The end of animal testing? In vitro testing.

Your skin is a critically important organ. It’s also very sensitive. So how do the makers of skin care products ensure they aren’t inadvertently damaging the skin of their customers each time they introduce a new formulation? 

For many years, the answer has been to test chemicals on animals before they are released for sale to humans. Yet animal testing is a controversial process that many find repugnant. 

That’s why it’s good to learn of a new skin sensitization test that could do away with clinical trials on animals. Kao and Shiseido have developed a technique that enables substances to be tested in vitro, using human immune cells. 

The human Cell Line Activation Test (h-CLAT) is described in an OECD paper and further explained in this news story

h-CLAT" is an alternative method for evaluating the skin sensitization to chemicals in an accurate and prompt manner with lower cost based on the system in which two types of proteins (CD86*3 and CD54*4 ) increase on the cell surface of the human acute monocytic leukemia cell line, THP-1.

With Europe prohibiting all animal testing for cosmetic products, we can expect further development of sophisticated in-vitro tests to ensure the safety of skin care products.