New developments in cosmetic testing

Last week saw the launch of a “full thickness human skin equivalent model” from Evocutis in the UK. According to the press release, “LabSkin is a unique human skin model comprised of both dermal and epidermal layers constructed from primary human cells (keratinocytes and fibroblasts). It exhibits a fully differentiated epidermal layer, which provides a completely dry surface for product testing. The robust nature of LabSkin enables transverse-sectioning and therefore molecular and histological analysis of the effects of cosmetic and pharmaceutical products on the human skin model at a cellular level.”

This is exciting news for the cosmetic manufacturing industry that is continuously coming under fire for reports of animal testing. Although the EU is working to ban animal testing for cosmetic reasons, viable alternatives are few and far between. According to Evocutis, “existing models mostly require very high levels of expertise for use, are often fragile and immersed in fluids, have limited barrier function, and offer a short test window.”

LabSkin has shown to be more robust, allowing product to be applied directly to the surface by hand, and displays a barrier function similar to that of human skin. “As such, it is very easy to use, which is further helped by the large surface area 4.5cm2, and has genuine longevity of use between 10 and 14 days. Additionally, it is possible to colonise LabSkin with naturally occurring micro-flora and bacteria to emulate various skin scenarios. This includes bacteria that are clinically unethical to test on humans, such as MRSA; C. difficile; and other life-threatening microbes.”

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