Wednesday, January 19, 2011


The controversy surrounding stem cell technology is still very much divided. Ethics are at the center of this controversy, as well as the issue of health and safety. Currently, research shows embryonic stem cells are not being incorporated into skin care products because of the obvious difficulties in formulating and maintaining the integrity of live materials. Plant stem cell technology, on the other hand, offers no questionable ethics and lots of exciting potential.

Stem cells are the most important cells in the skin. Their self renewing properties, along with the extraordinary potential to divide and transform into other types of cells, offer more specific functions addressing a myriad of health concerns. Skin care products using stem cell technology have origins in the plant world. Since certain species of apples have the ability for self repair and long-term storage capabilities, their resilient stem cells became the object of enthusiastic studies. Scientists in Switzerland found a rare apple tree species, the Uttwiler Spätlauber, that produces a remarkable apple with the unique ability to stay fresh for up to four months after harvest, while others would have shriveled and perished. Further investigation found their stem cells could stimulate human stem cell growth, protect stem cells from UV radiation, replenish the skin and reverse the effects of aging on the skin. The extract called PhytoCellTec Malus Domestica is based on the apple's "callus cells" which are cells that form when the plant is wounded. This extract has shown significant reduction in wrinkle depth after two to four weeks of use by 8% and 15% respectively.

The Uttwiler Spätlauber tree is endangered and the Swiss are doing their best to turn things around to protect the species, but in the meantime (and in the name of beauty, of course) chemists have figured out how to create the cells in their labs. High science, indeed. Keep an eye out for the serums and creams utilizing this beautiful blend that showcases the exCELLent adage, "an apple a day keeps aging at bay."