According to European Union (EU)
policies, all finished cosmetics or personal care products and their
ingredients are required to go through safety testing. In the past, safety
testing has been done using live animals. This has changed as EU policies over
the past decade have encouraged alternative methods, such as cell-based tests.
In 2013, the EU banned the marketing of cosmetic products that contain
animal-tested ingredients. This further emphasizes the need for cell-based methods.
Cell-based assays can be used to understand how cosmetic compounds affect human
cell physiology. Potential effects include changes in cell health, oxidative or
chemical stress, energy metabolism, epigenetics and cell signaling.