Taken from the actual stems, or meristems, of plants, these cells are rich in antioxidants that neutralize free radicals that contribute to cell damage. Plant stem cells never undergo the aging process but instead continue to generate new specialized and unspecialized cells. Commonly used plants include Swiss apples, edelweiss, raspberry, grape, lilac and rose. These botanics are approximately 1000x more potent than previous generations of botanics used in skincare.
Human Stem Cells
contrary to the name, no embryonic stem cells are used. Instead, the stem cells come from unfertilized eggs extracted from women who have undergone standard in-vitro fertilization (IVF) ovarian stimulation. Therefore, no pluripotent (also known as “true” or “master” stem cells found in human embryos) are ever used in skincare.
My clients are asking me more and more about stem cells in skincare, and while it may sound like a science fiction story come to life, stem cells have been in skincare products since 2008.
Stem cells can work wonders on the skin because they increase the proliferation of new cell growth and collagen. Some skincare professionals are concerned that this increased cell division and renewal could lead to out of control cell replication or mutation. This has not yet been confirmed for skincare products since the stem cells are applied topically onto the skin, unlike in medicine, where they are injected into the tissues.
The two types of stem cells that are used in skincare products are derived from plants and human tissues. Since it is impossible to incorporate live materials into skincare products, no embryonic stem cells are ever used.
For those who are concerned about possible side effects of using stem cells, keep in mind that these are topical products that do not reach the dermis, or true skin, where blood vessels are located. The worst-case scenario when using a product with stem cells would be an allergic reaction, such as redness, irritation, a burning sensation or small, red bumps that resemble acne.
As always, consult your skincare specialist before changing your skincare routine and stay up to date on the latest advancements by signing up for my updates and answers to your questions below!