Cosmetic testing using cells will soon replace animal testing.

How will you prepare?

We are moving towards a world that no longer uses animals for cosmetic development and testing. Due to governmental and public pressure, the global cosmetic formulation and testing process is slowly shifting away from animal testing. Human cells and skin tissue models will eventually replace animals as the primary model for cosmetic testing.

Future-Proof Your Lab With Cell-Based Testing

Will this new formulation cause toxicity? Will it irritate the skin? Will it affect cellular metabolism? Is it anti-aging? To find these answers in cell-based models require the use of cell-based assays. Cell-based assays are specifically designed to uncover the biochemical pathways responsible for cosmetic compound effects. This may involve cell health, oxidative or chemical stress, energy metabolism, epigenetics and cell signaling pathways. By establishing cell-based testing in your lab, you will be prepared for the future of cosmetic testing and empowered with a deeper understanding of the underlying biology of beauty.

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Explore resources below on cellular pathways affected by cosmetic formulations:

Cell Viability

Cosmetic compound treatment could cause reduced cell viability, which indicates it may cause toxicity. Viability assays measure the number of live cells by detecting biomarkers that decline upon cell death. An increase of the viability marker indicates cell proliferation, while a decrease indicates cell death. Viability assays are often multiplexed with cytotoxicity assays for a more definitive analysis of cell growth or death.


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Cell Culture Preparation and Plating

Watch this video to learn the procedure for culturing and plating cells for use in cell-based assays.


The hallmark of cell death is loss of plasma membrane integrity. Therefore, cytotoxicity assays can detect cell death using markers that are accessible after plasma membrane damage caused by cosmetic compounds.

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CellTox™ Green Cytotoxicity Assay

Watch this video to learn about a real-time cytotoxicity assay with multiplexing capability.

3D cell viability assay

Determining Drug Hepatotoxicity in 3D Cell Cultures

Read this article to learn how one team finds answers about drug toxicity using an assay based on LDH release.


Apoptosis is a form of programmed cell death and can be observed by measuring the appearance of various markers after cosmetic compound treatment.

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Introduction to Apoptosis

What happens to cells undergoing apoptosis? Watch this video to learn about the extrinsic apoptosis pathway.

Intrinsic Triggering of Apoptosis

How does DNA damage initiate apoptosis? Watch this video to learn about the intrinsic apoptotic pathway.

detecting apoptosis in real time

Detecting Apoptosis in Real Time

Learn about a sensitive method to study apoptosis and secondary necrosis in real time using a plate-reader.


Inflammation is a protective response to external stimuli, such as cosmetic compounds. When activated, innate immune cells respond to stimuli with the formation of protein complexes called inflammasomes. This leads to caspase-1 activation, which stimulates processing and release of the cytokines IL-1β and IL-18, eventually causing pyroptosis—an immunogenic form of programmed cell death.

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Reporter Assay

Cosmetic compounds can influence various biological pathways. Reporter assays are a simple way to determine whether gene expression, signal transduction or protein function is affected after compound treatment.

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Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress results from an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the capacity to eliminate ROS and repair oxidative damage. Oxidative stress can be induced by cosmetic compounds that are chemical oxidants, inhibitors of antioxidant activities or uncouplers of mitochondrial function.

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Is your lab ready to test without animals?

Contact us to find your cell-based solutions. We're here to help!

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