This Makeup Company Is Quietly Growing Skin

Photo: George Steinmetz/Corbis

L’Oréal has a new cash crop beyond moisturizer: skin. Bloomberg reports that the company, which owns brands such as L’Oréal Paris, Urban Decay, and YSL Beauty, is partnering with start-up Organovo to 3-D print “living, breathing derma.” According to Bloomberg, it’s a move by L’Oréal to beef up its already-existing skin-growing operations. Currently, over 60 L’Oréal scientists in Lyon, France, produce roughly 100,000 skin samples every year, growing tissue from the donated skin of French plastic-surgery patients. L’Oréal uses half of its skin samples to test out things like anti-aging moisturizers, while the other half is sold to outside beauty and pharmaceutical companies. L’Oréal’s new partnership with Organovo ensures that new skin is only a simple 3-D-printing job away and will “speed up and automate skin production,” according to the brand, enabling more testing. Just watch out for those nasty printer jams.