Can plant cells really help improve your skin and hair?

You might have heard of stem cell research - but did you know that the same technology can be applied to your beauty regime?

Hair & Beauty

Labs across the world receive heavy funding for stem cell research. Why? It offers a potentially revolutionary way to repair diseased and damaged body tissues, replacing them with healthy new cells. This offers hope for incurable conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, which affect vast numbers of people in the UK and around the world.

So, if stem cell treatment has the potential to cure diseases by renewing cells, imagine what it could do for your skin and hair. Stem cell beauty promises anti-ageing qualities: a youthful, glowing appearance without the need for invasive aesthetic procedures. However, it differs slightly to medical stem cell treatments, as it utilises plant-derived stem cell instead of harvested human cells.

There are several reasons for this: firstly, it would be controversial and potentially unethical to use harvested human cells in beauty treatments; secondly, it would be insanely expensive; and thirdly, there is not enough research to back the use of human cells in beauty treatments - we don’t even know if it’s safe. Plant-derived cells, on the other hand, are readily available in high quantities, as well as being ethical and, as far as we know, safe.

Is this a beauty breakthrough or a wave of scientific mumbo jumbo? According to Paula's Choice Skincare, in order for stem cells to work they need to be 'alive', so by the time they're processed into beauty products the active ingredients no longer exist. Plant cell research is still in the early stages, however it's looking promising. Clinical studies show the skin benefits from the plant's antioxidant properties, and with more stem cell formulas being patented, perhaps it's worth exploring further.

What are the quantifiable benefits of stem cell beauty? The expert dermatologists at Soho-based PICO Clinics have identified five:

Antioxidant – stem cells naturally have antioxidant properties that nourish skin cells. By reducing inflammation, antioxidants allow skin to repair itself and correct visible damage.

Fewer wrinkles – since stem cells promote cell turnover and increase collagen production, this leads to fewer lines and wrinkles. According to Dr Philip Levy, founder of Dr Levy Switzerland, stem cells activate our own pwerful defence against ageing.

Improved skin tone – increased collagen and skin repair means you can expect a better skin texture and tone for healthier looking skin.

Rejuvenate – PICO's Seffiller procedure is a regenerative advanced therapy that uses stem cells to rejuvenate the fabric of the skin and to re-tone and firm its natural surface. The treatment uses your own fat cells to reaffirm and repair the areas of the skin that have started to show signs of damage.

Repair – stem cells can turn into any type of cell that the body needs, making them perfect for cell repair. This is one of the reasons why they’re so effective against wrinkles.

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