SkinEthic's non-animal skin irritation test gains ECVAM validation

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

A new skin irritation test from SkinEthic Laboratories has been validated for use by the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods.

The Reconstructed Human Epidermis (RHE) test can replace the in vivo​ Draize rabbit skin test to test the irritation and corrosive potential of cosmetic ingredients and products.

With the ban on animal testing coming ever closer, it is important for companies to find reliable alternatives, and according to SkinEthic, the RHE will help reduce animal use in cosmetics testing.

Good overall accuracy

RHE has an overall accuracy of 85 per cent according to the company, with a false positive rate of 20 and a false negative rate of 10.

With a 42 minute exposure time and a 42 hour incubation time, the model is easy and ready to use, according to SkinEthic.

The France-based company also provides the EpiSkin model which was validated by ECVAM last year.

Like the RHE model, EpiSkin can be used to identify the potential for skin irritation of chemicals and cosmetics, as well as skin corrosion, percutaneous absorption, bacterial adhesion and pharmacology and toxicological studies.

EpiSkin was originally brought to the company’s portfolio by L’Oreal, when the cosmetics giant purchased SkinEthic back in 2006.

However, the addition of the RHE test to the company’s portfolio is not designed to replace the prior validate EpiSkin, explained SkinEthic’s Alain Alonso.

Different customer bases explain the concurrent existence of the two tests, he said, and if both continue to be successful, both will be kept on the books.

The company is also currently compiling its own data to highlight the robustness of both tests, to further generate consumer trust in its performance in a wide range of situations and chemicals, Alonso added.

ECVAM also validated the modified Epiderm Skin Irritation Test (SIT) from US-based MatTek.

Increasing the test time of the original SIT test from 15 to 60 minutes, increased the sensitivity of the test and gained it full validation from the European authorities.

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