L'Oréal was granted a Chinese business license for Shanghai Episkin Biotechnology Ltd., the company it created to market the Asian version of its reconstructed skin model Episkin.
The Chinese Episkin model is a human epidermis model reconstructed from Asian keratinocytes, produced by the L'Oréal Advanced Research Laboratories in China according to the same strict production standard and quality control criteria as the L'Oréal's Predictive Evaluation Center in Gerland, France. Although the company has researched reconstructing skin and other human tissues for the past 30 years, it started producing reconstructed Asian skin in China in 2008.
Episkin is used to validate the safety of cosmetic products and ingredients without animal testing. The company has been strong in its animal alternative research. It shares its methods and tools and offers training to universities and authorities.
L'Oréal has collaborated with the Chinese Academy of Inspection and Quarantine and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China to develop an alternative method for the skin irritation test using the Chinese Episkin model.
In China, L'Oréal Research and Innovation employs 300 people in Pudong. The first buildings of the research center were inaugurated in 2005, with a second instalment in 2010 and a third extension in the works.