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In vitro we trust

To complement the human volunteer and microbiology testing, we have started a programme of in vitro testing of the ingredients we use and the finished products we make.

XCellr8 - How We Test

By definition, in vitro tests occur outside a living organism - for instance in a test tube or a culture dish. Our in vitro tests use ethically-sourced human cells instead of animal cells and vegetable serum instead of bovine serum, making the whole process completely cruelty free.

The tests we use are a combination of OECD-approved, validated tests and newly developed tests, which we have chosen because we believe they provide the most accurate information.

We expect our testing choices to change over time, as new tests are developed and science progresses.

Many large companies do research using in vitro tests because the science is good, but still use animal tests when and where required by the authorities, without fighting back. These large companies have been reluctant to move away from their many years of animal testing results, and this has been supported in legislation. In actual fact, the animal test data is irrelevant.
We would like to see in vitro test data on the “material safety data sheets” of the raw materials we buy. Currently these always include historic animal test data, often just downloaded from the internet. This practice is accepted by law but is not relevant for us to assess safety, and can lead to suppliers not taking responsibility for the safety of their materials.

Our In Vitro Testing Programme update - 12th October 2020

Our in vitro testing programme is in its sixth year and includes both ingredients and finished products. We have now tested all of our fragrance components for Genotoxicity and Skin Sensitisation along with many of our other natural and synthetic raw materials. 

We have also tested a quarter of our current range of products for Genotoxicity and around a fifth of these for Skin Sensitisation.

The Genotoxicity test tells us whether a material or product has the potential to cause cancer and Skin Sensitisation tests help us to understand if an ingredient or product may cause allergic reactions.

We have also carried out tests for skin and eye irritation.

We are continually testing new ingredients and working closely with XCellR8 to develop new tests that give us more detailed information about the safety of our ingredients and our products; completely animal-free.

As we expand our knowledge, we can be more confident about the safety of our ingredients. The results for our raw materials and fragrance components are now used as part of the safety assessment carried out on all our products. Thanks to these results we can provide safety assessments that are completely free from animal data.


Comment (1)
1 Comment

about 6 months ago

Hi, thanks for this info. One question: where do your human cells come from? Are human embryos used at any stage? Thank you.