Stem cells, hype or reality for good skin?

Discussions on how to maintain or perhaps even regain healthy skin.
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Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:25 pm

Stem cells, hype or reality for good skin?

Post by Horsegirl »

On the cosmetic counter I am overwhelmed by "stem cells" in many products. Is this new chemical technology really beneficial for the skin, keeping it young, or is it just some marketing jargon to jazz up some old cosmetic formulas? I'd like to believe what I read and what I see in the commercials. I wonder if my sun-damaged skin would benefit from this magic ingredient.
Tom Hagerty
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Re: Stem cells, hype or reality for good skin?

Post by Tom Hagerty »

Horsegirl wrote:Is this new chemical technology really beneficial for the skin
It would be satisfying to believe the creative marketing we see in the advertising for these new stem cell products. Getting rid of wrinkles, repairing the skin's elastin and collagen, and tightening up the sag by using these serums sound fantastic. Maybe some day this will be possible but not today.

Stem cells in order to have an effect have to be alive and whole. When these stem cells, mostly plant stem cell, are put in a jar or a bottle they die an instant and painless death. There might be some residual anti-oxidant benefit in the product. This, however, comes at a high cost. Any product with "stem cell" on the label is pricey.

Even when a company claims to take components from the stem cells, like peptides, the claims are not valid. Stem cells only have biological value when they are whole, not when they are "extracts." There is no reputable research showing that stem cell extracts have a beneficial effect on human skin.

The companies that sell stem cell cosmetics know that the Food and Drug Administration does not force the companies to prove their claims. The only thing that has to be correct is the ingredient label. But even the ingredient label can be manipulated by using fancy words for the chemicals in the product.
The stem cell serum craze
The stem cell serum craze
Stem cell cure.jpg (6.09 KiB) Viewed 9686 times
Of course there are reputable companies with an excellent line of cosmetics that genuinely help people's skin. I don't think you'll find many of these companies selling stem cell serums with exaggerated claims though.

I'm interested in how we keep our stem cells functioning and what causes skin cell dysfunction. The main contributor to stem cell dysfunction, other than getting older, is inflammation. Two central causes of inflammation are unprotected sun exposure and smoking. Staying out of the sun and not smoking keep the skin and the skin's stem cells from aging prematurely.
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