L’Oreal, The Cosmetic Giant, Is 3D Printing Its Own Human Skin To Test Cosmetic Products

PictureL’Oreal plans to use Organovo’s NovoGen Bioprinting Platform to print skin tissue for cosmetic product testing. Instead of relying on a predictive model that utilizes a “Reconstructed Human Epidermis”, L’Oreal plans to use Organovo’s 3D skin printing platform to ensure that its products are safe.

The process identifies the compositional elements of the targeted tissue by creating a formulated bio-ink. The tissue is then built into vertical layers. Skin-printing technology has previously been suggested as a way to create a quicker healing process for facial injuries and burns.This isn’t the first time L’Oreal has dabbled in skin production. To avoid animal testing, the cosmetic company started farming derma back in the 1980s.

Guive Balooch, Global VP of L’oreal’s tech incubator says,
“We’re the first beauty company Organovo has worked with. We create an environment that’s as close as possible to being inside someone’s body, because the skin has different layers and you have to grow them in succession.” 

With the skin produced,  L’Oreal sells nearly half of it’s production to pharmaceutical companies and rivals in the cosmetics industry. L’Oreal wouldn’t disclose prices but told Bloomberg in 2011 that samples cost €62 ($70.62). There are nine different skin varieties available that cover a range of ages and ethnicities.
PictureOrganovo has previously partnered with biopharmaceutical companies and medical research centers, but this is its first time partnering with the beauty and cosmetics industry. Additionally, Organovo is currently working with pharmaceutical industry giant Merck to print liver and kidney tissues.

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