In vivo, ex vivo and in vitro cosmetics testing protocols

Development of more accurate and reproducible testing protocols was on many researchers’ minds at IFSCC

In vitro cell culture. Photo by Umberto Salvagnin via Wikimedia Commons

Every year, cosmetic scientists, dermatologists and representatives from leading cosmetics, fragrance and personal care companies gather to discuss the year’s most important developments in the field. The 2015 International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists IFSCC Conference: ‘More facts, less illusions’, took place on 21-23 September in Zurich, hosted by the Swiss Society of Cosmetic Chemists, with more than 600 attendees from 40 countries.

This year’s meeting did not disappoint, with presentations on a wide range of key areas, including several on advances in skin science and hair biology; how to best visualise skin cells and layers; a comparison of in vivo, ex vivo and in vitro analysis methods; and increased understanding of several complex regeneration systems, Erika Hatva reports.

Researchers in the cosmetics and personal care fields aim to test products in systems that are as close as possible to living test subjects, while being able to control and manipulate conditions and environment, and always aim to increase the sensitivity and accuracy of their test protocols. In vitro testing, of course, is well established, and offers great flexibility. However, it is difficult to replicate in vitro the complex pathways present in a live test subject. In vivo tests address this issue, but lack consistency and reproducibility.

Development of more accurate and reproducible testing protocols, such as via the live capture of multiple types of information from the skin and subcutaneous layers, and was on many researchers’ minds at IFSCC.

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