With each new day bringing what seems like another use for stem cells, it is perhaps no surprise that removing wrinkles is one of the purported uses for stem cells. The newest school of thought is that stem cells from plants that are used in topical creams can integrate with human skin stem cells and reduce or remove wrinkles.
The idea has been met with both excitement and scepticism. For most consumers though, separating the truth from all the hype could save their face or their purse.
Choosing the Right Stem Cells
If you are wondering why researchers would use plant stem cells rather than human ones, there is a valid reason. Laws and regulations around stem cell usage mean that embryonic stem cells – the gold standard in stem cells – may not be used for cosmetic purposes. Instead, researchers are turning their attention to plant stem cells for use in cosmetics such as face creams. While plants regularly produce stem cells, they also produce them as a response to damage.
Using Plant Stem Cells for Skin
One kind of stem cells in particular has generated a great deal of attention. Taken from a type of apple that has a particularly long shelf life, researchers looked at what happened when the apple was cut. They found it generated a protective ‘shield’ of sorts with plant stem cells on its surface.
From Laboratory to Skin Creams
After culturing the cells, it was found that these plant stem cells were able to enhance human stem cell production. The laboratory that conducted the tests did, however, admit that when this was replicated through a topical cream on the skin, the same results could not be validated. But, they cite that there is potential for it to work. For many people though, potential simply isn’t good enough if they plan to spend large amounts of money on cosmetics creams.
Critics of the Research
Also, critics say that this research is highly unlikely to be true. One university expert who has studied plant stem cells for years cites that plant stem cells would not interact with human stem cells in such a manner. The warning here is that people may be wasting their money by purchasing products that use stem cell research as a selling point for their very high prices.
Where Stem Cells Can Work
Where stem cells have been shown to help is for skin grafts. While the jury is still out on whether stem cells can help when used in a topical preparation, they are a promising way to transplant skin on the human body. Research in the last year has shown that this can help people such as burn victims. It is also significantly faster to use stem cells than traditional skin grafts, which can often take weeks at a time when the patient needs new skin right away.
Removing Wrinkles for Younger Skin
The quest for healthy, younger-looking skin has created a cosmetics industry that is booming. People are seemingly willing to spend any amount of money to be wrinkle-free. While new stem cell face creams may promise to remove your wrinkles, thus far we just do not have the evidence to support the claims. One day, we might find a way to successfully use stem cells in a topical cream, but that day does not appear to have arrived just yet.