If you’re a fan of Inside The Factory, you might have spotted a few familiar faces on the episode that aired last Sunday on BBC2. Greg Wallace explored the amazing LUSH factory in Dorset, where over 14 million bath bombs are made every year. Meanwhile, Cherry Healey visited our very own XCellR8 lab, to find out how we test Lush products and ingredients using our animal product free methods. Here’s the lowdown…

The amazing Lush factory

Greg Wallace visits Lush’s factory where 14 million bath bombs are produced, by hand, every year. Greg follows the production of one of their bestsellers: the intergalactic bath bomb. For the first time, Lush gives viewers an in-depth look at the production processes of their bath bombs, from the raw materials used, to inventing fragrances, producing product moulds and pressing the world-renowned bath bombs before sending them out to stores.

But how does Lush work out the effects their products have on our bodies?

looking down a microscopeAfter stopping off at Loughborough University to explore the benefits of having hot baths, Cherry Healey visits XCellR8’s cutting-edge lab to find out more about our pioneering animal-free tests available to the cosmetics industry. Dr Carol Treasure explains how XCellR8 uses human cells and human reconstructed tissue on which to test the products, instead of animal components – a safer, kinder and better way of testing! The tissue cells we use come from a tissue bank and are completely ethical, for example, someone could donate skin when going through plastic surgery. Carol also explains that skin cells used are from the epidermis (the top of layer of the human skin). This is because we want to understand if a cosmetic product or ingredient is causing damage to the epidermis, which could lead to skin irritation. She goes onto say that it makes total sense to use human skin to test for human skin irritation. The animal tests have been around for more than 80 years and they are very old technology, in addition to the ethical concerns surrounding animal testing.

Dr Carol Treasure, CEO of XCellR8: “Cherry is such a lovely person and so easy to work with, we all loved having her and the film crew with us. It was a great opportunity to share a little of what we do with the wider public and non-scientists. Also a huge thank you to Lush for this amazing opportunity.”

Haven’t watched it yet? The episode is available on iPlayer now. We hope you enjoy it and please be sure to let us know what you think!