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Stem Cell Science & Age Management of Skin

By: Christine Heathman
Posted: May 26, 2010, from the June 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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Plants have stem cells comparable to human stem cells. Unlike humans, plants contain totipotent stem cells with the potential to regenerate a whole plant. This action gives scientific rise to the benefits of the plant stem cells’ ability to regenerate new leaves, flowers, seeds or a whole, fresh plant. Unlike human stem cells, plant stem cells can de-differentiate and become a stem cell.2

The stem cell ingredient that has garnered much attention lately is the extract called Malus domestica, sourced from a rare Swiss apple identified as the Uttwiler Spatlauber. The Uttwiler Spatlauber apple is an endangered variety that is well-known for its excellent storability and longevity potential due to its long-living tissue stem cells. Fruit is known to oxidize quickly once removed from its primary host and exposed to the environment; however, this is not the case with the Uttwiler Spatlauber apple.2

It is an anomaly among fruit, resisting typical oxidation due to its high tannin content and long-living stem cells. In order to use the stem cells from this apple, scientists had to extract tissue from the plant to create cultures called explants. The explants are then scratched to create miniature wounds to stimulate the stem cells within the cultured plant tissue. This action induced the formation of new stem cells.2

Biotechnologies of plant stem cell extracts also isolate the substances involved in the plant’s defensive ability against environmental, physical and biological stressors. Scientists in Switzerland studied the liquid cell cultures derived from their extensive study of the Uttwiler Spatluber apple and have found that the stem cells extracted from it can stimulate human stem cell growth and protect skin stem cells from death due to UV overexposure, neutralizing free radicals and reversing the effects of photoaging of the skin. Other biotechnological research in botanical stem cell research is emerging quickly in professional skin care to benefit the management of aging skin.2

A revolutionary approach

This is an exciting time to be in specialized skin care as a new approach to age management is becoming available through the use of stem cells. Professional age management of skin is all about extending and preserving the life energy of skin cells to help yield results for younger-acting skin. Current applications for treating aging skin will continue to lead scientists to focus their research on adult stem cells located in the skin, and the continued study of these cells, their function relating to aging and how they helps reset the skin’s aging clock, is groundbreaking and revolutionary.

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