L’Oréal develops lab-produced human skin to restrict product testing on animals, other cosmetic firms follow suit

June 05, 2017

L’Oréal, the renowned French cosmetics company, has been developing artificial human skin for all its ingredient and product testing procedures prior to their distribution in the market. This Clichy headquartered company has reportedly been manufacturing dime-sized, jelly-like globs since a very long time to be used in the laboratories instead of experimenting with mice, rabbits, and other animals.

As per reliable sources, L’Oréal’s research team makes use of this lab engineered tissue to test the tolerance and effectiveness of the product. This has emerged in response to the hue and cry raised by numerous parties at opposite ends of the spectrum, questioning the unreliability and morality issue of using animals as testing prototypes. The matter has long since been debatable, and a controversial one at that. While proponents of the theory argue that testing cosmetic or medical drug products on animals clears out the safety factor and deems them reliable to be used on humans, opponents argue that the reactions of products on animals can be totally different from that on humans, and that the testing is potentially unreliable. The most strikingly different and popular opposition comes from animal rights activists and animal lovers, who state that it is ethically wrong to use animals as lab try-outs. The cosmetic and pharmaceuticals market specifically, have been the target of animal cruelty charges since decades.

Experts state that L’Oréal’s revelation of using EpiSkin, the glutinous skin blobs, is a conscious effort by the company to dispel all the allegations that have afflicted the cosmetic industry since ages. L'Oréal obtained a business license for EpiSkin biotechnology in the year 1997. Since then, the French firm has used the technology to test hundreds of finished products and even basic ingredients. As per reliable sources, popular products such as L’Oréal’s La Roche-Posay's Lipikar body milk and L'Oréal Paris pure clay mask have also undergone the testing process with EpiSkin.

L’Oréal’s top executives assert that the global scientific community has complete access to EpiSkin models so that academic and corporate R&D activities can be carried out across numerous professional domains without a hitch. One of EpiSkin’s popular pioneers is the famous Massachusetts based firm, MatTek, which was founded in the year 1985. In 1993, this company introduced EpiDerm, which today, is deemed by experts as a major competitor to EpiSkin.

L'Oréal is also planning to collaborate with Organovo, the renowned San Diego-based firm, to engineer 3-D bioprinting of human skin. L’Oréal’s top research experts state that the company also aims to develop technologies for the in-vitro 3D printing of hair follicles. In the event that this innovation turns out to be successful, the cosmetic industry is likely to witness a revolution that will remarkably propel the growth of scientific research and development services global market.

For the record, EpiSkin is also being sold heavily to myriad other pharmaceutical, cosmetics, household products, and chemical manufacturers, thereby turning out to be a lucrative revenue segment for L'Oréal.