Are Stem Cells in Skin Care the new Anti-ageing Miracle?
19 January 2022 | Admin
Plant Stem Cells in moisturisers have become very popular and much advertised in the last couple of years. Consumers are happy to pay small fortunes for those little pots of anti ageing miracle.
But do we really know what Plant Stem Cells are, how they work or even IF they work?
I HAVE INVESTIGATED FOR YOU
The thinking, as far as plant stem cells in cosmetics products, is that extracting stem cells from certain plants (usually apples, grapes, melons, or lilacs) can help skin look younger and better defend itself against environmental aggressors.
Similar to animals, the stem cells in plants have properties that help stimulate and regenerate plants after injury. The unique properties of plant stem cells have been a recent area of interest and focus both in developing new cosmetics and studying how these extracts/phytohormones will influence skin. Plants are equipped with a robust mechanism for regeneration of their tissues under stress. In other words, cutting the branch of a tree also results in a new bud/branch growth.
The question is “Can plant phytohormones have the antioxidant and regenerative ability to prevent this aging process in human skin?"
Terminology is crucial in claims made by cosmetic companies, for example, understanding that when the term ‘plant stem cell’ is used as an ingredient, it actually refers to the extract of the primitive plant cell.
Many skin care companies are promoting their products with the claim of utilizing stem cell technology.
In fact, almost all cosmetic companies advertising to contain stem cells in their products actually contain stem cell extracts and not the live stem cells.
Although research on plant stem cells used in skin care reveals their potential as skin protectives, antiaging and antiwrinkle products, the actual stem cells in cosmetic formulations are already dead.
Claimed benefits of smooth and firm skin are due to antioxidants and active extracts from stem cells.
To gain all the authentic benefits from stem cells and to let them work the way they are promised to in skin care applications, they need to be incorporated as live cells and should remain so while in the cosmetic formulation. Incorporating stem cells in a carrier which can assist the cells to penetrate deep into the skin to provide an actual cosmetic benefit is another challenge to be addressed.
Plant stem cell therapy needs to move in the right direction to implement its inherent potential in skin care. This might happen in the next 20 years but any cosmetic that is advertised to be antiaging due to plant stem cells at this time is about as effective as all the skin creams without stem cells [source: Future Science Group].
Great summary by Caroline Hirons, a British Skin Care Expert
"There are a lot of stem-cell products around these days. Brands need to be very careful what claims they make when they sugest that a plant stem cell can affect the cells in human skin. They can't.
If you’re buying a stem cell cream for its touted benefits, it’s not worth the extra cost."
If you’re thinking that the description of plant stem cells in a cosmetic products sounds very much like what anti-oxidants do, you’re right!
WHAT DO ANTI-OXIDANTS DO?
Antioxidants in general relief oxidative stress caused by the excessive formation of free radicals (i.e. seen in inflammation) and slow or diminish the development of visible signs of ageing. The formation of free radicals is also influenced by ultraviolet radiation, ultrasound, ozone, chemicals and tobacco smoke. The more advanced in age the body is, the less capable it is of combatting free radicals without external help. The importance of nutrients, vitamins and minerals with antioxidative effects increases.
I am often asked what are the best anti-oxidants for skin?
In reality, there are dozens of phenomenally effective antioxidants. Despite the seemingly endless array of good antioxidants, there are a few that really stand out. Each has an outstanding performance record when it comes to taking the best care of your skin—and knowing which ones to look for can make shopping for great skin care a lot easier!