One of the most pervasive criticisms of the cosmetic industry is that it tests on animals. In fact, when people learn that I made cosmetics for a living a frequent question is, “do you test on animals?”
No, I’ve never tested on animals (except myself). I think this is the case for most cosmetic chemists. However, it is disingenous to say that the products are not tested on animals. Most aren’t, but nearly every raw material used in cosmetic products has been tested on animals. This is why I’m always troubled by “cruelty free” claims. Everyone is “cruelty free.”
Anyway, the bad press, bad public opinion, high cost and scientist’s genuine desire to minimize the number of animals which get tested on has led to the development of alternatives. These are primarily in-vitro skin cultures which can mimick human skin.
Here is one of the latest technologies that has been developed Evocutis. They have launched the first skin model for the testing of anti-microbial and pre-biotic product claims. The skin model actually simulates the epidermal and the dermal layers of skin.
It remains to be seen whether this technology will replace any real animal tests (it takes time to validate) but it certainly seems like progress.
Stay tuned for more developments in this area…