The Cure for Puffy Eyes (and 5 More Innovations)
For the past 25 years, the cosmetics giant L'Oréal has tested its products on skin produced from human donor cells to avoid animal testing. But last year L'Oréal went a step further, partnering with the 3-D bioprinting company Organovo, creator of such science fiction–like innovations as 3-D printed human organ tissue, to develop a process for producing 3-D bioprinted skin tissue. Here's how it works: The bioprinted tissue starts as an inky liquid made of donor skin cells and nutrient-rich ingredients that keep the cells alive, says Guive Balooch, global vice president of L'Oréal's Technology Incubator. Using a standard 3-D printer, the skin is printed layer by layer into small, circular reservoirs before it's placed inside an incubator to develop for a few weeks.
The speed and precision of this technology allows for more accurate testing of products' safety and efficacy. Future developments could also lead to the production of skin samples with different levels of pigmentation and other variations like texture, resulting in a range of product formulas so diverse, you could practically get a custom fit. Outside the beauty industry, the technology has the potential to transform the fields of plastic surgery and wound care.
In the meantime: Kiehl's has recently introduced Apothecary Preparations (Kiehls.com for locations), a concentrate customized at the skincare counter to address individual complexion concerns.