Why animal-product-free

Since the animal testing ban for cosmetics was fully adopted in the EU in 2013, many innovative advances have been made in the field of animal-free tests. However, many in the industry overlook the fact that most in vitro methods use animal derived components such as Foetal Bovine Serum (FBS), tissue extracts and antibodies. They ultimately require the sacrifice of animals; you can never assume that an in vitro test is a vegan test.

At XCellR8, we have eliminated the use of all animal derived components in our laboratory by using human serum, chemically defined media or human platelet lysate instead. Here’s why.


  • Studies have shown that non-animal derived components provide a better model of human physiology
  • Synthetic components have a higher rate of reproducibility
  • Avoid the complications of species differences when interpreting results


  • Avoids the animal welfare issues involved in the collection of components such as foetal bovine serum (FBS)
  • Helps you meet consumer demand for sustainable, ethical products and transparent supply chains
  • Honours a vegan testing philosophy

The growing importance of vegan testing

There is a major global trend in the cosmetics industry and beyond towards veganism and vegan consumer products.  A 2019 Lifestyles and Beauty Survey by Euromonitor found that over 20% of respondents said the product labels “not tested on animals, cruelty-free and / or 100% vegan” influenced their decision to buy.

To fully honour the vegan philosophy when developing cosmetics for this market, safety and efficacy testing of ingredients and finished products should also be vegan compliant.

We know this is a complex issue because in some cases, animal-free (let alone vegan) tests haven’t yet been fully developed, or regulators allow the use of historic animal data in safety data sheets.  However, we can provide vegan data for several endpoints that are key to cosmetic safety assessment, including skin and eye irritation, skin sensitisation and genotoxicity, as well as supporting claims such as mildness and antioxidant activity.