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Stem Cells—A Widening Horizon

By: Aran Puri
Posted: October 5, 2009, from the October 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Fred Zuli and his team of collaborators at the very innovative Swiss company Mibelle Biochemistry have developed a concept that uses a natural raw material, PhytoCell Malus Domestica, derived from “uttwiler spatlauber”—Apple extract that stimulates epidermal stem cells. In vitro efficacy studies are impressive, demonstrating that 0.1% extract stimulated the proliferation of human stem cells by 80%. Studies on human volunteers using a cream with 2% extract show a reduction in wrinkle depth from 8–15%.

The Italian firm Institute for Biotechnological Research (IBR), too, has had success with plant stem cells, launching an antiaging ingredient based on edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum) stem cells. IBR claims the extract has strong antioxidant properties, and that it also has strong anti-collanenase and hyalauronidase activity, which helps to limit degradation of important macromolecules in skin.

It is important to note, too, that the successes with plant stem cells and the challenges to cosmetic use of human stem cells face do not preclude advances in additional ingredients that interact or work with human stem cells and that could transfer to cosmetic uses and have an immediate impact on the beauty industry.

Romuald Vallee and Pierre-Yves Morvan of French-based CODIF International have developed a culture of human epidermal stem cells that they found has applications for their raw material Phytcojuvenine. In vitro results indicate that it stimulates and increases the number of human epidermal stem cells, and is able to restore the adult epidermal stem cells’ ability to divide and migrate. Further, Regeron, a Korean company, introduced nature-identical human growth hormones (NL-hGH) derived by microbial fermentation. The company claims that NL-hGH strengthens stem cell character of the epidermal basal layer cells, i.e. awakens skin cells. The claims include antiwrinkle, anti-acne, skin-whitening and hair growth benefits when incorporated in suitable formulations.

Finished Cosmetics