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L’Oreal to Use 3D-Printed Skin for Testing?

L’Oreal to Use 3D-Printed Skin for Testing?

Cosmetic company L’Oreal is teaming up with 3D-printing company Organovo to completely revolutionise how cosmetics are tested – with 3D-printed skin!

Of course, we don’t advocate animal testing, and L’Oreal claims not to have tested on any of its products on animals since 2013. So, how does it make sure its products are fit for use on people’s skin?

L’Oreal has been engineering tissue in a lab for more than 30 years, growing human skin from donations from plastic surgery patients. At the moment, the company makes more than 100,000 samples of skin each year, with nine different varieties that cover different ethnicities and ages.

Unfortunately, these samples are only 0.5cm², and take a week to produce.

If you think about how much skin the company would need to test all of its different skincare products, you would realise that a week is a very long time for something like that to be produced.

But what L’Oreal is planning with Organovo is going to change all that, and make the whole process go a lot quicker – by 3D-printing human skin.

Organovo has previously said that it was capable of 3D-printing a functioning human liver, using a slightly different method of printing organs than other companies have tried. Instead of using a scaffolding system, Organovo’s method allows for direct assembly.

Guive Balooch is the Director for L’Oreal’s connected Beauty Incubator and Global VP of the company’s Technology Incubator. In a press release, he explained that the Technology Incubator was developed to uncover innovations that could potentially transform the beauty business.

So while partnering up with Organovo might seem like a strange move, especially as the 3D-printer hasn’t been connected with a cosmetics company before, it does explain a little more how this came to be.

“Organovo has broken new ground with 3D-bioprinting, an area that complements L’Oreal’s pioneering work in the research and application of reconstructed skin,” Mr Balooch pointed out.

He added that the partnership will also hopefully advance safety and performance evaluations in the lab, and “the potential for where this new fields of technology and research can take us is boundless”.

Of course, using this new method will further reduce the need for testing cosmetic products on animals, and it is hoped that other companies in the industry will follow suit.

“We are excited to be partnering with L’Oreal,” said Organovo CEO Keith Murphy. “[Its] leadership in the beauty industry is rooted in scientific innovation and a deep commitment to research and development.”

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