Yeah, I had to do a double take of that head line when I first read it, too. It sound's like something from a sci-fi film sent in 2156, but no, were talking about right here, right now, 2015. L'Oreal have teamed up with a bio-engineering company - Organovo - to print 3D human skin.
I've been doing abit of research about 3D printing for my job, it's influencing and impacting a massive number of market sectors, but I didn't realise it went any further than printing plastic models.
Turns out, Organovo claim that they have cracked 3D printing from plastic to living cells and have printed a fully functioning human liver. Wait, what?! That's serious next level crazy science shit. Like seriously, that's going to completely change the world we live in. No more waiting on transplant lists, endless amounts of replacement human parts at the fingertips of anyone with a 3D Printer - but how will L'Oreal use this?
I can understand that this will do wonders for the medical world, but a cosmetics company is not one of the first I'd imaging to get involved in developing this technology. But on second thoughts, it makes complete sense. More and more companies are becoming more ethical in their practices, as more and more consumers are dead set against animal testing, so using methods like this to test cosmetics seems like the safest and most ethical way to get round it,
Something even stranger to me is that L'Oreal already do something really close to this anyway. They currently grow skin in order to test as closely as possible the effects that their cosmetics products would have on human skin, I'm not sure which method creeps me out more.
But a fascinating step in the cosmetic industry - maybe soon animal testing will be a complete thing of the past, and 3D printing will become a standard for cosmetics testing.
You can read more about this developing technology and how L'Oreal plan to use it here.