Role of Plant Stem Cells in Skin Care

Published:October 14th, 2012


It is a common knowledge that plants are beneficial not only for the ecosystem, but also for humans as well. There are many products that are obtained from plants such as paper, construction materials and fabric materials. Also in order to survive and keep our body healthy, we opt to eat plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables. But did you know that there is a product that you can get from a plant that can specifically target your skin? This product is the plant stem cells.

As the technology advances, scientists are constantly utilizing it to find new innovations that could make life a lot better. One of their targets is the consumers’ demand for skin care. As we all know, people nowadays become more conscious about their appearance and the skin is one of the factors that contribute to that.  It is noted that the three things that people are concerned about in relation to their skin are firmness, wrinkles, and skin tone. By using plant stem cells, scientists find a natural way to address these issues.

So how does it work? Plant stem cells or meristematic cells are extracted through the plant by creating a slight cut into it. As the plant gets wounded, it will release auxins (plant hormones) that will trigger the formation of a tissue in defense called the callus. The callus tissues are where stem cells come from. After this the meristematic cells will be cultured in the laboratory to enhance their chemical purity. Then the finished product is made and can be used topically. It is believed that its main action is the promotion of self-renewal of the skin.

Out of all the plant sources that are used for skincare, the most popular of them are Edelweiss, Sea fennel, and Gardenia. Edelweiss, which is usual in extreme hot climates, is known to produce several substances that serve as protection against sun exposure or UV rays. It contains high level of leontopodic acids A and B which have antioxidants properties and is good for reduction of wrinkles. The second one, Sea fennel, is available in active powder form. Its stem cells are used for skin lightening, anti-aging, and self-repair of the skin.  Lastly, Gardenia is a tropical plant which helps maintain the elasticity and firmness of the skin. It also helps keep your skin moisturized throughout the day. Its stem cell also contains substances with antioxidant properties.

For the past few years, stem cell research has been a controversial issue in the society. But it is important to keep in mind that plant stem cells are way different from human stem cells. The awareness of this distinction is very important to avoid any ethical, religious, and political objections involved. Plant stem cell is an earth-friendly technology because it does not kill or harshly damage any plant host. It is the responsibility of the researchers to protect any endangered plants and preserve the beauty of the environment as they go on with their research.

Another controversy that plant stem cell treatment is facing is its effectiveness. An argument was made about the beneficial effects of plant stem cell. It is said that, because human stem cells made a buzz about its beneficial effects and anti-aging properties, marketers use plant stem cell as an alternative technology since it is more accessible to the consumers. In other words, this is all for marketing purposes and its benefits are actually vague. Also, plants are said to lack the ability to repair damaged cells; hence, how can they possibly repair human cells? Until now, there are lots of questions about this technology and research is continually going in order to prove the benefits of plant stem cell.


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