In the world of cosmetics, evaluation makes it possible to ensure the safety and effectiveness of products and their ingredients. An area in which L'Oréal is a pioneer, in particular thanks to its expertise in the reconstruction of human skin for over 30 years. With reconstructed skin models, by reproducing the structure and by optimally imitating the conditions for application of products, it is possible to"predict" certain human physiological reactions. A fabulous tool on which a thousand formulas and hundreds of ingredients are tested every year, and which made it possible to stop testing finished products on animals since 1989 (14 years before it became a legal obligation). Today, the new center in Gerland, near Lyon, France, dedicated to predictive evaluation, produces 130,000 units of reconstructed tissue every year.
A new era for the science of evaluation
These reconstructed models of skin and other tissue, such as the cornea, are now industrialized and integrated into a global predictive approach that uses a range of sophisticated tools and techniques: modeling of molecules, expert systems and statistical tools, imagery methods, robotized platforms... Thanks to these new tests and to the knowledge L'Oréal has accumulated for over a century, it became possible to predict the safety and effectiveness of an ingredient - and the product that contains it - before it has even been synthesized! The center for predictive evaluation in Gerland is at the heart of an international network that extends from France to Asia, (Pudong), where the first Asian skins were reconstructed in 2010.
The fabulous story of reconstructed skin
At the start of the 1980s, in L'Oréal's laboratories near Paris, a young biologist successfully reconstructed a human epidermis. Since then, reconstructed skin models have gradually became more complex and present characteristics that are increasingly close to human skin in its natural state. They enable us to evaluate, prior to the development of products, the safety and effectiveness of their component ingredients. They also serve in the selection of new active ingredients to fight against aging of the skin, pigmentation, and sun damage, for example. They continue to provide answers to many questions asked by researchers about the mysteries of the skin. Today, L'Oréal has a dozen skin and other tissue models (cornea, gingiva and pulmonary mucosa).