The bottom line.
There are lots of products on the market now claiming they contain stem cells and growth factors. They range in price anywhere from $20 to over $1000. If you want to try a product containing these ingredients you need to be smart about it and not be swayed by glossy (and most likely retouched) advertisements. Read the labels and see how high up on the list the marketed ingredients are. The higher up, the better.
For example, Stem Factor contains Adult Stem Cell Derived Conditioned Media, Phosphatidylcholine (natural liposome), Harmonized Water, Hydroxyethylcellulose (gelling agent derived from wood or cotton*), and Essential Oil Blend. It retails for about $90.
Andalou’s Fruit Stem Cell Revitalise Serum, on the other hand is mainly comprised of Aloe Barbadensis Juice*, Aqua, Polysorbate 60, Cetearyl Alcohol, and Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Juice (the first five ingredients make up the majority of the product). The actual plant stem cell cultures are nearly halfway down the list, which contains many other botanical ingredients as well as some chemical ingredients. It retails for about $20.00. While this product most likely won’t cause any adverse effects to the skin (unless there is an allergy to one of the ingredients), and would be a perfectly fine everyday skin care product; there is not enough of the marketed ingredient to actually provide any therapeutic or aesthetic benefit. I would not recommend purchasing a product like this just because it says it contains stem cells.
If you are looking for a plant stem cell product or a growth factor product, I would recommend a product that lists the advertised ingredients in the first five on the label, and there should not be a huge list of ingredients following.
*Michalun M and Michalun MV, Milady's Skin Care and Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary, 3rd ed. Clifton Park, NY: Milady, 2010.
**Images 2 and 3 from Osmosis Pür Medical Skin Care.