• Applying Stem Cells in Creams

Applying Stem Cells in Creams

If there were a top ten of anti-ageing products which could shrink everything except your wrinkles, at most your bank balance, then stem cells in creams would rate highly. Although stem cell research actually can and should change medical science, research into the application is still in its early stages. Also in the area of skin rejuvenation.

Just suppose…

The idea behind the use of stem cells in creams is, of course, excellent, and also good to understand from the manufacturers who started working with it. Because just suppose if you can develop a whole new batch of skin tissue with stem cells in the laboratory. You can use this to treat scars, heal wounds, and also counteract wrinkles and sagging skin. And just think what is possible for people with hair loss? How wonderful it would be if the re-growth of your own hair could be stimulated thanks to stem cell technology.


It cannot work

In spite of the fact that stem cell research is still really in its early stages, cosmetic companies are already claiming to have the anti-wrinkle cream with the help of stem cell technology. Well now, to get straight to the point; a skincare product with stem cells is nonsense. It cannot work.


Surviving in a pot

Stem cells require a very stable environment with a special growth medium and specific temperature in order to grow into the desired cell type. Moreover, they need to be constantly replenished with food in order to stay alive. Something that would be difficult in a pot of cream. And even if stem cells were to survive in a serum or cream, they would still never be able to do their work in the skin. The cells are actually too large to be able to penetrate the dermis. And alongside this the use of human ingredients in cosmetics is forbidden in Europe.


Peptides and growth factors

The industry, therefore, has changed its tack. There are more and more products popping up with ingredients which concentrate on the protection and/or stimulation of our own skin stem cells. Certain peptides, for example, and specific growth factors and enzymes which will prolong the life of the cell, are sometimes obtained from certain plant types. A well-known example of this is the product Stem Cell Booster Serum from Reviva. A serum containing ‘magical stem cells’ from the extremely rare Swiss Uttwiler Spatlauber apples. Magic, or not, they won’t make your wrinkles disappear. As again, this applies: it is not possible that the stem cell stimulating protein can travel through the epidermis. So far the substances magical magnetic effect is mainly on the business result.

Claims and court cases

In 2009 the ‘magic apples’ from Reviva also ended up on the list of most misleading cosmetic claims. Last year a lawsuit was even filed. You can view the whole court case in this document. Practically every claim they make about the apple stem cells is refuted.


Is it possible with injections?

As far as I am aware there are no skin rejuvenating stem cell treatments conducted in the Netherlands. In the U.S., however, there are. I read this in a piece by Dermatologist Dr. Leslie Baumann about treatment with stem cell injections received from your own fat tissue, via liposuction. The supervisory body FD & C Act (Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act) have, rightly so in my opinion, given these companies a warning that this has not been legally approved. At the moment there is just little or no scientific proof that this type of treatment is effective and safe. So, I advise you to steer clear of such skin rejuvenating therapies until more is known…


Leave well alone

Of course I hope that stem cells can one day become a part of our fight against skin ageing and troublesome disorders, but until that time I advise you to leave these, often, very expensive products well alone…



(Dr. Jetske Ultee-Research Physician Cosmetic Dermatology)

You can also read:
Research into Cosmetics
The Perfect Face Cream
What Does the Term ‘Hypo-Allergenic’ Mean?