and medicine; my two favorite topics.

How has your background in skin biology helped you to excel in your current role?

My background has given me the ability to have a precise understanding of the latest scientific research and be able to coordinate the product development team to bring innovation to life faster.

What sets PAYOT apart from its competitors?

PAYOT benefits from a strong legacy: a founder who was one of the first female doctors, products formulated “à la Française”, a pioneer spirit to consider movement and well-being as pillars of its concept. These assets have allowed PAYOT to be successful in various channels of distribution. It gives the brand a doctor legitimacy in pharmacy, a strong anchorage in the spa business, true success stories within selective retail and enough agility to explore online opportunities. These strengths had allowed PAYOT to take a smooth shift from multichannel to omnichannel.

Do you feel that consumers are becoming more conscious about ingredients?

Consumers worldwide are more educated, and more conscious about ingredients in products in general. They no longer take brand claims for granted, even if the product value is still first determined on efficiency.

They are using comparative apps and social networks to communicate and share good or bad product experiences and reviews – consumers are inclined to buy products with good reviews matching their own personal criteria of efficiency and safety.

Do you feel the men’s skin care sector is starting to catch up?

Men’s skin care is finally achieving the success which has been predicted for a long time, although it remains a relatively small segment of the beauty sector. Men understand a good look is an advantage in life and within the workplace and brands should propose products that match men’s lifestyle and shopping habits. PAYOT men’s range Optimale has taken good market share worldwide and counts many loyal consumers.

What would you say are your best-selling products?

Pâte Grise L’originale, is a product that launched 70 years ago. It’s a best-seller and a market reference for acne prone-skin and pimples.

Do you have any new launches coming up?

We are launching BlueTchni Liss, the new PAYOT slow-age line. The products are designed to fight wrinkles and digital pollution and the line contains several forms of hyaluronic acid and plant extracts targeting wrinkles and fighting free radicals created by excess exposure to blue light.

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