Did you ever think what cosmetic research and testing looks like? No, not animal testing — we have never done that and it has been prohibited in EU countries for many years. Safety and efficiency testing conducted in our laboratory: in vitro, in vivo, tests with probands... What route does a cosmetic product follow before it gets on a shelf?

In Lirene Science Laboratory we start with in vitro tests. This way we check whether a compound is safe for isolated skin cells and how it impacts the cells. And this is just the beginning of long, costly research into safety and effectiveness of a cosmetic product. In vitro tests are followed by numerous product formula tests in our Technology and Microbiology Laboratory. Having confirmed that a prototype cosmetic product works they way we wish and that it’s safe and effective, we can proceed with testing the end product. First, we check on in vitro tests what the skin irritation potential of the product is or, in other words, we assess the risk of skin irritation. Our research is carried out on epidermis models (Yes, that’s right! Artificial skin can imitate real skin quite well) in keeping with the EU protocol for alternatives to animal testing. Only after this is complete do we start dermatological tests on volunteers, or probands. The volunteers are selected based on a product we are to test — there is no point in testing a 60+ cream on a 20-year-old girl. Application tests are carried out under the supervision of dermatologists. Frequently, clinical trials are double-blind studies. Dermatologists assess the safety of a product where it was applied, in other words, they check carefully whether the product causes irritation in patients who use it exactly in the way which will be prescribed in the end product usage guidelines. Moreover, during application tests we verify the effectiveness and performance of cosmetic products. These are instrumental analyses which help determine product effects in an objective way, for example anti-wrinkle, moisturizing and firming effects. In these analyses we use cutting-edge, specialised equipment which allows, for example, to measure wrinkle depth with great precision. Additionally, volunteers who participate in a study fill out a survey to assess product effects and characteristics of application.

This is just a short summary of the whole cosmetic safety testing procedure. The tests are very complicated and time-consuming, have multiple stages and require significant financial resources. We pay special attention to them because we want to be 100% sure that every skin care product which makes it to the stores is absolutely safe and effective as confirmed by our research.

None of the stages of product development involve animal testing. Lirene has never tested or commissioned any testing on animals and we are fully against it. This applies to both cosmetics and their ingredients. All raw materials we use to produce our cosmetics come with a producer’s certificate which confirms that no animal testing was done during their manufacturing process. Since 2004, testing cosmetic products on animals and selling animal-tested products has been prohibited in the European Union. And since 2013, there has been a ban on testing cosmetic ingredients on animals as well. We do not sell our products in foreign markets where animal testing is required.

Our own research and development facilities and staff are very important for the development of modern cosmetic products. Looking for new active components and synergistic combinations is like developing new medication. A lot of research is done across several fields: medicine, pharmacy, molecular biology, biotechnology and many, many others. More often than not analyses are conducted by interdisciplinary teams. That’s because biotechnology is the feature of cosmetology. We work with many biotechnology experts in order to search and create active ingredients as well as study their safety and efficiency.