Using plant stem cells to benefit skin has been believed to be a bit of a con in the skincare industry, but new research is emerging that shows that it can actually work. In fact, one study from Inside Cosmeceuticals found that they can reduce the appearance of wrinkles by up to 15% in just 4 weeks. More research is still needed to understand which plants offer the most benefits, but the results are promising so far.

Stem cells in plants

Plants have the ability to regrow and regenerate, thanks to stem cells. Stem cells are cells that can develop into any type of cell in the plant and then multiply in a controlled way. Humans and other animals also have stem cells that work in the same way, which is why plant stem cells are being studied to see how they can benefit people, including in the skincare industry.

Plant stem cells can detect genetic damage in their natural environment and will kill damaged cells before they can spread. Research is seeing if plant stem cells can be applied to skin and destroy damaged cells in the same way to prevent skin from aging and to help reduce the appearance of current wrinkles.

How can stem cells help aging skin?

There are plenty of skincare products that use plants as ingredients, all claiming to have different benefits. Research looking at how stem cells from plants can help skin has seen good results for anti-aging in particular. DNA shortens as it replicates overtime, causing wrinkles and other aging effects of the skin. One study found that plant stem cells improved crow’s feet wrinkles when a cream containing apple-derived stem cells was used.

Another study found that the active cells from a ginger plant reduced pores and oily skin. Both of these studies found an improvement, but no control group was used in either, making it difficult to conclude that the plant stem cells are the sole reason for improvements.

Are the claims too bold?

Despite research showing that improvements can be seen when using plant stem cells on skin, there are many skeptics still. One of the biggest reasons for this is that stem cells need to be alive to function, so when they’re collected, processed and added to creams they die and can no longer work as they would in a plant. Another problem is that plant stem cells can’t influence human skin stem cells because they only act under certain environmental conditions. If these conditions aren’t met, the stem cells won’t get to work.

More research is needed

Currently, there’s still a lot of conflicting information about whether plant stem cells can benefit human skin or not. Researchers are trying to find a way to keep stem cells alive and make them work when they’re used as in ingredient in skincare products, as well as finding out the best plants to use and the best way to use them on the skin, such as creams, lotions or oils.

At the very least, plant stem cells in skincare products haven’t been found to have any negative effects on the skin and it’s believed they can offer antioxidant effect, which can protect against environmental factors, such as the sun’s rays. The hope is that research will find a way to make plant stem cells work wonders for aging skin.