Facing The Future - Stem cell cream is future of face care


Written on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 by Gemini

Controversial Stem Cell Lotion, Being Touted As The Holy Grail Of Skincare, Could Be Available In Weeks

London: Just imagine being able to clone your own skin, creating brandnew cells that are undamaged by age, sun or pollution. It would be the Holy Grail of skincare, the answer that every woman over the age of 30 has been looking for. And the technology, which centres on stem cells, could be available in Britain in a matter of weeks.

In embryos, stem cells form the basis of every cell in the human body; in adults, they regenerate damaged tissue. It might sound like science fiction, but the controversial new frontier in antiageing uses creams containing laboratory synthesised ingredients to stimulate dormant stem cells in the skin and transform them into new tissue. This process would usually occur only when the skin has been severely damaged.

So, rather than going under the knife in the pursuit of a firm, youthful, glowing face, you may be able to grow your own new, wrinkle-free, baby-soft skin simply by applying a face cream. First to the market in Britain will be ReVive’s Peau Magnifique, which will be priced at a staggering £1,050. It is already available in the U.S. and launches exclusively in Space NK in April.

Manufacturers claim it uses an enzyme called telomerase to “convert resting adult stem cells to newly-minted skin cells” and “resets your skin’s ageing clock by a minimum of five years’. The product claims long-term use “will result in generation of new cells, firmer skin with a 45% reduction in wrinkles and increased long-term skin clarity’.

Peau Magnifique is the latest in a line of products developed by Gregory Bays Brown, a former plastic surgeon, who realised that surgery had its limitations. ‘You can get rid of a turkey neck and take out bags, but surgery cannot give you the succulent soft skin you had in your 20s,’ he says.

In the course of his research into healing burns victims, Brown discovered a substance called Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) released in the body when there is an injury, and, when applied to burns or wounds, dramatically accelerates the healing process. He believed the molecule could be used to regenerate ageing skin and went on to develop ReVive, a range based on it.

One aspect of Peau Magnifique that is guaranteed to raise eyebrows when it hits shelves is the price tag (£1,050 for a four-week course twice a year). ‘Yes it is expensive,’ says Brown. ‘But the telomerase protein costs $4 million a gram and is the most expensive of all the molecules we use in any of our products.’ ReVive refuses to say how much telomerase goes into Peau Magnifique.

To be fair, if, as Brown says, telomerase creates the same effect as laser skin rejuvenation but without the trauma, effectively, you’re treating your skin to one session of laser skin rejuvenation every day for 28 days. Obviously, this would be impossible, but were you able to do it without your entire face melting, it would set you back in the region of £250 a session—that’s £7,000 in total.

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