Dermascope - October 2010
A wide range of plant stem cells, including extracts from edelweiss, echinacea, gotu kola and several lilac varietals, may offer significant future skincare applications.
For instance, edelweiss, an Alpine flower with a special affinity to survive extreme altitudes and solar radiation exposure, offers potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Edelweiss stem cells inhibit the enzymes that break down hyaluronic acid and collagen.
To illustrate, a cream with 1% edelweiss stem cells used twice daily reduced wrinkle depth of the eye contour area by 15% after 20 days of treatment in a clinical study involving 20 individuals.
The stem cells from echinacea, a botanical revered for its immune-strengthening properties, have also demonstrated an ability to inhibit collagenase, the enzyme that breaks down collagen, while stimulating the synthesis of new collagen in vitro.
Likewise, stem cells from the gotu kola plant, also known as tiger grass, have been shown to decrease the skin-degrading enzyme, hyaluronidase, by up to 90% and therefore retain the skin’s hyaluronic acid, a key extracellular matrix ingredient responsible for hydration and elasticity.
Other plant-derived stem cells may offer new applications in fighting acne. Syringa vulgaris L., otherwise known as common lilac, has been shown to inhibit 5α-reductase, an enzyme involved in sebum production, as well as decrease the pro-inflammatory chemokine IL-8. In clinical studies, a cream containing 1% of a patented plant stem cell extract reduced lesions in 29 acne patients by 40% in 30 days and showed a significant decrease in inflammation and melanin pigmentation.
By combining these plant-derived stem cells with other anti-aging actives, such as peptides, proteins and cell-active folic acid, we can rejuvenate skin cell DNA, the core center for all cell renewal processes, and literally give aging skin a fresh new start.
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