TECH

L'Oreal To Begin 3D Printing Skin In A Bid To Convince You Of Your Worth

19/05/2015 16:38 BST | Updated 19/05/2015 16:59 BST

Human skin is a part of the body that you never want to see without its owner, much like other human tissue.

It's the reason that whenever we're reminded dust is actually 'us' we come over all shivery. We imagine the same probably applies to the sight of 3D printed human skin lying around in a lab.

L'Oreal lab employees will soon have to get over any squeamishness as the firm is partnering with Organovo, a bioprinting startup based in San Diego, US to print human skin.

The point of the partnership is to make skin production a more time efficient process.

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So far, the cosmetics giant has been growing skin in a large lab in Lyon, France producing around 100,000 samples of skin every year, roughly enough to cover an entire cow.

It takes one week to produce a sample of skin that is half a square centimetre wide and one millimetre thick, which is a long time given the amount of skin L'Oreal needs to test its ever growing range of skincare products.

loreal makeup

Organovo's 3D printer works like a regular printer with two heads, one to place humans cells in and the other for a material that acts as a scaffold.

Guive Balooch, Global Vice President of L'Oreal's Technology Incubator said: "Our partnership will not only bring about new advanced in vitro methods for evaluating product safety and performance, but the potential for where this new field of technology and research can take us is boundless."

Regardless of all the time-saving benefits, the idea of a printer spewing skin instead of ink is still odd but clearly the firm think it'll be worth it.