Plant Stem Cells Explained: How do they work in your skin care routine?

Plant leaves

Plant Stem Cells Explained: How do they work in your skin care routine?

If you’re a skin care junkie like me, you’d probably be familiar with (or at least heard of) stem cell products, or maybe you’re new to skin care and you’ve bought a stem cell serum because it sounds scientific and highly advanced! In the last few years, stem cell products have become super trendy along with peptides and growth factors. Plant stem cells show promising antioxidant, age management and repairing benefits to our skin, and if you’ve wondered if or how they actually work, then read on…

So what is a stem cell?

When we are created in the very start of our lives, we’re just one cell, also known as a fertilised egg. That one cell then splits up in to two cells and so on. They eventually find their purpose and function in our brains, our skin, our blood and muscles and become known as differentiated cells. The leftover cells that have not been given a purpose are called STEM CELLS. These special cells can divide and make copies of themselves and be used in different parts of our bodies. In our body, the two main sources of stem cells are from either an embryo or our own tissue and we have up to 200,000 of them. They have high healing and anti-inflammatory benefits, and are often used in stem cell therapy, a regenerative form of medicine that promotes the repair response for diseased and damaged tissue by transplanting stem cells to the damaged site. 

So now we have established what a human stem cell is, what are plant stem cells?

Stem cells are not just found in human bodies, but plants and animals too! A plant’s life is very different to our life – unlike animals and humans, a plant has to grow its own tissue and organs post-embryonically, which contributes to a longer stem cell life. Plants have undifferentiated cells, which means they’re able to grow, adapt, develop and repair according to its environment. They regenerate their tissue rapidly when under stress and have amazing protection thanks to their own stem cells. 

What are the most effective plant stem cells to use in our products?

Kinetin: A compound found in plants which is responsible for the life of the plant’s stem cells. It also protects the plant’s DNA and in-house studies have shown it has a similar effect to a retinoid on the skin, making it a great anti-ageing ingredient. It’s also very stable and well tolerated by many different skin types. 

Swiss apple plant stem cells: These stem cells have a very long shelf life compared to their siblings. When used in cosmetic products they can defend against free radicals and keep our collagen and elastin replenished. 

Sea Fennel: This product has been used for its medicinal properties for centuries. It has vitamin-rich stem cells that help soothe blemishes and sensitive skin. Sea fennel is also high in vitamins A, C and E. 

Edelweiss: A mountain flower which flourishes in its alpine climate. Edelweiss has shown to inhibit collagenases, which is the act of an enzyme breaking down our own collagen.  

Lilac plant stem cells: Comes from the syringe vulgaris plant which is grown on the rocky hills of the Balkans. These stem cells have incredible anti-inflammatory powers and provide support for skin suffering with acne and post inflammatory pigmentation.

Why do we use plant stem cells in skincare?

To use human stem cells in skincare would be much harder to source as well as being very expensive. After they have been processed through a lab and put into our skin care products, the stem cells are no more. However, we can still get amazing antioxidant extracts and amino acids from plant stem cells. While these stem cells won’t cure skin diseases, they have shown to reduce inflammation, sooth irritation and sensitivity, prevent wrinkles and protect our skin from the environmental stressors we come into contact with. They make an excellent addition to your skincare routine combined with other vitamins and hydrators and research is continually being carried out on stem cell technology for the skin, so watch this space! Who knows what they will discover in the world of plant stem cells in the next decade…

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