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Rejuvenate with nature

The power of plant stem cells

Remedies For Life Magazine

The stem cells of any organism have the potential to become a number of different cells. They just need a genetic push to transform into what’s needed. It appears that applying the cells to another organism—onto a human face, for example—can push those cells to differentiate as human skin cells.

Research into stem cells—which, in the case of plants, are extracted from stems—has found that these cells can encourage healthy skin cell growth and repair skin damage. 

Plant stem cell extracts appeared on the beauty scene in 2008, when extracts taken from a Swiss apple provided protective effects to human skin cells. The apple, called the Uttwiler Spätlauber, is able to heal itself if its skin is cut while it still hangs from the tree. 

Research has shown the apple’s stem cells also have an anti-aging effect on skin. They appear to reverse skin damage and stimulate production of an antioxidant enzyme. One study found a 15 percent decrease in the depth of crow’s feet after four weeks using a preparation of this apple’s stem cells. 

There are two ways to deliver plant stem cells in natural skin care: using active cells, a laborious and expensive process; and using inactive extracts. Most companies use the inactive extracts. 

Look for brightening serums made with fruit stem cells to diminish hyperpigmentation and creams that minimize collagen degradation and loss of firmness around the eyes. 

In addition to the Uttwiler Spätlauber, other sources of stem cell extracts include edelweiss—a plant with anti-inflammatory properties—and gotu kola, a plant traditionally used to heal wounds and burns. The stem cells of grapes, gardenias, echinacea, and many other plants are also being studied for their anti-aging effects.

Selected Sources: 

“Ask a Doctor: Do Stem Cell Face Creams Really Work?” by Dr. Waleed Ezzat, Boston Magazine, 1/8/13

“Cell Division” by April Long, Elle Magazine, 2/26/13

“Plant Stem Cells as Innovation in Cosmetics” by M. Morus et al., Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica, 2014

“Plant Stem Cell Extract for Longevity of Skin and Hair” by D. Schmid et al., International Journal for Applied Science, 5/08

“What Is Stem-Cell Face Cream?” by Stacey Colino,, 7/29/14