UK-based laboratory XCellR8 has developed an entirely cruelty-free alternative testing method, without recourse to any animal components based on skin samples donated by those who have undergone plastic surgery, according to a report published by Reuters.
“For skin irritation testing, the cells are isolated from human skin that has been donated by people who have had plastic surgery… So human cells are isolated from those skin samples and they’re grown in the laboratory,” XCellR8 Founder Carol Treasure told Reuters. “What you end up with is an artificial piece of skin in the laboratory where, if you cut a cross section through, it is almost identical to real skin on the body. It even has a skin barrier so you can apply full cosmetic formulations to the surface. And what we do is then incubate those skin models with samples of cosmetic products or ingredients and then we can look at how much damage is being done to the skin over a period of time.”
The lab’s method eradicates the need for any animal components throughout the process, replacing bovine serum with human serum for its human-sensitivity test, and horse serum and rat liver extract with their human equivalents to evaluate genotoxicity.
“XCellR8 are pioneers in humane testing solutions. They are leading the way in ensuring more and more new test methods that are completely cruelty free are available to ethical companies,” Katy Taylor, Director of Science at Cruelty Free International told Reuters.