…Continued from Part 1
“Ultimate skincare: Anti-aging at cellular level”
Recently cosmetic products come to the market that contain stem cell conditioned media as an active ingredient. It is a paradigm shift happening in the market where the new beauty is established based on the combination of cutting edge life science technology and perspective of the regenerative medicine. It is an evolution of conventional skincare to the new concept of ultimate anti-aging at the cellular level. Most of such products in the market use stem cell from adipocyte in the fat tissues but recently new products emerge in the market using ultra pure and fresh stem cell obtained from, for example, umbilical cord or cord blood for preparation of stem cell conditioned media.
There is a variety of receptors present in the surface of human cell, and growth factors are supposed to bind to such receptors to mediate signals of physiological functions. The proteins that bind to the receptors in specificity are called “ligand”, and stem cell conditioned media is rich in such ligands.
The human stem cell conditioned media is rich in various growth factors, enzymes of anti-oxidation including SOD (superoxide dismutase) and skin matrix elements such as collagen and hyaluronic acids. Growth factors refer to the proteins that mediates biological signals in and out of cells. For example, in case of deficiency of collagen in dermis layer of skin, a growth factor with collagen production signal becomes a ligand and binds to the collagen receptors in the surface of fibroblast that leads to the boost of collagen production in our skin. Typical growth factors contained in human stem cell conditioned media are listed in the table below.
EGF: Epithelial Growth Factor. It helps the production of collagen and elastin, thus improving skin elasticity. EGF promotes cell metabolism, thereby achieving effects such as wrinkle improvement, brightening, strengthening of skin hydrophilicity, restoration of damaged skin, and strengthening of skin elasticity.
HGF: Hepatocyte Growth Factor. It acts on epidermal and endothelial cells in the regeneration of damaged skin.
PDGF: Platelet Derived Growth Factor. It is one of major factors that governs the healthy lifespan and cycle of cells in many tissues including skin and helps anti-aging and regeneration of the skin.
IGF-I: Insulin-like Growth Factor. It performs various cell physiological functions and associates with EGF and other growth factors to help growth and division of skin cells and production of ECM substances such as collagen, fibronectin, elastin, keratin and hyaluronic acid in the dermis, thereby preventing skin aging.
TGF-beta: Transforming Growth Factor beta. It acts on various cells and regulates cell division, differentiation and physiological activity, playing an important role in promoting tissue regeneration and recovery in the process of wound healing. It also has anti-inflammatory effect and protects sensitive skin type.
aFGF: acidic Fibroblast Growth Factor. It stimulates the keratinocytes and fibroblasts that make up the skin to regenerate and thus restores a healthy skin condition.
bFGF: basic Fibroblast Growth Factor. It promotes the growth of keratinocytes and stimulates fibroblasts to promote the synthesis of ECMs such as collagen, fibronectin, and elastin.
VEGF: Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor. It induces angiogenesis and facilitates neovascularization. It is one of important growth factors in regeneration of skin as it requires the supply of oxygen and nutrients through blood vessel.
“Skin cell regeneration by stem cell conditioned media”
Growth factors have been used for long in the medical field. For example, it is reported that aFGF expedites wound healing and skin regeneration if applied in the wound or burn area by activating fibroblast and thereby boosting production of collagen, elastin, fibronectin and blood vessel in the area. It is also known that growth factor helps prevent hair loss or hair growth by stimulating hair follicle cells.
It is thus theoretically possible without using stem cell itself to expect the same degree of efficacy in regeneration of old and diseased cell by using growth factors stem cell secrets. Recent innovation in skin penetration technology for large molecules even makes it possible to use the growth factors to be used for desired efficacy without aggressive injection by syringe.
“How to maximize skin regeneration effect?”
Does it always work if the product contains the stem cell conditioned media? It may not in practice. You may not expect the benefit if the stem cell conditioned media content is below the certain concentration or if the purity or activity of the conditioned media is out of the range. It is also important that the stem cell conditioned media is incorporated with an appropriate formulation that helps penetration into epidermis and dermis of the skin.
“Origin of the stem cell matters”
Stem cell conditioned media differ depending on the stem cell of its origin. They belong to either plant-, animal- and human-originated depending on the source.
Human skin cell is similar to those of plant or animal in some respect but basically different in general. Therefore, it is true that you may not expect the same degree of benefits from plant- or animal derived stem cell conditioned media products as that from human origin. I personally think human stem cell derived conditioned media works best on human skin.
You still need to be cautious in product choice even if it contains human stem cell conditioned media. As mentioned earlier, the number and activity of stem cell relates very much to the age of stem cell donors, and you should make sure where and how the stem cell conditioned media is prepared before making a decision. You should also be sure of the health status of the stem cell donor. I recommend to choose manufacturer whom you can track of the donor age and health history of the stem cell donor.
Human derived stem cell conditioned media
This is a collection of physiologically active ingredients secreted by human stem cells. It is and should be completely absent of stem cell itself. It can be subdivided as adidopcyte-, cord blood-, or bone marrow derived depending on the source of tissues for stem cell in manufacturing. It is of human origin, and thus biological side reaction rate is very low such that the product is recommended even to very sensitive skin type. You may expect the best skin benefits among all types of stem cell based cosmetics.
Animal derived stem cell
There are also stem cell based cosmetics in the market with animal derived ingredients. Hair root stem cell of young sheep is often used as it is known close to human skin stem cell, or stem cell from sheep placenta is also used. For safety, however, it should be carefully checked if there’s any hygiene issue in breeding environment of the animal. Animal stem cell may be closer to human ones compared with that of plant origin but you cannot expect the same benefit as human stem cell derived ones.
Plant derived stem cell
Most stem cell based cosmetic products you may encounter in the market contains plant cell origin. Plant stem cell can be obtained in large quantity most easily compared with other sources. Plant cell is total different from human ones in structure and composition, and it’s not likely that you expect any skin benefits out of plant stem cell products.
“Stem cell cosmetics that revolutionize skincare”
The recent big trend in pharmaceutical field is a regenerative medicine where the root cause of the disease is to be pursued and interfered. The emergence of stem cell cosmetics is to apply and take advantage of such approach in skincare and thus revolutionize the industry from the conventional concept of supplying what is lost in the course of skin aging to the new concept of activating and regenerating skin at the cellular level.
Skincare maintains so far at the realm of symptom relief in temporary and superficial manner. However, the recent trend of stem cell cosmetics will make it possible to resolve the loss in number and activity of stem cell in the course of skin aging and thereby activate our indigenous skin stem cell and rejuvenate old skin cells young and healthy to maintain strong enough to fight against skin aging.
17 SEP 2018