A lot has been written about the use of stem cells in skin care in the past couple of years, with many studies pointing to the cells’ ability to help stimulate the growth of collagen as well as new skin cells. But a lot of men and women remain skeptical. Let’s take a look at what these treatments and products are and how they work.
Stem cells are cells that have not become identified as any specific organ or biological father; for that reason, they’re referred to as “undifferentiated” cells. In humans, most scientific research has focused on two types of stem cells: embryonic stem cells and adult or multipotent stem cells. Unlike embryonic stem cells that derive from the reproductive process, adult stem cells are present in the body all the time and play a major role in forming new cells to help the body’s organs and tissues heal after an injury.
While in recent years a lot of research – and a lot of controversy – have surrounded the potential uses of human stem cells, animals aren’t the only ones with stem cells; they also exist in plants. Plant cells are used in several new skincare products that contain stem cells. Scientists became interested in plant cells when they discovered these cells have the same capacity for healing as human skin stem cells – namely, when a fruit such as an apple is injured, the fruit forms a callous to heal the spot and protect it from further injury.
Most of the time, our skin stem cells remain in a dormant state near the hair follicles and sweat glands. When the skin becomes injured, signals are sent to these cells to alert them to jump into action, making new cells to replace those that are damaged or diseased. This process slows with age, and it can also slow substantially as the result of sun damage.
The focus of these skin care treatments that use stem cells is to stimulate those stem cells without causing damage, encouraging them to promote the growth of new, healthy skin and collagen to replace old, sun-damaged skin cells, fill in wrinkles and lines and develop a firmer collagen base so skin feels and looks younger and more resilient.
Some stem cell skin care products use fruit, stem cells or products derived from them to “communicate” signals to skin stem cells to begin the regeneration process; other products use enzymes or other substances that work on the skin to promote tissue growth – for instance, epithelial growth factor, or EGF. EGF is one of the primary components that goes to work in healing the skin of burn victims.
In every case, the goal is the same: To encourage skin stem cells to form healthy new cells that rejuvenate the skin and make it fell, look and act younger.
If your skin is showing the signs of aging or environmental damage like sun exposure, stem cell treatments could provide a great option for helping to reduce these signs, including reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and making skin more resilient.Fortunately for today’s patients, there are many different skin care options available, which means that no matter what your skin type and no matter what your concern, we can design a customized approach that will help you achieve the results you’re hoping for. If you’d like to learn more, come in for a consultation and we’ll be happy to guide you through all your skin care options.