I have not yet used any other stem cell or growth factor product lines, but shortly after I published the first article in this series, I was approached by a very high end luxury product line that uses growth factors derived from mesenchymal stem cells. I was sent several of their products to try out and review, so I am looking forward to seeing how this product line stacks up to Osmosis.
As for the drama surrounding the use of human derived stem cells and growth factors in skin care, I really don’t think there is any controversy here. This is not the same as using embryonic stem cells in stem cell research. These stem cells are derived from living, consenting, health-screened adults. While some of these adult stem cells are used in cosmetic injectables and cosmetic surgeries like face lifts with limited success, the products and technology I am referring to use the growth factors derived from these cells in a very controlled environment.
I have seen headlines and ads for actual adult stem cells in very expensive skin care products, but I would not support the use of these because actual living cells cannot survive inside a bottle without the use of massive chemical preservatives, if even then. I do not support the use of potentially harmful chemicals in products. Furthermore, actual stem cells present the risk of infection or tissue rejection, and there is no way to determine if they will penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin or survive long enough to divide and differentiate into new cells. Even if they do make it in and survive, there is no way to determine what cells they will actually differentiate into. Additionally, products that claim to contain actual human stem cells most likely have become mostly protein by the time they get from the lab to the consumer. While proteins can provide a mild benefit to the skin, they will not cause the transformation that their manufacturers are claiming they will.
For these reasons I do prefer the liposomally-delivered growth factors, because once they penetrate, they are already “programmed” to assign the skin’s stem cells into specific beneficial functions.
What about the safety concerns?
As mentioned in The Human Side of Cosmetic Stem Cell Technology, more research is needed in stem cell and growth factor technology. While there is a theoretic potential for growth factors to exacerbate existing cancer cell growth, there is also the theoretic potential for them to inhibit it. If you have skin cancer, have had skin cancer, are at a high risk for developing skin cancer, or have any concerns whatsoever, you need to have a conversation with your licensed healthcare provider to help you decide whether or not these products are best for you. It is my opinion that the growth factors are safer than the actual human-derived stem cells.