Stem Cells for Skin Care: Enticing or a Tad Freaky? Here's my Take ...

Total Beauty

Posted 08/20/10 at 04:16PM by Total Beauty

On a recent Sunday, I sat down with a cup of Joe (ok, it was a can of Tab) and read the paper. Imagine my delight when, between the coupons and Cathy comics, I happened across the headline "Dermal Fillers Evolve" staring up at me from the "Los Angeles Times". I love learning about new technologies in the anti-aging skin care realm so I dove in head first and began reading about the promising new "permanent silicone" and "synthetic microsphere" fillers (which are yet to be FDA approved), that many dermatologists believe will soon replace the hyaluronic ones (like Juvederm and Restylane) as women's go-to insta-plumpers.

Sounded encouraging, I thought. Then I got to the part about how stem cell injections could be the wave of the future. Huh? I thought stem cells were what Michael J. Fox and other Parkinson's sufferers are hoping will be the holy grail in finding a treatment for their disease. Now they'd be used to stave off wrinkling and sagging? I read on.

"Stem cell injections could become the most promising developments in the area of dermal fillers, doctors say, as [they] integrate completely into the face and can truly claim to give a natural appearance," the article said and went on to explain that fatty tissues contain the highest percentage of stem cells in the body and that these cells have the "capacity of cell memory, especially in the use of re-volumizing the face." Hmmm.

The procedure, I learned, sees fat removed from where it's not wanted, then the stem cells are harvested from it, processed and ultimately injected into wrinkles, sags, etc. And, while some derms believe more research and safety studies are called for, most agree that this is the wave of the future.

Wow. You can learn a lot before breakfast.

Intrigued, I Googled "stem cell skin care" and, whaddaya know? Human stem cells are not the only ones being used! Seems that there's a rare Swiss apple called "Uttwiler Spatlauber" that is "particularly rich in phyto-nutrients, proteins and long-living cells" and it's being used by the skin care company, Lather, to promote skin renewal in the Lather Swiss Apple Renewal Remedy, $62. Apple stem cells? Who knew?

There are also peptides, in particular "P-199" (found in Kate Somerville CytoCell Dermal Energizing Treatment, $150) that are purported to stimulate stem cell activity and "restore" aging skin to its former youthful glow.

Of course, with umpteen different products claiming to be the "end all," it's more than a little confusing -- and daunting -- to try and choose one. (Not to mention, expensive!) That's why, until I hear first hand that one of them is categorically and undeniably the best, "must-get" product, I'll stick with my tried and true (and reasonably priced) Olay Professional Pro-X Wrinkle Smoothing Cream,which contains (proven and FDA approved) retinol and niacinamide to promote exfoliation. And it really does improve my skin's texture and contend with my "fine" lines and wrinkles.

How about you? Intrigued by all the technology and stem cell stuff coming down the pike? Or does it freak you out a little?
And the survey says...
1-6 of 6 Comments

  • Posted by EricaF123 on 12/30/12 at 01:31pm

    Sounds good

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  • Posted by powerwoman033 on 03/13/12 at 10:46pm

    I have tried some products with plant (or fruit) stem cells and they didn't make much of a difference for me but, I gave it to my 63 year old mom, and she had some noticeable improvements. As far as injections go, I hate needles too much to ever get my own fat stem cells put back into my body. No thank you!

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  • Posted by LipglossandSpandex on 07/15/11 at 11:45pm

    @kenya, there's some really great new research that uses non-embryonic stem cells. I'm really excited about that possibility.

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  • Posted by Bon_Bon on 02/21/11 at 02:54pm

    stemcells are good things

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  • Posted by pynkNymphette on 12/21/10 at 08:54pm

    I love when science and make up come together!

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  • Posted by kenya on 12/05/10 at 07:14am

    stem cells are controversial because stem cells can involve using embryonic stem cells, which is taken from unused embryos in in vitro fertilization. some people see it as manslaughter or abortion. personally, i'd rather use an embryo for research than just throwing it out like scientists usually do.

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