L'Oreal Wants to Start 3D Printing Skin


Here, have a little weird futurism with your cosmetics! Apparently, L’Oreal is teaming up with a French “bioprinting” startup to develop 3D-printed skin for product testing. Very cool but speaking of skin, mine is crawling just a little.

That’s according to Bloomberg. You see, L’Oreal’s skin production sideline isn’t actually new. The company’s hunger for skinnnnn is such that, apparently, they already do “derma farming.” Now you’ve got your answer for how they dodge animal testing, I guess:

This isn’t L’Oreal’s first foray into skin production. Looking to avoid animal testing, the company started farming derma back in the 1980s. In Lyon, France, it runs lab facilities the size of three Olympic swimming pools, dedicated entirely to growing and analyzing human tissues. About 60 scientists work on site, growing more than 100,000 skin samples annually. That’s roughly five square meters of skin per year—or 54 square feet, about the equivalent of one cowhide. Each sample is 0.5 square centimeter in size. The fattest are 1 millimeter thick.

Skin farms. Little bits of skin specially grown for science. Amber waves of skinnnnnnnn. (Get even more detail from our pals at Gizmodo; just remember what’s seen cannot be unseen.)

But this process is labor-intense, and L’Oreal hopes to develop an easier process in partnership with Organovo, which is also working with Merck. The future is now! And it’s got an excess of lovingly farmed skin!

Photo via L’Oreal.

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