Stem Cell Cream Shows Benefits Similar to Collagen Injections

Could a stem cell skin care line be coming to a store near you?

Researchers from the International Stem Cell Corporation said they have discovered a new class of pluripotent stem cells that have the same characteristics as embryonic stem cells – but don’t require destroying human embryos.

Dr. Simon Craw, vice president of the International Stem Cell Corporation, said extracts from these stem cells—called parthenogenetic stem cells—have shown benefits regarding skin care.

The scientists stumbled upon the discovery while doing stem cell research for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.  They essentially cracked open the cells and removed the proteins and peptides from the inside to use as part of a mixture for a topical skin cream.

Clinical studies showed that the extract—not the stem cells themselves—stimulated the skin and plumped it up, making the skin appear more youthful and healthy.

“We have very good clinical results in terms of appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, skin brightness, luminosity and skin firmness,” Craw said.

The results indicated that the cell extract achieved these benefits by increasing the level of skin proteins like collagen and elastin.  Collagen is a common filler used in injections to erase wrinkles and fine lines on the face, while elastin helps tissues in the skin return to their normal shape after stretching or contracting.

Scientists also hope to someday use parthenogenetic stem cells to treat diseases like diabetes, Parkinson’s and certain forms of blindness.  Dr. Craw said everything was pre-clinical at the moment, but so far things were moving along “very well.”

“We're in the research phase where we're growing the tissue, and we're trying to understand the properties of the tissue, and that they have the right characteristics that we could implant them into humans safely,” Craw said.

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