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cosmeceuticalsOver the past ten years there has been a rise in cosmeceuticals and anti-aging products.  Cosmeceuticals are a blend of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals (Example: retinol and serums).  These products have active ingredients such as marine extracts, vitamins or peptides that are added to crèmes, lotions and serums that have a beneficial effect on the skin.  The FDA, however, does not recognize the term cosmeceuticals as a beauty product category; it is a marketing term, not a legal definition (Cannady, 2012).

Stem cells are found in the epidermal layer of the skin.  The epidermis consists of five layers (the top layer, the stratum corneum, can be 16-24 micro layers in depth depending on ethnicity).  The epidermis is where cell growth and regeneration begins, starting at the basal layer (that sits on top of the dermis).  When stem cells are harmed by UV radiation, regeneration of the skin can be compromised.

Stem cell technology in skin care products have risen in popularity over the past six years.  Due to regulatory constraints, the cosmetics industry is prohibited from using human material (including stem cells) in products.  The cosmetics industry uses raw materials from plant stem cells in skin care products.  These plant stem cells are shown to protect human stem cells from stress, UV exposure and decrease wrinkles.  Plants used in stem cell technology may include apple, pear, edelweiss, lilac, Echinacea, grapes and Gotu kola.

To learn more about these skin care ingredients, click on the following links:

Cannady, A. (2012). WebMD, “What are cosmeceuticals?” Retrieved August 232, 2013, from: http://www.webmd.com/beauty/face/what-are-cosmeceuticals

Cosmetics Business. (2010). “Stem cell technology – The next generation”. Retrieved August 23, 2013, from: http://www.cosmeticsbusiness.com/technical/article_page/Stem_cell_technology_-_The_next_generation/55280