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The Role of Stem Cells in Beauty—Today and Tomorrow
By: Marie Alice Dibon, PharmD
Posted: August 31, 2011, from the September 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.
- The odds that actives extracted from plant stem cells have an effect on human stem cells are high if this active penetrates the upper layers of the skin, but no more or no less than any other active with the same bioavailability.
- Stem cells in skin represent its true youth capital, its essential asset.
- Exciting results and new developments in stem cell research and applications are anticipated, but the beauty industry must communicate effectively and fairly with consumers so as not to confuse the issues.
A decade or so ago, stem cells made their way into the public’s consciousness. Research that had previously caught the attention of scientists but had been largely ignored by the public became front and center because of the controversy triggered by human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) research.
People knew what stem cells could do—the number of bone marrow transplants exploded in the 1990s—but no one was really paying attention. The results were great; no one really cared about how they were achieved. In addition, interest in science was slowly decaying for society in general.
But, thankfully, vocal groups with well-defined and often personal views in opposition to the use of stem cells were watching. And they set their sights on hESCs.
In a matter of months, all the scientific community was talking about was “the stem cell controversy.” Soon enough, the public was brought on board. Stem cells had become the hot topic of the moment. Science and society have come a long way since the start of the controversy. And the beauty industry has benefited from it because the public was receiving information about stem cells every day and became highly aware of their importance and potential—from a therapeutic standpoint in addition to an ethical standpoint.